I was brought up on a farm north of Feilding, North Island, New Zealand and cats were always part of my family's life. They were in my case, substitutes for dolls. I had a favourite steel blue moggie with the unoriginal name of Bluey.
That cat‘s temperament was fantastic, allowing me to dress him and wheel him about in my dolls' pram. My pony wouldn't fit; so all the cats endured my fussing.
I guess I was about 5 years old and when I think back, what a ghastly experience it must have been for that poor cat .He was terrified beyond belief and consequently escaped, I was heart broken, but after a radio appeal a woman phoned my mother saying she had a wild beast of a grey cat in her garage, but it couldn't possibly be a child's pet.
She was astounded when I called “the wild beast's “ name and he leaped into my arms and continued to purr for the entire homeward journey. No more cat show for my precious Bluey!
It was almost 40 years before I showed a cat again, this time a chocolate Burmese from the Kerheim Cattery of the Bauckes' and that wasn't a good experience either, but we did come home with many ribbons and I was hooked. However, it was with Siamese that I first delved into the pedigree world.
I had two half-bred Siamese given to me by a relative who bred Siamese. They were amazing animals white/cream with points and large dark brown/black patches. Their deaths at the age of 14 and 15 left a huge gap in our lives and as they were the old apple- headed Siamese; it was not surprising I fell in love with Burmese.
I first joined Mid Island Shorthair cat club at the instigation of Jill Dugan. Later I joined Burmese and more recently Patches and Points. I have held positions of representative, secretary and delegate.
I have experimented with the silver gene and “different coloured Burmese, especially the caramels.
We imported our first Stud Burmese from Brisbane, Aurora Kiowa Chief in 2000 and he has helped the Tobormory Cattery in the never-ending quest for the perfect cat.
I have enjoyed showing and if my cat /kitten won I felt privileged, if it didn't, what the hang, its been a great day out.
I live with my husband, Rob, on a small life style block about 20 mins drive south west of Hamilton and the cats live in a custom built cattery with all mod cons and enough garden and space to rule our lives. We just pay the mortgage and occasionally see our two sons.
Judging for me is a really exciting experience with always something to learn. It is a serious job and I hope I maintain a professional attitude.
However, at the end of the day regardless of results, I firmly believe that every exhibitor goes home with the best cat in the world. Long may it remain so!