REMEMBERING THE TRADITIONAL SIAMESE © Diana Fineran, January 6, 1988
BY Diana Fineran, Founder
The Traditional Cat Association, Inc.
18509 N.E. 279th. Street
Battle Ground, WA. 98604-9717
HOME PAGES http://www.traditionalcats.com
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"Many fairy tales, novels, short stories and movie scripts are based upon the theme of a heroine falling from fame and fortune to despair, only to raise back to glory for a happy ending. This is just such a tale! Once revered and treasured by the ruling monarchs in the Royal Court of its native land, exported by visiting dignitaries as Royal Gifts and jealously bred by its original English owner, the TRADITIONAL SIAMESE has had a bumpy road to walk over! When first exhibited at the Cat Show held in London's Crystal Palace in 1871, they created a stir that has never been felt since. The glorious dark pointed, cream bodied cat with those intense blue eyes became the rage. An endearing personality added impetus to its fast growth in popularity until they became a commonly known breed throughout America."
"It was during those years that the urge to own one of the blue eyed wonders came to me. The large farm house on our dairy farm in the lush green fields of Northern Wisconsin certainly had room for one more family member. Some convincing was needed to get my parents to spend $25.00 for a cat, when we already had several domestic short hairs in the barn! Nevertheless, the persistence I put to the fore during my childhood prevailed. A cute Seal Point female kitten came to live with us. I named her "Tahani", which is Tahitian for "The Darling One".
Years of experience raising numerous kittens in our barn soon led me to search out a TRADITIONAL SIAMESE male for breeding purposes. In a nearby city, a grand specimen was found, kinked tail and all! Tahani raised two purebred litters before being spayed. By then, my sister was becoming so involved, a male Seal Point was retained from the last litter to be her companion."
"These original two were replaced by a third Seal Point female, who lived well into her teens."
"Time marched on. I began working and showing Arabian horses. Eventually, I married and moved out of State. Three Burmese have joined our household since then. Still in the back of my mind remained the beckoning memories of my TRADITIONAL SIAMESE, who so willingly shared my childhood joys and tears."
"Then years ago, my husband and I decided to attend our first cat show as spectators. No words can express my absolute shock, when I saw my first modern day show Siamese. At first I thought it was a completely separate breed, that had used the Siamese as a base to establish color. The willowy creature bore about as much resemblance to its original progenitors as a pretzel to a fine gourmet dessert! Most certainly, this was NOT the Siamese of my youth! Enquiries of breeders concerning acquiring a TRADITIONAL SIAMESE revealed they were considered pet quality now. no one could refer us to a breeder. This was when I learned my beloved TRADITIONAL SIAMESE had somehow been given the most demeaning description of "apple head"!"
"Once regarded with the utmost reverence, the TRADITIONAL SIAMESE had fallen to obscurity and for NO VALID REASON, disgrace!"
"Desperately trying to find a TRADITIONAL SIAMESE kitten, I wrote a letter to "Cats Magazine", which was published. Much to my great relief, nineteen tenacious breeders responded. A mountain of correspondence has been exchanged since then, along with a great deal of research. The startling results of my hours of study revealed the Siamese breed standard has been changed and totally revised many, many times since the original standard was written in England. Over a period of approximately 20 years, the style and breed type of the cat changed right along with the standard! Manipulation of genetics from a few selected bloodlines created the show Siamese of today."
"If each of the nineteen breeders responding own 10 registered TRADITIONAL SIAMESE and if there are 20 other breeders out there somewhere each owning 10 TRADITIONAL SIAMEE, that means there are only 39- breedable TRADITIONAL SIAMESE left! This unofficial census makes them appear to be extremely rare at this time. Now that pet owners are getting into their advanced teens, they are finding it more and more difficult to replace them. I have received over 7,000 inquiries (in 1988) from enthusiasts searching for a kitten."
"With the help of the original 19 breeders who responded to my request, along with many other deeply interested supporters, The Traditional Cat Association, Inc. has been formed, with the motto: "To Preserve, Protect, Perpetuate and Promote the Traditional Siamese". Anyone interested in becoming a member of TCA, Inc. is encouraged to send a Self Addressed, Stamped Envelope to: TCA, Inc., 18509 N.E. 279th. Street, Battle Ground, WA. 98604-9717. U.S.A."
"With good health, long life and a most endearing, people loving personality, the TRADITIONAL SIAMESE has a great heritage to pass on for future use. Perhaps, in time, the TRADITIONAL SIAMESE will once again return to its original degree of recognition."