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
"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
"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
"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."