KORATS IN THE USA
We have had quite a week. Others should offer their impressions in addition to mine, because I'm sure we all saw it differently.
First of all, Ailsa has reported to you about the 8 or 9 of us who arrived on Tuesday afternoon from Canada, England, Denmark, Wales, Minnesota, and Oregon. We had 2 whole days together before the International Cat Show began. We spent that time talking, eating, shopping, and getting a little bit of sleep. The jet lag from all directions made some of us a little out of kilter, but we all managed to function together.
Since the Brits were unable to bring their Korats to the show, we divided them up amongst those of us who had cats there, so that everyone could have kitty time. Our only organized event was a tour of Kansas City's Toy and Miniature Museum on the UMKC campus. It has some wonderful items, from antique toys, dolls, and books, to perfect (and I mean perfect) miniature reproductions of period furniture and household items. These were not toys, but scale models. Tiny drawers, inlaid wood, and tiny inkwells. If you're ever in Kansas City, Missouri, you ought to find this museum and check it out. It is difficult to find. We didn't know it was on the university grounds.
On Friday morning, we all assembled in the huge show hall for the show. The show management benches the cats by breed, so we were all together. We had 18 Korats entered and competing. No absentees. There were 3 kittens entered and one additional littermate present. There were 11 adult Korats in Championship and the competition was very interesting. The Premiership classes included 4 Korats. There were some other Korats who were in Kansas City but did not come to the show hall. They were being transported to their new homes or countries by participants.
The Championship and Premiership cats were judged by JoAnn Cummings, Kitty Angell, Vicki Nye, Gary Veach, Kim Everett, and Darrell Newkirk. The kittens were judged by Bob Zenda, Stan Barnaby, Wain Harding, Pam DelaBar, Diana Doernberg, and Jody Garrison.
I don't have complete details of any of the competitions. I know how my baby Grand Champion did and who the final Korat winners are.
Ray Ratliff's beautiful female GRC Soigne's Stardust was Best Korat in Championship. She also was included in 3 of the 6 finals. Judy Bickett's beautiful female CH Mytai Indigo Girl was the 2nd Best Korat and Best Korat Champion. My year-old female GRC Kiriki Charunee was the 3rd Best Korat in Championship and earned 2 Best of Breed ribbons.
Margaret Dexter's lovely spay GRP Soigne's Thai Priestess was the Best Korat in Premiership and made 2 finals. BTW, the finals were not used to determine final breed placements and awards. I'm drawing a blank about 2nd Best Korat in Premiership. Can someone help? I think it was Linda's Ithacats Rambling Rose.
In the kitten competition, Skarraghbragh Thai 2K of Kal-Lee was the best Korat kitten. He is owned by Bobbie Wiehrauch. His littermate, Skarraghbragh Georgia on my Mind was 2nd Best Korat kitten. She is Ailsa's keeper kitten and is a darling little girl. We could have had a spirited bidding war over this little sweetie.
Our friends from the United Kingdom (England and Wales) brought beautiful rosettes to present to the best Korats. In addition to the Best Korats in Championship, Premiership, and Kittens, they awarded Best of Opposite Sex in each category and a Best Korat overall.
Best of Opposite Sex (usually referred to as BOX) in Championship went to Terry Chapman's Open male, Ma Lez Chin Son, who was chosen as 3rd Best of Breed by Kim Everett, competing against another Open, 4 Grands, and 5 Champions. I had seen a picture of this boy as a young kitten several months ago and he looks even better now. Best of Opposite Sex in Premiership went to Primprau's Wait, Watch and Win, the Danish imported cat that I've been using in my breeding program. We call him Webcat. He was at the show to meet and go home with his new owner as a companion cat. Best of Opposite Sex in Kittens went to Ailsa's female, Skarraghbrae Georgia on my Mind.
The UK contingent had a bit of a problem in determining the Best Korat in Show. They decided that since the numbers of cats in each category were not equal, they decided to include the number of finals earned to help them with the decision. Since GRC Soigne's Stardust was selected for 3 finals competing against almost twice as many shorthair cats, she was awarded the Best Korat in Show award.
Many pictures were taken and we will try and get them posted to the files on KW.
Those are (generally) the official results of Korat competition at the CFA International Show.
In addition to the friendly and exciting competition, we had MEETINGS!!!!
Small meetings, large meetings, formal meetings, informal meetings, one-on-one meetings, and just casual get togethers. By chance, our benching set up was located next to the large round tables that were set up for diners. We occupied up to three tables for all three days of the show.
The formal meetings included a meeting Friday night, sponsored and conducted by Korats Unlimited, a CFA Korat breed club. I was the meeting's moderator and we had nearly all of the participants and visitors present after the completion of the judging on Friday night. The meeting lasted from about 8 PM until after 10:30 PM. Present at the meeting were breeders and exhibitors from TICA, CFA, and ACFA. We also had several officers of KCFA (FYI, the unaffiliated organization dedicated to the Korat cat) and close to 20 members of KCFA, too. In addition to the North American breeders and exhibitors, we had Europeans from FIFe, the SKR (Scandinavian breeders), and UK's KCA (Korat Cat Association).
Our agenda included introductions; reports from each of the organizations listed above; a GM report from Dr. Henry Baker (Auburn University, Scott-Ritchey Institute); and discussions of Korat rescue, the Thai-Lilacs and Thai-Pointed Cats in the UK, and general pedigree sharing.
Cheryl Coleman, the CFA Korat Breed Council Secretary decided not to have a BC meeting, as she will no longer be the Secretary after the end of the year.
On Sunday morning, the KCFA officers and members present met in the show hall and discussed various issues related to KCFA. This could not be an official meeting, as it had not been organized by the Board of Directors of KCFA. Ray Ratliff conducted the meeting (2nd VP), along with Judy Bickett (1st VP). Other officers and directors present included: Bill Gustafson, Elfi Klieve, Hewitt Lovelace. All registering associations were represented. Two of the three Rescue committee members were present. Helen Basford, KCFA's secretary was present on Friday and Saturday and had to leave early Sunday morning, so she was unable to attend the meeting.
I've been a KCFA member (with some time out in the middle) for nearly 10 years. This was the first face-to-face meeting of KCFA that I've been involved in during that time. I recommend that it happen more often. We aired a lot of issues and there was spirited discussion (to say the least) amongst the attendees. Only 1 or 2 non-members attended the meeting altho everyone had been invited. Actually, we were able to speak more freely than if they had been present.
We came up with a number of wide-ranging recommendations that we think will strengthen KCFA and preserve its place as the source of continuing contributions to the Korat cat throughout the world. We hope that KCFA will open its membership to all who support the Korat cat and eliminate the need for sponsorship and voting to admit new members. We made suggestions about Mai Pen Rai that will strengthen its message to Korat breeders, those showing Korats, and those who simply love their Korats. Even without Board action, all KCFA members can contribute to Mai Pen Rai with show reports, anecdotes, and articles. Let's give the editor(s) too much to include!!
Hopefully, this meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, in November 2000, will mark the beginning of a new era in the Korat world. Many of the participants told me privately how much they enjoyed meeting each other. To those of you who might have come, but could not, or chose not to attend, you'll have another chance next year in Houston. We'll try and do it again there. The International Show is usually held on the 3rd weekend in November (16th-18th in 2001). To enter a cat in the show, it must be entered in its regional qualifier show on the weekend of October 13-14, 2001.
It makes such a difference to be able to look into a person's eyes when they speak; to listen to their tone of voice; to be able to challenge their logic and explain your opinion. There is really no substitute for that face to face meeting. We've been bombarded with an enormous amount of information in the last couple of years. I said at one point that a lot of the information that we have accumulated prior to this meeting was *myth-information*. Those of us who were present in Kansas City now have images of those individuals that were only names on an e-mail message until now.
Here's a list of participants who were there for the weekend, or at least a couple of days of the weekend (don't read anything into the order of the participants, please. These are off the top of my head as I tried to visualize the benching and the people sitting around tables) and I've included their cattery names whenever possible:
- Ailsa Stark - Winnipeg Manitoba Canada - Skarraghbrae
- Bobbie Wiehrauch - Minnesota - Kal-Lee
- Hewitt & Madeline Lovelace - North Carolina - Love Sumalee
- Dennis Ganoe and Judy Buckle-Ganoe - Oregon - Dennigan and Gentlegift
- Ray Ratliff - Georgia - Soigne
- Judy Bickett - Georgia - Mytai
- Terry Chapman - North Carolina
- Cheryl Coleman - Maryland - Mowl Sima
- Bill Gustafson - Nebraska - Pewterprints
- Carine Risberg & John Ypma - Ontario, Canada - Klahz
- Margaret Dexter - showing a Soigne Korat Linda Kabelac - New York - Ithacats
- Stephan Franke - Germany - V. Baan Thai (his roommate for the weekend was the Korat male of his breeding aka Rambas that was sent to Oregon a couple of years ago and lives with the Ganoes)
- Camilla Baird - Denmark - Primprau's (she and Niels Peter shared their room with Webcat, bred by Camilla and sent to Oregon with me about a year and a half ago)
- Niels Peter - Denmark (Russian Blue breeder engaged to Camilla)
- Elfi Kleive - Norway - Pimai
- Ann Boylan - Texas - Buenaventura
- Jean Blevins - Texas
- Audrey Barker - California - Kariba
- Helen Basford - California - Saang Jahn
- Jen Lacey - England - Jenanca
- Anthea Whitehouse - Wales - Heebreeze
- Gretta Hall-Tamlyn - England
- Ann Segrest - Oregon - Kiriki
- Claire Dodds - Royale Swan
- Caroline Fralia - Texas - showing a Love Sumalee Korat
If I've left anyone out, I'm very sorry.
In summary, I think we all felt that this was an historic event for the Korat cat, and we want to do it again!!!
We are all invited to go to England (without kitties :-( for those of us outside of the UK) in March of 2002 for a special Korat special show.
We all want to meet again next November in Houston, Texas, and the 2001 CFA International Show.
I have such enjoyable memories: standing at the airport hugging my friends and wishing we could all stay together for a few more days.
Piling 7 humans, 4 cats, and about 16 pieces of luggage (successfully) into a Ford Windstar and getting everyone to their plane on time.
Circling downtown KC at least 3 times as I tried to find I-70 (I didn't realize that we were surrounded on 4 sides by freeways and I kept thinking I had the right one).
Introducing one of our European friends to peel-em shrimp at the Outback.
Trying to explain grits.
Translating business signs for our literal-minded friends--key doesn't always mean doorkey--pool can refer to billiards as well as swimmin' pools.
The one thing that we all have in common, regardless of our national heritage, financial position, language, occupation, or political persuasion (yes, we had to try and explain our election process, too), is our abiding and eternal affection for the Korat cat. That is what is important.
Kiriki Cattery - Oregon, USA