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Driving in the Dark
Yesterday was a tad hectic but ultimately rewarding. Having put the dogs into the kennels (and there's a terrifying night drive, let me tell you) on friday night, we caught Flash (and he complained mightily) and set off long before dawn, heading towards the new venue for the joint Shorthair Cat Society and loads of small clubs including the Singapura Cat Club shows, just outside the village of Ryton on Dunsmore near Coventry. This was bound, at least, to have more going for it in January than the Stoneleigh showground.

Ina drove there, and we arrived at about 8:30, got Flash vetted in and all set up in his cage, then went to fetch the SCC stuff from the car, only to find that there had been a certain neglect in table booking, and there was a scramble to find somewhere to set up. During this phase I found myself standing around like Clem guarding a bag and a couple of boxes of merchandise, and fending off boredom in conversation with a lovely seal point Siamese boy kitten who was determined to escape/snag a passing person with his paw/liberate his cage number/commit any mayhem he could. I would have gladly taken him home.

However, things were finally sorted out, well after ten (when judging is supposed to start) and Ina and I headed off into the village. The pubs showed no sign of life, but we went to have a look at the church, St Leonards.

Church from the Graveyard

The red sandstone nave is the oldest part, though the lower part of the tower is plainly late Norman just merging into early English.

Transitional Arch Norman/Early English

And you have never seen so many yew trees are there are in the churchyard! Here are a few.

Under the Yews

Then we were lucky enough to be spotted by the church wardens and invited in to look at the church which is normally locked against thieves. The Norman nave is super.

Norman Nave - roof beams

The Malt Shovel wasn't open yet and didn't appear to serve food, so we went to the Blacksmith's Arms, where we drank an acceptable pint of cider. Unfortunately, their kitchen was undergoing reconstruction, but the landlady insisted that she could make us some chips to go with the cider, and very good they were too.

Back at the show(s), Flash had picked up the SCC Grand Premier certificate, his third, which means he gets his Grand Premier title. (Done in two visits to these shows.) He'd won the Shorthair GP class too, but for some reason the judge had withheld.

Flash's Third Grand

While I was in love with that Siamese kitten, for Ina it was this Oriental Bicolour kitten

Black and White Oriental Kitten

Not that the one Singa kitten there wasn't a charmer too...

Singapura Kitten

We didn't get out until 5 o'clock but at least this year the judge had signed the Grand Certificate! Another drive home in the dark, braving some very odd Saturday drivers on the M1 with pizza waiting for us.

Dogs retrieved this morning and walked in Roding Valley. Phew!

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Grats for Flash! And is that you in the last picture?

Nope. I don't have pics of me if I can help it, but... I'm the one on the right. (The dark haired lady is a cat club friend.)

Singapura Cat Club Table at the Supreme 2005

*waves* Nice to put a face to the words. :-)

The bicolour kitten is quite striking! I do find myself more and more tempted by one of the Siamese / Burmese / Russian Blue types of cats - I keep telling myself that my work schedule is too hectic right now to consider getting a kitten.

The really striking bicolours are the Seal Point splashed white - they have the Siamese bright blue eyes but are classed as Orientals because the Siamese crowd won't have anything to do with them, any more than they will have truck with the Foreign White, which is a genetic Siamese with a white overcoat.

We've bred Orientals (we bred the two we still own), and have thoughts about a new girl Siamese or Oriental kitten at some stage. We've also owned a Russian Blue. Siamese and Burmese are wicked (and loud!) while Russian Blues (and Blacks and Whites) are normally long-lived and and gentle, while being playful all their lives. All are personality plus.

OK - not certain if you'll see a comment to a post this far back - but say I were to look seriously at a Russian Blue ... would you happen to know a reputable breeder? Ideally 'down south' as we're not far from the Reading area, but travel is an option.


We know a number of reputable breeders, but not always where they live or if they have kittens for sale! The first step is normally to contact the breed club - in this case the Russian Blue Breeders Association (the RBBA).

This is their website


and this is the breeder's page


The advice at the top is damn good. As you can see, this is divided by area. (The RBBA is a large enough club that it also divides up its welfare officers by region.)

This page gives good advice about finding a kitten


If and when you are serious, ringing Catherine Moore would be a great idea. When we bought our Russian Blue we also visited a number of shows and talked to the breeders - we ended up with a kitten from the then well-known and successful breeder Margery Draper (Adram) who is now, unfortunately, no longer with us. It is a while since we were closely involved with the RBBA but if you want to ring me and go over the list of breeders I can tell you which people and prefixes are familiar from that time. In that case message me on LJ and I will let you have our phone number.

Thank you! Lots of useful information in there.
I should be working from home again in a few months, and I'm postponing *getting* a kitten until then, but that means a future kitten could be in planning stage already.

And happy birthday!

Will you be at Eightsquared?

We are staying with a friend in Keighley who has two Russian girls who are veterans (one an ex breeding queen, one 'rescued' by stealth), both obtained from Jennifer, who lives and breeds in Durham. Pamela is still a member of the RBBA - I'm sure she'd be happy to introduce you to the girls, if that could be arranged.

I'll just note for the future that getting two kittens is much less hassle than getting one, as they keep each other occupied.

Particularly with the very social breeds, like the Siamese, Oriental and Burmese (and Singapura). If the buyers didn't have a cat already we preferred to sell two kittens together and, in one case, where the buyers adored the kit but both worked, got them to promise to get a moggie kitten to keep their new pedigree kit company. Which they did.

What a beautiful church and churchyard - and congratulations to the prize kitteh!

Flash thanks you. We were really surprised by the church as the 'village' is almost post-70s housing, bounded by two A roads, one a dual carriageway.

Composite doorway! That's a rare beastie.

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