GC 23rd Avenue Soul Jacker
Published May 2017

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This is the story of GC 23rd Avenue Soul Jacker, CFA's first Chocolate Tabby & White Grand Champion Persian.  It is also the story of his breeder and owner, Tracey Weaver, and her persistence in the face of many challenges, her determination to follow her dreams and her unwavering love of chocolate Persians.

GC 23rd Avenue Soul Jacker

The first Chocolate Tabby & White Grand Champion Persian in CFA history
Photo by Brittany Gobble 

My name is Tracey Weaver. I live in Hutchinson, Kansas where I have a small cattery specializing in chocolate Persians.

The first time I saw a chocolate Persian it was love at first sight.  In my opinion it is the most beautiful color I had ever seen on a cat.

I acquired my first chocolate Persian kitties in 2011.  I live on 23rd Avenue.  Since this is where it all started, I chose 23rd Avenue as my cattery name.

After purchasing my first pair of chocolate Persians, I quickly realized I had a lot to learn about my beloved breed — genetics, reproduction, raising kittens and more.  I began reading and searching the internet.  My research helped me realize that my foundation kitties in no way met the Persian breed standard. Because I loved the breed and the color, I wasn’t about to give up. I was driven to learn more and improve the quality of my chocolate kitties.

I reached out to other breeders and cat groups and was advised to attend some cat shows to help develop my eye for a cat and to see and handle quality Persians — so that’s what I did.

My First Show

In 2014, I entered my first cat show with a chocolate calico kitten. She didn’t do very well. Having a minority color sure didn’t help.

I was determined to show a chocolate and have it do something in the hall . . . so back it was to the drawing board, to plan breedings and search for new cats that had the qualities that I was looking for.

The following year, I again took my chocolate calico, 23rd Avenue Zayden's Recci, now an adult, to the show.  She added the Champion title to her name, earned 40 Grand points, but progressed no further.  It would have been easy to become discouraged, but I was determined.  I felt I needed to wait for the right kitten to be born, one of my own breeding, before I re-entered the show hall. 

I continued developing my breeding program with a focus on chocolate.

CH 23rd Avenue Zayden's Recci
Photo by Preston

March 16, 2016

March 6th, 2016 a litter of three kittens was born to my lilac calico, Ceylons Do You Lilac It.  She gave birth to a lilac calico, a chocolate bicolor female and a chocolate tabby and white van boy.  The sire was my chocolate tabby and white, Mr Dimples.

Toby (center) with his siblings

I always prefer a high white bicolor, but the van boy wasn’t actually the one that first caught my attention.  My heart was set on the chocolate bicolor girl.  If she developed as I hoped, she would be my keeper and the other two could go to pet homes.

Toby's chocolate & white bicolor sister, Penny

As the kittens grew, I still liked the bicolor girl best.  I already had a loving pet home for the calico, but when the time came to offer the van boy to a pet home, I hesitated.  There was just something about him.  Besides good looks, he had a very loving personality that was hard to resist. I decided he would stay with me after all. I called him Toby.

Baby Toby

A Mentor's Encouragement

Toby was developing nicely and I began thinking about possibly showing him, but then he got to that ugly, awkward kitten stage; all ears and legs . . . and I wondered what I was thinking keeping him at all.

I went to my mentor and good friend, Chasity McCarty of Ceylon Persians for her advice.  Chasity produced CFA's first Lilac & White Persian Grand Champion, GC Ceylon Color Me Crazy.  I showed Chasity Toby's photos.  I recall her saying something like, "Yikes".  Even though he was all out of proportion, she saw potential and suggested I give him some time — so that is exactly what I did.

All of a sudden his ears started coming down.  His profile was beautiful. He was developing into a massive boy.  His coat was magnificent. Everything seemed to be falling into place — and I actually witnessed it happening in real time!

I was beyond excited, thinking, this may be the ONE! I had a chocolate Persian worthy of granding at last!


Although I called him Toby at home, the time had come to decide on an official name for him.  He was the type of cat, that couldn’t get close enough to me; pushing and nudging into my chest, my neck . . . It was like he wanted in my soul.  Jokingly, I started accusing him of trying to jack my soul. That's when I realized what his name should be.

So, 23rd Avenue Soul Jacker became his registered name.

Toby's Show Debut

January 2017, at the age of 10 months, Toby attended his first show — a 1-day, 4 ring show.  The bicolor division of Persian is arguably the most competitive in CFA, but in one ring, Toby was awarded the 2nd Best of Breed orange ribbon.  I was delighted to finally have a homebred kitty earn something in the show ring. Now a Champion, were were looking for those important Grand points.

Three weeks later, we went to our next show, this time a 2-day affair.  The first day of the show, he wasn’t even noticed, My heart sank.

Feeling so discouraged, that night I called Chasity.   I said, "You know, this is my third year bringing a chocolate into the show hall and getting nothing. When do you say enough is enough, and walk away?".

Her reply was, "Never.  You keep going back.  You keep taking them out.  You show the judges that you are serious and that chocolates can be bred to the Persian breed standard."

I needed that little pep talk. With a huge sigh. I said, "Okay."

The second day of the show, it finally happened.   Toby's quality got the notice he deserved. We left with his first 36 grand points.  He even made finals without a purple ribbon!

I was overwhelmed with excitement.  I was now driven to keep going.  

Toby In Repose
Photo by Brittany Gobble

The Challenge

As if showing a minority color in the super-competitive bicolor Persian division was not a big enough challenge, there was also the problem of living in Kansas.  Kansas may be the geographic center of the United States, but it has only a few cat shows a year.  Continuing to show Toby would mean traveling major distances.  I am somewhat of a shy and quiet personality.  I have a fear of traveling to unknown places and of traveling alone long distances.  But I realized that if I was going to grand Toby, I had to suck it up, muster some courage, and hit the show trail.

Our first long distance show was to Iowa about 6 hours away. The trip was worth it and Toby gained more grand points. 

The next show was a whopping 9 ½ hours away.  I developed travel anxiety just thinking about that trip.  Should I go?  Or should I stay home?  Somehow, once again I found the courage — so off we went — and earned 87 grand points!  My boy was doing it!

Beautiful Profile
Photo by Brittany Gobble

A couple more shows and Toby only needed 14 more points to Grand.

I began to realize that my dream of granding a homebred chocolate Persian was actually coming true.  It was so close.   I'd never wanted anything so badly in my life.  I was determined to see Toby grand.  He deserved to add GC in front of his name.

Although Toby is very easy to maintain and groom, sits through his baths like it's perfectly natural, practically naps while I’m drying him, he did have one habit that held him back at the shows — in the show ring, he only has eyes for me.

Toby & Tracey — Soul Mates
Photo by Brittany Gobble

He didn’t like to look at the judges.  Getting his attention on the judging table was difficult.  He would even turn his head away from the judge.  He wouldn't play.  So, at the 5th show we went to, he didn’t do very well. If only he had opened his eyes.

But the next show was a success. What a roller coaster ride we were on. Now, he just needed 14 points. But we were approaching the end of the show season. Time was running out . . . 

Complicating matters, Toby was a mature male in Springtime and he was beginning to show an interest in the girls. Starting to feel his hormones, he was losing weight and dropping coat, the two things every exhibitor fears when close to granding a kitty.  Making things worse, the only upcoming shows were farther and farther away.

I kept telling myself we had to keep going.  Breath held, fingers crossed, I made all the necessary arrangements to go to a show that I hadn’t planned on entering because of how far away it was.  If I entered, it would mean more than a 14 hour round trip to Denver, Colorado. 

It was my last chance to Grand Toby before I knew he would need to retire to start breeding.

The Last Chance

We arrived at the show.  I was feeling equal parts hopeful and terrified.  The competition was stiff with stunning kitties in the Bicolor division.  The first day of the show was disappointing — Toby didn't earn a single point.

The next day, it seemed like it was going to be a repeat of the first.  Nothing in the first ring.  Best of Breed but no final in the second ring.  Best of Breed in the third . . . but still no final . . . It looked like we were going to end a couple points short of granding . . .

Then, in the last ring of the 2-day show, it happened.  Toby was awarded the purple Best of Breed ribbon by Judge Brian Pearson.  And then he finaled!  Instead of needing 14 points, Toby now had 14 points to spare! GC 23rd Avenue Soul Jacker granded with 214 points.

GC 23rd Avenue Soul Jacker, Tracy & CFA Judge Brian Pearson who awarded Toby his final points

Toby is the first cat I have ever granded.  He is my first homebred Grand.  In earning his GC title, he also made breed history because GC 23rd Avenue Soul Jacker is the first chocolate tabby and white Persian Grand Champion in CFA history!

Toby is a dream come true . . . and he made my dream come true.  For this chocolate lover, it was a sweet day indeed.

GC 23rd Avenue Soul Jacker
Photo by Brittany Gobble


More photos from the show career of

GC 23rd Avenue Soul Jacker

Chocolate Tabby & White Male Persian

CFA's first Chocolate Tabby & White Grand Champion Persian

Born March 16, 2011
Sire: Mr Dimples
Dam: Ceylons Do You Lilac It
Breeder/Owner: Tracey Weaver

Toby & Tracy

Photo by Brittany Gobble

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