CFA GC / TICA IW SGC
Berryhill Sookie Stackmouse

BY MARY LYNN KRAUSE
Berryhill Persians, Himalayans & Exotic Shorthairs

Published September 2013

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A little about myself . . . my name is Mary Lynn Krause and my cattery is Berryhill (not to be confused with a Maine Coon cattery of the same name). We live on 11 acres in Eastern Pennsylvania. The back of our home is on a slight hill where oodles of wild strawberries grow. When I was deciding on my cattery name, Berryhill just seemed to fit.

I have bred and shown Himmys since 1983 and Exotics since 1990. I actively show in both CFA and TICA. I am really a hobby breeder who shows mostly at "local" shows since I have of fear of planes, bridges and tunnels. You don't travel far from home with those issues.! :-)

Bottom Line

Sookie's story started with her dad — a beautiful brown tabby boy named Bottom Line. I have loved brown tabbies ever since I was a little girl. Bottom's dad was a cream tabby and his mom was a seal point Himmy. He granded easily in CFA. When the TICA annual was being held in nearby Philadelphia, I thought WOW, this may be a good show for him, with high cat count. I may get a good RW or maybe even an IW in TICA.


Photo by Chanan
CFA GC / TICA RW, QGC Berryhill's Bottom Line

TICA's Mid-Atlantic Region's 13th Best SH Cat 2011-2012

But it wasn't meant to be. The day after the big show, I noticed Bottoms frequenting the litter box with just dribbles coming out of him. I took him right in to the vet and they confirmed he had a blocked bladder. After a few days in the hospital, he came home only to block again. Back he went to be unblocked again.

Home again and doing well on a special diet and lots of TLC, he was back to his old self. I decided to show him again but by the Sunday of the show he was once again straining in the litter box. We came home to go to the vet again. That was it. I scheduled an appointment for the surgery to "turn him into a girl". My thought was that the shows were stressing him and I was not about to lose this boy over any show.

The surgery was scheduled for Thursday. That morning, I received a phone call from my vet saying, "Bottom had a wonderful urine flow," and she didn't want to do the surgery. Instead, she said, "Take him home — and no more shows for Bottom." So that's what we did — and two years later he's still doing great.

As soon as he was feeling better, Bottom bred the first girl that came into heat, a pretty brown tabby & white girl, CFA CH/TICA TGC Nanc-C Bizzy Betzy of Berryhill, from Nancy Lescavage. I still worried Bottom might block again and require that he-to-she surgery, so I was especially looking forward to his first kittens, knowing that they might be his only ones. 


Photo by Jim Child
CFA CH / TICA RW, TGC Nanc-C Bizzy Betzy of Berryhill

TICA's Mid-Atlantic Region's 17th Best Kitten 2005
TICA's Mid-Atlantic Region's Best Exotic Kitten 2005

Babies!

Betzy gave birth to four kittens— two brown tabby girls, a brown tabby boy and a brown tabby/white longhaired girl. All the kittens were cute and typey. I was thrilled. I decided to keep both girls.

Being a fan of HBO"S series TRUEBLOOD, I named the one little girl after one of the main characters, Sookie Stackhouse. We tweaked the name to make it cat friendly — Sookie StackMOUSE. The name fit her to a tee. After all, the character Sookie had the ability to read minds, and so does my Sookie! Her sister is very similar in looks. I named her Molasses Cookies, Molly for short. Molly had better eye color but Sookie had huge beautiful eyes, that she always held wide open. Her eyes were like headlights that just captured your attention.


Photo by L. Johnson
Sookie


Photo by L. Johnson
Molly

Both girls were very nice kittens but I would not show them against one another — that would just be crazy. I decided that Molly would stay home while Sookie and I went to the shows. Sookie was well liked at the CFA shows, but with more TICA shows in my local area, I decided to try for an RW in TICA..

Best Kitten In Show

Our first TICA show was the Mid-Atlantic regional in Reading, PA. Sookie was Best Kitten In Show. Sitting in one of the finals rings, an allbreed judge who was showing a kitten at the time, turned to me and said, "You ARE taking that kitten to the annual in Columbus aren't you?"

I replied, "Oh, no — too far to go — not local (couldn't imagine the tunnels and bridges between here and there). "

She looked at me and replied, "Give her to someone to take!"

I had time to think about that. Sookie's next show was the Northeast regional in Sturbridge, Mass. I sent her with a good friend since I could not go and was once again Sookie was Best Kitten In Show.

With the constant urging of lots of friends and traveling buddies, I decided to go to the big TICA Annual show in Columbus, Ohio. Three of us, all good friends, decided to travel together. I drove since I had the biggest van and it was roomy enough so that the cats could travel in comfort with litter boxes and cuddle beds. What a trip! It was a good 8 hours on the road. There was a lot of "white knuckle" driving over bridges and through tunnels. I never told my traveling buddies I had my eyes closed each time I entered one of those underground passageways!

The Show

The trip was worth it, though. Sookie made six finals, including a Best Kitten from AB judge, Robby Whyte. With 118 kittens competing, the Best Kitten award was just overwhelming and brought tears to my eyes. A "Best" just never gets old no matter how long you've been breeding and showing. Needless to say, I was on cloud nine the entire trip home. The " non-local" trip was an adventure to say the least and I would do it again in a heartbeat.


Photo by L. Johnson

Sookie went to just four more shows after the Annual and was 4th Best Kitten In Show at the first two shows and Best Kitten In Show at her last two shows. She ended the season as TICA's 3rd Best International Kitten. She had accomplished what her dad had been unable to do — she was an International Winner!

Chapter Two

The next chapter of Sookie's story reads like a Tale of Two Sisters. The first of December, 2012, our local TICA show was held and I decided to enter BOTH sisters together now that they were 8 months old. They were adults now and Molly had been left home all the time Sookie was the star of the shows. It was time she joined her sister in the show ring.

Sitting side-by-side in the show cages, the judges must have thought they were looking at bookends. By the end of the show Sookie was 3rd Best Cat In Show and Molly was 5th Best Cat In Show. It was the only time I ever showed them against one another.


Photo by APRIL BARTHOLOMEW / THE MORNING CALLĀ 
Family Portrait: (From left to right)
Mom Betzy sitting on the old cheese box,  Molly laying on the floor,
Mary Lynn and a pointed family friend
, Sookie playing with the toy.

Next, I showed Sookie in CFA while I continued showing Molly in TICA. Sookie granded easily in CFA and both sisters became Supreme Grand Champions in TICA in 2 and 3 shows respectively.  Sometimes I wondered if the judges knew I was showing two different cats at those TICA shows.

Molly still has a few points to go in CFA for her grand, but hormones are raging in both girls and soon there will come a Chapter Three — motherhood!

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Below are photos from the show career of

CFA GC / TICA IW SGC
Berryhill Sookie Stackmouse

Brown (Black) Classic Tabby Female Exotic Shorthair

TICA's 3rd Best International Kitten 2012-2013
TICA's Best Exotic Shorthair Kitten 2012-2013
TICA's Mid-Atlantic Region's 12th Best Cat
Multiple Best Kitten In Show Winner
Multiple Best Kitten Winner
2 Show Supreme Grand Champion

Born: March 19, 2012
Sire: CFA GRC/TICA RW QGC Berryhill's Bottom Line
Dam: CFA CH/TICA TGC Nanc-C Bizzy Betzy of Berryhill
Breeder/Owner: Mary Lynn Krause

 


Photo by L. Johnson


Photo by L. Johnson

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