Barbara Brush, Per-Lore

by LEE HARPER
Published January 2016

Photos copyrighted by the individual photographers
Article copyright © PandEcats.com. All Rights Reserved.
Copying or redistribution of this article is strictly prohibited
without the express written permission of PandEcats.com

 


Barb Brush with her granddaughter, Taylor, in 2012.

Barbara (Barb) Brush of Per-Lore Persians passed away on Tuesday, December 22, 2015 after a long battle with multiple medical issues. She was 74 years old.

The Persian breed has lost a great lady whose passion and dedication to "linechasing" resulted in the creation of the largest online, free access cat pedigree database in the world.

Barb's Per-Lore database is hosted on CatPedigrees.com and includes the pedigrees of 552,953 Persians, Himalayans and Exotic cats.

 

Per-Lore & Himi-Lore

Barb began breeding and showing Himalayans under the Per-Lore cattery name in the 1990's.

She quickly expanded her breeding program to include Persians, showing cats in both CFA and in ACFA where her cattery name was Himi-Lore.

Barb produced several homebred Grand Champions including the one-show Grand, GC Per-Lore's Titanic.

She was also very proud of GC, RW Per-Lore Luv Machine of UBCools, a tortie that was CFA's 8th Best Cat in the Midwest Region for 1999-2000.


GC Per-Lore's Titanic

GC, RW Per-Lore Luv Machine of UBCools

 

Barb, The Line-chaser

Barb was one of the original 'linechasers' when pedigrees first started being exchanged via the internet. She began researching pedigrees while trying to trace the chocolate gene behind a well known Persian.

Barb first created her Per-Lore database by entering all the pedigrees from the Himalayan Breeder's Manual. She continued expanding the database by adding all the Grand Champions from CFA Yearbooks.

Her work led directly to several cats being granted belated DM status after she identified cats that granded prior to the mid 1980's, but whose titles or pedigrees were not part of CFA's current records. This included information that led to the confirmation of the Earliest Persian Distinguished Merit Award winner, Tina Marie of Cashmere, a Chinchilla Silver female born June 25, 1957.

In 1996, Barb began to track the occurrence of Polycystic Kidney Disease/PKD-positive cats in pedigrees. On June 27, 1998, Barb organized the second PKD screening clinic held in the United States with Katrina Kotash, DVM in Indianapolis. The clinic assisted breeders in identifying PKD-positive cats via ultrasound with the goal of removing affected cats from breeding programs.

Barb assisted other groups throughout the US to organize similar PKD screening clinics. The research gathered from these clinics helped researchers eventually identify the specific PKD gene in Persians and ultimately led to a genetic test for PKD in Persians and related breeds. Barb continued to be an avid linechaser after the PKD era.

 

The Per-Lore Database Debuts on CatPedigrees.com

With Lorraine Shelton (Featherland) and Martha Kohlmeyer (Odin Persians), Barb started the Persian-Linechasers email list in 1996 as persian-linechasers@fanciers.com. The list moved to Yahoogroups in 2001 and became the Persian Linechaser (PLC) list to document the history of the the Persian, Himalayan and Exotic breed groups.

In July 2003, PandEcats.com launched a new website called CatPedigrees.com which features a collection of searchable pedigree databases. Everyone was free to research their cat's pedigrees at no cost.

Barb added her Per-Lore database to CatPedigrees.com in November 2005.

By November 2006, Per-Lore was 300,000 pedigrees strong. Three years later it passed the 400,000 mark.

PandEcats.com has a feature called "The Gallery" in which photos of Persians and Exotics are showcased in galleries divided by color and breed. In March 2007, at Barb's suggestion, links were made from each cat's photo in The Gallery to its pedigree in the Per-Lore database on CatPedigrees.com.

Passing the Half Million Pedigrees Mark

In August 2012, as the total number of cats in the Per-Lore database approached the 500,000 milestone, Barb shared her thoughts with the PLC list:

Frankly, when I started 'linechasing', I never dreamed I'd have a database anywhere near the half million mark. I was happy just putting my own pedigrees together and then reaching out to see what was behind them. Databases like this aren't done 'alone'. They are the result of teamwork and the work of those that have gone before 'us'.

I personally give a lot of credit to Claudia Myers, Peter Romich (Grandaries Exotics & Persians) and Helen Listema (Hellan Persians). All three openly shared their research and years of linechasing. I vividly remember going through yearbooks multiple times with Helen and when Herman went online we re-checked all those early GC's just one more time. We helped CFA correct their online records for the GC's they'd missed and found many new DM's as a result. I especially remember stumbling across Baby Doll Akers whose pedigree had been a mystery to Peter for years. I just knew he was looking down on us and grinning from ear to ear.

Credit has to be given to Cathy Scarborough of Carictor Silver Persians too. Her relentless pursuit of pedigrees, especially via catalogs is never-ending. I've never had the patience to plow through those catalogs the way she does so we all owe the 'catalog queen' a huge debt of gratitude for doing them for 'us'.

A lot of credit goes to the folks on this list. Remember the Breeder Buck project? CFA decided to eliminate breeder bucks and the Persian folks banned together, twisted arms, begged and borrowed everybody's breeder bucks and bought reverse pedigrees and cattery reports that kept us busy for months.

We owe Kathy Durdick of Ristokat Himalayans for helping us put our databases online at CatPedigrees.com — and PandEcats.com for paying the costs and making these databases available to anyone that has an internet connection.

I was torn for weeks (if not months) about putting my database online. We all know we have duplicates and errors although we do our best to avoid them and putting a database 'online' means you are just asking for those errors to be called to your attention. But I finally 'did it' and I've never looked back. In hindsight, I've really appreciated each and every correction almost as much as every pesky deadends.

An Enduring Legacy

Second only to her children and grandchildren, Barb best loved and thrived on collecting cat pedigrees. She continued to be an enthusiastic line-chaser until the very end, often typing with a single finger as she added new pedigrees to her database or tracked down a deadend. As of December 2015, Per-Lore is the largest public database of Persian, Himalayan and Exotic cats in the world.

The Per-Lore database remains on CatPedigrees.com. Barb's line-chasing legacy will continue to live on for the benefit of future generations of cat breeders everywhere. It is what Barb wanted most . . .


Barbara Brush
August 12, 1941 - December 22, 2015

Barb is survived by her daughter, Susan Hamman; son, Christopher A. Hartley; grandchildren, Alexis, Jeremy, and Bailey Ellinger, and Taylor Hamman all of Indianapolis; brothers, Douglas Clark Christie (Diane) of Sidney, Ohio and Richard Lee (Millie) Christie of Laguna Hills, California.

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