GC, BW, NW Caricature's Colin Powell is CFA 2004's Cat of The Year,
becoming the first Bombay to earn this prestigious title!
On April 24th, 2004, at the Sign of the Cat show in Morristown, New Jersey, judges Ellyn Honey, Jeri Zottoli, Tracy Petty, and Lynn Search all made GC, BW, NW Caricature's Colin Powell “Best Cat” in each of their final rings and clinched his place as 2004's CFA Cat of the Year.
"Colin" is the first Bombay to ever be Cat of the Year in CFA. He is the first National Winner for his breeders and the first national campaign for his owners. He is a history-making cat!
But Colin's story really begins a year and a half earlier in the home of his breeders, Sharyn and Sig Hauck of Caricature Cattery in Brookfield, CT.
It was three AM on September 11, 2002, the anniversary of the 911 disaster.
The birthing setup was ready for momma-to-be, CH Caricature's Jamaica Kincaid. Sig reassured their darling “Jamaica” that she would do just fine - she would be giving birth in the same birthing nest in which both she and her babies' sire, GC, RW, Caricature's Isaac Hayes, were born.
She purred her approval and presently produced four healthy kittens.
At five days old, the foursome all weighed exactly the same and looked quite alike… with the exception of one little male that had “guard” hairs sticking out all over his forepaws! Sharyn laughingly nicknamed him “Wolfman Jack.” Sharyn did, however, recognize that he had all the necessary “parts” to grand and decided to hang on to him hoping his coat would improve.
“Improve” turned out to be an understatement! Colin's pitch black lacquer-like sheath reflects like the soft glow of pearls of candlelight on black glossy satin as his artistically-balanced muscular body moves beneath the illumination of the judges table light. Remarkably, no product of any type has ever been used, or needed, to enhance his appearance outside of that used to bathe him.
The previous year, Sharyn and Sig had sold a female kitten to Gloria and John Clark of Riverside, CT – and the couples had become fast friends. Gloria got the “show bug.”
The Haucks have a policy of encouraging exhibitors to participate in CFA by providing them with cats that the Hauck's themselves would be proud to show.
|During the 2003-2004 season the Haucks' policy of sharing their cats with others resulted in two one-show grands, a Regional Winner, and Cat of the Year for the four exhibitors showing Caricature cats.|
So it wasn't long until Gloria was showing a premier that the Haucks gave her named Caricature's Private Reuben Bibb USCT – also out of Jamaica and Isaac from the litter that preceded the one in which Colin was born.
John, feeling a bit left out, asked for a kitten to show.
At the time, the Haucks were busy showing the previous year's highest scoring Bombay kitten and Region One's Twelfth Best Kitten, Caricature's Sonya Sanchez, which meant that “Colin Powell ” was sitting it out awaiting his turn to enter the show ring. Colin's coat had changed markedly by his third month birthday and from the start, the Haucks recognized his other fine qualities, so the decision was made for Colin to the go to the Clarks to be shown as a kitten. The Clarks agreed to keep him whole and Colin was to be returned to the Haucks at the end of the 2002-2003 season.
Thus Colin went to join the Clarks in their winter quarters in Florida so John would have a kitten to show. Of course, John fell hopelessly in love with the little guy.
As time went by and Gloria saw how much John adored Colin, she appealed to the Haucks to allow John to keep the kitten after-all. The Haucks said yes.
They reached an arrangement that would allow Gloria to give Colin to John for his birthday on May 5th, 2003 - with provisions to insure that Colin would be shown and breeding rights would be retained by the Haucks.
John was kept in the dark for it was to be a suprise gift for his birthday.
As Colin neared the end of his kitten career, the Clarks flew north to meet the Haucks in the Spring of 2003. John was painfully aware that he and Colin would soon part (or so he thought).
The arranged exchange was to take place at the end of the show in Pennsylvania. Both couples would be showing and enjoying the weekend together and then Colin was supposed to be returning home with the Haucks.
The plan was not to tell John that Colin was to actually be "his" until the end of the show.
The couples had dinner together the night before the show. John was reminded, (part of the "setup" for his surprise), that Colin would be returned - had to be returned - for Colin had developed into quite a show-stopper and the Haucks wanted to get him out right away for the new show season!
John tried to hide his disappointment. He assured the Haucks that he always kept his word - that "a deal is a deal" and he would be fine. And he was fine - on the outside. On the inside, he was miserable.
Sig didn't sleep well that night. He was worried about the prospect of increasing John's pain throughout the weekend. He asked Sharyn and Gloria if he could let "the cat out of the bag". They immediately agreed, and the next morning Sig confessed the plot to John.
John asked Sig if he was joking. When Sig assured him that Gloria, Sig, and Sharyn had reached an agreement that would lead to John's not having to give up Colin, John looked toward Gloria and said, "Thank you, darling," then turned to Colin and exclaimed, "Did you hear that, Colin? You're my forever cat!"
And so it was that Colin became John's birthday present just in time to start off the new show season.
And what a season it would be!
Colin's campaign was sparked by his finaling as an open but dampened somewhat because he didn't turn eight months old until May 11th and therefore spent the latter part of May getting his open ribbons and granding.
But by the end of September, Colin was number one - and never relinquished his "Top Cat" position.
Throughout Colin's campaign, it was a team effort.
The plan was simple. Rather than looking over their shoulder and reacting to a competitor's progress, the plan provided "how goes it" results each week, comparing progress toward a final ring average target.
Sig tracked the "numbers" that went into developing a strategy designed to avoid mistakes and capitalize on maintaining the knowledge of not only what was happening with Colin, but also what was happening with his challengers.
Sharyn provided the "how to's" of showing and conditioning.
Gloria and John took Colin to the shows, most of the time alone. And what troupers they were!
Perhaps the best example of their resolve occurred during the last weekend in January. John, Gloria, Sharyn and Sig were all set to leave the following morning to drive to Plymouth Meeting, PA. At 7:30 PM Thursday night, Sig discovered that the count in Wichita, Kansas, which had not been published until late Thursday, was huge!
Sig called Gloria. When Gloria said "Hello", Sig said, "Unpack the car. Get your fly bag. I just got you a hotel room in Wichita."
Within twelve hours, Gloria, John, and his "forever cat" were winging their way west.
“Forever”... but not without a temporary separation to assume breeding duties.
Colin has returned to his birthplace where he will hopefully enhance the Caricature Cattery breeding lines, and breeding lines of others as well, by siring healthy, friendly and lovely “patent-leather kids with new penny eyes” – and maybe even another “Wolfman Jack!”
GC, BW, NW Caricature's Colin Powell
CFA's Cat Of The Year 2003-2004
Best Cat in the North Atlantic Region 2003-2004
Best of Breed in Championship 2003-2004
Multiple Best Cat Winner
Multiple Best Cat In Show Winner
Sire: GC, RW, Caricature's Isaac Hayes
Dam: CH Caricature's Jamaica Kincaid
Owner: John & Gloria Clark
Breeder: Sharyn and Sig Hauck