Donna Cook - A Lady Who Will Be Missed

Published June 2012

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CFA has lost one of its most successful and accomplished Persian breeders with the passing this month of Donna Cook, Jadon Persians. Along with her daughter, Susan Cook-Henry, Donna developed and exhibited Persians for 40 years, beginning in 1964 when she combined the first few letters of her husband's first name with her own to create her cattery name, Jadon (“Ja”ck and “Don”na).

She studied pedigrees intently, admired winning cats and their qualities, and read volumes on feline husbandry – all true marks of a breeder. Her passion was dilute Persians - blues, creams, blue-creams...

The highlights of Donna Cook's career as an exhibitor in CFA, include:

Jadon's First Homebred Grand...

Donna loved dilutes. In 1970, GC Jadon Sunup became Donna's first home-bred CFA Grand Champion. It was the beginning of the “cream dream”.

Jadon's First National Winner...

In 1974, Sunup's daughter, GC, NW Jadon Karmel Sundae, became Donna's first National Winner when she was awarded 16th Best Cat in Championship. Karmel Sundae's son, Jadon Sundae Kid, was CFA's 4th Best Cat in 1975-76.

GC, BW, NW Jadon Karmel Kid
CFA's 4h Best Cat in Championship 1975-76

Cat Of The Year 1992...

Mary Kate Carroll had told Donna that “No self-respecting cream breeder would ever be without a tortie.” And so it was that Donna acquired the tortie girl, Bajonga's Striped Tease, from Mark Hannon.

Her first breeding to GC Jadon Baskin-Robbins produced a black Persian. The stunning kitten was the first black for Jadon, yet would prove to be significant in the Jadon bloodline. In 1992, he became CFA Cat Of The Year, GC, BW, NW Jadon Geoffrey Beene, DM

GC, BW, NW Jadon Geoffrey Beene, DM
CFA's Cat of the Year 1992

Photo by Larry Johnson

Best Cat In Premiership 1995...

In 1995, Geoffrey Beene's father, GC, GP, NW Jadon Baskin-Robbins, became CFA's Best Cat in Premiership.

GC, GP, NW Jadon Baskin-Robbins
CFA's Best Cat in Premiership 1995

Photo by Mark McCullough

Completing The Triple! Kitten Of The Year 1998...

Donna acquired a cream male, GC Quin-Jo Just Cause of Jadon, DM, from Becky Jones. “Dabby” proved to be not only an outstanding show cat but also a prolific sire, producing more than 30 grands over time.

In 1998, his blue son GC, NW Jadon Potomac of Kenkat, DM, became CFA's Kitten of the Year.

GC, NW Jadon Potomac of Kenkat, DM
CFA Kitten Of The Year 1998
Photo by Carl Widmer

Jadon had now produced the top cat in each of CFA's competitive categories; Kittens, Championship and Premiership - a hat-trick!

Jadon's Back To Back Best Kittens 2001, 2002

Donna was a close friend with Leah Fowler of Kenkat. Together they produced a number of outstanding cats including GC, NW Kenkat First Class Upgrade of Jadon, DM who was CFA Kitten Of The Year in 2001. The following year, her daughter GC, GP, NW Jadon ComeFly With Me was also Kitten Of The Year. That meant that along with Grand-Dad GC, NW Jadon Potomac of Kenkat, the cats represented three consecutive generations of Kitten Of The Year winners! Quite an accomplishment.

GC, NW Kenkat First Class Upgrade of Jadon, DM
CFA Kitten Of The Year 2001
Photo by Larry Johnson

GC, GP, NW Jadon ComeFly With Me
CFA Kitten Of The Year 2002
Photo by J. Child

Donna bred yet another National Winning Kitten the following season with GC, NW Jadon Flyin High of Goliada co-owned with her close friend of many years, Nancy Petersen of Goliada Persians.

GC, NW Jadon Flyin High of Goliada
CFA 8th Best Kitten 2003
Photo by Larry Johnson

2002 also saw a blue-cream daughter of Dabby and Kenkat Splash awarded 4th Best Cat in Championship. Her name was GC, NW, BW Jadon Faviara.

GC, BW, NW Jadon Faviara
CFA's Fourth Best Cat and Best Particolor Persian 2002

Photo by Larry Johnson

An Elegant Lady ...

By 2003, deteriorating health began to limit Donna's abilities to breed and show.

Despite all her accomplishments as a breeder and exhibitor, perhaps the most enduring memories of Donna Cook will be of her character and demeanor within the cat fancy. She had style and a grace and a generosity that is seldom seen. She had that indefinable something that is simply called "class".

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