Gail Rothman, Le Club Fur Himalayans

BY LEE HARPER

Published April 2014

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



Photo by Preston Smith

 

March 24th, 2014, the cat fancy lost Gail Rothman of Le Club Fur Himalayans when she passed away unexpectedly at the age of 70 years old.

Just two weeks before her passing, Gail attended the CFA Mo-Kan show in Overland Park, Kansas. She was showing her beloved Le Club Fur kitties and visiting with her many friends in the cat fancy.

Born in Eureka, Kansas in 1943, Gail attended Missouri State University, graduating with a Master of Arts, Rhetorical and Public Address.

She then taught journalism at Hillcrest High School, Springfield, Missouri for 27 years from 1969 to 1996.

It was in Springfield that Gail met her future husband, Earl Rothman. Together Earl and Gail and their Le Club Fur Himalayans were a constant presence in CFA for almost a quarter century.

It all began in 1989, when Gail and Earl were attending a party hosted by the head of the English department of the high school where Gail taught. The hostess had a Himalayan cat that charmed Earl. It was the start of a love affair with pointed Persians that would change the future for the Rothmans.

 

They acquired their first Himalayan, a pet flamepoint kitten called Tweeter Dan, in July of 1990. Despite the masculine-sounding name, the kitten was a girl who was, after all, "Tweeter Dan most people".

By 1991 the Rothman's had purchased three Himalayans from Virginia King of Prancenpaws fame and in 1992 the first litter of Le Club Fur Himalayans were born.

Earl was the one who truly loved showing and breeding the cats while Gail just loved cats, so Earl became the “face” of the Le Club Fur Himalayans at the shows, while Gail often remained home with the kitties. Earl would joke that he did the running around while Gail did the running of everything else. What a team they made!

The Rothman's were deeply dedicated to CFA's Midwest Region. They were members of three show-producing regional cat clubs; Lakes Country Cat Fanciers, Tiger's Lair Feline Fanciers and Cat Springs Irregulars. Earl held various offices in the three clubs and was frequently show manager. Earl ran a show cage service so was setting up and breaking down shows as well as exhibiting. Gail was often the clubs' entry clerk.


Gail, Earl and two Le Club Fur Himmies
The Le Club Fur kitties enjoyed many successes in the show ring. During the 2005-2006 show season alone, Earl granded seven kitties, campaigned two kitties to Regional Wins and added the DM title to another. Everything was going great. Then in August, 2006, Gail lost her beloved partner in life when Earl died of pancreatic cancer.

It was understandably a very difficult time for Gail, yet she found the courage to step out from behind the scenes and into the show ring in order to continue exhibiting the Le Club Fur Himalayans while her son (Ed's step-son), Tom Wiggins, took over the show cage service.

Gail also used her talents and expertise from her years of teaching and applied it to designing CFA's Midwest Region's website. She became the site's webmistress and shouldered the heavy work-load of keeping the website updated. She created the title graphic for the Winn Feline Foundation website as well as designing other cat-oriented sites. Despite all her commitments she was always available to mentor newcomers to the cat fancy.

When PandEcats.com's associate editor, Kathy Durdick, launched the Himalayan Cats Online website in 2005, Gail was one of its first supporters.  She was faithful about sending in photos and pedigrees of her new grands and DMs to be included on the site.  It was Gail's generosity in sharing her cattery's accomplishments that allowed us to include the photos and details about the Le Club Fur Regional Winners and DMs that you will find at the end of this article.

In 2010, Gail was the recipient of The Midwest Region's Spotlight Award for outstanding contributions to CFA. It is the same award that Earl had received in 2006.The fact that Gail and Earl were each awarded the Spotlight honor individually by the Midwest Region illustrates the incredible impact they both had as dedicated workers promoting CFA in general and the CFA Midwest Region in particular.

Goodbye Sweet Gail

Gail wrote on her Facebook page that her favorite quotes were:

"I am a part of all that I have met." — Alfred Lord Tennyson
&
"So much has been given me, I have no time to ponder over that which has been denied." — Helen Keller

Her words reveal a lot about her outlook on life . . .

Below is one of the last emails Gail sent to the CFA-list, posted the month before her death. It clearly demonstrates the kind of person she was — wise, thoughtful and passionate about the future of the Cat Fancy that was such a huge part of her life . . .

We, the exhibitors, are the ones who need to "save" the Cat Fancy.  We need to treat each and every visitor to a show like a long, lost relative we have dearly missed.  We need to talk with them.  They came to see us.  We all need to be ambassadors.  We need to clap at the end of judging of breeds and show excitement about our shows.  Last weekend at Wichita a little girl was celebrating her eighth birthday.  She asked to come to the cat show for her birthday.  I asked her if she would help me with my cat.  Her little face lit up the room.  She carried my cat up to a judging ring and put her in the cage.  Did she carry her correctly?  No.  Did she mess up her coat?  Yes.  So what?  Although my cat was the only Himmie premier, we clapped when she got the Best Premier and Best of Breed ribbons.  We had fun and she took home the ribbons.  In fact, I had more fun last weekend than I can remember.  I talked with everyone who came by my cage.  I got my cat out and let the visitors pet her.  And my cat is still alive.  Several of them followed me to rings and watched the judging.  And they clapped when I clapped.  We need to WORK to get visitors to have fun and enjoy cat shows and maybe, just maybe, some of them will want to get involved because showing cats is a fun activity.

Gail Rothman, February 2014

CFA shines a little less brightly with the loss of Gail Rothman. She will be missed by many in CFA, especially in the Midwest. Perhaps we can take solace that she is now with her cherished husband, Earl, and surrounded by purring Himalayans . . . Together Gail and Earl personified the best that there is in CFA.

The Le Club Fur Himalayan Legacy

In the quarter century that Gail and Earn were breeding Himalayans, they created an enduring legacy of beautiful, healthy and sweet kitties. Their accomplishments include 54 Grands including 44 homebreds, 4 Regional Winners and 7 females that earned the title of Distinguished Merit. Below are photos of some of their favorite Himalayans . . .


Le Club Fur Regional Winners

GP, RW LE CLUB FUR DESIGNER GENES
CFA Midwest Region's 4th Best Alter 2004-05

Photo by Preston Smith

CH, GP, RW LE CLUB FUR MATTHEW PURR-Y
CFA Midwest Region's 21st Best Alter 2004-05

Photo by St. Arnaud

GC, RW LE CLUB FUR EMMA
CFA Midwest Region's 20th Best Cat 2005-06

GP, RW MYSHALIMAR PANACEA OF LE CLUB FUR
CFA Midwest Region's 19th Best Alter 2005-06


Le Club Fur DMs


LE CLUB FUR LOUISE, DM
SPF - 1/13/2001
Louis (aka Weazel) was Le Club Fur's first-born kitten and their first DM

Photo by EgoPrints

LE CLUB FUR SPLASHIN PUMPKIN, DM (of Sulltans)
TPF - 7/6/2002

GC LE CLUB FUR DEWEAZ, DM
SPF - 10/26/2002
DeWeaz is Weasel's daughter

Photo by Carl Widmer

GC LE CLUB FUR DESIGNED BY DEWEAZ, DM
TPF - 5/15/2004
Designed is DeWeaz's daughter and Weasel's granddaughter

CH LE CLUB FUR BABY BLUES, DM
TPF - 9/17/2005

Photo by EgoPrints

LE CLUB FUR BLUE PURR-SUASION, DM
BCPF - 10/10/2009
Weazel's granddaughter

GC LE CLUB FUR DUCHESS-OF-EARL, DM
BCPF - 10/26/2013
Weazel's great-granddaughter

Photo by Chanan

Owned and shown by Donna and Bruce Isenberg, Duchess-of-Earl was named in memory of Earl Rothman.

Besides the five grands that Duchess produced to earn her DM title,
she also was the mother of NW Catsafrats Royaltea, CFA's Third Best Kitten 2009-2010.


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