Interview: Diane Castor, Playwickey

BY KATHY DURDICK
Ristokat Himalayans & Persians

Published November 2005

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About The Breeder:

Diane Castor established Playwickey Cattery in 1968.

Originally specializing in tabbies, she also bred solids, partis, and bi-colors.

In 1991, she switched her program to work with the Himalayan division, and her successes have included two National Winners, as well as a number of Regional Wins with her Himalayans.

When, how and why did you start breeding?

I acquired my first Persian, a red tabby male, in the spring of 1961. For his time, Punkin was very typey, but of course, it took a while for me to figure that out. In March of 1962, Bruce and I attended our first CFA Cat Show in Atlantic City. We were just taking a "baby break" and decided to take advantage of his Mother's offer to baby sit for a long weekend. It was there that we me the Martinke's, Jane and Tom. They were well respected Brown Tabby Persian breeders, and they took me under their wing - and so it began. I used to help them at shows where I learned the "how-to's" - and the "how- not-to's"! A great education. It wasn't until 1967 that I had a show cat of my own - he was CH Jumbies Charlie Brown.

What were your original goals?

Probably nothing more than to have a litter of kittens to raise. I have always loved cats, and the thought of having a litter was very exciting. I was able to buy two littermate color bred Wimauma Blues, and the first kittens were born in 1969 .

How did you choose your cattery name?

Playwickey was a tribe of Pennsylvania Indians, and the name of my family's estate in Rydal, PA. The sign at the gates was of a couple of painted Indians with stripes on their faces and my father's name.

What do you consider your greatest achievement(s) as a breeder?

Winning the President's Cup at Garden State with GC, RW Playwickey's Pharaoh.

Do you consider there to be a "Playwickey" look? If so, what are the characteristics?

Regardless of what type of Persian I am breeding, my look and interpretation of the standard has never changed.

I love the wide open, wide eyed and large eyes and the sweet expression that make your heart melt. I love a short body, difficult to achieve in Tabbies and Himmies. I consider the depth of eye color in the Himmies to be much more important than the standard allows. Without the deep blue eye color on a Himmie, they have no splash.

What factors do you consider in planning a breeding?

I am a pedigree person. I am always looking for "what will click" to achieve the look I like.

What do you look for in evaluating a pedigree?

I want to see titles and if possible pictures of the cats, plus their siblings.

To what do you think you owe your breeding success?

GC Playwickey's Philly Fanatic. He is a fabulous cat and a wonderful loving stud. Without him, my cats would be just ordinary. It is his pedigree that produces the RWs and NWs and the Grands. We hope to finish his DM this season.

Is there a particular cat or cats you believe to have been most important to the development of your breeding program?

Of course, GC, RW Sandilair's Walkin' In High Cotton has given the Playwickey cats the tremendous coats that they carry. He is the sire of Pharaoh and the grandsire of Philly. Behind Philly on his Mother's side is GC Demiara's Sweet Talk with his fabulous eye color and the Myshadows line, too.

Do you have a favorite color? A favorite cat(s)?

My favorite color is type.... only kidding! I love a great seal point, a tortie point and a flame point. I am not a dilute person. My favorite cats were:

  • Your Pets Pixie of Playwickey (silver tabby Persian)
  • GC Myshadows Petal of Playwickey (blue-cream point Himi)
  • CH Playwickey's Parfait, DM (red Persian CPC)
  • GC, RW Playwickey's The Torch Singer (tortie lynx point Himi). I guess she will always be my love.

What do you think are the Do's and Don't of Breeding?

I breed only from strength. No little wispy females or small males. I like big strong healthy breeding stock.

Is there a fault you would not breed with even if the rest of the cat was wonderful?

Yes, I would never breed a monorchid or a cat with lumps or bumps on their heads. Nor will I breed a cat that doesn't have a white coat.

What are your most cherished moments in the showring?

Winning my first troply, and also my first CFA Grand Champion - GC Playwickey's Beth, a brown tabby female, who was a one-show grand!

Tell us a bit about yourself outside of your "cat" life

I've been in cats so long that over half of my life have been spent with them!

My second passion was working in Real Estate, as houses have always been of interest. Matching up the perfect house to the perfect couple is really no different than finding the perfect pet owner for a pet kitten.

I enjoy gardening and labor mightly here in North Wales against the clay soil and red rock that populate the area. I find working with a pick axe tiring now, but used to attack the rock with a vengence. Nature is a delight. I feed anything that walks, flies or crawls. Currently feeeding a couple of red foxes. There are football games at Lafayette with my husband of forty five years, and baseball games with grandson Bruce III who is fourteen. We are both interested in Republican Politics as our son, Bruce, Jr., who is the elected District Attorney for our county.

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