When the Himalayan breed was merged with the Persian breed in 1984, it also opened the door for the breeding and showing of Color Point Exotics in CFA.
However, breeding and showing the colorpoint Exotics has certainly presented some interesting challenges for those breeders working with the color and pattern.
- First, the colorpoint gene is recessive, so introducing the gene requires waiting at least a couple of generations to get the pointed pattern.
- Second, due to the temperature sensitive nature of the pointed gene, and the short coat of an exotic, body shading becomes a much larger issue than in the comparable long-coated cat.
- Finally, ear size in Zots is often an issue - the shorter coat makes an equal sized ear appear much larger than it would on a Persian. The color point Exotics have an additional challenge, because they "paint" the ear a different color!
Although the colorpoint Exotics have had some success in the show rings, with more and more cats granding, as well as several regional winners in the last few years, they still had not made it to that very top level of awards... until the 2007-08 show season!
PandEcats.com is proud to congratulate the first ever colorpoint Exotic National Winner!! This is his story...
GP, NW Fullmoon's Flasher
First ever colorpoint Exotic National Winner
Northwest Region's 4th Best Alter
National 24th Best Alter
as told by his breeder, Sylvia Cullivan
Flasher, or "Fat Boy", was born on April 12, 2006. He was sired by GC, RW Fullmoon Marc Anthony, a blue point Himalayan male who was 11th Best Cat in the Northwest Region in the 2000-01 show season. His mother was GC Fullmoon's Topless Dancer, a blue point Exotic - and she was sired by GC, RW Fullmoon's Sweet Talker, a Himalayan male I showed to a regional win the year following Marc Anthony.
Flasher was a single-kitten litter, and had good size and strength from the very start. He also had very good type, but I had to wait for a few weeks to see if he was going to be a long hair or short hair. (And of course, Murphy's Law usually works out that the pointed kittens with good type invariably also have longhair, and are unshowable... <g>)
When I finally knew he was a short hair, I was very excited!! He had good type, with a boxy body and huge big blue eyes.
At four months of age, the vet and I found only one testicle... but I decided to wait for a few more months, in the hopes that the other would descend. Sadly, that never happened, so the vet went in and found the other one in his abdomen. I was incredibly depressed after this.... Needless to say, that meant all my dreams of breeding him to my himis were dashed.
I showed him a little as a kitten and got lots of good comments on him from judges. They encouraged me to try showing him in Premiership. I had never shown in Premiership - and being a breeder, I thought that was not what I wanted to do to promote my cats. But, then I started looking at some other breeders who were out competing in the class - they all said showing in Premiership was fun, and also a great way of showing what you could breed. I decided to give it a try, and I took him out and he granded very quickly.
I showed him for the latter part of the 2006-07 show year after he granded, just to see what the judges thought. Wain Harding gave me the most encouragement - he asked me "You are going to keep showing him, aren't you?" - but I really thought he was just referring to a Regional win. A national win never entered my head until Flasher started receiving many Best Cats. At the Santa Monica show, I happened on a conversation with Gary Veach, of Briar-Mar Cattery. Gary had lots of previous experience showing cats to National Wins, and I asked for his advice on running Flasher. He gave me lots of great pointers, and told me what I needed to do. Wow... a WHOLE different ballgame than showing for a Regional Win - and it meant I needed to go to a show somewhere every weekend. Also at that show, Connie Stewart gave me some important grooming tips, and so I was on my way.
Flasher and I never looked back, and he soon moved up into the top 25 standings for Premiership. But in January, we had a sudden and major setback!! After attending the Houston Cat Club show and doing quite well, Flasher suffered several urinary tract blockages, and could not urinate. My vet told me that every time he blocked, the odds got smaller for a complete cure. We agreed that for his health, he really had to have surgery to make it possible to urinate. When the vet did the surgery, he said he had a congenital stricture in the middle of his urethra which had caused the problem. Flasher sailed through the surgery quite well, so he was good to go... except for the hurdle of growing back hair where he was shaved!!
I pampered and babied him with a high meat diet to get his weight back up. Elizabeth Hodgkins, DVM had sold me her book on cat diets for different diseases, which really enlightened me on the need for cats to have more meat and water in their diets. It was 6 weeks after his surgery before he was able to go to another show... but he made lots of finals and got lots of points to make up somewhat for his absence.
Flasher had his own fan club as he was very playful on the judging table and loved everyone. When some judges played a little rough, he would nip at them in a playful manner but meant no harm. (Ask Vicki Nye - she has a scar to prove it. :-) ) We really met some wonderful people along the long road to a National Win, and received great support from other exhibitors, breeders, and judges.
Flasher was the PERFECT cat to travel with. He never made a sound or mess when traveling in the air or car. He was truly Mr. Cool, relaxing in the hotel room, playing with his possum or lying on the grooming table, even if I had wandered off visiting somewhere. Thanks, Flasher and everyone for making this national win enjoyable. The goal of earning the first National Win for a colorpoint Exotic kept us going through a long year!!