It is with great sadness that the cat fancy bids farewell to Tony Chan of GoGocats cattery, Hong Kong. Tony passed away February 14th, 2008.
Tony began showing and breeding cats in 1994 under the Gogocats cattery name. Gogocats bred and showed Persians, Exotics, British Shorthairs and Scottish Folds.
His imported Exotic male, GC Becton's Backdraft of Gogocats, was Best Cat in Hong Kong in 1998. British Shorthair male, GC Belnute Bluswade Shoe of Gogocats was Best Cat in Hong Kong in 1999 and again in 2001.
But it is in his role in promoting the development of the cat fancy in general and CFA in particular in Hong Kong and China that Tony will be best remembered.
The first CFA club was established in Hong Kong in 1994 and held its first CFA cat show in late 1995. At that time, pedigreed cats were still very new to Hong Kong, and there were less than 30 registered cats at the show. In 1997, the second CFA club was established with Tony as their first president. More clubs followed.
With CFA established in Hong Kong, Tony next looked to mainland China. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the China Cat Fanciers cat club in 2002 that held the first CFA show in March 2004 in Beijing, China. Tony wrote an article about this historical event for our publication titled appropriately, CFA's First Show in Mainland China. He was justifiably proud of the show's success.
To really understand the impact and influence Tony had on the cat fancy in Hong Kong and China, here are the words of Vivian Qian, Mimihouse Cattery, China...
Tony is gone... we were shocked when we heard the news from Hong Kong. We couldn't believe that Tony is no longer with us, that we will never see him again at our shows, that we will never again read one his wonderfully warm and helpful emails.
The cat world in China is crying. We have lost our first and best teacher and friend. At times, Tony was like a father to us.
In 2003, Tony began helping establish CFA clubs in China. He always said, China Cat Fancier's Club (CCF) was his first son. He was always ready with help, advice and support. CCF held their first CFA show in Beijing in 2004. Without Tony, it could never have happened. From inviting the judges to running the show, Tony was involved in every detail.
The following year, Tony went to Beijing to help CCF hold a show in a new city, acting as Master Clerk amongst many other duties. To save the club money, Tony even paid for his own hotel room.
I met Tony in 2005 when I first took my kitten to the show in Beijing. During dinner, we talked about the Shanghai club. I was a newbie. I didn't know how to run a show, how to find a sponsor or how to process entries. I knew nothing. But by the time the show was over and I returned home, Tony had sent me an e-mail offering to help us put on a CFA show.
During the following year, we prepared to hold our first show in Shanghai. I can't remember how many e-mails Tony sent me... but there were many. I still remember it was past midnight when we discussed how to set up the show hall.
Nov. 26-27, 2005, we successfully held our first CFA show in Shanghai. The day before the show, we found we didn't have the show package! What were we to do!! We called Tony in a panic! He immediately brought his show package to the show hall and worked with us through the night to prepare our entries. He was our savior.
Tony not only helped us to hold shows, but he helped many new breeders to find top bloodline show cats, myself included. China has complicated quarantine requirements when importing cats, making acquiring new cats from the US or Europe very difficult. Tony helped us to import cats through Hong Kong , preparing the considerable paperwork necessary, sending it to each breeder to be filled out, then double checking that it was all correct. He would then chaperone the arriving cats through Hong Kong and into their new owner's arms. He was also always ready to act as interpreter with English-speaking cat fanciers around the world - always ready to promote our cats.
This weekend we will hold our 5th CFA show in Shanghai ... but sadly, Tony will not be with us.
I think perhaps Tony was an angel sent to us from heaven. His job in this world was helping cat lovers to give much love to their cats. Now his work is done... so he went back to his forever home...
We will miss you, Tony...