The History of CFA
Our Early Years, 1919-1932 : Part 1
From all known sources, the history of CFA has been brought up to 1919 in the 1958 and 1959 Year Books.
In 1919, CFA was incorporated with five clubs. Mrs. Ida J. Ketchen was elected President, serving six years; Mrs. Olive Gilbert was elected Recorder and served until 1930. At the first Executive Board meeting after incorporation, Oct 9th, the scale of points for Shows was set – 42 cats and kittens – 1 point; 85 – 2 points; 105 – 3 points; and 150 – 4 points.
The first Annual Meeting was held February 26, 1920, at the home of the President. Three clubs were accepted: Ohio State Cat Club (now the Ohio State Persian Club); the Texas Cat Club of Dallas; and the Toledo Cat Club.
The Recorder was cautiously allowed one-third of the income taken in for Championship Certificates (a few), registry of Cattery names (fewer), and all registrations (more encouraging). Sale of Stud Books was included in the income, of course. But we may be sure that the salary of the Recorder was not too munificent.
The Treasurer was granted a $25.00 a year salary.
Until this time, there had been a separate Kitten Register, but now that was discontinued and kittens were listed with their elders. Certified pedigrees were raised from sixty cents to one dollar each.
At the Annual Meeting, February 24, 1921, one important rule was made. Apparently up to now, judges hated to make important decisions, or perhaps were loathe to hurt friends’ feelings, so took the easy way out. How many times haven’t we heard this speech from a judge – “These males are all so lovely, I wish I could give each one a first.” Well, before 1921, they did – the same with 2nds and 3rds. Now it was decided to end that practice – only one first, one second, and one third!
1921 is an important year to the breeders of Blues, for it was then that Miss Hydon first imported a Blue Male, CH Lavender Sunny Lad, with such outstanding eye color that it is still carried on with Miss Hydon’s stock.
On February 23, 1922, the third CFA Annual Meeting was held. The Treasurer reported the really amazing sum of $1,077.43 on hand. Twenty clubs were represented. Mrs. Gerturde Taylor was elected Vice-President. In this year, the offices of Secretary and Treasurer were combined.
More good news for the Blue Breeders; in 1922 Miss Hydon imported a Blue Female, Ringside Gem, from Scotland, which helped make her stock famous through many, many years.
Mrs. John Revington, too, had outstanding Blues, and took Best in on of the shows.
At the Annual Meeting in 1923, rules governing shows were further tightened, for the in the Minutes we read, “The Secretary was instructed to write Show Managers that the Judges’ Books must be made up before starting the judging.” Six new clubs were accepted during that year.
In 1924, it was decided at the Annual Meeting that judges slips shall be signed as soon as classes are judged, and immediately posted on the bulletin board. Also, awards as posted were to be final and could not be changed, neither by argument nor tears!
It was in this year that the Recorder’s report was first included in the Minutes. CFA was growing – 876 cats were registered during the year as well as 48 Catteries. 22 Championship certificates were issued.
Shows were being given with greater attendance. On December 5-6, the Empire Cat Club boasted 190 entries, with 45 being turned away because of lack of space. Cats were present from as far away as Cleveland and Chattanooga!
In 1925, Mr. Arch Horne was elected President, and a resolution was approved that the Show Rules must be included with every premium list sent to exhibitors. This point seems to have been overlooked.
It is interesting to note that as yet the Recorder attended Board meetings by invitation only. Now she is welcome any time, sans invitation.
A protest from an exhibitor was read to the effect that a certain judge should be reminded to “follow the rules of the Association, and to penalize for a more tangible reason than that given the exhibitor concerning his cat, namely that said cat’s tongue was hanging out of his mouth a full inch and seemed unable to keep it in his mouth.” It was moved and seconded that the judge be so reminded.
The schedule of Show points was changed: 40 cats – 1 point; 60 cats – 2 points; 80 cats – 3 points; 100 cats – 4 points. Kittens were no longer counters, nor were cats in Champion classes.
1926 saw the first Annual Meeting in the McAlpin Hotel, New York. A show license form was adopted, Champions were again included in the count of cats present (although they were not allowed to compete for Best in Show), and 6,000 copies of Show Rules were ordered.
With CFA growing, and consequently more work for the Recorder, it was voted to allow her 50% of registration income, and a third of all other income. The fee for the Secretary-Treasurer was set at $75.00. Annual dues for All Breed Clubs remained at $10.00, Specialty Clubs at $5.00.
It was decided to offer a cup to the cat winning Best Male or Best Female the most number of times under three different judges at CFA shows, with a ribbon to commemorate wins; the cup to be called the CFA Challenge Cup (expense to be limited to $25.00), and the ribbon colors to be yellow and Yale blue.
International interest in cats was growing. In December, 1926, Miss Hydon attended the Croydon and Crystal Palace shows in London. A brief article in Cat Review mentions the enthusiasm of the English cat fanciers.
… To be continued in the next issue …