The History of CFA
Our Early Years, 1943-1950: Part 1
The early part of the 1940’s were trying years for the cat fancy. The war kept down the number of shows, and the demands of war time activities cut into the usual delights of participation by cat fanciers. Nevertheless, The Cat Fanciers’ Association maintained itself during the war without appreciable loss of members, activities, and revenue.
During the year ending January 31, 1943, four clubs were admitted to membership, including the Detroit Persian Society and the Milwaukee Cat Club. Gross revenue during the year was $2,045.83, and ten shows were held. Eight were all breed and two were specialties. Seven had entries entitling them to four points, the remaining three were three point shows.
The November meeting was adjourned inasmuch as a quorum of the Board could not be obtained. Miss Muriel Glenz had reported to Fort Dix as a member of the Army Nurse Corps and her attendance was dependent on being able to obtain a leave at the proper time. Mrs. Grosset was ill in the hospital and had been for some time. Her resignation was submitted, and the Board voted to elect Miss Goodwin to fill the vacancy.
The minutes of the 1944 annual meeting show that two clubs had been accepted into CFA membership during the year – Genesee Cat Fanciers, and The American Silver Fanciers West Coast Branch. The latter club was an interesting development of the then policy to maintain some sort of umbrella over various specialty clubs. Competing specialty clubs were not acceptable for membership, and when more than one club representing the same specialty was a member, geographical lines were drawn to protect the areas in which shows could be sponsored by each. The subsidiary club idea was developed in order to further the notion that competition was not desired between such clubs.
Nine all breed and four specialty shows had been held during the year. Mrs. C. D. Carroll was added to the list of judges. Income improved a bit despite the trying times, for the treasurer reported gross revenue of $2,240.73.
At this meeting, Mrs. Alexander Pinney and Mrs. Anthony Avata were elected to the Board to succeed Miss Glenz and Mrs. Karl Norton. These two ladies with Miss Hydon, Miss Goodwin and Mesdames Hunter, Morfit and Warfel Smith comprised the Board of CFA.
The Solid Color Club of the South was admitted to membership at the meeting of the Board held on February 7, 1945. At this meeting, the Board voided the wins of an entry which had been written in, in the catalog and the judge’s book.
The 1945 annual meeting was held on February 22. A matter was discussed which had earlier caused debate. Several delegates suggested that either the chinchilla or the shaded silver class be abolished. The silver breeders present objected, and the matter was referred to the Board without recommendation. Another matter presented which in one form or another continues to be a matter for debate had to do with the age of novices. A suggestion that the age of each novice be inserted in the judge’s book was voted down. The officers and Board members were reelected.
During the year CFA activities had increased markedly. Eleven all breed and seven specialty shows were held, and gross revenues increased to $2,762.44.
Before the next Board meeting, CFA was saddened by the death of Mrs. C.O. Morfit, a loyal and valuable Board member.
At the May 1945 meeting the Board established the policy that CFA judges would not be permitted to judge shows sanctioned by other associations.
The Board at this meeting also held that inasmuch as there were three Solid Color specialty clubs, none of them would be sanctioned to hold more than two shows each.
Mrs. Charlotta W. Hall was elected to fill the vacancy on the Board caused by the death of Mrs. Morfit.
At the next Board meeting, the North Shore Cat Club was accepted into membership.
The Board meeting of February 6, 1946 added the name of Mrs. W. E. Limpert to the judges list.
The 1946 annual meeting reflected an air of great promise for the cat fancy. Muriel Glenz came back after service in the army, and the delegates were eagerly anticipating a resumption of shows, registrations, and general interest exceeding any in earlier years.
Ten all breed shows and seven specialty shows had been held during the previous year. Income continued to increase, and gross revenues had mounted to $3,588.26.
Miss Muriel Glenz was elected to the Board to succeed Mrs. Warfel Smith. All other Board members and officers were reelected.
The May 1946 Board meeting accepted the Minnesota Siamese Cat Club into membership. The club was advised that a territorial assignment would be considered at a later date.
In November 1946 the Board accepted into membership the California Silver Fanciers, the San Diego Cat Fanciers, the National Siamese Cat Club, and the Cat Fanciers of Washington. The resignation of the West Coast Branch of the American Silver Fanciers had been earlier accepted.
The Golden Gate Cat Club became a member of CFA at the meeting of the Board on February 6, 1947.
At this same meeting Mrs. Mood submitted her resignation as Recorder for CFA. Her resignation was accepted with regret, and Mrs. James S. Carpenter of McLean, Virginia, was elected to succeed her.
The 1947 annual meeting minutes show that the promise so eagerly anticipated at the 1946 meeting had been achieved. Sixteen all breed shows and nine specialty shows had been held during the year. Eleven new clubs had been accepted into membership, and the Association closed the year with forty four clubs. Gross revenues had reached $5,014.88.
A discussion was engendered by silver breeders who suggested that silver classes be judged immediately after the completion of the judging of whites. The meeting was reminded that the order of judging was to be determined by the club. A delegate from a west coast all breed club suggested that some thought be given to a method of identification for registered cats. It was pointed out that some small animals had been tattooed for this purpose. The meeting voted that clubs be asked to submit any ideas on this subject.
Mrs. Warfel Smith was elected to the Board to succeed Mrs. Pinney, and all other officers and directors were reelected.
During this year repercussions followed the recognition of Burmese as a new breed. Many registrations of Burmese were being requested for which the pedigree showed Siamese ancestry within three generations. Many opinions were submitted to the Board in which the type of progeny rather than ancestry was urged as establishing a pure breed. The Board was of the opinion that three generations of Burmese ancestry was required for pure breeding, and despite the obvious hardship, voted to suspend the recognition of Burmese indefinitely. The Board stated that its action was for the purpose of permitting the establishment of the breed without the commercialization pressure in favor of Burmese-Siamese hybrids.
The Hawkeye State Cat Club was accepted into membership at the November 1947 meeting, as was the Solid Color Club of the West.
The 1948 Annual Meeting minutes show further marked growth in CFA. Forty eight clubs were members of CFA, and during the year these clubs had sponsored twenty all breed and nine specialty shows. Gross revenues had increased to $6,052.85.
The suspension of the recognition of Burmese was a subject for heated discussion. The minutes state that the consensus of opinion was “that the suspension should not be terminated at this time”.
The president read an appeal from fanciers in England stating that canned cat food was unavailable there. The meeting voted to send $100 to the SPCA in New York for the purchase of canned cat food to be sent to England.
All Board members and officers were reelected.
… To be continued in the next issue …
- 1963 CFA Yearbook, Part 1 (Overview, and Grand Parade)
- 1958 CFA Yearbook, Part 3 (The History of CFA - How We Began, 1895-1908)
- 1959 CFA Yearbook, Part 2 (The History of CFA - Our Early Years, 1906-1919)
- 1960 CFA Yearbook, Part 2 (The History of CFA - Our Early Years, 1919-1932)
- 1962 CFA Yearbook, Part 2 (The History of CFA - Our Early Years, 1932-1942)