Earliest Persian Distinguished Merit Award

Ristokat Himalayans & Persians

Spanish Translation / Traducción Español

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In the timeline of the Cat Fancy, the Distinguished Merit (or DM) award is a relative newcomer... The DM award was first proposed at the Oct 10-11, 1981 CFA Board meeting, where it passed with only 1 dissenting vote.

At that time, prior to any sort of computerization at CFA, an owner had to keep track of grand offspring themselves, and then send all the information to CFA's Central Office, along with the fee, in order to be awarded the title.

Because it required the owner to actually claim it at that time, there were many cats who earned the title, but whose owners either were not interested, or perhaps had retired from breeding and were not even aware of this new award.

In the past several years, many dedicated linechasers have researched and discovered a number of DM cats from pre-computerization days, and their work has led to getting those cats granted a belated DM status. However, even that process has had its difficulties, due to lack of information. The early yearbooks, although they do list the grands for the year, do NOT list any sire or dam information - and if the cat never bred and produced offspring, that information was also not availble via studbook records.

So, for years, there have been many cats that linechasers have suspected qualify for the DM title, but have been unable to prove. One such cat was Tina Marie of Cashmere, a Chinchilla Silver female who was born June 25, 1957. She had 4 grand offspring that could be "proven" to qualify, but still was missing that elusive 5th grand. Her offspring at that point were:

     - GC Cashmere Tenderly of Twilight, Chinchilla Silver Female, 1962 CFA yearbook
     - GC Cashmere Bateena Of The Braves, Chinchilla Silver Female, 1964 CFA Yearbook
     - GC Cashmere Jamie of Kitty-Fair, Chinchilla Silver Male, 1968 CFA yearbook
     - GC Cashmere Rebel of Sandia, Chinchilla Silver Male, 1972 CFA yearbook

But, late in 2010, there was a breakthrough! Richard Gebhardt donated a lot of his old show catalogs to the linechasers group to work on, and in the midst of one of those catalogs from the 1960's.... success!!!!!

An entry for GC Cashmere Gidget, a Chinchilla Silver female and a very long-standing dead-end from the 1968 CFA yearbook, was in that catalog... and it listed her parents!! Her dam was shown to be Tina Marie!

Armed with this information, Barb Brush - who maintains the Perlore Database on CatPedigrees.com - contacted CFA and had them research and confirm this, based on the information she sent them. CFA agreed with the research - and in fact, actually had to give Tina Marie a new registration number, consistent with today's current numbering system, in order to process that award for her. This easily makes Tina Marie the oldest Persian to receive this award....

And the moral of this story is... PLEASE don't throw those old show catalogs away! :-) There are people who would be happy to take them off your hands, and it might even provide some very important missing links in our breed history.

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