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Abyssinian Breed Council Newsletter - May 2003

Norm Auspitz, Abyssinian Breed Council Secretary
1110 Lodge Hill Rd.
Louisville, KY 40223-5510
Home: (502) 244-6133
E-Mail: BC-Secretary@AbyssinianBC.org

Abyssinian Breed Council URL: http://www.AbyssinianBC.org

To the Abyssinian Breed Council, as we are only allowed 2 mailings per year, and the last June Breed Council Meeting was taken up mostly with the Awards, recognition of the 3 remaining active regional Aby clubs, and some comments on the Abyssinian Cat Club of America, so this is the first newsletter I have had out in a year. I am getting this out in anticipation of the CFA Annual Meeting in St. Louis, MO. There are a number of items I want to cover herein: (1) recap of the results of the Abyssinian Breed Council meetings at the Scottsdale, AZ annual in June, 2002 and at the Houston International show in November, 2002 and (2) announcement and suggested agenda for our usual breed council meeting at the annual.

We mourn the deaths of a couple of people. This year we have lost Richard Higgins, Marti Higgins' husband . The Abyssinian breed also lost Lila Rippy , a key breeder during the middle decades of the 20th Century. Although not an Abyssinian breeder, we also mark the loss of Wayne Park, a senior Allbreed judge. Wayne's death was truly the end of an era for the Southwest region and CFA. We need to reflect on the contributions these folks have made to our breed and that their loss has produced an empty spot in all of our hearts.

For quite a while now, increasing numbers of Abyssinian breeders and admirers have been getting more involved with Abyssinian rescue. This topic, in its many facets, took the majority of our time at the Abyssinian breed council meeting at the International show in November 2002. If you are interested in learning more about this activity, please see the minutes of that meeting below.

Also, we would like to make the Aby breed winner booklets and awards more self-sufficient. Thus, we will once again be charging people $10.00 per booklet. We continue to have support from people like Lynn Search, who has donated our full color booklet cover, Marge and Tom Smith, who have made a large donation to the Breed Council, and Kim Everett, who has donated our rosettes, and people like yourself who have also donated funds to help make our Abyssinian Award celebration self sufficient. Regina Shaffer has done a great job organizing and going after photos of our beautiful cats. Dana Taddei continues to create gorgeous award rosettes. Lauren Wendt has graciously done the certificates again this year.

If you have not yet made your reservations for our Saturday breed council luncheon, please contact Allene Tartaglia, as we usually fill! If you do not want to eat, but still want to come to the breed council meeting, you are most welcome. It will be at noon on Saturday.

This year a number of judges have also announced their retirement, including Miriam Faulkner, Edna Field, and Richard Gebhardt. To not see these people behind the judging table again is a great loss for all of us. We certainly wish them all well in their retirements.

I look forward to meeting folks I have not yet met and renewing old acquaintances this year in St. Louis at the Annual!

Respectfully Submitted,
Norman Auspitz

2002 June Annual Breed Council Meeting

During the breed council lunch, we had the usual introductions and our celebration of the 2001-2002 Abyssinian winners. Also, this was the first year we had increased the price of the booklet (to $10.00). We did not sell out, but I still think it is a bargain. We will need even more help this year to make the booklets self-sufficient. Please, please, please, this is a shameless request for donations!!!!!

We covered two other items:

  1. The Abyssinian Cat Club of America is losing members. For new people, this is a very worthwhile organization. It serves to mentor new breeders and Abyssinian admirers through its newsletter. It provides a more ecumenical perspective as it is international in scope and not affiliated with any given registry.

  2. As it currently stands, the only power the breed council has is with respect to the Board of Directors changing the standards. Other changes, e.g. to registration rules or show rules which could affect our breed are totally outside what the breed council can affect except as is advisory. There are some quiet indications that the movement by some to loosen the show rules and registration rules with respect to shows in the International Division, especially Europe, may be gaining support of some on the CFA Board of Directors. Fortunately, the Board of Directors does pay heed to breed council wishes, and the Abyssinian breed council is overwhelmingly opposed to loosening are registration rules for any purpose. (See the results of the breed council poll in the May 2002 newsletter).

2002 November International Breed Council Meeting

During the breed council meeting, we had the usual introductions and our celebration of the 2001-2002 Abyssinian winners. CFA, in decided that, in order to save money in conference rooms, to have an area in the show hall for breed council meetings to be held during the day on Saturday. This was a monumental bust as the time the Abyssinian breed council was designated saw Abyssinians called up in a number of different rings. So we had a 3-part meeting held in the Abyssinian breed area for the rest of the day Saturday in a catch as catch can mode. It seemed to take us much longer to cover the topics we had and to have to shout over the din of the show hall.

We covered a number of items items:

  1. Upcoming Abyssinian Club shows:
    a. June, 2003 - Abyssinian Breeders Midwest
    b. July, 2003- Abyssinian Breeders International Kitten Match
    c. March, 2004 - Great Lakes Abyssinian Devotees

  2. Auction Abyssinians - Susan Baker
    a. Raised $3,000! $2,200 went to purchase and transport the cats. $400.00 went for neuter/spay and other vet costs.
    b. Breeders must do their best to try to avoid feeding kitten mills. Early neuter/spay of pet kittens can be helpful. Knowing some of the catteries that are mills, e.g. Diamondridge. Resurrecting the Abyssinian Cat Club of America Hall of Shame of catteries that sell to pet shops

  3. National Abyssinian Rescue - Carol McCutcheon
    a. Main Objective: Health & Welfare of the Abyssinian
    b. National level umbrella group formed for purebred Abyssinian rescue.
    c. 501 (c) 3 not for profit organization, i.e. charitable donations ARE tax deductible.
    d. There seem to be a number of Abyssinians that get "left behind" for a variety of reasons. I.e., anything from the death of the owner, to not wanting to care for the Aby in old age, to the birth of a baby, to auction Abyssinians from kitten mills.
    e. An immediate need is for foster homes. These people are usually NOT breeders.
    f. A major question is whether the cat is, indeed, an Abyssinian. We need a method of educating shelters on what an Abyssinian really does look like. Jo Ann Cummings is working on a series of breed CD's for each breed. Variations on these CD's can be used in the judging school, for veterinarians who want to recognize the various breeds and for shelters.
    g. Cooperate with other rescue groups both other Abyssinian rescue groups and purebred rescue groups for other breeds.
    h. Developed the Adopt-an-Aby list for people interested in adopting an Abyssinian.
    i. Provides structure and guidelines to purebred Aby rescue.

  4. Other Colors.
    a. European Registry
    b. TICA is allowing re-registration of some Reds as Chocolates and some Fawns as Lilacs!!!!!

  5. Wisconsin Legislation
    a. Trying to define kitten mills.
    b. Trying to legislate early neuter/spay.
    c. It does not seem to be a good idea to try to define such concepts with legislation.

  6. Mentoring
    a. This is a natural extension of selling show/breeder cats!

  7. Micro chipping
    a. Cattery identification
    b. Wills
    c. Avid or Home Again seem to be the most popular vendors

  8. The breed booth is coming along. The committee met by phone and had some new innovations, some of which worked and some of which did not. The Abyssinian Breed Booth was the first to employ sound. We had a tape recorded by an actress friend of Monica Zehnder. This tape gave people a verbal history and breed characteristic description of the Aby. Although we did not win anything (you should see who the judges are ), our sound show sparked much interest amongst some of the other breed council secretaries.

Respectfully submitted
Norman Auspitz, Abyssinian BCS

Abyssinian Breed Council Lunch Announcement

This year, we will, once again try an Abyssinian Breed Council lunch on Saturday afternoon June 21, 2003 at 12:00 PM. And is scheduled for 2 hours. The price is $24.00 per person, payable to CFA. Please make your reservations ASAP. For those who do not want to eat, you are, of course welcome!

The following is a tentative agenda for the meeting:

  • Introductions and announcements
  • Awards
  • Breed Club Reports
  • Mission Statement for the Abyssinian Standard
  • Open Discussion

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