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August 1997

Vol. 1, Number 2

Darrell Newkirk, Abyssinian BCS

12 Hill Drive

Fairview Hts, IL 62208

Voice/Fax 618-397-3908

E-Mail: ABYBCS@aol.com or CootieBlue@aol.com

Abyssinian lovers turned out in great numbers in Naples, Florida, the location of the 1997 CFA Annual Meeting. Congratulations to Wayne Trevathan, Elaine King and the members of Region 7 who put on a great annual meeting.

Breed Council Secretaries meeting with the Board of Directors:

Joan Miller, Chair of CFA's Health Committee, presented the "finalized" version of the Structure statement that will be added to the CFA Show Standards as a prefatory sheet to complement the page that discusses Condition. The sheet on Structure is enclosed for your review. Any comments should be sent to Joan Miller, Betty White or myself prior to the October Board meeting.

Pam Delabar asked the Breed Council Secretaries to consider what their breed sections can do about Breed Rescue. Norman Auspitz has agreed to be the Abyssinian Breed Council representative to look into our position on Breed Rescue. Norman will be working with Joan Miller and Pam Delabar. Please contact Norman with your ideas about Abyssinian Breed Rescue. S.A.B.R.E. and S.C.A.R. are two groups doing a great service to the Aby breed in regard to Aby Breed rescue. Thank you and we wish you much continued success in the area of breed rescue.

Michael Brim informed the Breed Council Secretaries that the owners of National, Regional and International Breed award winners will be provided with press releases for their local newspapers. However, Central Office will require your permission prior to sending out the press releases.

There was discussion about how to emphasize the breed winners at the International show. One idea brought forward was the concept of doing a Breed Congress. All the entries in a breed, no matter what category entered, would compete for breed wins. The kittens, Championship and Premiership cats would be judged as a group, and best of breeds would be selected from all three competitive categories. If you have suggestions on how the breed winners could be better emphasized, please send then to me.

Those breed council members that are on line received a list of the agenda items for the Breed Council Secretaries' meeting with the Board. I apologize to those of you not on line, but I received the agenda about 10 days prior to the annual meeting. I was able to send e-mail messages to 82 Aby breed council members and received about 25 responses. Thank you to those members that took the time to respond to my query. The agenda items were:

1. Whether or not there is merit in the idea of using the Int'l show as a suitable vehicle for more emphasis on breed awards.

2. Breed profiles, which were redone several years ago, have been well received by our breeders. How often would you like to see the profiles redone and do you have any thoughts or questions concerning the format, pictures, etc.?

3. Consideration or reimbursement of expense for BCS to attend this meeting.

4. A discussion of "partial Reimbursement for Breed Council Secretaries' Expenses."

5. Compensation (all or in part) for Breed Council Sec expenses to attend the CFA Annual.

6. Request for funding to assist with transporting breed displays for the Int'l Show.

7. Request that award CERTIFICATES be given to the National Color Winners for each breed in addition to the Best/2nd Best of Color "flat." Certificates such as those given to the regional winners.

8. Request that the breeds be benched alphabetically by SPECIALTY instead of by "all breed" at the Int'l Show.

There was no consensus about the Breed Brochures. The Iams company funded the layout, design and production costs of the original Breed Brochure production. These have been well received by the breed sections. There is a substantial cost involved in changing the layout and design of the brochures, therefore unless there is a major change to our standard or some other need to change the current brochure, we will continue to enjoy the ones currently produced. There was little support for items 3-6 from the Board and most of the Breed Council Secretaries. Donna Fuller, CFA's Treasurer, stated that she would be happy to fund the costs incurred by breed council secretaries to attend the Annual, if there were funds on the income side of the ledger. However, creation of those funds would most likely cause an increase in the expenses of individual breed council members and most of us were very opposed to this possibility. We were informed that Item 7 has already been done. There was little support to change the way breeds are benched at the International show.

Breed Council Breakfast

Guest Speakers at this year's Aby Breakfast:

This year, we had the honor of having Dr. Leslie Lyons of the National Cancer Institute and Dr. Urs Giger of the University of Pennsylvania as guest speakers. Dr. Lyons addressed the 52 attendees on issues relating to the Feline Genome project and also about Renal Amyloidosis in the Abyssinian. She still has not been able to get out to California to visit with Dr. Brenda Conner to talk with and review her data. Dr. Lyons hopes to meet with Dr. Conner soon.

Dr. Giger spoke on a variety of issues but focused on inherited feline anemias: Pyruvate Kinase (PR) deficiency and Osmotic Fragility. PK is a glycolytic enzyme, and its deficiency results in a congenital hemolytic disorder transmitted as an autosomal recessive trait. Two articles concerning anemias in cats appeared in the Fall 1995 ACCA Newsletter. Anemias In Cats, written by Fred and Pat Emerson, and Feline Anemia, written by Susan Dixon, DVM are excellent articles about anemias in cats.

A very big thank you to both Dr. Lyons and Dr. Giger for taking the time to come and share their expertise with the Breed Council members during the Aby Breakfast.

Abyssinian Breed Council Executive Committee:

The Executive committee has been selected, and those listed have volunteered their time to serve on this experimental committee. Thank you to all breed council members that took the time to complete and return the Breed Council Questionnaires included in the last issue of the Aby Newsletter. The committee consists of the following breed council members: Bruce Alexy, Norman Auspitz, Patti Cassalia, Bev Emley, Ralph Helmrich, Janet Leigh, Lorna Malinen, and Lynn Martin. Any issues you have about our breed can be brought to the attention of any of these members, and, of course, I will be here at any time.

Abyssinian Specialty Show Rotation:

We will continue on the same rotation of Breed clubs and the Aby Specialty shows:

1998 - Absolutely Abyssinians, Florida
1999 - Western Abyssinians - California
2000 - Abyssinian Midwest Breeders - Illinois
2001 - Abyssinian Breeders International - California
2002 - Great Lakes Aby Devotees - Ohio

Please note: ABI will sponsor the All Aby Specialty Show every 4 years. They will alternate the All Aby Show with an Allbreed show on even numbered years. ABI Kitten matches will be held on odd numbered years. We will work out the details in regard to scheduling conflicts, if they occur.

Renal Amyloidosis in the Oriental:

Joan Miller was approached by some Oriental breeders with a concern about amyloidosis appearing in some Oriental lines. They are asking for help with identification of a methodology of tracking pedigrees and doing some detective work to seek and identify cats that may have introduced the disease into the Oriental breed. I have asked Patti Cassalia to chair that committee and to work with Joan Miller in helping out the Oriental breeders with this request.

1998 Judges Workshop, featuring the Abyssinian, Somali and Egyptian Mau:

Kim Everett announced at the 1996 Judges Workshop that the Abyssinian would be one of three breeds featured at the 1998 workshop. At that time she asked Hilary Helmrich and Carolyn Osier to begin work on that presentation. At the conclusion of this years Judges Association meeting, Hilary, Carolyn and I talked about the plans for this presentation. The presentation's emphasis will be on the Structure of the Abyssinian. Questions about Coat and Color will be answered during the Q & A session following the formal presentation. The American Shorthair breed council presented their breed at this year's Judges' Workshop. They had a computer generated presentation that featured many pictures of American Shorthairs. There were no ASH cats present at the workshop. Our plans are to have a limited number of Abys at our presentation and a multimedia presentation on the breed. Hilary stated that Cynthia McHenry and Nancy Burchick will be helping with the selection of the software to accomplish the presentation. This is the time that our breed is updated for the CFA judging panel. Your input is needed. If you have concerns about the judges' interpretation of the Abyssinian standard, please forward those concerns to Hilary, Carolyn or myself so they may be incorporated into the breed presentation. This will be an expensive undertaking. If you would like to donate to make this a most successful venture, please forward your donations to me. We will be preparing a booklet for the workshop. This is a great reference tool for judges and an invaluable resource for trainees and new judges on the CFA judging list.

1998 CFA Yearbook Aby Article:

About two weeks prior to the annual meeting I called Marna Fogerty to discuss when she planned to feature the Abyssinian in the CFA yearbook. She informed me that an article would appear in the 1998 CFA Yearbook.

Marna and I also discussed the Abyssinian Update or Decade of the Aby Article that will be featured around 2002. Plans need to be made within the next two to three years about this article. This will take a tremendous amount of work and the coordinated efforts of many people.

Red vs Cinnamon:

The breeders who are supportive of this change in color name have decided to wait until the Judging Program looks into the issue of colors and the standardization of color names.

Do we need the 360 numbers?

Bruce Alexy had written and asked that the members be polled about eliminating the 360 series which designates Ruddy and Red Abyssinians with dilutes in their pedigrees. There was quite a bit of discussion both pro and con on this idea. I will contact Tom Dent and Diana Doernberg to see if there would be any impact on Central Office functions to make this change. Please give your input on this issue to the Executive Committee or to me.

8 Generation Certified Pedigrees:

The CFA Board of Directors took no action on the last breed council question at the February Board Meeting. There were 140 breed council members at the time of balloting and 116 members returned ballots. 27 people voted to retain the 8 generation certified pedigree, 34 voted for 5 generations certified pedigree plus copies to disclose 8 generations, and 55 people voted to return to the prior requirement of a 5 generation certified pedigree only. Please refer to the April issue of the CFA Almanac, which includes the minutes of the February CFA Board meeting, for the discussion of this question.

Due to time constraints during the Aby breakfast, we were not able to discuss the current requirement of a certified 8 generation pedigree to register an Abyssinian in CFA from another cat registry. I have been in contact with several Aby breeders around the world via the internet. There are many organizations that can provide the 8 generation certified pedigree. The GCCF and FIFe can provide the 8 generation pedigree for around $150 and less than $100 respectively. The Feline Control Council in Australia can provide 8 generations at a very reasonable cost. The independant clubs (registering bodies) have the greatest trouble providing an 8 generation certified pedigree.

There will most likely be a question on the ballot this year about the 8 generation certified pedigree. If you have an opinion about the 8 generations certified pedigree, pro or con, please inform the Executive Commitee or me.

Feline Genome Project:

Hilary Helmrich, Winn Foundation President, informed the group that the Winn Board has not funded the Feline Genome Project, the gene mapping study being done by Dr. Leslie Lyons. YOU CAN HELP. When you make your donations to the Winn Foundation, you can specify that those funds be set aside to fund the Feline Genome Project. The Abyssinian Midwest Breeders club made a donation to Winn, directed to the Feline Genome Project, at the conclusion of their show in June. This is a very important study. Please send your donations and make sure to state that you want those monies channeled to this project.

Breed Council Questionnaire:

Thank you to the members who took the time to complete the Breed Council Questionnaire included in the last newsletter. Just under half of the Breed council members returned the form. I will be happy to send you another form, if you didn't get your form completed and returned to me.


We now have our own Abyssinian e-mail mailing list. Norman Auspitz took on this seemingly insurmountable task. Thank you, Norm, you did a great job. Are you on line and not subscribed to the Abyssinian mailing list? It is easy to get subscribed. Here's all you have to do:

Send an email message to: Majordomo@fanciers.com
In the Subject box type: Subscribe
In the message box type: Subscribe Abyssinians

That should get up signed up. If you have any problems, please send me an email and I will make sure you get signed onto the list. DO NOT enter any other text in the message box.

1997 Abyssinian Breed Awards:

The top ten Abyssinians competing in the Kitten, Championship and Premiership categories were presented with a rosette, certificate and breed award booklet at this years Abyssinian breed council breakfast. I want to thank Absolutely Abys, Abyssinian Breeders International, Abyssinian Midwest Breeders, Great Lakes Aby Devotees, Nancy Abbott, Lori Egigian and Harford Gillaspie for their generous donations that helped make these awards possible.

Best Abyssinian Kitten: GC, RW Gulfco's Sweet Talkin' Guy of Alexy, a ruddy male.
Breeder: Bruce Alexy and Tom Berninger. Owner: Bruce Alexy.

Best Abyssinian Cat in Championship: GC, RW Freejon Chics for Free, ruddy male.
Breeder/Owner: Freelin Conn and John Presley.

Best Abyssinian Cat in Premiership: GC, GP, NW Eecatl Felony, ruddy spay.
Breeder: Cynthia/John McHenry. Owner: Cynthia McHenry, Nancy Burchick and Laina Aitken.

2nd Best Abyssinian Cat in Premiership: GP, NW Ashaby Gainsborough, blue neuter.
Breeder/Owner: Sandra Bell.

Congratulations to all the winning Abyssinians at the regional level and especially to our two National winning Abyssinians: Eecatl Felony and Ashaby Gainsborough


The 1997 CFA International Show will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, November 21-23. Hilary Helmrich has agreed to dazzle all interested parties this year with her Abyssinian slide presentation. Hilary would like to update the presentation. If you have had a DM, National, Regional, or Color award winning Abyssinian since 1990, please forward a slide to Hilary. Hiliary will select those slides that will work for her presentation. Beth Newkirk will be sending a note to those individuals who own a National Winner, Best of Color, or Distinguished Merit winning Abyssinian, requesting a slide be sent to Hilary no later than September 15, 1997. Hilary will accept a color photo, if you do not have a color slide to send to her. Once the meeting plans have been finalized, you will be sent a notice for the time, place, etc. The Meeting will take place on Friday night at a time to be decided. I look forward to seeing you there.

I received the following post from Dr. Leslie Lyons:
I met with Brenda Conner last week-end when I was in California. I now know what she accomplished and where to go. I will look at a specific gene, but I cannot give you odds of finding the amyloidosis mutation. She is gathering up the relationships of all the samples she has. Lets hope there are samples from entire families and from related cats. But I do not need to wait entirely for that information. She will get me some samples soon.

You have a very enthusiastic breed group and I hope we can do something for you. Best Regards, Leslie

The next issue of the Aby Newsletter will be after the International show. Good luck to you and your beautiful Abys during the remainder of the 1997-1998 show season.

Darrell Newkirk
Abyssinian BCS


In order to embody the aesthetic qualities of beauty, grace and agility that epitomize the cat, the ideal show cat reflects excellent health and sound structure.

Variations in structure help differentiate and distinguish the pedigreed cat breeds. Though individual breed standards sometimes describe unusual physical traits, the ideal show cat is free of those characteristics which compromise health and well-being.

Skeletal Frame
The skeletal frame, regardless of size - small, medium or large, functions with symmetry and balance. The vertebrae are aligned without fixation or deviation. The spine is supple and the joints are flexible. The legs are parallel and fully support weight and movement.

The mature skull, regardless of head shape - long, medium or short, is smooth without exaggerated depressions or protuberances. The eyes are clear and bright with coordinated movement. Breathing is effortless. The mouth closes with proper occlusion. The face and jaw are symmetrical and aligned.

The body shape, regardless of style - short or long, round or tubular, is smoothly contoured from the gentle outward curve of the chest to the softer continuous line of the abdomen. The muscular development of the shoulders, midsection and hindquarters is in harmony with the body style.

It must never be forgotten that the cat is a living, breathing, moving, being. Sound structure and function is integral to the pursuit of the aesthetic ideal.

(PLEASE NOTE: This is a draft for discussion.)

Darrell Newkirk
Abyssinian BCS

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