Sharing all Matters cat-related. showing...abuse and everything in between!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Way it's Done in the Cat Fancy

Before I discuss this topic, let me preface my remarks by noting that the title "The Way it's Done in the Cat Fancy", refers to an instance where I was being shouted at by a cat breeder on email, for daring to stand up for my rights as a buyer of one of their cats. I was told "you don't know how it's done in the cat fancy". I did, and was under no illusions. Shortly after, I enforced my rights in a court of law.

There are many things that are done bizarrely differently in the cat fancy to the way normal life conducts itself. This is a world where cat judges are the apex predator, cat breeders are royal game, and normal exhibitors have to know their place and be loyal and turn a blind eye to all the deceitful goings-on which saturate the cat fancy. The cats are nothing more than an accoutrement - a necessary means to obtain ribbons and glory for the breeders. They are widgets, to be cast aside once no longer needed.

This post takes a look at collection-addiction and hoarding.

I am mindful of the very many cases that come to light of instances where people have been discovered to be hoarding a very large number of cats, usually in execrable conditions of filth, with the stink of decay and death causing rescuers to have to use masks and breathing apparatus. Very often, these people are noted to have been associated in prominent positions with various cat associations, and been in the business of breeding and/or judging cats.

At these times, there's always the expression of astonishment that such a nice person could have done this - or more ominously from erstwhile friends of the abuser, a blanket denial that the person could ever have committed the acts of which they are accused. Others try to get inside their heads and ask where such a wonderful person went off the rails.

Cat breeders in the cat fancies like to regard themselves as "reputable", committing everyone else who breeds cats but is unregistered to the eternal damnation of the hell of all backyard breeders. The title is a commonly used slur in the mouths of the Royal Game of the cat fancy. But the more you look at the heinous sins that backyard breeders commit, the more you see the organised cat fancy breeders doing much of the same thing. So when a breeder who is one of the Movers and Shakers of the cat fancy are metaphorically caught with their pants down, the cat fancies start to duck and dive, and disassociate themselves with them. Fellow club members conveniently "don't know" if the person is still part of the club & the registries often become very quiet.

Take the case of one Karen Crooke, an experienced breeder of some 25 years, who abandoned her house full of cats when it came up for repossession, and left them locked inside to die. A prospective buyer of the property thought they heard cat noises inside the house and the animal welfare authorities were called in after the necessary warrants had been obtained. They found a house full of Maine Coon cats, 18 of which were dead (some of them having deceased many months before - at a time when Ms Crooke was still in the house), and - amazingly - 5 cats were still alive.

Here's the news report : Feline tomb belonged to ex-club boss

In the above article and in other coverage, I'm bemused to read that Crooke's cats "bring her a lot of pleasure", and that she enjoyed dressing up her cats and arranging the annual cat "dress-up show" to attract the public to the club. I also noted in the subsequent case that she demanded to have her cats back!

In the following statement, as reported on July 11, 2012 one will note that she expressed regret and stated that "she never intended for it to happen". Such remarks are hardly rare, and in this case of an abuser where there is evidence that some of the cats could have been dead for more than 2 years in the house, I'm unsure of how anyone can ignore cat corpses for so long, and still claim it was never intended.
HSUS Statement

And then bear in mind that this woman walked out of the house full of cats and left it locked, intending never to return. Her behaviour suggests that the only thing she regrets is getting caught.

Rather than dwell on her sentence - which many people including myself feel to be far too inadequate, I would like to touch on the issue of the public face the breeder displays, and hence the cries of disbelief when (at last), they get caught out.

Consider carefully these phrases from the web page of Miaw cattery : Miaws Beginnings

"Shelby made the final in her very first ring!  We were hooked even though she didn't make any other finals that weekend".  Note the word "hooked". Cat showing is addictive.

"By the end of our first show season we knew we wanted another cat to show.  We even had a good idea that we might eventually want to go into breeding these wonderful cats". The addiction grows.

"Eventually we met and became friends with Karen Crooke of Terrificats/Lovabacon Maine Coons.  Karen took us under her wing and began feeding us so much information.  She is literally a walking encyclopedia of The Cat Fanciers Association, the Maine Coon breed and breeding Maine Coon cats.  We e-mailed, called and talked with her as much as we could to learn as much as she could teach us".

(Note Karen's apparent knowledge, but that it appears to be more a knowledge of the CFA, rather than knowledge of cat physiology, behaviours and applied husbandry. Proper cat husbandry will never tolerate overcrowding.) Note that it is not evident that these people ever visited with her personally at her home...

"On February 27, 2005 TruTails Sinead of Miaw, with the help of Terrificats Gambolero, gave us our very first Miaw Maine Coon kittens".
Note these breeders using one of the Karen Crooke stud cats.

"Andrew and I would like to thank the following people for their support and friendship:
Karen Crooke of Terrificats/Lovabacon, also a true mentor, for being the voice of reason and encouragement, sharing with us all of her experience and knowledge that comes with 25+ years of breeding and showing cats, and, above all,  for teaching us to never compromise our ethics."

And from SaraJen Maine Coons Website : "Cherry Pop, pictured here at just a whisker over 7 months, is just a fabulous girl bred by Karen Crooke of Terrificats. Karen has long been known as a reputable breeder of wonderful, healthy, typey Maine Coons and we can't thank her enough for entrusting Tina and I with one of her kittens".

What glowing endorsements of Karen Crooke! A true mentor - a voice of reason and a teacher of ethics, a reputable breeder and hideous cat abuser to boot.

No wonder you then get comments on public forums like "we don't know what Karen Crooke has been through, and what got her to this state". I saw the musings of another individual in another recent case, where they pondered the mindset of the abuser, and wondered whether it was just another of those cases like Ted Bundy, where an apparently nice person was a monster, but hey- "who can tell?". Shrug. * (we will come back to this a little later).

And when it happens, the breeders always claim to get "overwhelmed" and get a slap on the wrist, and then it's back to business as usual, once the (usually lenient) sentence has been carried out. At the court hearings we are told by the defense attorneys that the proceedings have been "very traumatic" for the accused, who is in a bad mental state as a result. As if it's the fault of the animal rights people or the courts, rather than the abuser, who persistently appears not to take responsibility for their actions.

Why do we get no closer to understanding why certain people do this (apparently isolated) deed - if the cat fancies are to be believed? That's because we're looking in the wrong place. We should not be looking at the perpetrator, but at the system to establish the commonalities. Once a common link is found, the truth becomes obvious. Here it is.

Have a close look at the "organised cat fancy", of which Karen Crooke was a leading light in her cat club, an official, a committee member as recently as 2009. Read the CFA web pages, & look at the section devoted to warning cat breeders (let's just refer to them as "registered cat producers" shall we?) about pending legislation which would prevent them from carrying on & proliferating cats. See CFA exhibitors alert as a good example. The CFA coach their members on how to object to proposed legislation which would safeguard cats and put a reign on their owners.

The CFA boast that they are "the worlds largest registry of pedigreed animals". They got that way by encouraging the breeding & showing of cats. Every kitten born is registered with a cat registry (for a fee) transferred to a new owner (for a fee),put on show (for a fee). Every stud to be used has to be registered annually (for a fee). Every cat on show is judged in a number of "rings" (judgings), and the entrants pay per ring. The fee income from new cats and cat showing is the lifeblood of the cat fancy - and this applies worldwide.

The GCCF (Governing Council of the UK Cat Fancy), note in the SWOT section of their business plan that fee income from registrations is by far the majority of all their income sources. Their (new kitten and cat) registrations process is noted to be "the basis of the organisations existence". Under Risks, is noted the

"Negative press focussing on health and welfare issues and genetic anomalies in pedigree cat breeds"

So I ask you with tears in my eyes - "WHY on earth would the CFA and other cat registries do anything to deter their breeders from collecting and breeding cats?" Karen Crooke was only one such breeder who has appeared in the public domain. And the one thing the cat fancies HATE is their dirty laundry being aired in public and the AWS, HSUS, PETA etc. getting wind of it.

(Remember the * above? The cat fancies love the "who would have known?" response. It keeps them out of the limelight as a possible cause via their endorsements and reward of multiple cat breeding and showing. It allows them to pretend that "any lunatic can pop up at any time, and we couldn't tell she/he was one of them - how is it our fault?" And it allows them to be seen publicly distancing themselves from the perpetrator (whom they already knew had all the excessive numbers of cats from their breeders database) - which they would not have done, if the dirty deed had not come to public scrutiny.
And then they donate a (small) amount of money to causes that window-dress them in a good light (like the Winn Foundation).

CFA has a unit dedicated to keeping the breeders who get into trouble out of the limelight. It's called the "Breeder Assistance Program", so if they themselves see fit to do damage control, how prevalent is cat overcrowding, overbreeding and animal abuse in the cat fancy? It's extremely prevalent indeed.

And where is the focus in the cat fancy ? Have a look at Fishin' for fun with the Coastwind cat club the Yahoo bulletin board dated 20 Feb 2010.
I see lots of raffles, patriotic flags, dressing up your cat contests, gifts and apple dumplings and I also note Karen Crooke being listed as a club board member for media and show promotion. I don't see anything about what this is supposed to do for the cat.

Consider the National Maine Coon Cat Club Mission Statement and statement of objectives :
"The National Maine Coon Cat Club is dedicated to the preservation and advancement of the Maine Coon Cat breed."

"The National Maine Coon Cat Club objectives shall be:
To encourage breeding the standard of the Maine Coon Cat as such standard is set forth by the Cat Fanciers' Association.
To encourage membership in the Maine Coon Cat breed council.
To promote interest in and knowledge of the Maine Coon Cats through promotional and educational literature and by holding shows.
To cultivate friendship and common interest among breeders. owners and fanciers of the Maine Coon Cat nationally.
To provide the membership of the National Maine Coon Cat Club with constructive information for the improvement and the advancememt of the Maine Coon Cat
To advance, in every way possible, the interests of breeders, exhibitors and fanciers of the Maine Coon Cat.
To promote the welfare of all cats."

Dedicated to preserving and advancing (whatever these terms mean) the Maine Coon, and yet "promoting the welfare of all cats" is at the end, and doesn't even refer to the Maine Coon. It's a catch-all which sounds warm and fluffy to convince the reader thay they're there for the cat. The rest of the club objectives are proof that the cat comes a very sorry last, if at all.

How did Karen Crooke get to that place? Like every other breeder in any cat fancy. By becoming a "cat producer" and taking cats to show in exchange for the ribbons and titles which give a cattery prominence and make the sale of expensive cats much easier. Become a "big name" cattery and the world is your oyster.

Cat breeders appear to have little if any humanity-their primary responsibility is to themselves only, and they will stop at nothing to pursue their cat collection and production "hobby".

It would be a good idea for anyone truly interested in the welfare of the (pedigreed) cat, to start by understanding how the cat fancy works. The registries, the politics, egos, the pride and the shows. The ribbons and awards and cat and kitten sales. And the abuse that goes with it. And look at the meeting minutes. Some of the meetings appear to be breathtaking in their length and pointlessness, and all of them tend to revolve rather much around finance and petty politicking, rather than the health and welfare of the  animal.

I'd say the real villains are the cat fancies who turn a blind eye, or cover up abuses in their ranks. I would love to see concerned people demonstrating outside every cat show hall countrywide in an effort to raise awareness of the role the cat fancy plays in encouraging cat overbreeding, overcrowding and abuse, and to encourage others to stop supporting cat shows.

When cat fancies are called to account in the public domain for their members' conduct, they will take more responsibility to protect the animals bred and shown under their auspices, from which a huge amount of money is generated, both for themselves and the breeders.

"For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing" - Simon Wiesenthal.

Are there "good men" in the cat fancy, when these deeds are common knowledge and yet the dirty secret is protected and ignored?

Saturday, 20 October 2012

A Great Tip for Showing Cats

This is my response to a Canadian pet column, which lists petcare tips on a variety of topics and invites comment. They had a tip on showing cats, and suggested aspirant new exhibitors contact the CFA to join up.

Here is my comment on their tip - which they refused to publish. Gee - I wonder why?

Here’s my tip for showing cats – leave the cats out of it. It’s not fun for them, it’s not kind and not natural for cats to be gawked and pawed over by the public at large, or hauled in and out of cages by stewards and judges 5 times a day, lifted up in the air, stretched, whirled around while the judge shows off for the public’s enjoyment, and have their mouths pried open while the judge looks for alignment of the bite. Or turned upside down and shaken (if they are Persian) in order to “float the coat”. There are some wonderful little expressions for the unkind things people do to cats in the "cat fancy" - and ditto dogs (like deliberately breeding deformity).

Cats generally are benched (put in their show cages) around 7am and some shows only end late in the afternoon. Some are “double shows” (twice the fun for everyone, except the cats) and only end late into the night. Then the cats have to be transported back home again – and many show people campaign all over the country, or shows can extend over whole weekends, so the travel can be significant. Anybody like to be shut in a cage for 12-15 hours a day, to see how it feels?

And when one comes to the realisation that winning at cat shows has more to do with “whether you’ve paid your dues”, who you’re connected with, what role you are playing on club committees, which judge you are selling your cats to, or getting them from, who you are wining and dining the night before the show – or providing accommodation for (I could go on and on – chapter and verse) – you then realise that the cat doesn’t have a whole lot to do with it. This is borne out by the fact that a cat can do well one week (or day) and poorly the next – and that’s sometimes in front of the selfsame judges. This is called “giving everyone a turn” – a pat on the head so you continue to support shows, by paying entry fees, breed fees, registration fees, club renewal fees etc.

So here’s a solution – leave the cats at home, and the catshow fraternity can vote amongst each other for the biggest “cat” of the day. And leave the four legged cats to enjoy their 5 rights of all sentient beings – one of which is to be able to express their natural behaviour – which they cannot do being kept in breed runs, carry cages, show cages et al.

A great quote from Jonathan Balcombe : “It is time our hearts caught up with our knowledge. Grounded in science and driven by ethics, we need a less selfish world-view that grants animals respect and consideration.”

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Cat Fancy Mantras that Put my Teeth on Edge

Kudos to Michael at  Pictures of Cats  for the great topic! I had so much fun replying, I decided to blog it here too :

I get intensely grumpy when confronted with much of the fool drivel spoken in the cat fancy.

Here are a few examples

How about…..

“Bettering the breed” – this drivel mantra is blurted out at every opportunity by just about every pedigree breeder trying to justify their existence while doing what they really do. Which is …

“Cat Producer”. I lied – I actually like this phrase – because it’s the truth. But you’ll never get anyone in the cat fancy to admit it, unless they’re slagging off another breeder (usually someone not in the registered cat fancy). Ho no!

“Scored according to the SOP” This string of un-meaning is intended to make one think the judge has actually done something objective and scientific while they were whirling the cat around in the air, showing off for the crowd. In point of fact they decide entirely subjectively whether they like the cat (or the owner or breeder) today, and proceed accordingly. And I’ve got that in writing from some of the top cat judges – their opinion is “subjective”. Challenge one of them to judge a cat and record the SOP scores and add them to arrive at a total. See what happens!

And how could it be anything other than subjective, with the fluffy nonsense in the SOP – designed, I might add, to muddy the waters and deter anyone else from pointing out that the judge is barking (oops!) mad. How "Large and round", is large and round? How "snub" is a snub nose? Jack-Catjudge-the-show-managers-buddy knows! It’s in the “eye of the beholder” – which is another phrase that irritates me.

How about “may the best cat win”? GNNNGGHHHH!!! AAAAARGHH!! The meaning of this horrible little lie is “may the person who we have decided in advance will win at this show (who is often the show manager, or the judge who is giving us accommodation) enjoy it, and may all the others smile and continue to support us, because if you don’t we’ll make sure your cat never wins again”.

A personal unfavourite of mine is “it’s only a hobby – we mustn’t get too serious about it”. A nasty little saying, describing people who get a kick out of breeding to excess and routinely dragging cats out of the cages they store them in at home, stuffing them into carriers and then putting them in show cages at the destination – all for their self-gratification and ego. The “not get serious” bit gets mentioned when you raise issues around governance and how odious it looks that a judge is judging the cats of the breeder who is selling them cats (or the judge is the godmother to the child of the exhibitor, or the judge has been entertained and wined and dined by the exhibitor before the show & etc).

Which brings me to another little pet hate saying “Are you questioning my integrity?” In a word – yes. Exactly. Couldn’t have put it better myself. What integrity?

How about "I don't make money from my cattery - it always runs at a loss". Yeah - right! You Ms/Mr CatBreeder are so independently wealthy that you can afford to sustain a loss-making business ad- infinitum?  I don't think so. When was the last time you gave away your kittens? You didn't? But then money changed hands, didn't it? You sold them, at the prevailing prices which are hardly in the loss-making bracket. And where did you get the new cellphone, and the fancy expensive camera, and the annual holiday by the sea and the home improvements? Oh I see - they are incurred "for your cattery". OK OK - I'll not ask you any more awkward questions...

And then we have a personal hate, the famous "kittens raised underfoot". The kittens referred to, are of course being pumped out at a rate of knots and you'll never get to see the inside of the breeders home anyway. It's website ad- doublespeak intended to create warm fuzzy illusions of wonderful, caring cat breeders cuddling their kittens. Like all advertising, 99% of the time, it's complete fantasy and crapdoodle of the highest order. 

What about the insidiously insincere "cat run", or "stud run" ? This is the outside area given to an unsterilised male cat to prevent them coming into the house and spraying it with pungent pee. Of course the "stud run" is not big enough to allow the stud to run or exercise at all, but it sounds good. Real cat lovers allow their cats freedom and plenty of inside and outside fun and space to let off steam. 

"I just LOVE this boy" (or girl). (alt. LUURVE) This is only said after the breeder/exhibitor has been given a show win, courtesy of a judge who has decided in their vacillating random walk through the show hall to award a particular cat, which happens to be theirs. Of course the professed lurve is short lived and the honeymoon ends as soon as the show wins do. It is unsurprising to find the same cat on junk mail/ on the internet for sale or shipped off to another breeder not long after. Which bring us to ....

"Retirees". These are cats which have reached their sell-by date. They've expired (not entirely literally, but almost). They are no longer winning & they're not producing any winners, so they need to make space for the next incoming cats. A chord of memory is jogged and I recall the phrase...

"My breed program". This is an entirely fictitious phrase, designed to create the impression that the breeder actually has an idea of what they are trying to achieve - other than winning shows, making money or being given ribbons and trophies. There is in fact no "breed program". They are putting cats together from well-known lines in order to breed a kitten which happens to have all the right bits and bobs in the right places. When the cat no longer performs, or the kittens which get thrown out get thrown out (by the judges- if you get my meaning), the cat is evicted to make space "because of my breed program". And in comes the next one...

"I've always dreamed of having a cat like this - it's like a dream come true". This gusher of snivelling drivel gets emitted on chat lists and websites on average annually - usually from the same people. It indicates they have just acquired (another) imported cat, and they are trying to get the attention of the judges who are on the same cat mail list. (It's always easier to buy a good cat than breed it, isn't it?). As soon as the cat doesn't achieve, nothing more is heard, until the next year when "(here we go again) I've always ....."

"You don't know how it's done in the cat fancy". Oh yes I do - which is what I pointed out to the breeder who said this and was trying to use it as a mechanism to keep me in line (i.e. to shut up and be a good little boy so I could be given a (little) show success one day, for being "faithful"). I went on to point out that I was well versed in exactly how "it was done in the cat fancy", and that I wanted no part of it.  I achieved the desired outcome, which was to cause the breeder run away and hide under a rock.

"What do YOU know - you're not even a breeder". Sigh. This pompous nonsense holds a myriad of possibilities. It has a delicate hint of the fact that becoming a breeder blesses you with an extra 100 IQ points and an honorary degree at Harvard. Or perhaps a mystical infusion of great vision and ancient wisdom into matters feline. What about the flavour of elitism- becoming part of the Social Collective of cat breeding? It is not unusual to note that those uttering this verbal claptrap, do not display any evidence of having done any proper research and investigation into cat breeding themselves, before taking up the game (emphasis deliberate). And I'm not talking about then merely knowing where the orifice is, that the kittens come out and how to help this process take place. Last time I checked, you don't have to "be" anything, in order to gain deep insight by studying.

And my most hated saying is.....

"Floating the Coat". When I pointed out on a chat list that this was disrespectful to the animal, I was told by an eminent international judge  "No it's not - it's called "floating the coat". Since it was my chat list, I didn't let matters rest there. This is what is done to Persian cats at shows slightly, before they are judged. The owner shakes the cat, both side to side and vertically to get the coat to stand out from the body. I've seen an owner holding his cat upside down by the feet and shaking it. It made me want to do something unmentionably violent to the cat owner. It is a well- regarded and condoned practice in the cat fancy.....

"My Contract". Another gut-churning piece of irrelevant nonsense, "my contract" intends to convey the impression that the breeder is ethically caring for their kitten progeny and enforces such delicate procedures as compulsory sterilisation, not rehoming too early, health guarantees & etc. "My contract" is a piece of junk, written by an amateur would-be legal beagle and no court in the world is going to fit it into the court roll. It's a lot of fatuous nonsense, sloppily worded that any decent attorney could punch holes in, in no time at all. But it fulfils a valuable purpose - it enables the breeder to get away with cutting corners to save costs, while maintaining a thin veneer of respectability. It's usually mentioned in discussion where breeders are criticizing those who don't sterilise (or any other hot topic), thus : "I'm fully in favour of, and enforce early neuter/spay - it's written in my contract". And then they never follow up to ensure it's done after the kitten is sold. It's also a great way of not taking responsibility for genetic problems that surface in later life, thus "My contract provides for a health guarantee in the first year of life" (knowing that most genetic problems start to surface around 3 -6 years of age).

There are many, many more. But I don’t want to frighten you!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Translating Cat Breeder Gobbledygook

Consider the paragraph below. It's been chanted so often by cat breeders that it's lost any meaning it ever had. It's aim is to convey the impression that the breeder is a wonderful caring person who puts their animals first and foremost, and is the very epitome of uprightness and respectibility.

"I'm a very discriminating breeder, and I don't breed much every year - I don't often have kittens so you're advised to make a reservation. We are registered with the CFA/TICA/SACC/ACF etc. and show our cats. We're an underfoot cattery and we love our cats dearly blah blah yap yap yappity yap."
(The above is written in the Martian language - the language of extra terrestrials.)

Here's the translation into the English language :

"I am an animal abuser and hoarder of the worst kind. I don't give a tinker's cuss for my animals but breed them for money and the fame it brings me in the show ring, and because I like to have my ego diddled on a regular basis. I keep my cats in little stacked cages so it saves space. I will do this until I die, because it's soooo nice"

I can hear the howls of dismay by the cat breeding fraternity, but the facts speak for themselves :

1. The overriding majority of breeders do not know the meaning of the word "moderation" when it comes to keeping cats
2. Showing cats entices the ego, and the quest for wins drives collection-addiction
3. Cat breeding is a jolly little way of making some extra undeclared income which helps pay the monthly bills- or a great way to earn a living when you are unemployed (or unemployable, which is more to the point).
4. Cat showing is a bunch of subjective bollocks, where the faithful are rewarded with titles and ribbons, and in exchange they attain boasting rights which makes selling expensive cats easier
5. The great majority of cat breeders fuel the overpopulation of cats by not sterilising before rehoming. It's cheaper that way - keeps the margins fat.

Here's Laura Duffy's version of Martian :

"I started breeding Siamese in 1973. I started with chocolate and seal point Siamese. The name "Raksha" comes from a Roger Zelazney novel featuring a modified Hindu pantheon/mythology. In this book a Raksha was a small mischeivious shape changing demon .....sound familiar? Yes, I thought so too. Originally registered with CFA and ACFA , I quickly switched to TICA when it became a reality and have not looked at the other associations since. Over the years I have bred red points and tortie points. I branched out into Oriental Shorthairs thanks to my good friend , Lindajean Grillo. I finally moved onto Balinese and Oriental Longhairs as well. I like all show people have been tempted by other breeds and have had Abyssinians, Himalayans. Birmans, American Curls,Japanese Bobtails and a Maine Coon. While these are all beautiful cats, I have learned that they don't have the personality that attacts me to Siamese. Although I will say that my Birman Janipur' was such a darling that I and the Siamese wouldn't mind another of these lounging around the house.When I say Siamese I refer to the entire breed Siamese group (Siamese,Balinese,Oriental Shorthairs and Longhairs). No matter what colors I have worked with , I have made health and personality my priority.Over the years I have refined my goals to producing beautiful, healthy cats in my three favorite colors  Seal (black),Chocolate and Cinnamon. I am trying for both pointed and solids(Oriental Shorthairs) in shorthair as well as longhair. Someday I'll have a litter where I get everything I've worked for in one pile of glorious kittens.

I have very few litters a year so if you are looking for a specific color, a reservation is recommended. I have not yet eliminated blue from my lines so occasional blue and lilac kittens are available. Kittens for breeding or exhibition are rarely available but inquiries are welcome. I am located in Northern California and the best way to reach me is via email."

Here's the translation :

"Cat Breeder Sentenced for Animal Abuse
Published 4:00 a.m., Thursday, September 7, 1995

A 37-year-old La Honda woman who breeds purebred Oriental short-hair cats was sentenced to 30 days in jail yesterday on animal cruelty charges.

Laura Duffy also was sentenced to two years supervised probation, one year court probation and was ordered to pay restitution of $3,600, said Irene Holmes, a San Mateo County deputy district attorney. In addition, Duffy was ordered to receive counseling and treatment.

Acting on an anonymous tip in April, Humane Society officials went to Duffy's La Honda home where they discovered 30 cats, two dogs, two horses and seven goats living in squalor, Fox said.

The horses were in poor condition and were at least 300 pounds underweight. Numerous cats were confined to dirty metal cages. Some of the animals were suffering from upper respiratory infections, dehydration and hypothermia.

All of the cats were purebreds, many of them sent to Duffy by their owners for breeding. The cats have since been reunited with their owners, said Stacy Fox, a spokesman for the Humane Society.

On August 7, Duffy pleaded no contest to one count of animal cruelty, one count of permitting an animal to go without care, and one count of violating the San Mateo County pet overpopulation ordinance.

She was sentenced yesterday by Municipal Judge Carl Holm. He also ruled that during Duffy's probation, she is forbidden to possess or care for any animals."

Do you see how easy it is to translate Martian catbabble once you get the hang of it? (And it's not an isolated instance - the CFA have a section devoted to keeping them out of the limelight when (another) one of their registered breeders fall out of the tree. They wouldn't need this, if registered breeders were genuinely nice kindly people, would they?)