BOMBAYS AND ASIAN SELFS - HISTORY
you might be interested to know why and how I got involved
with Bombays and then Asian Selfs. The why is easy -
because I love them. The how is slightly more complicated.
However, if I am honest, I suppose it could be summed
up in one word — pride!
have always admired black cats from the day over twenty-five
years ago when I saw a Foreign Black at a show. The
sound patent leather coat looked really black and wet
on this exhibit and it shone from head to foot. I wasn't
surprised to learn later that it got Best in Show.
number of years later, Mrs. Margaret Somers, Chairman
of The Burmese Cat Club, had some early Bombays on Exhibition
at a show and I got talking to her about these "Black
Burmese" which fascinated me. I told her about
the Foreign Black that I had never forgotten and the
gleaming wet looking solid coat, and how lovely if we
could get this look on the Bombays.
was even bold enough to mention a little theory I had
on how this might be achieved. Margaret, not being one
to mince her words, thought I was crazy and told me
so in no uncertain terms! These days, knowing her much
better, I would have laughed and stayed and discussed
the point but in those days I was still easily intimidated
by the idea of the Burmese Hierarchy, so mumbled something
is where my pride came in! Having a stubborn streak
and wanting an excuse to breed Bombays anyway, I decided
I would try out my theory.
kept it very quiet, working on the principle that if
I was wrong, then lots of lovely pet cats would have
been produced and no harm done. If I was right, then
hopefully in the fullness of time I could contribute
to the breed by offering a different line, thereby helping
to widen the gene pool, and also produce a coat that
I felt was synonymous with the breed. ! I was very fortunate
in having a lovely cat- orientated friend, Mary Morrison,
who was more than happy to help me out sharing with
rearing the early generations in the home and finding
to start! For those interested, my theory made sense
to me, but probably to a geneticist it was totally nutty.
However, not being a geneticist, I blindly went ahead.
My theory worked on "paint-box colours"!
Typha Masterclass -
first Lilac Asian Champion
One that got away.
brown Burmese is genetically black, but comes out brown
because of the Burmese restriction gene. Remove the
Burmese restriction gene and you have a black cat. The
Burmese dilute of the dominant brown gene is recessive
blue. Hence with the full expression genes, the dilute
of black is blue. Any really black object has an almost
blue sheen. You will see that an artist who is trying
to portray a black object will shade with blue. So I
went for a "full expression" blue cat to get
my black Bombay line with a sound coat, thereby hopefully
eliminating the brown roots. It may sound crazy, but
sometimes crazy theories work.
finally found the right cat. A little blue girl called
Chloe who needed a new home. Her background was unknown,
but it was obvious that not both her parents were from
the wrong side of the sheets and most cat people thought
she was probably a half Russian Blue and half something
else! She had a lovely short, sound, full expression
blue coat, good type, a delightful temperament and fitted
the bill admirably. She arrived pregnant, and when I
saw the results of her clandestine mating it confirmed
my hopes. In 1989, I mated her to my blue Burmese stud,
Ch. Typha Plush Velvat to consolidate the "blue",
therefore hopefully "setting" the coat. (By
this time any geneticist reading this has probably crawled
into a hole or gone grey!!) She had two kittens and
I kept the full expression girl Typha Velvatina Salix,
known as Willow. These she had to have by caesarean
section, so I didn't breed from her again and she lived
out the rest of her life very happily with Mary.
the next four years I did a series of test matings
with different colours, hopefully learning more about
the breed and the coat. During that time all kittens
went as lovely pets without progression except for
the two black queens I kept from Willow's line: Typha
Duskidaisy and her daughter Typha Black Ambergris.
From the daughter I produced Typha Patience Provedit
and Typha Prudence Perchance. They were the fourth
generation and my first "real" Bombays.
I was very pleased with their type and the reaction
from people when they saw their coats. I had only
used my own lines thereby creating a totally different
pedigree from other Bombays, but whether to try and
progress further, having achieved my goal, was the
truth was that, ironically, having actually produced
a 'legal'Bombay, I wasn't sure what to do about it.
Having got so engrossed in the actual doing, I had
never really thought about the logistics at the end.
I therefore spoke to Mrs. Pring, the then Secretary
of the GCCF, who was extremely helpful and suggested
I exhibit and get a reaction from other Bombay breeders.
That should give me guidelines as to what to do next.
Patience and Prudence were therefore put on exhibition
at the Kensington. I was very touched by the reaction
from other breeders. They were very helpful indeed
and unanimously encouraged me to go forward.
therefore took Chloe and Patience to the Asian Seminar
in 1995. Patience was a typical Bombay extrovert and
flirted her way from person to person, but Chloe had
never been to a "function" before and I
was slightly concerned how she would cope. Happily,
she took it all in her stride and purred her way around
the tables. I was very proud of her. The Asian BAC
then kindly recommended that Chloe be added to the
list of accepted outcrosses before 1990 and the Council
of the GCCF endorsed this. Our Bombays had arrived.
One day I must thank Mrs. Somers for her original
reaction. It was only a "throw away" and
she probably doesn’t even remember the incident,
but the subsequent outcome has certainly enriched
then had a "shiny black" very typy Bombay
boy at stud "Typha Black Pantha" (coat absolutely
solid to the roots), whom we loved dearly until he left
us in 2011 after fathering many beautiful kittens.
Sadly, Chloe died in February 1999 (probably over 16
years old) and was buried in the garden next to our
Scottie dog, Muffin, who we lost in the previous November.
A red rose is planted on the rockery, which we can see
from the house. We shall not forget her.
again, thank you Margaret, we would never have had any
of them without you. Thanks also for all the support
I have had from the Asian Group Cat Society Committee
and other Bombay breeders; in fact, everyone involved
with this lovely breed of cat. Without all your enthusiastic
help I would never have been able to legalise our lines
and become part of this exciting venture in the Cat
final note to all you geneticists out there —
- update January 2009
and Asians Selfs have progressed a long way since
I wrote this article. They now have full Championship
Status and I became the GCCF Council Delegate for
the Bombay and Asian Self Cat Club and a member of
the Committee for quite a few years. I was delighted
to be so involved in such an exciting developing breed.
got involved with the breed because of my passion
for Bombays, the ironic twist is that Barrie and I
are probably best known now for our Asian selfs, particularly
the chocolates. The richness of this chocolate colour
is so vibrant, we both just love it. We produced the
first Grand Champion Asian Chocolate Self, Admilsh
Typhamegan, who had the first all-chocolate self litter
(5 girls). We also produced Typha Xanthia, Champion
Typha Kalhua, and Champion Typha Saffron - three of
the most fantastic chocolate queens of outstanding
type. Xanthia we showed three times as a kitten at
The Kentish, National and The Asian & Bombay Breed
Show. She was Best of Breed at all three shows and
also Best in Show Asian Self Kitten at the Asian &
Bombay Breed Show, having a Red Card Day. Her coat
was completely sound which is very rewarding. Saffron
& Kalhua again had fantastically sound coats and
made Championship in three straight shows.
and her all girl Chocolate Selfs