Be careful – «Neva miracle»

Article by Tatiana Mamedova
Breeder of Siberian cats, cattery ”Adagio”

I will repeat once more. Mixing of other breeds with aboriginal cats is PROHIBITED!

It was very well said by Elena Shevchenko (expert ICA – IFA — ICJF) in her article “Mixing of breeds” in the magazine “Drug” ((“Friend”) # 10, 2001): “Americans didn’t breed colour-point cats with Main Coon to get ‘Hudson-Festivals.’”

Everything began many years ago, in September 1997 at the first world cat show. It was like big holiday where everybody tried to show their beloved cats. There were also many Siberians because the breed was popular at that time.

One cat was especially praised at that show, then it became World Champion, her name was Dasha-Anfeya. She was registered as Siberian, but the cat by itself was “Persing” a lot (head of a classic Persian, orange eyes, soft long fur, and so on…). And there came the first “miracle”: she was called “the best Siberian cat.” Breeders of Siberians got very confused: none of the judges noticed those faults and nobody disqualified the cat.

At that time there were very few Neva-Masquerade cats, everybody liked them. Cats looked unusual: dark points on the muzzle, tail and paws looked quite luxurious. “Can you believe it, — many were saying, — like Siberian, but colour like Siamese.” But, many memorized the “miracle” at the first World show. So, “enthusiasts” decided to correct and improve, from their point of view, these cats as well. Why not — if nobody noticed the Persian blood in Dasha-Anfeya.

And now, we have seen the second “miracle” at the exhibition of Siberian cats in “Rublyovo” culture palace. They were Neva-Masquerade cats. And all of them, who more or who less, were looking like Dasha-Anfeya, but with Siamese colours. True mix of Siberians with colour-point Persians.
Like everybody forgot that mixing with other breeds for aboriginal Siberians is PROHIBITED.

The most important and final opinion at the show was the opinion of the judge WCF Shultz (Germany). Nobody even considered that he hadn’t been to Russia as a judge within the last ten years. Imagine that a Russian judge would be invited to USA as a main expert for Maine Coons, aboriginal cats of USA. And his opinion would be final. Of course, it’s absurd. But at the Siberian show everybody came to show their Neva-Masquerades especially to Shultz. And the name of the show could be bravely changed – it was already not a “Siberian Miracle” but “Neva miracle.”

J U D G E Shultz met them happily, because he already bought one Neva-Masquerade kitten, and those cats were definitely in his interest. And again there was a “miracle”: judge Shultz didn’t notice that Nevas are “persing”, all of them got points, even very high ones. Many owners of Neva-Masquerades were persistently trying to brush off rags from the fur of their cats, but this is only typical for cats with Persian blood. So what about Siberians? They were there, but “got lost” among Nevas. As it was seen, only the most stable came, but they were met by Shultz more “dryly” than Nevas.

There was one pleasant moment at the show, like sun in the window, to be correct, two suns – judges WCF Tatiana Bakalova and Galina Batkova. They made their judgements very professionally, competently, ethically and with dignity. They found good and kind words of support and approval for all Siberians.

To our pity, one of the famous experts surprised us with her behaviour. We have to wonder, how traditional Baltic tact transformed in her into usual Russian boorishness.
All expertise of Siberians she made with look of squeamishness and opened hostility towards Siberians, allowing herself offensive commentaries. And during the “Best in Show” she loudly, over familiarly advised to Siberians: “To stay at the ‘dacha’ (summer house) and guzzle mice instead of going to exhibitions.” All expertises are paid; turns out that people have to listen to filthy expressions for their own money.

In any civilized country such judge would be disqualified for unethical behaviour, but here it’s “in the order of things.”

In the nature, at the “dacha” Siberian transfers into a professional hunter with good self-esteem right away. This cat easily catches field mice, frogs, and distributes them in a row on the threshold of the house: “Look, owner, what an adroit cat you have!” If eats a butterfly, bug, or a mouse, wonderful – for Siberian it’s healthy and there is nothing bad about it.

Fur looks outstanding during winter or summer, but exhibitions for Siberian cats are made, for some reason, during the months when they are fading. But Neva-Masquerades are always “dressed” because they have “Persian blood.” Furthermore, together with long fur, Nevas inherited the Persian’s bad health, that’s why there are rumours that Siberians have started to have bad health.

Also at the exhibition was a celebration of a holiday dedicated to the birthday of a Neva cat – Moriss, he turned 10 years then, and he was praised and congratulated. All Neva cats were somehow related to him.

Questioning, why they didn’t celebrate birthday of Siberian cattery “Ashtau,” (owners Nadezhda and Anna Balzhak)? It turned fifteen years on those days. Siberians of the cattery decorate many exhibitions. Still, the society of “Siberian Cats” didn’t remember it somehow.

Maybe somebody thinks that I write all this from offence, kind of, didn’t get a reward – that’s why she is upset. It’s all vice versa. All six cats from my cattery became NOMINATED and participated in THE BEST IN SHOW, but it was not bringing happiness anymore. Shows pass by, problems stay.

At the show everybody understood that Neva-Masquerades, as wee see them now, must be separated from Siberians. These cats are received from a mixing of breeds (Siberian + colour-point Persian, Siberian + Thai (Russian Siamese) and so on…) and they don’t have anything to do with aboriginal, the nature’s Siberian breed.

I will repeat once more. Mixing of other breeds with aboriginal cats is PROHIBITED!

It was very well said by Elena Shevchenko (expert ICA – IFA — ICJF) in her article “Mixing of breeds” in the magazine “Drug” ((“Friend”) # 10, 2001): “Americans didn’t breed colour-point cats with Main Coon to get ‘Hudson-Festivals.’”

In the beginning of creation of breed “Don Sphinx” Siberians were also used, but there was no reason to call a new breed “Siberian Sphinx” and try to prove that they are aboriginal cats. The sooner Neva-Masquerades will be separated from Siberians, the better.

In natural conditions cats with long fur survive, and die with long fur, that’s why real Siberians have semi long fur and not such as somebody “wants” it to be. There are no “incidents” in the nature.

Take out into a cold street a Persian and Siberian. Wind will blow, long fur of a Persian will go up, and wind will go through into a soft undercoat and reach the skin. All of a sudden, in the evening the cat will feel sick and in a few days – die. That’s why Persians can live only at home – warm conditions. Siberians’ upper coat is semi long and quite hard, and thick “stuffed” undercoat keeps well the upper coat. No wind can get through such undercoat. Siberian walks proudly in its coat, without a hurry. Collar is like a mane, splendid trousers and fluffy tail “straight like a chimney”, what a beauty!

By the way, aboriginal breeds Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest cats also have semi long fur.

For Siberians one thing is good: as soon as the breed became non-commercial, all dealers left it alone to real lovers of aboriginal Siberian breed. There are so few Siberians left that they are under danger of distinction. Especially after recommendations given at the seminar about “Problems of breeding”: “To recommend for improvement of quality of Nevas to breed them with Siberians.”

From my point of view, work of a breeder with aboriginal Siberian cats must be focused on selection of best producers (males-studs), competent selection of pairs, with no allowance of “mixed” animals to the breeding.

The ones who love to get “something new”, for example, “Siberian-folds”, must think carefully, is it really needed? It’s so easy to spoil everything just by mixing other breeds with aboriginals, but return back – never. Even in ten generations, the results can come out.

The nature gifted us with such beauty – aboriginal Siberian cat with clean energetic, wonderful health, intelligent, kind, faithful. Real fluffy miracle of Russia! So, what for to “correct” the nature, in opposition, we need to preserve such gift, preserve Siberian cat.

We don’t preserve what we have, when we lose it – we cry.