Significant Events in the History of the Australian Cat Federation (ACF) Inc.

Special Moments

The ACF’s 2014/15 year began with the National hosted in Sydney by ACF itself, with on the ground assistance from Cats NSW personnel. As in 2012 (Melbourne), ‘fly–in’ personnel played a large part in running the event with Cats NSW’s Brad Curtis as Show Manager. The show was very successful and I was able to organize follow–up articles with two different forms of media – one internet–based and the other, the new pet magazine “Australian Dogs and Pets”. The show was sponsored by Purina and Ozpet, for which we thank those companies.

An interesting mix of overseas judges (most, first–timers to Australia) and a bevy of ACF’s own comprised an interesting judging panel. Chief steward Scoot Andresen (reprising his 2012 role from the Melbourne National) ran his department very efficiently and a selection of ‘gun’ stewards ensured that Supreme panel judging ran smoothly and finished 3 minutes ahead of schedule. Eventually, the Supreme award was taken out by Ambritt Hurricane Harry, a British blue male who had also taken out Supreme Grp 3 Exhibit the previous year, in Adelaide.

As every year, the weekend afforded many social opportunities as friends from all over the country met up. It also offered those involved with the various meetings the usual endurance trial

Unfortunately, our President, Prof Diana Davis, could not re–stand because of pressure of professional obligations. We thank her for her dedication to the role, which she fulfilled since 2010. Prof Eleanor Ramsay was elected in her stead (See ‘New Faces” pages). There were no other changes to the line–up of officers of ACF.

New (provisional) affiliate Cats NSW sat for the first time at the AGM and GM and though it had no voting rights, it participated in all debate and indeed, had a motion on the agenda. (The progression from provisional to full membership of ACF is guided by the constitution.) It is most regrettable that as a provisional member, the body is not recognized by CCCA and that its judges (all but one, trained by CCCA) are no longer recognized, either. The same essentially applies to its registrations, though its registrar formerly held that role with a CCCA member body. I know that this is a source of bewilderment to many Australian exhibitors and breeders, so I mention it here. We are informed that the newest criterion for acceptance of our provisional bodies and their judges is that such bodies must have full voting rights with ACF. As there are two motions for the 2015 AGM to accept Cats NSW, it seems assured of gaining full membership status, and its judges and registrations thus being recognized by CCCA.

At the General Meeting (GM) various motions affecting standards, recognition of breeds and registrations were dealt with. As a result of some NZ and ANCATS Burmese (and Tonkinese thus derived) having other breeds in the background and their recognition of Cinnamon and Fawn, there was a majority vote for there to be an 8 generation pedigree required for registration for cats from those sources. This step was taken primarily to keep our Burmese eligible for export and to ensure no ‘interesting surprises’ emerge in the breed in the future.

A motion from WA that we recognize the Aphrodite Giant (from Cyprus) was based on its recognition by WCF and the sole representative of the breed in this country was present for inspection. It gained full recognition on a 7/2 vote. There were slight amendments to the Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest and Burmese standards, while the Bi–colour Ragdoll is now allowed (as per Birman) a mix of colour and pink on the paw pads (6/3).

As it’s a natural phenomenon when dealing with tipped and shaded silver cats, the Burmilla breed had golden added to its palette. There was much discussion revolving around the Manx and Cymric breeds and a working party is to report to the 2015 GM with its findings, based on GCCF practice. On–going work on breeding by–laws and refinement of the Judge Training by–law will also be reviewed in Perth, where the 2015 National weekend is to be held.

After several years of communication with FIFe, it seems the ACF adaptation of the EMS code (a Sandi Gemmell and ILO project) to cover ACF–specific colours and breeds has been given the official thumbs up. We were thanked at the WCC for our on–going communications with FIFe on this. EMS (“Easy Mind System” created by a friend in Norway, Eva Minde) is becoming a universal code, ‘spoken’ by many breeders all over the world and being adopted outside FIFe on an increasing basis. It always seemed sensible for usage to be uniform rather than there being differing interpretations and consequent confusion, which would defeat the whole purpose. How much simpler to note on a pedigree “OSH os 09 25” rather than “Oriental Shorthair cinnamon silver ticked tabby bi–colour”! It’s interesting that the originator of breed coding, GCCF (Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, UK), is switching to EMS!

With the ‘anti cat’ sentiment which so sadly abounds in our country, we need all the good PR we can get. Cats in general but pedigreed ones in particular are featured in a new series of postage stamps produced by Australia Post, just released. (I was sworn to secrecy until the series was a fait accompli.) The trail of emails backwards and forwards with its Philatelic Content Researcher as photos were acquired and cross–checked was extremely lengthy, but we now have a product. Cats NSW Secretary Terry Goulden supplied the photo of the Australian Mist featured; surely the centerpiece of the collection.

During the year there have been a number of new judges added to the ACF panel – some brand new, others transferring from elsewhere; in one case, after some 40 years’ service with one body. We welcome one and all.

At the end of 2014, COAWA (Cat Owners’ Association of WA), applied to ACF for membership. This body has been fully functional under CCCA auspices since 1992, but as with GCCFV before it, (the oldest body in the country) the requirement for provisional membership still applies to bodies transferring to ACF. A management agreement is in place and mentors appointed by the ACF Exec will help with the transition from one national governing body to the other. Several more judges are joining the ACF panel, their previous CCCA panel status being respected by ACF. We wish COAWA a long and mutually productive relationship under the ACF umbrella.