I started in the Cat Fancy
by Camilla Baird
Primprau's Korats - the only Danish Korat cattery
That same autumn, Racekatten held their first Housecat Show. Victor was beautiful and sweet, so of course he had to participate there. He did win BIS, because he was the least frantic (of two) kittens in the panel! In retrospect, I should already then have realised that Victor didn't like shows. But I did! So several bitten stewards/judges later, I realised that if I was to attend more shows in the future, it was to be without a cat or - at least - with another cat! I started researching the different breeds available in Denmark at the time. Quite soon, I decided to concentrate on the shorthair breeds. The longhairs needed too much coat care and looked so grumpy with their flat faces. Which shorthair? There were so many. For Christmas, I had been given Politikens Kattebog - a "bible" for many Danish cat breeders/owners - in which I had mostly studied the vet section. Now I looked closer at the pedigree cat descriptions. I quickly decided on a cat without any extremes, preferably blue. Russian Blue looked attractive. I visited several "Russian" breeders with kittens, but the ones I chose were already spoken for. BUT in the book, there was a picture of an interesting looking breed - the Korat. I asked around in the Danish cat fancy about where I might be able to find such a cat, since the book mentioned that there had never been a Korat in Denmark. I got many friendly replies saying that they didn't know, but they might have seen one at a show many years ago. One answer really got me going: "why bring more blue cats to Denmark - we already have enough of them"! After that message, I certainly didn╣t want to give up finding one! That same summer, 1992, I was extremely lucky.
Photo: Alan Robinson
katten featured a long, well-illustrated article about the Korat, written by
Elfi Kleive, who took the Korat home from Thailand to Norway 20 years ago. She
was also the main person behind getting the Korat approved in FIFe. This happened
in 1982. I went to Norway in my autumn break 1992 and visited Elfi Kleive, her
husband and her cats one afternoon. I fell head over heels for the Korat╣s look!
- it had everything I missed in the "Russian". The temper was also everything
I ever could have wished for! Mild, trusting, playful and in no way obtrusive!
I went back home confident that if I ever was going to have a pure-bred cat,
it would be a KORAT. But I had time to wait before adding to my family. (My
financial situation wasn't so good at the time.) But then something completely
unexpected happened! One evening my phone rang (that in itself was not so unexpected).
It was Ann-Lis Lund (this was very unexpected, since we didn't know each other
yet). She told me a sad story of a young couple who had moved from Sweden with
3 cats. They had moved back to Sweden - without the cats, because they couldn't
afford to pay for the quarantine. Thereby, a Korat was "stranded" in Denmark.
Would I maybe be interested in adopting this Korat? The other "Russian" breeders
I had visited had told her that I was interested in the Korat breed. I had to
control my enthusiasm - how lucky could I be! I visited the Korat where it was
staying - not without some nervosity. Did it resemble the ones I had seen at
Elfi Kleive's? Had she become shy or nervous during all this moving (I had heard
so much!)? I hadn't seen her for more then an instant, before I was sold out!
She was wonderful! I brought her home with me immediately. Her name was - and
still is - Sawat's Kirilin, nickname Kitty.
Kitty has now lived with me and Victor for 2 lovely years. She has really brought me a lot of happiness by being the mild cat she is, and through her I have met many lovely cat people - in Denmark and Norway! She has opened a whole new world for me, which I would be very sorry to lose in the future! Now I just hope that her kittens will also have good homes, so they can spread the news of how lovely it is to share your home with a Korat. After the paperwork was sorted, Kitty's show career started. She did quite well. My biggest "problem" was/is to explain to people the difference between a Korat, a Russian Blue and a Blue Burmese. Many thought (and still think) that the Korat looks like a mix between a Russian Blue and a Blue Burmese. There were/are also many who have a Korat on their farm - the colour is certainly the same! Kitty has had a brilliant career on her way to International Champion, including a show in Finland, where she had Korat competition for the first time. She won BIV - I was so proud! In 1993, Elfi Kleive asked me if I could house a US-imported stud for a few months, so he could go to Norway without going through quarantine. I would get all expenses refunded and a mating of my female for my troubles. Such an offer is difficult to turn down! After a period of "acceptance problems", Kitty was mated.
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