I Remember All My Cats' Names from the Childhood
Irina Gorinova, an international All Breed expert, is a guest of the Top Cat
– How long have you been engaged in felinology?
For almost 27 years. I've been in felinology since 1988, and in the "love to felinology" since childhood: I do not remember myself without cats. I've been a SFF judge since 1994 and a WCF judge since 1997.
– What breed did you start with?
Since in 1988 there was no Neva Masquerade yet, and nobody had ever seen a Balinese cat in the USSR, my cat Boiz was officially ranked by Eldar Razroyev with the Balinese breed, but a couple of years later it appeared in catalogues as a Siberian cat. In 1991 I got a real Persian cat Lucia Benedatta with a very serious pedigree. I saw a cat at a show in Riga and understood that I needed a kitten from her. I patiently waited for almost a year. My love to Persians began with it.
- Why did you choose this very breed?
At that time we did not choose a breed, cats chose us themselves and found themselves in our houses. And the Persians were a conscious choice, they are my passion and love! This is a shining top of felinology!
- Have you ever worked with other breeds?
Felinology was only beginning in the USSR at that time, new breeds were appearing, and I as a club felinologist, was lucky to study all thinkable and unthinkable breeds and participate in their breeding. All cats passed through my hands and it was a great experience.
– What was your first cat's name?
I remember all my cats' names from the childhood. My first cat's name was Myshka. I was 4 years old and we lived in a house with a big garden. Myshka had a free lifestyle. It gave birth to kittens only in my bed and slept only on my breast. It looked after me as after its own child, protected and pitied me if I was crying. But the cat Boiz became symbolic to me. It is widely known to a certain group of people:). It was this cat that my way to felinology began with in 1988.
- Your first show as an expert – how did it go?
I remember my first show very well; I became a judge there unexpectedly, though I was not yet an expert. This was in Ulyanovsk where I had to arrive as an assistant. On the first day there we no experts, but there were around 40 cats and I was thrown under the bus. I understood that I was responsible for the outcome, and my hands simply shook from time to time. Sometimes I checked with the standards, and it did not make me more confident. And, well, I got the brightest impressions at my first foreign show. In 1996 I was to judge in France for a month at four major international shows simultaneously. I was shocked at the number of Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest cats, and their gigantic sizes, their impressive grooming. And the variety of breeds, which were known to me only by descriptions in standards, and which I saw in reality – it was indescribable luck!
- What is your sign of the zodiac? (Date of birth)
I am a real Sagittarius, and have all the characteristic features of it. I love travelling very much. They joke in my family: she is prone to vagrancy. I do not know where I would go so often, but for Cats!
- You visit a lot of shows as an expert. Where are, in your opinion, cats of the highest quality?
You know, here, in Russia. Of course, there are some national breeds in every country, which are their national patrimony, so to say, and they are of the highest quality there. But our shows have done an incredible breakthrough over the last time. Sometimes their beauty makes the heart soar.
- How do you like to relax?
I like to walk around a city, whose art history I know. And of course, I love sea. These are wonderfully combined in Venice...
- What is your favorite dish? Drink?
I like to taste new cuisines in various countries. The most incredible and unusual ones. And, to be honest, I adore tomatoes:). Drink? The dry law - only dry wine.
- Do you have another hobby besides cats?
Painting, architecture, museums, photography. And of course, flowers. I am a botanist to the marrow of my bones:). My flowers live in cages. Guess why:).
- What is an “ideal present” for you?
I like to present gifts, which I have long been choosing.
- What is your life credo or motto?
"If you push a cat down a sofa, you'll spoil your karma":).