«All of us have one love – cats»

Beverly Elian, an All Breed WCF expert is TopCat’s guest.

- How long have you been engaged in cat breeding? What was the name of your first cat, what breed was it? With what breed did you start professional breeding, and why namely this one?

- I bought my first thoroughbred cat in England in 1998, and in fact, since then I have been doing it - for 18 consecutive years. My friend bred boxer dogs, and he needed to meet a breeder from Dover, who bred also Ragdolls. So I saw these cats for the first time and immediately fell hopelessly in love. I booked a kitten from the next litter, and a few months later I brought home this ball of wool and tenderness. Pretty soon, Smaji (Dajoxx Bounty of Bevy under the passport) made all of my family members fall in love with him. In 2000, we decided to return to Romania, and then I finally decided to engage in breeding. I bought one cat from the same breeder and one more from a cattery in the USA. And so it began. The first results of this decision occurred in 2001. The culture of professional cat breeding in Romania was just in its infancy at that time, and I actually had to become one of its originators, to found the first FIFe club. Since then, my son and I bred Cornish cats (Made In Romania Cattery), Persians, Singapore cats, and now also Selkirk Rex. I and my husband have always bred Ragdolls.

- Your first show as a judge. What were your impressions?

- In 2005, I began to study as an expert, and in 2007 I got qualifications in the semi-long-hair group. I started all this because I love all breeds of cats and in such a way I can touch them all at a lower cost than getting them at home! I was SO unsure of myself that for the first time sitting at the judging table, I felt that everything I had learned over the years had vanished from my head. It was very embarrassing: I remember that in the first few months I was VERY nervous before each show. However, then I got involved and began to enjoy it. Nowadays if I do not judge for more than a month, I REALLY miss it.

- As a Ragdoll breeder, please tell us about the current state and development of the breed. How do you like the “new type” of Ragdolls?

- This issue has been increasingly raised recently. No, I do not accept this new type as it does not meet the standards. If we would like to see more of these new cats - all organizations, and not just one, we should adopt a new standard. The original standard was adopted by TICA and has been applied for many years without significant changes. Standards of other organizations are adapted versions of the original one. Since we buy and sell animals throughout Europe and America, it is important for us that the types and standards match to the greatest possible degree. When I say that it’s hard to work with the Ragdolls, I mean that. A little kitten does not always look like a beautiful swan, but if it has potential, I just wait for it to grow up. But modern breeders breed these “new” ragdolls solely for the sake of winning shows, but not for breed development. I have seen VERY many cute kittens in my judicial career, but a couple of years have passed and they no longer win: they are no longer cute, do not meet the standard. Judging from my own experience I can say that kittens will never be better than at the age of 2-4 months, and even at that time we can say what they will grow into. By six months, there can be a significant imbalance, the wrong head size, eye color and pointing.

- In which country are the Ragdolls most popular and in which country have you seen the best representatives of the breed?

- It's a difficult question. Honestly, I have seen wonderful animals in all corners of the world, but there are many cat breeders, as it seems to me, in Poland or Finland. Ragdolls are extremely popular; many start breeding having learned the prices, but without having any knowledge about the specifics of the breed. Breeding is very difficult, sometimes we are lucky to get one typical kitten per litter, with a good color, pattern and eye color. We do not control white spots; we only have to collect information about patterns, and even DNA analysis does not help us in this issue. For example, will an animal grow into a full-fledged bicolor, or will it form high stockings of a mitted color? Only the study of pedigrees over many years or test bindings will help answer such questions.

- What is your date of birth and zodiac sign?

- November 27, it turns out that I am Sagittarius.

- What kind of rest do you prefer? (active, beach, meditation or something else)

- I love cross-stitching, quilting (when animals do not steal my pins), and once I was engaged in professional cutting for fun. Because of kittens, I rarely manage to go somewhere to rest, because I perceive judging at shows as a vacation. I enjoy the process because I meet old and make new friends; all of us have one love - cats.

- What is your favorite country? And city?

- All of Europe, of course! So many wonderful countries and amazing cities, which are full of history. I’ve lived in many places: Harare, Paris, London, Miami, New York, now I live in Budapest. It’s hard for me to think of a favorite city: every place is wonderful.

- What is your favorite food?

- Seafood!

- What is your favorite drink?

- Vodka and diet cola (laughs).

- Do you have a hobby besides cats?

- Sewing when I find the time.

- What is an ideal gift for you?

- Our family celebrates Christmas in a special way. Each family member buys presents for the others, for not more than € 10 each. As a result, on Christmas morning, the house is filled with jokes and laughter, because gifts are always funny and sometimes completely crazy. In addition, you understand that a person has been searching and thinking for a long time, because picking up something cheaper than ten euros is not so simple. This morning itself is a wonderful gift for me, because children are nearby and the house is full of laughter.

- What is your life motto?

- Enjoy every minute of your life, do not wish evil, bear responsibility for your actions and live, because we live only once.