QGC Lakemountain Daemos Of Primaeval

Primaeval Toygers

Published October 2013

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The Toyger is a breed of domestic cat that was developed starting in the 1980s by very selective breeding of domestic shorthair cats with certain tiger-like traits. The goal was to produce a "toy tiger", a cat with the stripes and coloring of a tiger, but the size and sweet temperament of a domestic pet cat. Toygers were recognized for "Registration only" by The International Cat Association in the early 1990s then advanced through all requirements to be accepted as a full Championship breed in 2007.

For 2012-2013, TICA's South Central Region's Best Toyger is a magnificent male named QGC Lakemountain Daemos of Primaeval. Nicknamed Shama, this is his story . . .

Photo by Helmi Flick
QGC Lakemountain Daemos
. . . also known as Shama

About Primaeval Cattery

My name is Adrienne Gonzales. Growing up through the years, I’ve had all kinds of animals as pets — from the usual dogs, cats, birds, fish, hamsters... to the not so usual snakes, skunks, chickens, etc, so I just can’t imagine a house devoid of animals or fur, feathers, or scales.  Back in 2004, I began researching some of the 'wild looking’ minority cat breeds in order to bring one home as a pet.  Obviously, I fell in love with the Toyger breed! 

One of the reasons I was drawn to this breed was the idea that if dedicated, responsible breeders could simulate the look of a wild feline in a domestic cat, perhaps these furry individuals could serve as ambassadors for their larger cousins? This was something that Jean Mill (credited for the Bengal breed as we know it today) and her daughter, Judy Sugden (founder of the Toyger breed) both believed. 

I emailed and talked in length with Pam Rohan of Lakemountain Toygers along with Judy Sugden.  After attending my first TICA show in 2005 with Judy (Toygers were showing in Advance New Breed back then) and handling this breed in person, I was hooked!  Soon after,  I began my foray into raising Toygers of my very own under the Primaeval cattery name. 

Primaeval is Latin for belonging to the first age, from the Latin word prīmaevus, meaning youthful and from aevum,meaning age.  I found this name fitting, as the Toyger breed was fairly young . . . and I was a newbie myself!

After tons of research on feline breeding programs, I learned enough about setting up my cattery, raising, breeding, and showing to purchase my first Toyger queen in 2006. As the Toyger breed is still evolving, a tight-knit group of dedicated breeders in the United States and abroad (Toygercatsusa.com) work together to improve the lines and produce the best cats possible.  I owe a big thank you to Pam for breeding and sending us Lakemountain Daemos of Primaeval. 

Daemos / Shama Growing Up

From the very first, Shama was a character like no other . . . every bit a ‘mama’s boy’, he was everywhere I went. He learned to play hard and nap harder, chow down with the rest of the boys, help with laundry, and look cool and comfortable in any setting. And he absolutely loved to play with his tail! I could hold him for 30 minutes at a time and entertain him with nothing more than his own tail.

Baby Shama held his own with his "Big Brothers" at mealtime

His antics, and my fiancé Jon's sense of humor, earned him the nickname 'Shamalamadingdong’.  But he'd have to grow up a bit in order to grow into such a huge name, so we shortened it to Shama.  And grow he did . . . very beautifully . . . and we realized there was NO way we could pass up showing this young man off in the show ring.  So began his show career . . .

Shama's First Show

January 2013, we chose a TICA show just outside of Houston Texas (Compadres Cat Club, Cypress, TX, Jan 26-27, 2013) as our introductory venue.  When we arrived and scouted out our benching spot, we found that we were in a small back room adjacent to the main show hall.  No big deal, I thought. Maybe it’ll be quieter back here and Shama can relax a bit. We set up shop and settled in. 

Not long afterward, the first announcements were made — and we found that it was going to be a long, harrowing weekend in this back room!  This particular building lacked a PA system, so speakers had been set up in the room instead.  Our room had a huge speaker that was crackling, popping, and buzzing along happily, much to the chagrin of the exhibitors and cats benched with us.  After a few hours, accompanied by lots of nail biting, and a bit of discussion, fellow exhibitors pitched in and produced a nice heavy blanket. My 6’3” fiancé did the honors by wrapping the terrifying speaker in the blanket and muffling the noise.  Problem solved. The cats and owners were happy and Shama did well enough at the show to earn his Champion title despite the rough start.

Photo by Helmi Flick

Schmoozing At The Airport

We were serious about Shama’s show career, and he seemed to be adjusting quite well to the show routine despite the issues encountered at that first show. He LOVED staying in the hotel room with us, and proved it by ‘making biscuits’ all over the room! So, we decided to enter the April 2013 TICA show in Colorado.

A few days beforehand, we got everything in order, packed as lightly as we could, and awaited our departure date.  This time, Shama was traveling in style.  With him settled into a comfy, soft-sided carrier, all harnessed up (for the trip through security), catnip in the carrier, we set off for the airport.  As usual, our car trip was very quiet. Shama is a good boy in the car.  Once at the airport, he let out a few questioning meows, but then settled down and went along for the ride. 

I have to admit, the trip through airport security with a cat in tow always makes me nervous.  It’s one reason that I insist on a harness and lead as an extra precaution.  As we approached the security gate, I alerted one of the guards about Shama and proceeded to attach his lead and take him out for inspection.  The folks around us exclaimed in surprise. "Look. Look at that cat!’. He’s so quiet. I didn’t know he was in there!", and "Wow, he’s being so good!’".

After we were through the checkpoint, several of the guards came up and asked to pet him, remarking how soft he was and what beautiful markings he had.  Shama clearly scored major brownie points at the San Antonio International airport.  On the plane, he didn’t make a peep the whole trip, so once we landed in Colorado and I placed him on the seat beside me, many folks on the plane gave him high marks for being such a good traveler — and how they wished the children on the plane had behaved half as well.

Shama Is A Show Cat

It was clear that Shama was getting into the swing of showing with his 3rd SP, 6th AB, and 10th AB awards in Colorado.  It was also clear that he was no longer a ‘mama’s boy’, as he much preferred riding to the rings in style hanging lazily off Jon’s shoulder. This became Shama's customary position for traveling to and from the show rings.  Needless to say, he’s got the best view in the hall from there.

Despite his limited showing, Shama was TICA's South Central Region's Best Toyger for 2012-2013.

The New Season

Shama’s improvement at each show early in 2013 did much to encourage us, so we decided to try a show with a different format.  We wanted to try a one day show with AM/PM rings, something a little less taxing on both Shama and us.  We picked a show near Fort Worth TX put on by the Fort Worth Feline Fanciers, June 1, 2013 and we made our way north. 

This format really paid off with Shama earning a 7th AB, 10th AB, and 2-10th SP by four different judges. As if that wasn't enough, Shama met a new ‘girlfriend’, flirting shamelessly with a calico Maine Coon named Kelimcoons All Wound Up of Nascats, aka "the girl next door" in the judging cage.

Shama puts his best paw forward when greeting his new girlfriend

Shama earned both his GRC and his DGC at this show, his TGC at the SC Regional show in August, and his QGC at the Austin Cat Fanciers show in October. Way to go big boy! We’re so proud of you! But we’re not finished yet. We’ll continue to work towards his Supreme in the upcoming months. Wish us luck!

QGC Lakemountain Daemos Of Primaeval

Brown Mackerel Tabby Male Toyger

TICA's South Central Region's Best Toyger 2012-2013

Sire: Lakemountain Nikolin
Dam: CH Lakemountain Glitter Glam
Born: August 8, 2011
Breeder: Pam Rohan
Owner: Adrienne Gonzales

Photo by Helmi Flick

Photo by Helmi Flick

Photo by Helmi Flick

Photo by Helmi Flick

Photo by Helmi Flick
Shama meets a Rubber Ducky . . .

Photo by Helmi Flick
Up close!

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