GC, BW, NW Venizia RedSilver Surfer of Tiggerland
CFA's Cat of the Year 2015

by LEE HARPER
Published May 2015

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GC, BW, NW Venizia RedSilver Surfer of Tiggerland, a cameo McTabby & white male Maine Coon, is CFA's Cat of the Year 2015.

It is the first time in CFA's history that a Maine Coon is Cat of The Year . . . and the first time a cat from the International Division has risen to the top spot in CFA.  This stunning Maine Coon is bred by Chuleeporn Namsiriwiwat and co-owned with Fion Cheng and Jimmy Lee.  This is their story . . .


GC, BW, NW Venizia RedSilver Surfer of Tiggerland
CFA Cat of The Year 2014-2015
Photo by Tetsu

In January of 2014, in Bangkok, Thailand, a litter of Maine Coon kittens was born at the Venizia cattery of sister and brother, Chuleeporn and Ken Namsiriwiwat.  Their queen, Felis Wonder Majesty of Venizia, gave birth to four beautiful and colorful babies—a black and white, two silver tabby and whites, and even a cameo (red silver) tabby and white.


Surfer's Sire:  CH Versus Azlan of Venizia (left) and Surfer's Dam:  Felis Wonder Majesty of Venizia (right)
Photo by Assawin

When the kittens were two months old, Chuleeporn and Ken's friend and mentor, Jimmy Lee of Felis Wonder Maine Coons in Malaysia, came to visit.  Jimmy bred the mother of the litter, so he was "family".  Many photos of the babies had been shared with him and and he was eagerly looking forward to seeing and handling them.


Surfer and his siblings

After a careful evaluation of the kittens Jimmy selected the cameo mctabby and white male as his favorite.  Jimmy asked Ken if he had any plans for showing the little boy.  When Ken replied no, Jimmy asked him to reserve the boy for him.

The next day, friends Fion & Raymond of Tiggerland Maine Coons arrived from Hong Kong to check out the new kittens.  Fion fell in love with the same kitten that had impressed Jimmy.  Chuleeporn immediately offered to give Fion the pretty boy. 

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Baby Surfer

So that was how one unusually colored Maine Coon kitten acquired three co-owners from three catteries located in three different countries.

When it came time to give the kitten a name, the co-owners chose Venizia RedSilver Surfer—a play on the name of the comic book superhero, Silver Surfer, with a slight twist to include a nod to the kitten's unusual cameo coloring.

Surfer's "Team"

Like many national winning cats, it takes a team to run a successful campaign.  CFA's Cat of the Year 2015 had six people representing three catteries from three different countries who were all intimately involved in his show career.

Venizia:   Chuleeporn and Ken Namsiriwiwat are a sister and brother team in Thailand who breed Maine Coons under the Venizia cattery name.  They are the breeders and co-owners of Surfer.  They also own an American Shorthair boy named Lil that lived and campaigned alongside Surfer.

Tiggerland:   Co-owners Fion Cheng and her husband, Raymond Shum, live in Hong Kong.  Their cattery name is Tiggerland.  After Surfer's show career is finished he will reside at Tiggerland.

Felis Wonder:   Co-owners Jimmy Lee and his wife, Angela Mun, whose cattery name is Felis Wonder, live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Jimmy is the person who showed and cared for Surfer during much of his show career.

Surfer Begins His Show Career

Surfer was first shown as a kitten in Bangkok, Thailand.  He competed in two-12 ring CFA shows and did very well.  At the second one he was even Best Kitten in Show!


Surfer as a kitten

CFA's presence has been growing steadily in south-east Asia for several years, especially in China.  However, showing a cat in Asia is complicated by the fact that China and Hong Kong have strict quarantine restrictions to prevent the spread of disease, particularly rabies.  The quarantine restrictions mean that a cat living outside these countries cannot just travel back and forth each weekend to attend a cat show.  While there are many CFA shows in China, any cat entering China from another country is subject to 30-day quarantine.

Since no one on Surfer's team lived in China, they needed a plan. Ken sent Surfer home with co-owner Jimmy Lee to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.   Jimmy would then take Surfer to live in China for the 30-day home quarantine.


Surfer at six months of age . . .

China

Quarantine completed, in early September Jimmy and Surfer competed in four consecutive shows in China—two shows as a kitten and another two shows as an adult in Championship.

In Shenyang, China, Surfer was entered under popular American judge, David Mare.  Jimmy was also showing a second Maine Coon kitten for a Malaysian friend.  After the judging, judge Mare told Jimmy that the two kittens were the best Maine Coon kittens he had seen all season.  He encouraged Jimmy to consider campaigning them.

When Surfer easily granded, the decision was made by his team to continue showing him.  It would mean Surfer would need to remain in China to avoid having to go through another quarantine.  Jimmy agreed to stay for four weeks to show Surfer—after which Fion and Ken would take over so that Jimmy could return to his wife and business in Malaysia.

The Roommates

Ken and Chuleeporn also owned a handsome red tabby American Shorthair boy named Crisp LiL Red Corvette Kipp of Venizia.  They thought that since they were already campaigning Surfer, Lil should join the party.

Traveling and showing two whole male cats can be a challenge, but Surfer and Lil not only got along well, they were great pals.  They liked nothing better than frolicking together around the hotel room the night before the show.


Surfer and Lil enjoy playing together on the bed in the hotel.

Both boys were doing very well at the shows.

After a fabulous show in Shanghai where Surfer earned many Best Cats, and with the encouragement of friends in both Asia and the US, Fion decided to give Surfer the opportunity to compete against the best cats in CFA at the prestigious CFA World Show in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

None of Surfer's "Team" had ever been to a World Show before, so it would be an adventure for everyone involved.

The CFA World Show

November arrived.  Tickets were purchased.  Bags were packed.  Surfer and Lil were ready to go.  Jimmy Lee, Ken Namsiriwiwat, Fion Cheng and Raymond Shum boarded the flight to the United States. Twenty-four hours later they touched down at the Philadelphia airport.

Arriving at the World Show, Fion and Surfer visited with their good friend Donna Hinton of Nascat Maine Coons.  In 2007, Donna made a 27-hour flight from Houston, Texas to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to hand-deliver a 14-pound silver tabby Maine Coon kitten to Jimmy Lee.  The cat grew up to be GC, DW Nascat Super Charged! of Felis Wonder, DM (now of Tiggerland) —and he is Surfer's grandfather.

"Grandma" Donna had been impressed with Surfer in the photos and videos sent to her throughout the months of his showing, but when she saw him in real life she was simply blown away.  He had fabulous boning, developed broadness in the chest, strong, deep chin, beautiful profile. And then there was his unusual color . . . such an even clarity to the coat plus the distinct pattern of thin pencil stripes—very hard to get in a mackerel tabby, let alone in combination with the ethereal color of a cameo. 

Donna loved his personality too—Surfer was a born show cat.  Like a prize fighter in the ring, he was light on his feet, jumping for a feather, dancing across the judging table searching for a hidden toy.  He was the "Total Package".  Surfer was the best Maine Coon Donna had seen in her 25 years of breeding—and that included her own national winning Maine Coon, GC, BW, NW, AC Nascat Cruise'N.

The judges seemed to agree.  At just 10 months of age, Surfer had a spectacular show weekend at the CFA World Cat Show.  Competing against 671 entries, he finaled in every ring including being awarded 4 Best Cat rosettes.  

By the end of the weekend he was Best Maine Coon in the Red Show, the Best Longhair in Show, and the 3rd Best All Breed Cat in Championship. 


Donna Hinton holding SGC, GC, BW, NW Nascat Cruise'N visits with Fion Cheng and Surfer at the World Show


Ken Namsiriwiwat, Jimmy Lee, Donna Hinton, Fion Cheng and Raymond Shum at the CFA World Show 2014

The History-Maker

After the success at the World Show, there was no turning back for Surfer and his team.  Jimmy committed to remaining in China until the end of the season in order to continue showing Surfer and Lil at the larger count shows.  Both cats continued their winning ways.

The original goal of the campaign was to see if Surfer could be one of the top 25 cats in Championship in CFA.  As time went on, Surfer climbed higher and higher up the standings.  It was soon apparent that not only would he be a national winner, he would also add the BW title to his name as Best Maine Coon for the year.

Then, unbelievably, in the last few weeks of the season, Surfer reached the top spot in CFA. He was #1.

GC, BW, NW Venizia RedSilver Surfer of Tiggerland is CFA's Cat of the Year 2014-2015

It is the FIRST TIME that a MAINE COON is Cat of the Year in CFA.
It is the FIRST TIME that a cat from the INTERNATIONAL DIVISION is Cat of the Year in CFA.

This breathtaking achievement is made even more amazing considering the obstacles and quarantine restrictions of showing in China.

One last thing . . . Surfer's favorite roommate during the campaign wasn't left out of the festivities.  The red tabby American Shorthair GC, NW Crisp Lil Red Corvette Kipp of Venizia is CFA's 17th Best Cat in Championship 2014-2015.

What a season for everyone involved.  GC, BW, NW Venizia RedSilver Surfer of Tiggerland has indeed lived up to his namesake—perhaps he is not quite a superhero . . . but he is unquestionably a super cat.

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More photos from the show career of

GC, BW, NW Venizia RedSilver Surfer of Tiggerland

Cameo McTabby & White Maine Coon Male

CFA Cat of The Year 2014-2015

Born January 16, 2014
Sire:  CH Versus Azlan of Venizia
Dam:  Felis Wonder Majesty of Venizia
Breeders: Chuleeporn Namsiriwiwat
Owners: Fion Cheng-Chuleeporn-J Lee


Photo by Ree Yip


Photo by Ree Yip


Photo by Ree Yip


Photo by Ree Yip


Photo by Tetsu


GC, NW Crisp Lil Red Corvette Kipp of Venizia, Surfer's best friend and roommate
Photo by Ree Yip


Surfer waiting to enter the judging ring


Surfer was an excellent traveler


Jimmy Lee, judge Larry Adkison, Fion Cheng and Surfer


Jimmy with Surfer (Best Cat), judge Joan Garrison, and Ken Namsiriwiwat holding Lil (3rd Best Cat)


Chuleeporn Namsiriwiwat with Lil, judge Brian Moser, Ken with Surfer


Ken holds Surfer's brother while Chuleeporn carries Surfer


Surfer shows off his skills for Judge Diane Rothermel


Surfer relaxing on the grooming table in Kuala Lumpur during the MAHA show in Nov 2014


The kitten who grew up to be #1


Surfer's Sire:  CH Versus Azlan of Venizia
Photo by Assawin


Surfer's Dam:  Felis Wonder Majesty of Venizia
Photo by Assawin

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