The Way We Were:
Excerpts from the 1959 CFA Yearbook, Part 10

Ristokat Himalayans & Persians

Photos copyrighted by the individual photographers
Article copyright © All Rights Reserved.
Copying or redistribution of this article is strictly prohibited
without the express written permission of

History of the Siamese, Part 2
by Carlon Boren

Although it is impossible to identify the person owning the first Siamese Cat in America and the name of that first Siamese, we do have records of the earliest shows, and some of the above mentioned Siamese did their share of winning in these first shows. Madison California and Sally Ward stood out above the others on the show bench. They had been sold to Mrs. Lucy Johnstone. Madison California was the first Siamese in America to earn a Championship, and Sally Ward, the second. Both died in 1905, probably from enteritis.

Lockehaven Siam, shown by his new owner, Mrs. W. E. Colburn of Chicago, was the first Siamese to win a Best Cat award. This remarkable win was made at the Michigan Cat Club Show held in Detroit in 1907.

The following year a second Siamese, Lockehaven Elsa, a female, won Best Cat in an All Breed Show, the Beresford Cat Club show, held in Chicago. Mr. Louis Wain of London, the eminent English Illustrator and cat authority, was the Judge. Lockehaven Elsa was American bred and was purchased by Mrs. Clinton Locke from the breeder, Mrs. Louis Swift of Lake Forrest, Illinois.

The Best Cat Awards, given two years in succession, placed the Siamese cat in a new light as far as breeder-exhibitor interest was concerned. More and more the interest in this beautiful cat began to spread over the country.

In 1909, the first CFA Stud Book was published and the President of the Cat Fanciers' Association, Mrs. W. F. Hofstra of Hempstead, Long Island, New York, became the Eastern pioneer of Siamese. As we have already said, Mrs. Hofstra bought the two chocolate Siamese from Mrs. Locke, Tilu and Ma. Both ruled the East for a long time and were the ancestors of many American bred Siamese in that area.

Another early exhibitor of Siamese was Miss Jane Cathcart of Oradell, New Jersey, who imported many of her cats from England and France, including her famous Champion Siam de Paris.

Mrs. H.G. Dykhouse of Grand Rapids, Mich., also aided in the development of the breed. She shipped Siamese to every section of the country. Two of her outstanding specimens were Romeo Siam, a male, and Ch. Romeo Ananda, a female.

American breeder-exhibitors, though, had their troubles with the breed. The animals were delicate and produced small litters. There were many losses through gastro-enteritis. Efforts were made by the editors of cat journals to obtain additional information on the breeding, raising and care of the Siamese from England. With all this interest which was created, the founding of the Siamese Cat Society of America came about in 1909.

After 1910 the Siamese Cat came into its own in America. Only the tenacity of the interested, enthusiastic American breeder, who had the money to purchase these cats, enabled the breed to become thoroughly established.

The early Siamese that had been imported from various places cost not less than a thousand dollars, plus transportation charges and other fees. This is a conservative figure, as often prices were higher. In America, the American bred stock, second and third generation, was selling for $200.00 up to $1000.00, the price based on the ancestry of the animal. And, so it was that price, which was determined by supply and demand, along with the risk involved, were the things which plagued the growth of the Siamese in America.

Related articles:

Back :: Top :: Home



Legal Disclaimer | Report A Broken Link or Typo

Website created & maintained by
ShowCatsOnline Web Design