Sadly, on February 27, 2008, breeder and exhibitor Melinda Murray of Loralyn Himalayans passed away suddenly. Her passing is a huge loss to her family, friends, and the cat fancy – she will be deeply missed!
Melinda began breeding in 1993, just wanting to produce a litter of kittens. After attending her first cat shows, she decided she really wanted to produce quality kittens, and was lucky enough to earn the friendship of Donna Ellison, of Rainyday Himalayans, who became her mentor. She started showing in Premiership with good friend Jeannie McReynolds, and had her first grand in 1996, with GP Prince Antonio Jolee of Loralyn.
Melinda spent hours studying pedigrees and trying her best to improve her cats. Her efforts were rewarded in 2001 when she produced her first home-bred grand, GP Loralyn's Rhythm & Blues. There was no stopping her after that, and her breeding program really came together. In the following years, she began to consistently produce Loralyn grands.
April 2007 was witness to one of her proudest moments when she granded GC Loralyn's Dream Lover. His granding was the final one needed for his mother, CH PerDCats Sunkissed of Loralyn, to be awarded her DM title, an accomplishment Melinda had been working towards for quite awhile.
Melinda was a retired school music teacher, and never really gave up her passion for educating. She loved nothing more than to help out a new breeder or exhibitor, and see them really succeed with their cats! She was always wonderfully generous with her time and knowledge, and touched many lives all over the world via e-mail and phone conversations. With typical enthusiasm, Melinda wrote the article titled A New-Style Cat Bib for this publication, enjoying not only sharing her ingenuity but photographing the whole procedure.
Melinda was an elementary school music teacher, vocalist, pianist and accomplished square dancer. She created beautiful dried floral arrangements, often giving them to friends. She enjoyed traveling, her favorite destination being England, a place she had hoped to visit again one day. She had recently started volunteering at the North Bend Visitors Center and belonged to a community choir in North Bend, Oregon.
I'm sure Melinda is looking down on us from above now, reunited with her parents and her beloved dog Cassie, as well as the cats of hers that went ahead of her across the Rainbow Bridge. The cat fancy, and the Himalayan world in particular, will miss her zest for life and wonderful outgoing personality .