The Way We Were:
Excerpts from the 1958 CFA Yearbook, Part 1

Ristokat Himalayans & Persians

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The year was 1958... it was a year that:

  • NASA was created
  • Bobby Fischer, at age 14, wins the United States Chess Championship
  • Elvis Presley is inducted into the Army, where he serves until 1960
  • "The Bridge on the River Kwai" wins Best Picture at the Oscars
  • The 45.52 carat Hope Diamond is donated to the Smithsonian Institution
  • Alaska is admitted as the 49th State
  • The average new home cost $12,750
  • A gallon of gas cost 25 cents

For CFA, 1958 marked a milestone as well... as a celebration of CFA's 50th Anniversary, the first ever CFA Yearbook was published that year!

Measuring just 6" x 9", it was a soft-cover, spiral-bound book, sold for the cost of $1.25. It had 130 pages, and ads from 87 catteries.

Only about 500 copies were ever printed - which combined with the fragility of a paperback publication with plastic spiral binding - makes it a very hard find these days!

The idea of a Yearbook was first presented at the March 28-29, 1958 CFA Annual meeting, by Mrs.Joan Van Zele, Casa Contenta cattery, and a member of the Board of Directors at that time. In addition to presenting the idea, Mrs. Van Zele also offered to personally underwrite the publication - any loss would be paid by her, and any profits would be turned over to CFA. The idea was received with much enthusiasm, and was ratified at that meeting.

Some other interesting items from the minutes of the Board Meetings that year were:

  • This is the year the Burmese resumed registration in CFA. Although the breed had originally been accepted by CFA in 1936, there was such a demand for them at the time that breeders were doing numerous outcrosses to Siamese and producing a large number of hybrids. CFA suspended registration of the Burmese in 1947, and ruled that there had to be 3 generations of pure Burmese in the pedigree.
  • Near and dear to my own heart, this is the year that saw the acceptance of the Himalayan into CFA! The breed was eligible for Foundation Record registration in the Stud Book after 3 generations of Himalayan in the pedigree. Once eligible for listing in the Stud Book, those cats were also eligible for championship competition.
  • This was also the show season that saw the start of today's registration number format, versus the stud book registration format. (A separate article will cover this)

1958 Show Season

The show season of 1957-58 had a total of 97 judging rings held. There was quite a large variety of formats at that time, and most shows only had a couple of rings each day. Often there was 1 Allbreed ring, 1 Longhair ring, and 1 Shorthair ring. For the few 2-day shows, one club would sponsor the rings on the first day, and a separate club would sponsor the rings on a second day. The breakdown of rings for this show season was:

Shorthair Specialty
Longhair Specialty
Siamese Specialty
Tabby & Tortie Specialty
Silver Specialty
Solid Color Specialty
All Short Hair (Except Siamese)

1958 Grand Parade

There were a total of 11 cats that earned their Grand Championship title during this show season - and no Grand Premiers, as that title did not yet exist!

Siamese were by far the largest percentage that season, with 7 of the 11 grands being Siamese! The remaining grands consisted of 2 Persians, 1 Manx, and 1 Domestic Shorthair (what we now call the American Shorthair). These cats are listed/pictured below - only the cats' name and owner was actually listed in the Yearbook itself, all other registration information has been added based on Stud Book entries.


GC Bloemhill Spartan
Born: 7/10/1956
Reg number: 92-SB-698, v85
Cream Persian Male
S: Nigrette's Tereus of Bloemhill
D: Bloemhill Lorelei
GC Vel-Vene's Voo Doo
Born: 7/2/1956
Reg number: 94-SB-463, v87
Black Persian Male
S: GC Lavender Liberty Beau
D: CH Longhill's Black Velvet
GC Ebony Queen of Normont
Born: 4/13/1956
Reg number: 94-FR-322-2-D, v84
Black Domestic (American) Shorthair Female
S: Unknown
D: White Lily
GC Mrs. Kelly of An-Si (Imp)
Born: May 1952
Reg number: 77-FR-720-2-M, v77
Black SH Manx Female
S: Dikki
D: Kerroo
GC Bult'h Houdini
Born: 6/8/1954
Reg number: 78-SB-247, v78
Seal Point Siamese Male
S: Spotlight Ptolemy of Caithness
D: CH Caithness Maliwan
GC Chi-Charoen Hu Shih
Born: 6/15/1954
Reg number: 77-SB-992, v77
Seal Point Siamese Female
S: CH Fernrieg Zaru of Wu
D: CH Chi-Charoen Pada
GC Cymri Cyro
Born: 12/23/1954
Reg number: 85-SB-062, v83
Seal Point Siamese Male
S: Cymri Cri-Ket
D: Kabar's Miss Milly-Tilly of Cymri
GC Fan-T-Cee Blue Fancy
Born: 2/14/1954
Reg number: 83-SB-751, v83
Blue Point Siamese Female
S: CH Ta-Lee-Ho's Al-La-Bi
D: Kabar's Miss Fancy
GC Medicine Lake
Texx-ess Rose

Born: 4/29/1955
Reg number: 88-SB-766, v83
Seal Point Siamese Female
S: Cuthpa Nuzano
D: CH Wee Sal of Medicine Lake
GC Newton's Ro-De
of Pur-Ami

Born: 5/30/1955
Reg number: 85-SB-698, v83
Seal Point Siamese Female
S: Foxburrow Roger of Newton
D: CH Newton's Desiree
GC Yindling Caresse of Cymri
Born: 2/16/1954
Reg number: 77-SB-930, v77
Blue Point Siamese Female
S: Hollycat Mitchell
D: Kabar's Miss Milly-Tilly of Cymri

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