Paddington (show name - Mr. Paddington Pusscat, later changes to Sir Paddington Pusscat) was a huge blue Persian boy, found wandering, entire, in Sheffield city center.
I adopted him from our local cat shelter, where my cousin and her husband were employed as warden of the shelter. My (now ex) husband and I would go visiting regularly, helping out at the shelter, at fundraising events etc. I would love to wander around looking at all the cats.
Then one day my cousin took me into the new arrivals room.
There was a huge knot-on-legs!!
What the heck was it??
I had never seen a Persian... never even seen a pedigreed cat! I was entranced by his huge expressive copper eyes.
After he was clipped off and neutered by the local vet, I visited again.
I am sorry, but I could not help but laugh at this scraggy, scrawny animal, with a tuft of fluff at the end of his tail, and totally bald everywhere else.
The hurt in those eyes was truly amazing. He was a proud cat, and seemed embarrassed by my laughter. Of course he did what all good cats do when they are being laughed at. He licked his bum!!!!
Deciding to adopt him, I took him home and began working on him - getting him 'humanized' once more. Some of the shelter workers had named him Sasquatch. Others called him Paddington (because he was a big bear). I stuck with Paddy. He would wander our streets, and get into fights with all the local cats. He especially disliked next door's Yorkshire Terriers. Mind you he was bigger than them!
One awful day, I heard a car's tires screech and knew he had been hit by a car. Don't ask how I knew, I just did. Luckily he hadn't tangled with a bus - we lived on a bus route, and his favorite game was "dodge the bus'.
He broke a leg in the accident. I tracked down the driver who hit him, and made them pay towards the vet bill!! It was while at the veterinary hospital that the doctor asked if Paddy was a show cat. I never dreamed that cats were shown!
This got me thinking...
I contacted a cat breeder who took me under her wing. She told me about shows, and how I could enter Paddy as a household pet because he had no papers. She explained about baths (another very long story!!!) and how to strip coats.
Well! I was always taught that "healthy hair is shiny hair" so I proceeded to strip his coat. Trouble was, I took out all the undercoat, and left the guard hairs!!! I proudly took him back to the breeder who was helping me. She was aghast.
Oh how little I knew then. I once insisted that Paddy was a girl because he had nipples!!!
But Paddy's hair grew back eventually.
It took alot of time, patience and grooming to get him looking (what I thought) was - good, (I now know better). When I thought he was ready, I entered him in his first show.
We won an extra 3rd and a 4th. I was over the moon!
I now had a show cat! I was soon hooked!
Paddy became quite well known in the late 1980's and early 1990's. He qualified for the Supreme 3 times, winning 3rd each time. He also won the Best Decorated Pen/Cage in the 1987/88 show season, out of 1222 entries! There were only 3 awards given that year! He won numerous awards, and once even was Best In Show at Blackpool.
I even changed his official show name from Mr. Paddington Pusscat to SIR Paddington Pusscat. We had decided to knight him for services above and beyond the call of duty to the cat world - like putting up with being groomed.
I always exhibited him in full coat. Eventually he began to tire of the show preparation and so he retired from the show ring.
I decided to start over with my first registered Persian, purchased by my hubby. I needed a cattery name. I decided on PADICATZ as a tribute to the one who started it all. My beloved Paddy.... AKA Paddy Fat Cat.
I had Paddy for more then 10 years. He died in May 1996. I made sure they were good years for him. In return, he gave us alot of memories.
We had great success in the show ring over the years, but it was more about having fun than winning, and I still feel that way today.
Paddington, now that you are an angel cat, up there in Cat Heaven, are you watching me down here? Do you see all these little Padicatz kittens running around?
Can you believe what you have started!!!