PandEcats

The Premier Online Magazine devoted to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats
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PandEcats

The Premier Online Magazine
devoted to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats

Search
Close this search box.

PandEcats

The Premier Online Magazine devoted
to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats

Search
Close this search box.

GC, BWI, NW HooBee Wakaka

CFA’s Best Cat in the International Division 2016-2017 is a magnificent classic red tabby male Exotic Shorthair from Hong Kong named GC, BWI, NW HooBee Wakaka. Wakaka is bred by Danny Tai & Chris Wong and is owned and campaigned by Danny, Chris & Rhonda Fox. This is their story.

My name is Danny Tai. I am slightly embarrassed to admit that when I was a child, I was very afraid of cats. I was so fearful that even if a cat was far from me, I screamed and ran away. I was especially frightened to look directly into a cat’s eyes.

On the other hand, my life partner, Chris Wong, loves cats — a lot. He yearned to have a cat for a pet, however, I always told him that I was not ready to have a cat join our family.

Then, in 2004, we were watching TV at home in Hong Kong. A program came on that featured a cats’ costume competition. There was a striking red tabby cat dressed as a prince that captured my attention. Jokingly, I told Chris that if he could find a cat that looked just like that, I would welcome it into our home. Little did I know how this simple decision would impact our lives!

Our First Exotic

The next day we visited a local pet shop. There was a cat in the window that looked exactly like the cat we had seen on TV. Chris was very excited and ran into the pet shop to inquire about the kitty. The pet shop salesman told us the cat was an Exotic Shorthair and he was the actual cat we had seem on the TV show the day before! Who can believe such a coincidence? I think God must have had a plan to change my relationship with cats on that day.

Of course, the kitty came home with us, becoming our FIRST feline pet. We named him “Hoo Hoo”. He is now 14 years old and still the king of our home.

Hoo Hoo — our pampered first kitty

After we bought Hoo Hoo, we began researching all about Exotic Shorthairs. We learned about pedigreed cats and that CFA is the largest pedigreed cat association in the world. From that moment, we decided to breed and show cats in CFA. We had fallen head-over-heels in love with Exotics . We are especially fond of red tabbies that look like Garfield in the movie, perhaps was because Hoo Hoo is a red tabby and our first Exotic.

Although we planned to specialize in red tabbies, our first CFA pedigreed Exotic was actually a brown tabby boy from Hong Kong, Coolook Donovan of HooBee.

Coolook Donovan of HooBee — our first pedigreed cat

HooBee Cattery

When the time came for us to choose a cattery name, we decided to honor our first cats. “Hoo” represents our first cat name Hoo Hoo; “B” stands for our second pet kitty, Bao Bao, who we bought from a pet shop and who died from FIP at 8 months old; “EE” is or our third pet, GivE ME FivE. Combining the parts of our three pet kitties’ names, our cattery name became HooBee. Although it is a made-up word, we feel it represents how cute and sweet are both Exotics and Persians. We registered HooBee in CFA in February 2006. Our great adventure had officially begun!

Our first HooBee litter was born on July 17, 2007. It only had two kittens, but one of them grew up to become GP, DW HooBee Kentaro, the FIRST Exotic Longhair in CFA to earn the title of DW and Best Cat in Premiership He was BEST CAT in Premiership in the International Division for 2009-2010, the same year CFA approved the showing status of the Exotic Longhair.

GP, DW HooBee Kentaro, CFA’s First Exotic Longhair DW and Best Cat in Premiership in CFA history, CFA BEST CAT in Premiership in International Division in 2009-2010

A Difficult Pregnancy

In 2011, our male Exotic, GC, DW HooBee FX was bred to our tortoiseshell Exotic, GP, DW Chun Lap Ride Home of HooBee (call name “Mui Mui”).

GC, DW HooBee FX, 4th BEST Kitten in ID Asia / Latin America in 2009 – 2010, BEST Red Classic Tabby Exotic in the World in 2010 – 2011
GP, DW, Chun Lap Ride Home of HooBee

Mui Mui had been pregnant twice previously but lost both litters. At 4 years old, she was pregnant with her 3rd litter. We brought her to our veterinarian for a check-up, ultrasound and x-ray to monitor the progress of her pregnancy. While tests confirmed all was proceeding well with her pregnancy, they also revealed she was PKD positive. Our vet’s diagnosis was confirmed by a DNA test.

We were devastated — and very worried about the health of the babies Mui Mui was carrying. She gave birth to three kittens, two red tabby boys and a cream tabby girl. Sadly, one of the red tabbies died suddenly at 3 weeks old. When the two surviving kittens were one month old, we sent saliva samples to an Australian lab to perform DNA tests for PKD. We anxiously awaited the results. The news was both good and bad. The red tabby boy was PKD negative but his sister was PKD positive.

We spayed Mui Mui once she weaned her kittens. We owed her breeder a kitten back from the litter. We wanted to keep the PKD negative boy but as responsible breeders we didn’t feel that the PKD positive girl should be used in a breeding program. Rather than give Mui Mui’s breeder the PKD positive female, we paid him to fulfill our obligation. The red tabby male kitten would stay with us forever. We named him “Wakaka” — which means “always happy”.

Wakaka

Even as a kitten, Wakaka had a wonderful personality. He absolutely adored people. In fact, he almost seemed to read peoples’ minds. He was just adorable.

Baby Wakaka

He was a natural show cat. Every time he was on the judging table, he would kiss the judge and give a head bump. He loved climbing the scratching pole on the judging table.

Wakaka loved those scratching posts on the judging tables!

After Wakaka granded, we campaigned him to 2nd BEST CAT in Championship in the International Division Asia/Latin America 2012-2013. His official name was now GC, DW HooBee Wakaka. By the end of the show season he was well past his second birthday and his male hormones were raging. It was time he stayed home to begin siring kittens.

Papa Wakaka

With Wakaka retired, we concentrated on showing our other cats. HooBee enjoyed much success including several top winners:

GP, DW HooBee Donut, CFA’s Best Cat in Premiership in International Division 2011 – 2012
GC, DW HooBee The One, CFA’s Best Cat in Malaysia 2013 – 2014

Meanwhile Wakaka took to his siring duties easily and began producing lovely kittens, passing on not only his best physical characteristics but also his delightful personality. It wasn’t long before his babies made us proud in the show ring too.

Wakaka’s daughter: GC, RW HooBee Second Waltz, CFA Gulfshore Region’s 16th Best Kitten 2014-2015.
Wakaka’s daughter: GP, DW HooBee Rhonda, 5th Best Cat in Premiership in Hong Kong 2014-2015
Wakaka’s son: GP HooBee Po Po, One Show Grand

A New Goal

Several years passed. One night in August 2016, while Chris and I were relaxing in front of the TV at home, Wakaka strolled by. He was now 5 years old . . . and it was as if we were seeing him with new eyes. His body was very short and chunky. His head was huge and round with the jowls of an adult male Exotic. His rich red coat was dense and thick and a vibrant red. We realized our boy had matured into a stunning male Exotic.

Hong Kong had a CFA cat show in the following month so we entered him for fun. He was Best Cat in three rings!

Photo by L. Johnson

The Challenge

The 2016-17 show season marked the debut of the New CFA Awards Structure. For the first time, the top cats in the International Division and China could earn their own NW titles. We wondered, “Could Wakaka earn the prestigious title of National Winner in CFA?”.

Campaigning for an NW from Hong Kong is a real challenge as there are not enough shows in our county with high show counts. China has lots of big shows but they also have quarantine rules, as do most of the other countries in Asia due to the threat of rabies. This meant that unless we were willing to subject Wakaka to repeated quarantines, we could only travel to shows in Hong Kong, USA and Europe.

A Friend’s Help

How could we campaign Wakaka and earn enough points for a NW? The only sensible solution was to campaign him in the US. It was impractical for us to fly back and forth to shows in the US every weekend, so we discussed the matter with our best friend and our mentor, Rhonda Fox of Rhamjoge Cattery. Rhonda sold us our first bi-color Persian in 2008 and we have been good friends ever since. She had surgery on her left shoulder in 2015 and had stopped showing, so we asked her to recommend someone who might be willing to campaign Wakaka for us in the United States. She replied, “Rhonda Fox”.

We were surprised and did not how to respond as we knew her shoulder had not yet fully recovered. She said she was fine and would love to help. We feel very blessed that Rhonda wanted to show Wakaka for us. So . . . the decision was made. Wakaka would attempt to add the NW title to his name.

Photo by L. Johnson

The Campaign Begins

With almost half the show season already gone, we had no time to waste. We shipped Wakaka to Rhonda in the US at the end of October 2016 in order to attend a big campaign show in Indianapolis. Wakaka arrived the day before the show. He must have missed us very much because he wouldn’t eat or drink. He didn’t want any interaction with Rhonda. Not surprisingly, he didn’t do well at the show. We were very disappointed.

Rhonda said not to worry. She felt Wakaka just needed time to settle in and feel at home. She kept him close by her side in her home office so that they spent many quiet hours bonding. Wakaka still was not eating well and dropped a bit of weight. His next show was in early November but again he didn’t make many finals. We decided this was just not working out. Perhaps an NW was not meant to be.

Wakaka was already entered in the prestigious CFA International Show at the end of November and I had purchased a plane ticket from Hong Kong to Novi, Michigan, USA so I could attend. I decided I would still go, enjoy the show, see all the best cats in CFA, and then bring Wakaka back home with me.

Wakaka was not entered in any more shows until the International. Rhonda devoted lots of time to him and her efforts paid off. Wakaka started to bond with her. The week before the show, he finally began eating like his old self. He quickly gained back his weight and his condition improved dramatically.

The CFA International Show 2017

While Chris remained home to care for the cats, I flew to the US two days before the big show. Arriving at the hotel room, I saw Wakaka and called his name. He looked up and immediately recognized me. He ran towards me, purring and giving me head-to-head bumps. I was overcome with emotion. I began feeding him dried food by hand. He finished 150 pieces! Rhonda and I were amazed. At that moment, I knew Wakaka was going to be fine. He slept on my bed that night and in the morning he and I had a long chat.

On show day, I told Wakaka and Rhonda that we would just do our best and enjoy ourselves regardless of the results. Imagine our surprise when Wakaka placed in two finals the first day including Best Cat in a Specialty ring! The second day the judges finaled Wakaka in the top half of every ring. When the dust had settled, he was the 2nd Highest Scoring Cat in Championship in the Purple Show. We were over the moon! Wakaka was on fire!

Of course, this meant a change of plans — we would continue the campaign. The next day, I said goodbye to our beautiful boy. He seemed to understand I needed to leave but we would be together again.

Wakaka, Danny & Rhonda at the International Show 2017

Best Pals

After the International Show, Rhonda and Wakaka grew steadily closer. His condition improved day-by-day. He started to make more finals, and earn more points. He became a wonderful travelling companion. Driving to shows, he would sit in the front passenger seat next to Rhonda, giving her frequent head bumps to show his affection.

Rhonda & Wakaka — Best Pals

A Bump In The Road

With the campaign in full swing, the judges were rewarding Wakaka with high finals and the points piled up. By February he broke 3000. Then disaster struck. Wakaka developed an eye infection. He wouldn’t open his left eye fully and there was an opaque spot in the center of the cornea. It seemed that our dream of an NW was doomed. Rhonda asked her friends for advice. Noralyn Heisig of Velvetkist Persians (and breeder/owner of CFA’s eventual Cat of the Year 2017, GC, BWR, NW Velvetkist Designer Genes ) suggested Rhonda try Famvir. Three weeks after Rhonda started the medication, Wakaka’s eyes were totally recovered. Miracles do sometimes happen.

Wakaka returned to the campaign trail, picking up where he had left off, racking up points and approaching the minimum total needed for the NW title.

Photo by L. Johnson

The Minimum Points Requirement

Part of CFA’s new awards system required that even if a cat was one of the top cats in its division, it must also earn a minimum number of points before it would be awarded the NW title. For the 2016-17 show season, a cat in Championship had to earn a minimum of 4300 points. Wakaka was at the top of the rankings in the International Division, but he was 300 points shy of the minimum points he needed. There was less than a month left in the show season. Time was running out.

On April 2, 2017, Rhonda and Wakaka traveled to a show in California. The show started early morning California time, but it was 10PM in Hong Kong. Chris and I were awake all night as Rhonda called us with ring-by-ring results. By the end of the show, Wakaka had earned almost 400 points! Our red-headed boy had done it. He had more than enough points for his NW.

We all cried many tears that night. A huge load had been lifted off our shoulders.

Photo by L. Johnson

The Best

Wakaka’s NW title was assured. But there was one more goal we hoped to achieve. Wakaka was #1 in the rankings for Championship cats in the International Division, but his competitors was nipping at his heels. Three cats in China and one showing in the US could still catch him.

There was a huge campaign show in Beijing, China just before the end of the show season. It would be Wakaka’s last chance to add more points to his total. Rhonda made arrangements to ship him to Beijing via Guangzhou, China while Chris and I would arrive from Hong Kong to Beijing to show him. It was wonderful to reunite with Wakaka again, but after the 24-hour flight from the US he was exhausted and not eating. We wouldn’t show him if he wasn’t feeling up to it. But Wakaka proved he was a real trooper. After a good night’s sleep he bounced back and started eating and drinking again.

We showed him after all, and he did not disappoint us. He earned 950 points, which was more than enough to secure his spot at the top of the International Division. GC, BWI, NW HooBee Wakaka was CFA’s BEST CAT in the International Division 2016-17.

On the first of July 2017, Chris and I and Rhonda received Wakaka’s Best Cat award at the CFA annual banquet in Chicago, Illinois. It is a moment that will last forever in our hearts and minds. Wakaka accomplishments mark a major milestone in our journey as breeders in the cat fancy. Wakaka is our dream come true — a beautiful boy with a charming personality and HooBee’s FIRST homebred National Winner.

And I am no longer afraid of cats…

Danny, Rhonda & Chris

Our Thanks

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the help of our wonderful friend, Rhonda Fox. Chris and I can never thank her enough for all her efforts and expertise in showing Wakaka.

We also wish to express our gratitude to all our supporters in the US, especially Noralyn Heisig of Velvetkist Persians, Tabatha Metcalf & Mike Perkins of Purrelli Cattery, and Pam DeGolyer of Ivy Cat Cattery for their unfailing friendship and encouragement throughout Wakaka’s campaign.

More Photos of GC, BWI, NW HooBee Wakaka

GC, BWI, NW HooBee Wakaka, Photo by L. Johnson
Wakaka, Danny, Judge Mary Auth & Chris with GC, DW Mirage Blanc Taj Mahal of HooBee, 5th Best Cat in Hong Kong in 2016 – 2017 show season.
Wakaka, Danny, CFA Judge Rachel Anger & Rhonda
Danny with Wakaka, CFA judge Don Williams & Rhonda
CFA President Mark Hannon, Rhonda Fox, Danny Tai & Chris Wong
Chris & Danny

More head bumps for Rhonda
GC, DW Mirage Blanc Taj Mahal of HooBee, 5th Best Cat in Hong Kong in 2016 – 2017 show season

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

ABOUT THE IMAGE AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE

GC, BWI, NW HooBee Wakaka

Red Tabby Exotic Shorthair Male

CFA’s BEST CAT in Championship, International Division 2016-2017
CFA’s Best Exotic, International Division 2016-2017
CFA’s 2nd BEST CAT in Championship, International Division, Asia/Latin America 2012 – 2013
CFA’s 3rd BEST EXOTIC 2012 – 2013

Born: July 12, 2011
Sire: GC, DW HooBee FX
Dam: GP, DW Chun Lap Ride Home of HooBee
Breeder: Danny Tai – Chris Wong
Owner: Danny Tai – Chris Wong – Rhonda Fox

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