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devoted to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats

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The Premier Online Magazine devoted
to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats

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GC, BWR, NW Castlegate’s Toy Soldier of AOL

A gorgeous silver male Persian named GC, BWR, NW Castlegate’s Toy Soldier of AOL is CFA 19th Best Cat In Championship 2016-2017. Owned by Barbara Bosco & Olivier Grin, bred by Barbara Bosco and Linda Rogge, Toy was shown by Barbara during his successful campaign. This is their story…

My name is Barbara Bosco. I have been working with Silver and Golden Persians under the Castlegate cattery name since 1989. Castlegate was a name I used in my insurance business, so it made sense to continue it forward into my feline breeding and exhibiting venture.

My first litter was born in 1992. Although it was almost 10 years before I granded my first cat, my kitties have enjoyed great success in show ring in the past decade including my first homebred National Winner in 2009, a Shaded Silver Persian, GC, BW, NW Castlegate’s Puff The Magic Dragon.

GC, BW, NW Castlegate’s Puff The Magic Dragon
CFA’s 23rd Best Kitten 2008-2009

On December 11th, 2011. GC Castlegate’s Blue Falcon made breed history when he became the first Blue Golden Persian to earn his Grand Champion title and a Regional Win in CFA.

GC, RW Castlegate’s Blue Falcon
CFA’s first Grand Champion and Regional Winning Blue Golden Persian
Photo by L. Johnson

It is always a challenge showing a minority color such as Silvers and Goldens . . . but Silver and Golden Persians are my passion, so I persevere.

In the early spring of 2015, I bred my shaded silver boy, GC Castlegate’s Luke to my shaded silver queen, Castlegate’s Crowning Glory.

Castlegate’s Crowning Glory

In late May, Glory gave birth to a single kitten. The little silver baby boy may have been the only one in his litter — but what a kitten he was. Right from birth, he had lovely structure. Sweet expression. Huge eyes. As time passed he sported a crazy look with spiked hair because his base coat had yet to come in. As beautiful as he was, he was little, almost frail in the beginning. I thought, “Will he ever grow?” 

A Little Toy Soldier

Toy at 4 months old.

My husband, Ferdinand Giordano, collects antique toys, including miniature soldiers. He was showing me a few of his favorites when out popped an ‘English guard for the home of the Queen’. I had been wondering what to name Glory’s singleton kitten, and it immediately came to me that he should be ‘Castlegate’s Toy Soldier’. It was the perfect choice.

‘Toy‘ was slow to wean — very much a momma’s boy. Even when he was on solid food, it was extremely difficult to get him to eat on his own. For months he had to be hand fed. Twice a day, my husband would sit Toy on the kitchen table and feed him meat pieces one-by-one. Ferdinand would shake his head and sigh, “I do not think he will ever eat on his own.” Around four months of age something finally clicked in Toy’s fuzzy Persian mind and he began eating on his own. From then on he flourished. He grew and filled out. His coat began growing beautifully. It was time to take him to his first show.

Toy’s Kitten Debut

Not one to start small, Toy made his debut at the huge CFA International Show, as a 6 month old kitten in Oaks, Pennsylvania in November, 2015. He made 6 out of 8 finals at the prestigious show while competing against the best kittens in CFA. Judges and fellow breeders alike had many wonderful things to say about him. Olivier Grin of AOL Persians in Switzerland fell totally in love with him. Olivier was the first to tell me Toy was a national winner quality kitty. Olivier was so impressed that he would eventually become a co-owner and Toy’s biggest fan. I was so pleased with Toy’s reception and results at the International… and yet he still was ‘small’. I felt Toy needed more time to mature.

The Blizzard of 2016

Two months later Toy aged out of the kitten class and we entered adult competition in Championship in Roanoke, VA. He was on track to earn his Grand title in late January of 2016. Mother Nature had other plans.

Just before the weekend of the show, the East coast of the United States was hit by a crippling and historic blizzard that dumped three feet of snow in parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The storm’s widespread effects paralyzed travel across the eastern US for almost two weeks. After the weather (and roads) cleared, Toy granded on February 20th, 2016 with an accumulated point total of 365 — 165 points more than he needed to earn his first title.

Toy and Barbara in Newport, February 2016.

A Quick Regional Win

With only two months left in the show season, a national win ‘appeared ‘ to be impossible — but I thought Toy might have time to earn a regional win, and maybe a breed win. By the last show of the season, he had earned slightly under 4000 points in only 82 rings! He was just shy of being in the top 25 cats in CFA. I couldn’t help but wonder what might have been had he not missed those two shows during the blizzard. He might have been a National Winner for 2015-2016.

He was CFA’s North Atlantic Region’s 7th Best Cat for 2015-2016, adding the RW title to his name. He was officially now GC, BW, RW Castlegate’s Toy Soldier of AOL.

GC, BW, RW Castlegate’s Toy Soldier of AOL
CFA’s North Atlantic Region’s 7th Best Cat 2015-2016
Photo by Chanan

The 2016-2017 Show Season

Many judges and exhibitors were supportive of Toy. They encouraged me to campaign him for an NW in the new season. He came so close in the previous show season… so off to the shows we went again to see if he could do it in the 2016-2017 season. We had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Toy was also maturing and getting better and better. As a kitten I had hoped he would reach a weight of 6 lbs. What a surprise that he actually matured into a 10 lb boy. And Toy really loved the shows too. He was a clown in the judging cage and always played on the judging table. He was a real character. This was never more evident than whenever he was judged by CFA Judge Russel Webb. Toy adored Russel. Whenever Russel took Toy from the judging cage, Toy would grab Russel’s hand in his mouth like he wanted to BREED him. Spectators would gasp, thinking Toy was biting the judge, but no… Toy was just holding Russel’s hand in his mouth — his kitty way of saying, “I want you!”. Russel would even let Toy hang on to his hand while talking about him on the judging table — and lift him up to return him back to the judging cage with Toy’s mouth still gently gripping Russel’s hand. Russel was the only judge Toy did this with.

A Silver National Winner

It is never easy campaigning a Persian in a minority color, but Toy continued his winning ways. The judges continued to use him. The points kept adding up. Toy moved up the national standings. The rest, as they say, is ‘history’. He achieved his National Win in his second season of showing. He earned the title of GC, BWR, NW Castlegate’s Toy Soldier of AOL when he became CFA’s 19th Best Cat In Championship for 2016-2017.

Awards Banquet in Chicago July 2017: Co-owners Olivier Grin and Barbara Bosco on stage receiving the award for GC, BWR, NW Castlegate’s Toy Soldier of AOL.

Toy is a dream come true. Who would have thought that the little shaded silver kitten who would not eat on his own for over four months would grow into an amazing example of a Persian ‘painted silver’ — and become an eventual National Winner in CFA?

GC, BWR, NW Castlegate’s Toy Soldier of AOL
Photo by L. Johnson

Toy is now retired and he is happy at home… and has already sired his first litter of new ‘toy soldiers’. Maybe I will name one Russel :-). The next generation of Castlegate begins with Toy’s firstborn daughter

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GC, BWR, NW Castlegate’s Toy Soldier of AOL

Shaded Silver Male Persian

CFA’s 19th Best Cat In Championship 2016-2017
CFA Best Persian in the Silver & Golden Division 2016-2017 and 2015-2016
CFA’s North Atlantic Region’s 2nd Best Cat 2015-2016
CFA’s North Atlantic Region’s 7th Best Cat 2015-2016

Born May 22nd, 2015
Sire:GC Castlegate’s Luke
Dam:Castlegate’s Crowning Glory
Breeder: Barbara Bosco, Linda Rogge
Owner: Barbara Bosco / Olivier Grin