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

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The Premier Online Magazine devoted
to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats

Close this search box.

GC, RW Central Park’s Call Me Maybe

Bred, owned and shown by Emma & Kirstin Parro, GC, RW Central Park’s Call Me Maybe, a copper-eyed white Persian female, is CFA North Atlantic Region’s 19th Best Kitten 2012-2013. This is her story…

My name is Emma Parro. My mom, Kirstin, and I live in a small town in Southern Vermont. We began this adventure of breeding Persians cats in September of 2010. Our cattery name is Central Park.

A Pearl

In the summer of 2012, my mom had remained home from a show on Sunday because we were expecting our first litter of white babies from our adorable, fun-loving girl, GC Farallon Pearl of Central Park, aka ‘Pearl’. 

Opal’s Dam: GC Farallon Pearl of Central Park
Photo by L. Johnson

Since my mom had stayed home from the show, it was my turn to sleep in the nursery with Pearl in case she decided to go into labor during the night. It was just past midnight when I heard a kitty cry outside of the door. I turned on the light to see what all this ruckus was about and I found Pearl in the early stages of labor. After a fairly quick labor, a single white baby girl was born. As planned, we named her ‘Opal’ in honor of her mother, Pearl . . . although her registered name would be Central Park’s Call Me Maybe.

The first few weeks of Opal’s life were a blur, as things seemed to be happening that were out of our control. First, Pearl developed a bad case of mastitis and was unable to take care of her little one. Then Opal was being hand fed as Pearl had lost her milk. Since Opal was an only child and now had no mom to cuddle with, we carried her with us all the time and fed her every few hours, day and night. We took the place of Opal’s mom in her eyes — and she thrived.

Baby Opal shows off her hand fed milk mustache.

Back then, when I looked at Opal I never thought she would turn into a show kitten. She didn’t look like anything special. She had a lower protruded nose and she didn’t have the head type and facial beauty of our earlier kittens. She was just a sweet little baby we cherished as a survivor of a difficult beginning in life. Opal was very precious to us because she was hand-raised and had the sweetest, most trusting personality. My mom and I loved her, despite her not being a show baby.

It is my routine to take photos of our kittens every few weeks to record their development. One weekend when I was home from college I decided to give Opal a bath and then to take her picture. I bathed her, blew her dry and then stood back looking at her in awe. I could not believe my eyes. Her head and expression now looked identical to that of her mother’s. Opal was the best kitten we had ever bred! I could not believe what had happened to the ‘pet quality’ kitten.

Baby Opal suddenly blossomed.

Opal’s First Show

We never had raised a white kitten before, and let me tell you, it is not as easy as it looks to keep them clean! But with both of us determined, when Opal turned four months old she was ready for her first show with not a speck of yellow on her. We decided to take Opal to the Christmas show in Lebanon, PA, despite the rumor that it would be the campaign show for the weekend. The kitten count was through the roof and the competition was stiff, with at least three Persian kittens present that were ranked in the top 25 in CFA. Looking through the catalogue, there were two top 25 kittens in the solid kitten class alone, and the rest were all from well-known catteries. Mom and I looked at our sweet white baby and told ourselves not to expect too much. After all, Opal was just 4 months old and this was just her first show. When we finished grooming Opal for the first ring, we looked at her, smiled and said ‘Well, go get’em’.

We sat anxiously in Gene Darrah’s ring waiting for her to be judged. It was a big class of solid kittens. The other CEW in the class was running a national campaign. We knew we should not expect Opal to even take the color ribbon. Then, after Gene handled both the kittens, Gene hung the blue and the black ribbons on Opal’s cage.

My mom and I looked at each other with surprise and pure pride in our eyes. 

Opal at 4 months.

Next we waited for the rest of the solids to be judged. After what seemed like forever, Gene picks up the breed ribbons and walks around the ring taking one last look. As he brings the teaser to the front of Opal’s cage, she jumps and attacks it with the most adorable look in her eyes. He then hangs the orange ribbon on another kitten’s cage — and then returns to hang the brown on Opal’s cage!

My mom turned to me, smiles and slaps my knee. WOW!

When the time for Gene’s finals arrived, Opal’s was one of the numbers called. We jumped for joy and brought our little white snowball up to the ring. Both of us were just beaming. As usual, Gene began presenting his awards in reverse order . . .10 . . .9 . . . 8 . . . 7 . . . 6 . . . As he hung the Sixth Best Kitten Rosette, he still hadn’t called on Opal. Mom and I looked at each other. Opal was in the top five! Not until Gene was presenting his Second Best Kitten did he walk over and take little Opal out of her cage. Gene placed her on the judging table with a flourish. He complemented Opal on everything a Persian breeder could possibly hope for and made her his Second Best Kitten.

We knew Opal was a nice baby, but we had no idea she was nice enough to compete with the ‘big dogs’! The rest of the show was a blast; as she made another BOB and a final and then one 2nd BOB. We were ecstatic!

A Game Changer

This was only our second show season. Being relatively new breeders, even though Opal did so well at her first show, we didn’t have plans to run her for a regional — that was uncharted territory for us. We took Opal to Burlington, Vermont for their annual show in January, and she received two AB Best Kitten wins, including one from Gary Veach of Briar-Mar Persian fame. We were delighted and anticipated that she would be an easy grand. 

With no plans to campaign for a regional kitten win, we didn’t show Opal again until the end of January. We were headed to Michigan for the Tabby Persian Fanciers show with the hopes of grabbing a few grand points for our other girl, Katy, and to show Opal to a few more judges. That weekend Opal made seven out of ten finals. It was a game changer for Opal and it started my mom and I thinking… even though Opal only had two months left of kittenhood, we decided to try to run her for a regional kitten win.

A Late Run

Even though we may have been a little bit late getting to the table, campaigning Opal turned out to be a ton of fun. Every weekend we were off to a different show — mostly in our home Region 1 but sometimes Region 4 or 7.

Opal steadily collected points but it wasn’t easy. She was competing in the solid division, often against at least one kitten in top 25 in CFA. Another frequent competitor was also running for a regional and two other kittens were working on split season runs. It meant we all were splitting rings and points each weekend. It was not uncommon to see three solid kittens in the AB final, and I remember a specialty ring having four. The competition was fierce! Opal’s final show before aging out she made ten out of the twelve finals and picked up over three hundred points. By the end of the show season she had over 1300 points and was CFA North Atlantic Region’s 19th Best Kitten.

A New Grand

After Opal aged out of the kitten class she granded in just two weekends. At the ripe old age of eight months and two weeks she then retired from the show halls. Opal is now enjoying the retired life. She has not yet blessed us with kittens, but we hope one day she will decide to give us some wonderful baby ‘Opals’.

Opal’s CEW half-sister, Central Park’s Little Miss Perfect ‘Ava Cate’ is currently taking on the show halls and hopefully she will follow in Opal’s pawprints. Opal’s journey is one we will never forget. She is our first regional winner — hopefully the first of many more to come. In the meantime, it is still the household joke that Opal was only ‘pet quality’.

GC, RW Central Park’s Call Me Maybe
Photo by Chanan

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GC, RW Central Park’s Call Me Maybe

Copper-Eyed White Persian Female

CFA North Atlantic Region’s 19th Best Kitten 2012-2013

Born: August 6, 2012
Sire: CH Farallon Rusty of Central Park
Dam: GC Farallon Pearl of Central Park
Breeder/Owner: Emma & Kirstin Parro