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 SimbaKui Evolutionary Design

This is the story of a silver Persian kitten who campaigned for a national win… and missed by less than 22 points. GC, RW SimbaKui Evolutionary Design was CFA’s Best Silver/Golden Persian kitten, 3rd Best Allbreed Kitten in the Southern Region, and 30th Best Allbreed Kitten for the 2013-2014 show season.

My name is Tracy Smith. I live in Baltimore, Maryland and began breeding silver & golden Persians in 1997. To me, there is nothing more beautiful than a jewel-eyed silver Persian with jet black eye, nose and lip liner in full and glorious snow-white coat. In striving to refine and improve the silver and golden Persians in the SimbaKui breeding program, I am able to combine my knowledge of genetics, my appreciation for art, and my love of animals.

All In The Family

In the spring of 2013, I bred CH Kittikamir Pretty Vegas of SimbaKui to CH Kittikamir Divine Inheritance of SimbaKui.

Sire: CH Kittikamir Pretty Vegas of SimbaKui
Dam: CH Kittikamir Divine Inheritance of SimbaKui

It was a repeat breeding of my regional winner from a previous season, GC, RW SimbaKui Intelligent Design. I called the boys from this breeding my “D-Collection”, inspired by their’ jewel-like eyes. Divine Inheritance had also produced another regional winner, GC, RW SimbaKui Al-Amir when bred to a different male.

GC, RW SimbaKui Intelligent Design (full brother), Best Silver/Golden kitten in CFA in 2011-12, and one show (5 ring) Grand at 8 months.

Other relatives include:

SimbaKui Fancie Face (full sister) Beloved pet of Joane and Steve Wingfield in Baltimore, MD.
SimbaKui Luxury Design (full brother), owned by Tatyana Marunich in Moscow, Russia.
GC, RW SimbaKui Al-Amir (half-brother), lives with Sylvie Machu in Aquitaine, France.

A Dramatic Delivery

It was a long week waiting for Inheritance to deliver her kittens. I kept postponing things I needed to do just to stay home with her. By day 67, everything I had put off was piling up and we absolutely had to go to our rental home in Delaware to prepare it for new tenants moving in that weekend. 

I packed up Inheritance, my birthing supplies and with my boyfriend, David, drove 3 hours from Baltimore to the rental at the Delaware Beach. We worked all day, often checking on Inheritance to see if she was going to deliver her babies. Still no signs of labor.

Around midnight, we finished our work on the house and began the journey back home. David drove while I sat in the passenger seat with Inheritance on my lap. About an hour from home she started contracting. The long overdue kittens were coming! I began preparing for imminent delivery.

The car’s interior lights were not bright but I had a small handheld light with me so I could see better. With my lap filled with bloody discharge (what would a police officer think if we were pulled over?), I used the light to see what was happening. A tail was peeking out. It was a breech birth! The back legs appeared, followed by the torso. The body was out but the head was stuck! I knew the placenta was most likely still attached so I tried not to panic. I grabbed a washcloth and grasped the skin on the back of the kitten. I calmly assisted by gently pulling down with each contraction. The kitten was stuck for more than 15 minutes then finally the head popped out. But the kitten wasn’t breathing!

We had just pulled into our driveway. David jumped out and sprinted to the passenger door. I quickly passed the kitten to him and turned back to help Inheritance. David began rubbing the kitten vigorously and swinging him to clear his lungs. With a gasp the kitten finally took his first breath. We all rushed inside the house. 

As soon as I saw the newborn’s huge, wide head with tiny ears and perfectly straight eye slits, I knew he was something special.

D2 at 2 weeks with eyes just open

Evolutionary Design

I had named his older brother Intelligent Design as an amusing nod to my career as an evolutionary geneticist. To carry on the Design theme I named the newborn SimbaKui Evolutionary Design. We called him D2 for short.

Being a brother to GC, RW SimbaKui Intelligent Design, and a half brother to GC, RW SimbaKui Al-Amir, my expectations for this kitten were understandably high. By 6 weeks of age I knew we had a show stopper. I half-jokingly told my friends that I was going to run him for a national win, but inside I knew he was good enough. But could I do it? I was finishing my PhD, conducting research, and teaching two classes, so I wasn’t sure if it would be possible, but we had to try!

D2 at 8 weeks shows off the beautiful tipping of a shaded silver Persian.

In the “old days”, silver breeders colorbred their cats, only breeding silver to silver in order to refine and maintain their unique color features—the delicate tipping of the hair, eye mascara and nose lining and their mesmerizing blue-green eyes. When breeders began to outcross silvers to copper-eyed Persians to improve type and size, it impacted their unique eye color so that today it is rare see a silver Persian with great eye color. The longer the eye color stays brilliant blue in a silver Persian kitten, the better the adult eye color will be. At 12 weeks of age D2’s eyes were still a deep blue. His eye color was amazing!

D2 at 12 weeks showing off his incredible eyes.

First Show

As soon as D2 turned 4 months of age, I took him to his first show at the National Birman Fanciers. With 74 kittens present, he made several finals, including a Best AB kitten, and over 200 points—no easy feat for a 4 month old baby silver Persian!

The campaign had begun!

4 and 1/2 months

For the first two months of his kitten career, I showed D2 nearly every weekend. 

At the CFA World Show, at the age of 5 months and 3 days, he made 6 finals (3AB/3LH) with 178 allbreed kittens present. He was the Best Silver/Golden Persian kitten, 6th Best Persian Kitten, and 18th Best AB Kitten in the purple show. Several judges commented they hadn’t seen eye color like his in many years. His eyes are truly breathtaking—the color of the Caribbean sea.

A Special Win

Our next big show was Dixieland in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is a specialty show for silver and golden Persians.

D2 earned 10 finals and was Best Kitten in Show on Saturday and 2nd Best Kitten in Show on Sunday. He finished as Best Silver/Golden Kitten in show. He then competed against the best Silver/Golden Persian in Championship and in Premiership for the top award of Best Silver/Golden in Show.

Pam Bassett of the renowned PaJean Persians was judging the “Best of the Best”. The ring was in honor of Pam’s mother, Jean Bassett, who had campaigned GC, NW Bien-Aime MS Simone of PaJean, the cat that was CFA’s first silver Persian to earn a national kitten win in 1996.

Pam had donated an exquisite silver cuff bracelet of a Persian with green eyes that would be presented to the winner of Best of the Best. It was the same bracelet that her mother had worn throughout her national campaign with Simone. 

The silver cuff awarded by Pam Basset to Best of the Best.

The top cats were all superb examples of their breed. Pam took her time handling each cat in turn. It was a nail-biter. Finally her decision was made. Raising him over her head, Pam declared that D2 was the best silver Persian she has ever handled!

What a thrill! It truly was an honor and one of the most memorable moments I have had in the cat fancy. 

Pam Bassett choosing D2 as her Best Silver/Golden Persian in Show!

The Challenge Of Showing A Silver Kitten

D2 is a shaded silver Persian that carried a huge coat, even at 4 months. Because of his profuse coat, his mantle of black tipping was diffused somewhat, making his tipping less obvious. A few judges who were not familiar with how “big hair” could change the appearance of the tipping on a silver coat began to question whether D2 was a shaded silver or a chinchilla. 

This is one of the difficulties in showing silvers and goldens (and tabbies). If a Persian has a big fluffy coat, the pattern is less obvious and more difficult to recognize. If a judge is not experienced in evaluating a silver Persian, they question the color. 

When asked, I always explained why D2 was a shaded silver and not a chinchilla by showing the judge the dark hair between his paw pads, as well as numerous hairs on his back that were black to the root and tipping that was 1/4 the length of the hair.

Knowledgeable judges agreed with me that D2 was a shaded silver, but a few newer judges who questioned his color didn’t use him in their rings because they felt he was a chinchilla. When D2 shed his kitten coat, it was obvious that he was a indeed a shaded silver.

Dropping Kitten Counts

By December, although not yet 6 months old, D2 had accumulated over 2000 points. As January rolled around, he was six months old, in the second half of his kitten career and at his most competitive. But the kitten counts began dropping dramatically.

David encouraged me to keep D2 out and still try for the national kitten win, but we struggled to find a show worth attending. We entered shows and crossed our fingers but we only went to one show in January because the counts were just too low.

On the other side of the country, there was a show coming up in San Diego, CA that traditionally had a large kitten entry. We had a litter due the week before it. If the pregnant queen had her kittens on her due date, we would be able to go to the big show. We bought plane tickets to California then waited for our girl to go into labor on time. And waited.. And waited.

Photo by L. Johnson

I am a breeder first and an exhibitor second, so when the time came for me to fly to California but my queen had still not gone into labor I stayed home with my pregnant girl. We missed the campaign show in San Diego.

Not Quite

We made it to a couple more shows in February but the counts remained low we were only able to get up to 2148.5 points by the end of the show season. The kitten at number 25 had 2169.8 points. D2 missed a national win by just 21.4 points—less than a single final.

Despite the disappointment, I learned a lot about showing at the national level. I have been involved in the cat fancy since 1997 and although I had bred and shown several regional winning cats, this was my first time attempt a national campaign.

I made some mistakes, like missing the big kitten count shows of Cotton States and San Diego. I was naive to think we had plenty of time in January and February to pick up more points, never anticipating that the kitten counts would be too low for a national win.

If I were to try for an NW again, I would do some things differently. There is strategy involved. There was also some uninvited ugliness from competition that took me by surprise. I guess it should be expected in any sport. Still, we had a great time and were supported and encouraged every step of the way by our genuine friends.

A Quick Grand

D2 went on to achieve his Grand Championship in two shows with 282 points at 8 months and 1 week of age.

A quick Grand

He finished the show season as Best Silver/Golden Persian kitten, 3rd Best Allbreed Kitten in the Southern Region, and 30th Best Allbreed kitten in CFA for 2013-14.

D2 is the third regional winner produced by his dam, so Inheritance is now working on adding the DM title to her name. 

The story continues…

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GC, RW SimbaKui Evolutionary Design

Shaded Silver CPC Persian Male

CFA’s Best Silver/Golden Persian Kitten 2013-14
CFA’s Southern Region’s 3rd Best Allbreed Kitten 2013-14
CFA’s 30th Best Allbreed Kitten Nationally 2013-14

Born June 19 2013
Sire: CH Kittikamir Pretty Vegas
Dam: CH Kittikamir Divine Inheritance
Breeder/Owner: Tracy Smith