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.

GP, NW Luvely Alesana

GP, NW Luvely Alesana, a beautiful black smoke Persian spay is CFA’s 25th Best Cat in Premiership 2015-2016. Better known as “Ali”, this stunning girl was bred by Tashia Lyons of Luvely Persians and is co-owned with Lena Bradshaw of Persipals Persians. This is their story…

My name is Tashia Lyons. I am an Oregon girl — born and raised. Currently I’m attending college as an Oregon State Beaver, finishing up my business degree, while raising and showing my Persians under the cattery name Luvely. When deciding on my cattery name, I wanted a word that would express the beauty of my Persian cats but with a little twist for uniqueness — and so “Luvely” was a perfect choice.

Alesana

On July 8th, 2014, a very special Persian female was born in my home. Although her mom only had one kitten this litter, the breeding was a repeat of a mating that earlier produced four beautiful show Persians — GC RW Luvely Atom, GP RW Luvely BringMeTheHorizon, GC RW Luvely Juke Box Hero, and GC Luvely Smokahontas.

GC, RW Luvely Atom is Ali’s older full brother (Photo by Chanan)
GP, RW Luvely BringMeTheHorizon (Photo by Chanan)
GC, RW Luvely Juke Box Hero (Photo by Chanan)
GC Luvely Smokahontas (Photo by Chanan)

Even though she was a singleton kitten, I couldn’t help but wonder if the baby would be able to live up to the accomplishments of her older siblings. Right from the start, the little black smoke had spunk. She was healthy and active and it was clear she was a tough girl.

I usually name my kitties after my favorite music band names, or names of songs I like. I have fond memories of seeing the American rock band Alesana perform at a summer festival that I attended with my best friend a couple of years ago. I decided to name this baby girl Alesana, “Ali” for short.

Baby Ali

Ali’s mom, Kendal, is a wonderful mother. Every time I would look in the birthing pen, she would be laying with Ali snuggled under her chin and cupped by her mother’s paw. It was as if her mom saying “My baby. All mine. Love, love, love”.

It was clear they were very bonded and it was a precious sight to behold. It was obvious her mom absolutely adored and cherished Ali, as did we. 

Momma Kendal adored her baby Ali.

As the weeks went by, Ali developed into an outgoing, playful and feisty girl, who loved people and lots of attention. Whenever she saw me she would run up to me as fast as she could and jump onto my leg and hang on by my pants!

She was such a delight and it became more and more obvious that her wonderful personality wasn’t all that she had going for her. Her Persian type was phenomenal and I couldn’t wait to see how she would do in the show ring.

Her smoke color was coming in nicely too. Even at a young age I would gently blow on her coat, parting the hairs so I could admire her bright, crisp silver undercoat — the most important characteristic of a good black smoke coat. I was very excited about the future show career that awaited this baby.

Kitten Debut

The time came when Ali was old enough to be shown. I started showing Ali as soon as she turned four months of age and she immediately began making finals.

Photo by Chanan

At just five months old, something unexpected happened. Ali came into season. But this was no tiny kitten heat. This was a rip-roaring, full force heat that lasted longer than the “normal” heat I was accustomed to seeing.

Not only did my poor baby begin cycling extremely early, but she would only go out of season for a few days before coming back into her next heat. While her fierce cycling ultimately ruined any chances of continuing to show her as a kitten, my greater concern was what the continual cycling was doing to her health.

Needless to say I was very worried about her. Eventually I decided I had no choice but to breed her. I put my most experienced in to mate with her — but Ali would not cooperate and he did not manage to get the job done. After trying two different boys who also failed to breed her, and with Ali still cycling and now losing weight and condition, I knew I had to do something or risk losing her to an infection — or worse.

As a breeder, especially working with such a challenging color as a black smoke, I had always dreamed of producing a cat of Ali’s quality, but I felt strongly that it was in her best interest to be spayed. I made the heartbreaking decision to spay my stunning girl.

Premiership Debut

When you are handed lemons, make lemonade… so after her spay and once her hair on her tummy was growing back, I decided to take Ali out to show in Premiership. Her first show as an Open Premier was at the end of September 2015. She earned 6 “qualifying rings” for her PR title, made 4 top 10 finals, as well as PR finals in 5 of 6 rings to earn 64 grand points.

Her next show, she granded in the first ring on Saturday, and then transferred to GP on Sunday. The next show was the first weekend of October. She made every final except one and came up just a few points shy of being a one-show grand! In the first ring of her next show Ali became a two-show grand — which in turn DM’d her mom, Joleigh EarthWind&Fire of Luvely DM. It was my first DM! I was thrilled! On the Sunday of the show, Ali transferred to GP and made all 4 finals, including her first Best Cat from judge Donna Fuller! What a weekend!

Tashia, Ali, and judge Donna Fuller — with her first Best Cat, first show as a Grand.

Just For Fun

My plan was to continue showing Ali just for fun — hoping to achieve a Regional Win while going to the local cat shows, even though there are not a lot of cat shows in my area of the Northwest in the early fall. It was a month until our next show in Salt Lake City, Utah. Ali made all 8 finals. It was another month until the Lewis & Clark show in Seattle, WA. Again, Ali made all 8 finals — but this time with a higher count she earned almost 200 points in the show.

Photo by L. Johnson

A Judge’s Nudge

It was yet another month until the Responsible Cat Fanciers in Chehalis, WA. Ali made all 6 finals, including twice being Best Cat! At the show, judge Brian Moser stated that ” Ali was as good as any national campaigning Persian he’d seen in Premiership”. I was flattered… but I I didn’t have the time to campaign nationally. Then, two weeks later at her next show, three more judges also mentioned to me that I should think about running Ali for an NW.

The Generosity Of Friends

My good friend, Lena Bradshaw of Persipals Persians, lives in Los Angeles California, but was at our Northwest show. When I told her what the judges had said, she made an incredible offer. She knew how busy I was with my college courses, but if I was interested, she would help me run Ali for a National Win in Premiership. Of course I was interested! But there were definitely some challenges. We had just over three months left in the show season. Was that enough time? Could Ali compete on a national stage? Would judges final a Smoke against the best cats in CFA? Would she maintain her smoke coat? It would be risky… but we decided to go for it!

Photo by L. Johnson

And so the decision was made to try for the national win.

Now my other good friend, Kathy Durdick of Ristokat Himalayans, offered to help plan Ali’s campaign. Acting as campaign statistician, Kathy maintained a spreadsheet of Ali’s points as well as those of all the top cats in Premiership, because as Kathy explained it to me, campaigning is a Numbers Game.

The Numbers Game

First, Kathy spent hours poring over the previous five years counts for shows (published on PandEcats.com), looking at traditionally high count shows in Premiership for each weekend, judging line-ups, etc. to determine which shows Ali would need to enter to earn enough points. Kathy also looked up the number of points earned by the 25th Best Cat in Premiership for the previous five years.

Analyzing these numbers, Kathy decided that Ali’s “Goal Number” would be 2900 points. In other words, the target that Ali would need to shoot for by the end of the season was 2900 points n to rank in 25th place nationally and earn the NW title. On Jan 16, 2016, the decision was made to run Ali for an NW. Her point total at the time was just 725.45. She was ranked 84th nationally.

Kathy crunched more numbers… With just 13 weekends left in the season, Ali would need to earn between 150-175 points every weekend to reach her 2900 point goal. (This calculation of 150-175 points/weekend was reached by taking the 2900 final total points needed minus 725.45 points Ali already had = 2174.55 points that she needed to reach 2900. Dividing the 2174.55 by the 13 weekends left in the show season gave the goal of making 150-175 points every show. There would be no chance to recover if we chose wrong and went to a show that didn’t get a high enough count. Ali couldn’t afford to have even one bad weekend if we were to succeed. Just one mistake… one stumble… and the NW would be out of reach. The pressure was on!

13 Weeks and Counting…

With the plan in place, and the numbers sorted, Lena took Ali for the remaining three and a half months of the season. Lena can groom a cat like no other and she and Ali developed a close bond during the next few months. The next weekend was Ali’s first big test as to whether or not this NW run had a chance to work. It was the prestigious San Diego campaign show. The count huge with 59 cats in Premiership including 15 cats that were in the top 25 (and that would all end the season as NWs). Ali more than held her own, making 7 of the 8 finals, and ending as 6th Best Cat in Show! She also earned almost 250 points, which was great as it gave a bit of cushion for our weekly goal of 150-175 points/show. 

Ali was on her way!

Ali peeks out from her stash of ribbons.

Close… But Can We Make It?

By the end of March, Ali was ranked 32nd in the nation. She had reached her 100 rings with almost 2300 points. With just 4 weekends in April to go before the season’s end, Ali would now be replacing rings… and that would mean her gains would start to slow down.

Lena, CFA Judge Vicki Nye with Ali, and Tashia

April 2nd — Ali earned 279.10 points at the show. She replaced rings for a gain of 253.55 points for a total of 2543.35 in her top 100 rings. Ali moved into the 29th spot in Premiership nationally. She was getting closer and closer to breaking into the top 25.

April 9th — Ali had another good show with 254.30 points earned for a gain of 154.10 points overall. Total of 2697.45.
Ali was 26th! Almost there!

Apr 16th — Ali gained 140.35 when she earned 290.30 overall points at the show! . . . With that total Ali moved into the 25 Best Cat in Premiership. Now the question was whether she could hold on with one more show to go.

The final show of the season was in Las Vegas. Most of the top cats in Premiership were there. Ali made lots of finals — and sealed her 25th spot for her NW by 75 points.

I was on Cloud Nine! GP, NW Luvely Alesana was a National Winner! The singleton kitten had not only lived up to her older siblings, she had surpassed them!

Lena and Tashia with Ali at #25!

Looking Back

Looking back, it was an incredible campaign. First, there was the logistics; from mid-January, when the decision was made to try for the NW, Ali went to 13 shows — 7 were local drive shows and 6 were fly shows. Of the 13 shows, 3 were in our local NW Region, 5 were in the SW Region 5, 4 were in the Gulf Shore Region 3 and 2 were in Southern Region.

During the campaign, I made new friendships and built stronger bonds with existing friends. I am so thankful for the outpouring of support for Ali from spectators, fellow exhibitors and judges. It was almost over-whelming. My amazing parents, Lena Bradshaw and Kathy Durdick were huge parts of Ali’s incredible achievement. I especially want to thank Lena for her dedication and commitment getting Ali to the shows, often spending the better part of a travel day in an airport and, of course, doing an amazing job of grooming Ali and keeping her in show condition.

This National Win and all the memories associated with it I will hold dear to my heart forever. It was a whirlwind journey with no guarantee that we would be successful, but it is especially sweet to have a smoke Persian be counted amongst this year’s National Winners. It could even be said that, despite the shortness of her campaign, that in the end, Ali smoked the competition.

More Photos of GP, NW Luvely Alesana

Photo by L. Johnson
Photo by L. Johnson
Photo by L. Johnson
Photo by L. Johnson
Photo by Chanan
Photo by Chanan
Ali tries her best to catch that mouse on the string!
Lena, Ali & judge Gary Powell
Ali’s dam (as a kitten) Joleigh EarthWind&Fire of Luvely, DM

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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

GP, NW Luvely Alesana

Black Smoke Persian Spay

CFA’s 25th Best Cat in Premiership 2015-2016
Multiple Best In Show Winner
Multiple Best Cat Winner
2 Show Grand

Born July 8th 2014
Sire: Midas Twilight of Luvely
Dam: Joleigh EarthWind&Fire of Luvely
Breeder: Tashia Lyons
Owners: Tashia Lyons & Lena Dunham

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