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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.

My Philosophies

“I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you… We are in charge of our attitudes”.

~Charles Swindoll

Although we may not be aware of them, we all have personal philosophies that shape how we view the world. These philosophies color our interpretation of events in our lives — both good and bad — and more importantly, how we respond to those events. We’ve all heard some of the more popular philosophies; Do unto others as you would have them do unto you; A penny saved is a penny earned; When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But, have you stopped to think about the philosophies that guide and shape your particular world view?

While attending a celebratory dinner with friends recently, the after-dinner conversation skipped through a range of subjects, but the one that resulted in the most lively exchanges was the subject of life philosophies.

I have often found that having a short saying that defines a perspective or actions has helped my journey through life. When I entered the cat fancy, I also found my favorite “sayings” proved a great boon to my career in the cat fancy.

And so, I share my three favorite life philosophies, and hope perhaps you too might find value in these sayings.

Knowledge Is Power

The sentence, “Knowledge is Power”, was first recorded in the works of English author and philosopher, Sir Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626). 

  • It means that the more one knows, the more one will be able to control events. 
  • It means that there is a solution to every problem if you search hard enough and long enough.
  •  It means that if you learn something today that you didn’t know yesterday, then today has been a good day.

“Knowledge is Power” has been the most significant single idea that has shaped the path I have followed in my life. In fact, the websites PandEcats.comShowCatsOnline.com and CatPedigrees.com were all founded on the idea that “Knowledge is Power”.

When applied to the world of the cat fancy, it means:

  • The more you know about good nutrition, medical care and cattery maintenance, the healthier and happier your cats will be.
  • The more you know about show grooming, campaigning, and exhibiting, the more successful you will be in the show ring.
  • The more you study pedigrees, the smarter you become in planning future matings, the better cat breeder you will be.

Without knowledge, we tend to be passive, because we have no options. It becomes a case of hoping things will work out. With knowledge, we can actively pursue our goals and find ways to rise to the challenges. So, celebrate the things you have learned or done for the first time this past year, from tube feeding your first kitten to sculpting your first Persian to diagnosing a cat’s health problem — and being right.

No Blood, No Death… No Big Deal

My second favorite saying is, “No blood, no death, no big deal.” It is all about keeping a perspective on what happens to you in your life. Along with the good times, the victories, the goals accomplished in life (and the cat fancy), there will also be disappointments, defeats, times when you are blind-sided.

During the difficult times, the challenge becomes being able to accept a loss with grace and learning how to maintain perspective — to realize that there are things in life worth getting upset about — and there are those that are not. Basically, if there is no blood or death, every other problem in life pales in comparison,  both with regard to our cats and to life in general.

A good friend called me on the phone one Sunday afternoon, sobbing, barely able to speak.

“I’m devastated,” she sobbed.

I held my breath, almost afraid to hear what catastrophe had occurred. She continued,

“My cat missed the last final of the show!”

Huh? She was “devastated” by missing a final at a cat show? Devastated is a very strong word. I couldn’t help but wonder what word she would use if her cat was gravely ill? Or died? Or if someone in her human family was diagnosed with cancer? Clearly, it was time for a bit of perspective. So we talked… and not about the missed final, but about the philosophy encompassed in the words, “No Blood, No Death… No Big Deal”.

Rosette or No Rosette, The Cat Remains The Same

This is a philosophy I adopted during my second year of showing, and while it is specific to the world of the cat fancy, I have also found I can apply it to my life in general to see the true value of things.

I was in the middle of my first national campaign with a cream and white Persian named PJ. At a show in Texas, a couple were telling me that a gorgeous calico Persian had just granded in a show back home in California, going Best Cat across the board. Her owners were going to campaign her for a national win. The couple were giving me a “heads up” that next time I came to a California show, the competition for Best of Breed would be tough. They then asked me what I would do if my cat lost breed to the new calico campaigner.

Without a pause, I answered, “Rosette or no rosette, the cat remains the same.” That was the first time I had ever thought those words. Yet they were so true.

My PJ was close to perfection. She was clearly a national quality cat. But that did not necessarily guarantee her a national win. While it was my intent to campaign her to an NW title, anything could happen to derail a successful outcome. She could become ill. Or I could. I may not be able to afford to continue showing. Or we could run afoul of politics. Or any other series of reasons that could result in PJ not earning enough points to add that treasured NW title to her name.

But if that happened, and she never became a national winner, it wouldn’t change her quality.

The flip side to the saying, of course, is that no amount of winning with a lesser cat can actually improve the quality of the cat. And if your cat misses a final because of a judge’s preference, politics or whatever,  your cat’s quality remains a constant. The kitty is just as good as before it missed that final.

While the titles a cat earns is a guideline to assessing the quality of a cat, the more informed exhibitor should always be willing to judge the cat on its actual quality, not necessarily its titles, because there are many factors besides simple quality that can influence the obtaining of titles.

Last Thought

Just three short phrases, but together they create a philosophy that can lead you towards success and happiness in life and in the cat fancy.

Knowledge is Power,
No blood, no death… no big deal.
Rosette or no rosette, the cat remains the same.

P.S. PJ finished the show season as # 2 Cat in Championship in CFA. 
She will always be the BEST Cat in my heart.

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ABOUT THE IMAGE AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE

The first documented ancestors of the Persian were imported into Italy from Persia around 1620.

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