Remembering Nancy Sullivan & Sulltans Legacy
BY Kathy Durdick, Ristokat Himalayans

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Nancy Sullivan at the NH Feline Fanciers show in 2015 with one of her beloved flame point Himalayans

On September 23, 2021, the Himalayan world lost one of its truly legendary breeders, when Nancy Sullivan, of Sulltans cattery, passed away.

Nancy started in Himalayans in the late 1970s when her daughter bought a pet quality Himalayan with papers, and they decided to breed her just once before spaying her. Nancy took one of those kittens to a small local show and the kitten won a rosette… she was hooked!

After several shows, however, they realized that what they were showing wasn’t really up to competitive standards, and decided to look for foundation cats for a cattery. She registered the Sulltans name in 1981, and purchased breeding stock from some of the well-known catteries of the day: Deverest, T. Renn, Madame Nu, and Teacherspet.

One of those foundation males was a seal point from T. Renn cattery. On November 20, 1982, that boy became Nancy’s very first Grand Champion – GC T. Renn’s Campaign of Sulltans. Nancy often laughed in later years, that she was obviously fated to end up being a campaigner, having started her career with a cat named Campaign!

Nancy was a high school art teacher, teaching drawing, painting and art history. This background really allowed her to develop an “eye” quickly with her breeding program, focusing on balance and harmony.

Just a few years after that first grand, in the 1986-87 show season, Nancy earned what would be the first of 12 National Wins, with a Cream Point Male named GC, NW Sulltans Seven Card Stud, who was 18th Best Cat that year.

In the 1990-91 show season, came her second National Win – a Flame Point Female named GC, NW Sulltans Shocking Pink. By this point, Nancy was becoming known for her flame points, once commenting “I enjoy showing flame points – they are so flashy in the show ring! Getting them in show condition is almost as difficult as preparing a white Persian for a show.”

In addition to her 12 National winners (the remaining 10 are pictured at the bottom of the article), Nancy also achieved 20 top breed awards over a 25 year span, with 7 Best of Breeds, 11 2nd Best of Breeds, and 2 3rd Best of Breeds.

Nancy earned a Distinguished Merit award with 7 cats – 4 home-bred, 3 bred by others. Those seven included TWO DM males: GC Sulltans Short Circuit, DM, a flame point, and GC, BW, RW Sulltans Seize The Day, DM, a seal point.

In an interview in CatTracks in 2017, Diane Castor spoke about a recent conversation she had with Nancy, discussing which cat they thought was the most perfect cat they had ever bred. Although born in 1998, almost 20 years prior to that chat, Nancy still felt her most perfect cat was Seize The Day.

Also incredibly impressive, spanning from her first Grand in 1985, her last grand was in the 2013-14 show season, giving her a total of 73 Grand Champions with the Sulltans cattery name: 66 Himalayans and 7 CPCs.

1986-87

Photo by Howard

18th Best Cat
GC, NW Sulltans Seven Card Stud

Cream Point Male

1990-91

Photo by Carl

12th Best Cat
GC, NW Sulltans Shocking Pink

Flame Point Female

1991-92

Photo by Larry Johnson

6th Best Cat
GC, BW, NW Sulltans Short Bread

Flame Point Female

1993-94

Photo by Larry Johnson

9th Best Cat
GC, NW Sulltans Spindoctor

Seal Point Male

1997-98

Photo by Larry Johnson

22nd Best Cat
GC, BW, NW Sulltans Spring Tonic

Seal Point Male

2000-01

Photo by Chanan

13th Best Cat
GC, NW Sulltans Share The Fantasy

Flame Point Male


Photo by Chanan

4th Best Kitten
GC, NW Sulltans Seize The Glory

Tortie Point Female

2002-03

Photo by Chanan

14th Best Kitten
GC, NW Sulltans Sing Glory Halleluiah

Tortie Point Female

2003-04

Photo by Larry Johnson

3rd Best Cat
GC, BW, NW Sulltans Snuggles

Flame Point Male

2004-05

Photo by Chanan

17th Best Cat
GC, NW Sulltans Shining Starlet

Flame Point Female

2006-07

Photo by Larry Johnson

4th Best Cat
GC, BW, NW Sulltans Spin To Win

Flame Point Male

2007-08

Photo by Larry Johnson

19th Best Cat
GC, NW Sulltans Shining Glitter

Tortie Point Female

 

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