Those Early Somali Years

By: Evelyn Mague for SCCA

Editor's note: The pictures to follow are the actual pictures from the booklet which was printed on colored paper.



It's time to relate the human interest story of "George" requested by my good friend, Anita Henry regarding the origin of the somali cat. Trilly did not receive sufficient recognition along the way, but without her there would have been no push for the little longhairs which occasionally turned up.

Eighteen years ago when Charlotte Lohmeyer was showing her kitten "Trill-By" and I was showing my first Aby kitten Mei-Len's Mariah of Lynn-Lee, we decided that whoever was lucky enough to have the first male would help the other by giving stud service. It seemed a good idea and we were both new to the fancy. Eventually, Mariah gave birth to Lynn-Lee's Lord Dublin. Sometime later, Trilly and Dubbies were mated. They produced a strange looking dark fuzzy one in the litter. We decided that it must be one of those longhairs which we heard were turning up. Before I was really aware of it, Charlotte decided to get the fuzzy one out of her cattery at five weeks of age! About a month later, she informed me that the person she had donated "George" to reported that he had disappeared, presumably for good. It was very sad not knowing what happened to him.

At that time, I was quite involved with cat welfare, being president of Cat Placement which was a private charity for cats and kittens. We kept them in a small shelter until permanent homes could be found for them. None of these cats were ever put to sleep unless our vet advised it because of incurable illness. One day I had a call from a distraught young lady who stated she had become allergic to her cat and did not want to put him do sleep. Unable to say "no" to yet another cat, I asked her to bring him over for placement in our shelter. When my doorbell rang and I opened the door, surely there was the most beautiful cat I had ever seen! I asked her where she got the longhaired Abyssinian. She related that her husband had purchased it for her as a gift from a fellow student in college. Of course, you realize it was "George", the kitten who had been given away.

Upon tracing back , it was found that "George" had been in five homes in less than a years time without even the benefit of protective shots. Trilly was already residing in my cattery since Charlotte had gone out of cats. "George, who had never seen another cat since he was 5 weeks old, was unfortunately a screaming fury where other cats were concerned and thus could not stay permanetly in my home. I had him altered, vaccinated, and sold him for $75.00 a standard price for a pet Abyssinian in those days to give him an equal value.

Slowly, resentment built in me that this little longhair had been no better of than the unpedigreed cat on the street devalued in the Cat Fancy and hidden from the world. His littermates were considered pedigreed and valued in 3 figures. It was unjust that other unwanted "Georges" were not recognized - could they dream the impossible dream? I no longer cared what other Aby breeders thought of me in what I was about to do, knowing full well it was the end of anyone wanting my Abys when I started to show longhairs.

Today we have the results around the world. All of this started with a little short-haired Aby named Trilly and her mate Dubbies. Just search those old pedigrees and you will find this combination on the beginning pedigrees of many of the best know Somalis on the show circuit today. I write this all in memory of the cat who has received no credit for her part in the beginning of the Somali breed - "Lo-Mi-R's Trill-By" born May 25,1965, died May 12, 1981. Rest in peace, Trilly, mother of the Somali "movement" around the world. Your job on earth was well done. Without you there would have been no little "George" who was to start a revolutionary movement in the Cat Fancy.

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