I started showing in CFA in 1999 & breeding in 2000 but I've been a cat lover, all my life (see me with my first cats). Siamese came into my life in 1976 when I got my first Siamese cat Caesar.
In 1990 I rescued an "applehead" Siamese who I named Baby then in 1995 I bought my first CFA registered Siamese from Carole Hamelman (Elorac). I named him Caesar after his predecessor. Soon it became apparent that two Siamese weren't enough. Since Baby and Caesar were seal points I decided to get a blue point, so a year later I went back to Carole and got Indigo. By now I was determined to have one of each color, so Kismet, a lilac point came next. I bought Kismet from Christine & Isabelle Arnau; Crystabel Cattery. Kismet was the perfect name for this boy because getting
him changed my life. It was truly destiny. I had never been to a cat show and when Christine & Isabelle invited me to visit them at a show I really didn't know what to expect. It was so exciting, the Arnau's cat Domingo was in the last final of the day, I watched as the judge took the cats out one by one: 10th, 9th, 8th, etc. Domingo was judged BEST CAT!!!! Now I was hooked. I was on my way to becoming a "Cat Show Junkie".
Christine & Isabelle suggested I show Indigo. I wasn't sure so I attended 3 other shows as a spectator, watching and learning. I learned how to keep score & calculate points, about grooming, etc. I took Indigo, now Grand Premier Elorac Indigo Eros Atari Brady, to his first show in May of 1999. It was so much fun! Soon it became very clear, I needed a kitten to show.
I didn't think there was a breed that I could love more than the Siamese...then I got an Oriental Shorthair. Oddy, my beautiful odd-eyed white boy came into my life in September of 1999 (thank you Christine & Isabelle). The plan was to show him as a kitten, then get him neutered and show him in Premiership. By this point I was going to shows almost every week end, meeting people, making new friends and having the time of my life.
A few people suggested I begin to breed cats. I said "no way, it's just too much work". But by the time Oddy was ready for neutering I had a change of heart. I was lucky enough to be entrusted with Dazz, a lovely, experienced Siamese girl (thank you Connie) and with Christine & Isabelle's guidance she became Oddy's "wife". They had 6 beautiful kittens in July of 2000.
Breeding is not easy. I was right about that, however it can be very rewarding. I granded 3 of those first 6 kittens, one even went on to win a regional breed award in the 2001-2002 season. Oddy and Dazz had one more litter and when I granded that kitten Dazz became a DM.
In 2003 I decided to take my breeding program in a new and exciting direction. I got a lovely bi-color female and a calico from Susan & Sydneye James (Sydsu) and a van male from Nancy Grandison (Balinan). These cats are the foundation of my bi-color Oriental breeding program.
By 2004, I made another addition. I got a Colorpoint Shorthair from Carole Hammelman. After granding him in November, this boy went on to achieve a National Breed win, ending the season as 3rd Best Colorpoint Shorthair in CFA for the 2004-2005 season.
In 2006 Siamese and Colorpoints had taken over my life and I placed all but 1 of my Orientals to concentrate on the other two breeds. In 2007 I decided to move out of NYC and with that I made the decision to no longer breed Orientals. I moved to Central Florida in January 2008, the cats and I are enjoying the warm weather and larger space.
You can see pictures of all these cats on my web page...enjoy.
In 2014 Katsmith was awarded with a Cattery of Distinction Tier 1 award; in 2016 that was upped to COD Tier II in 2017. The purpose of this award is to acknowledge Catteries that have reached certain thresholds of Grands and Distinguished Merits produced.
CFA is a wonderful organization which I am very proud to be a part of. CFA allows one to be as involved as they want to be, if you have the time and energy to spare there are many ways to participate.
I am a member of CFA's Siamese, Colorpoint Shorthair and Oriental Breed Councils. The CFA Breed Councils were created to serve as advisory bodies on breed standards to the CFA Executive Board. I've been a Breed Council member since 2001. In 2016 I was elected by the Colorpoint Breed Council Members to represent them as their Breed Council Secretary.
I am the webmaster of Cat Shows US!! a web site I created to promote The Cat Fancy and cat shows.
Clubs are also a great way to participate in the Fancy. I belong to four breed specific cat clubs; I am the President of Siamese Alliance of America, and on the Board of Directors of National Siamese Cat Club, United Colorpoint Shorthair Fanciers and Lilac Point Fanciers and I'm the President and Secretary of That's My Point Cat Fanciers here in FL.
I am a licensed CFA Ring Clerk. A Ring Clerk manages the operation of the ring under the Judge's direction. It's the clerk's responsibility to get the cats benched in the ring, mark the catalog, supervise the stewards, record the finals and make sure everything runs smoothly.
I am a mentor in The CFA Mentor Program. This is a program designed to attract new breeders and exhibitors and retain them in the hobby of breeding and exhibiting pedigreed cats. CFA has established this program to provide education, guidance, assistance and nurturing to new breeders and exhibitors. It promotes CFA as a friendly association with pleasant people ready to assist the novice or newcomer. So far I've worked with two proteges and I've found my participation in this program to be extremely rewarding.
As a member of the CFA-Iams Ambassador Program I am committed to educating spectators at cat shows about cats, CFA and the types of opportunities that exist in the Fancy.
I was the North Atlantic Region Show Schedule Coordinator from 2002 - 2010, I am now the Show Schedule Coordinator for the Southern Region where I now reside and a member of (now defunct) CFA's National Show Schedule Committee. I have been responsible for the NAR's Regional Breed Awards. I am also on the Siamese Breed Council Awards and Centennial Committees and the former Award Chair for the Oriental Breed Council.
In June of 2005 I was awarded the "Spotlight Award" from the North Atlantic Region. This award is very special as it's awarded by one's peers.