Beach got his first Birman in 1987, Ashi's Jenni
of Khetmeo, a blue point breeder/show quality female, bred
by Charlene May. "I was a single parent, and my daughter
wanted a cat, but I wasn't so fond of a cats at that time.
I decided: If we were to get a cat then it needed to at least
be one I could live with, and knew I didn't want a loud or
overly busy cat. So, I went to the library and started researching
the personality and looks of pedigree cats, thinking that
with a pedigree cat we could take a lot of guess work out
about what we might be getting. I was immediately attracted
to the Birman in both looks and personality, but I didn't
know how I would see one in person. At the time, I had no
idea cat shows existed, but I called a breeder, out of a cat
magazine who lived a couple hours from me, and she told me
of a show that would be taking place in Rockford, Illinois,
and so I went to meet this breeder, and her cats. This is
where I met one of my oldest and dearest of friends, Victory
Peterson, of Bravi Cattery, and held my first Birman, Bravi
Jellicle Girl, a beautiful seal point female. I remember,
as I looked at Jelli and held her in my arms, feeling I had
not ever seen anything so beautiful in all my life. So, fate
would have it that I fell in love with the Birman right there
in Rockford, Illinois.
lot has transpired over the past couple of decades, but my
love for this beautiful and special breed of cats is still
as bright as it was when I held my very first Birman."
Richards got her first birman in 1996: GP Amberelle
Theadorable Mcporkchop, "Thea," a beautiful blue
point girl bred by Gayle and Michael Blonar. "I had been
looking for a Birman for quite awhile, and decided to go the
the cat show, held by the Sacred Cat of Burma Fanciers, in
Medina, Ohio. I brought a cat carrier and my money with me,
and was determined to come home with a pet quality birman
I got to the show one of the first kittens I saw was this
pretty little blue point, and I mentioned to Gayle that I
thought she was beautiful. Gayle, who is also from the Pittsburgh
area, and who I had met before, responded by saying, "Well,
she's available, Mary." I didn't know then what I know
about Birmans today, but I remember feeling that Thea was
just perfect, and I could not believe Gayle was really going
to let me have her. So, what I did was finalize this deal
as fast as I could, putting Thea into her carrier and immediately
leaving the show. I was afraid the deal was too good to be
true, and that if I hung around Gayle would tell me she had
sold me the wrong kitten by mistake.
was Thea who captured my heart with her beauty and personality
that caused me to begin showing, and later breeding Birmans.
Fortunately, for me, it also happens to be that Thea grew
up to be a top show quality Birman. Gayle didn't realize just
how nicely she had developed until she later saw her at a
show. It's a good thing it was too late to call the deal off
by then. I'm sure Gayle would have loved to have had her back!
Thea passed away when she was five years old, causing me to
feel very sad because we were so close. One of the nice things
about breeding though is the opportunity to move forward.
Thea set a standard for what I want in a Birman. I realize
that I will never replace her, but I do continue to look for
her sweet little face in every blue point Birman female born
here in my home."
right: Mary Richards & Greg Beach at the Regional Awards
Banquet, 2004/05, picking up a Regional Award for GC, RW Shanjo
Alex of Catabella.