Somalis - The Next Generation
by Karen Talbert

From the October 1992 CFA Almanac, posted with permission from CFA

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About this same time in the United States, Evelyn Mague began working with Somalis, after finding that two of her Abys carried the longhair gene, Lynn-Lee’s Lord Dublin and Lo-Mi-R Trill By. She and a friend had bred the two and produced a dark fuzzy kitten. Before Evelyn knew it, her friend had given the kitten away. Evelyn had been involved with Cat Placement, an animal welfare group, and one day received a call from a lady who had developed an allergy to her cat. She brought it to Evelyn to place, and Evelyn found it to be the most beautiful cat she had ever seen. “George” turned out to be the very same longhair kitten from the Lord Dublin Trill-By litter that had been given away. From that time Evelyn worked diligently for the recognition and development of the Somali Breed. She placed ads in Cats Magazine for over a year before she finally received a letter from Don Richings (Don-Al Cattery) in Canada. Don indicated that he had some longhair Abys and would be willing to work with her. Don-Al’s Leroy and Don-Al’s Flashette became the Don-Al foundation cats.

Evelyn bred Lynn-Lee’s Lord Dublin to Lynn-Lee’s Kleopatra and produced Lynn-Lee’s Pollyana in 1972, the first Somali to be shown in the United States. Her first longhair stud, Golden Boise, came from a cross of Tawa, daughter of Lord Dublin and Trill By, and a longhair Aby owned by Lou McClain. She then added Du-Ro-Al’s Samson, bred by Alma Cowell, who was one of the first Aby breeders to allow longhairs of her breeding to be used in the Somali breeding program. (Alma also sold another longhair stud to Robert and Ruth Morris, Du-Ro-Al’s Georgeous George.) Evelyn also worked with Mei-Len’s Topaz (Sunflower), bred by Len and Mabel Giarrputo and owned by Margery Hoff. In 1973, Don Richings had produced his first litter of red Somalis. In 1974 Evelyn Mague purchased a red male, Saffron’s Falstaf of Lynn-Lee, whose parents were from the lines of Don-Al’s Sun-Beau and Saffron’s Cibi. He was the first red to be shown in the United States.

The United States breeders first organized and campaigned to have the breed recognized. Evelyn chose the name of the breed, Somali, because of the close proximity of Somali to Abyssinian. In 1972 Evelyn founded the unaffiliated Somali Cat Club of America (SCCA), which promoted and encouraged Somali breeders around the world. Patricia Nell Warren researched and wrote promotional articles about Somalis during the late 1970’s. THE SOMALI, THE INTERNATIONAL BREED, was published in the 1978 CFA Year Book. She also showed Somalis extensively for the judges to handle and for the public to become acquainted with the breed. The CFA International Somali Cat Club was formed in 1975. The first members working to form this club were: John and Betty Bridges, SANTGRIA CATTERY; Diane and Leslie Croy, DILE CATTERY; Margery Hoff, MARGUS CATTERY; Ann Kimball, MILLCREEK CATTERY; Evelyn Mague, LYNN-LEE CATTERY; Ruth and Bob Morris, NEPHRANI CATTERY; Ina Rauch, L’AIR DE RAUCH CATTERY; and Patricia Nell Warren, FOXTAIL CATTERY.

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