Photo courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection


In the Tabby Shorthair classes, which were dominated by Silver and Brown Classic Tabbies, the Red Tabbies often had a hard time of it. And even when successful, they also had to compete for Best Shorthair, against the classic Blues and Solid Whites (often Blue-eyed), which were often seen as the 'glamour cats'.

But one or two did stand out and during the period from 1895 through to 1905, 'Ch. Ballochmyle Perfection' was one such cat. Like his great grandfather, the celebrated brown tabby 'Ch.Xenophon', he lived long, and had a successful show career within his own colour class, running up an impressive record of two Gold Medals, over 100 firsts, numerous championships,(as of 1903) and still winning First and Specials for Best of Colour at the Crystal Palace at 11 plus years of age!

Frances Simpson, in 'The Book of The Cat' (1903) had the following to say about Red Tabbies and of Ch.Ballochmyle Perfection in particular:
"Red Tabbies again, are one of the difficult varieties to obtain. The dense, dark red tabby markings against the light red ground is only the result of judicious mating and breeding. Among the many notable males 'Ballochmyle Perfection', the property of Lady Alexander, winner of some 100 first prizes, championships, and specials, the sire of Ch.Ballochmyle Goldfinder, and Ballochmyle No Fool,(the mother of Ballochmyle Red Prince), stands out very prominently. Despite his ten years, has still the grand dense colour and markings of old. In 'Ballochmyle Perfection', we have a chip off the old block".1

By her reference to the 'chip off the old block' we can only surmise that she may be referring to his paternal great grandsire, 'Ch. Fulmer Xenophon', quite possibly the most celebrated Classic Tabby Shorthair of all time.

Likewise, Charles Lane, in his book, Rabbits, Cats & Cavies published the same year, remarks as follows:
"A really well-marked Red Tabby, in good form, is a very handsome animal, and worthy of admiration. The Illustrations to this sketch are Champion Ballochmyle Perfection, the property of Lady Alexander, and probably one of the best ever exhibited; the other, Lord Rufus, a great winner, was first exhibited at a small show in Wiltshire, where he was claimed by the Rev.D.G.Truss,and some time afterwards came into the possession of the writer, who had him for some years." 3


"Perfection" was born on the 22nd August, 1894, bred Mr R.Betts, from Mr Down's Red Tabby male, 'Orange Boy' and out of Mr Bett's 'Tortoiseshell', a dam of whom we know little, except that she was a daughter of a Red Tabby female, named 'Red Poppy'.3

He appears then to have become the property of Mr George Towlerton, during which time he sired a female named "Goldfinder", bred by Mr R Kuhnel, (famous for his line of Red Tabbies), before he was finally on-sold to Lady Alexander. This transfer to Lady Alexander appears to have taken place in all probability around 1898, as from early 1899, she starts registering 'Ballochmyle' progeny sired by him.

    Orange Boy
    |   Unknown
Ballochmyle Perfection, Aug-24-1894, Red Tabby BSH M
    |   Unknown


At this point in time, we have found no siblings of 'Ballochmyle Perfection'.

In the National Cat Club Register, his wins, as of 1899 were recorded as: Thirty-three firsts, including 1st Crystal Palace ,1896; 1st Crystal Palace, 1897; 3rd Crystal Palace, 1898; 2nd Botanic, 1899; 1st, Cup and Championship, Westminster, 1899.3 However, by the time Charles Lane's book arrived on the scene in 1903, that tally had climbed to two gold medals, 100 prizes etc…1


Of progeny from 'Ballochmyle Perfection', we can find the following cats notated in the registers:

Bred by Mr & Mrs Kuhnel and born on 2nd March 1897:- (possibly from a Granddam to Grandson mating)

  • 'Goldfinder' - Shorthair Red Tabby Female by 'Perfection', out of 'Red Poppy'. NCC Regn: 3328
  • 'Princess Pearl' - Shorthair Female Cream (probably Tabby), dilute litter sister. NCC Regn 3362
  • 'No Fool' - Shorthair Red Tabby Female, (no date of birth) but likely litter sister. NCC Regn 3330

Goldfinder appears to have gone to Mr T.Wilkinson, who bred her back to 'Perfection', and then she and her progeny both become the property of Lady Alexander.

Then bred by Mr George Towlerton, and born on 29th March 1899: - from the same parentage;

  • 'Perfection Junior' - Shorthair Red Tabby Male by 'Perfection', out of 'Red Poppy'. (CCR)
  • 'Red Eagle' - Shorthair Red Tabby Neuter, litter brother. (CCR)

Then born on 5th July, 1899, by 'Ballochmyle Perfection' and out of Towerton's 'Floss':

  • 'Golden Poppy' - Shorthair Red Tabby Female. Appears to have been retained by Mr Towerton.

'Perfection Junior' appears to have been retained as a stud for breeding by MrTowlerton, while 'Red Eagle' was neutered and transferred to Lady Alexander as 'Ballochmyle Red Eagle'.

Lastly a litter bred by Mr T.Wilkinson, born 14th December, 1899:

  • 'Ballochmyle Perfect Still' - Shorthair Red Tabby Female by 'Perfection' and out of 'Goldfinder'.

The result of this Father/Daughter breeding returning to the stud owner, Lady Alexander.

'No Fool', listed in the first litter above, is later found as "Ballochmyle No Fool", and appears in time as the dam of the next generation, namely a Grandson of Perfection, named "Ballochmyle Red Prince", sired by Mr Kuhnel's 'Wharfedale Sam'. 'Red Prince'; is alluded to in Frances Simpson's references to the progeny and grand-progeny of 'Perfection' in The Book of The Cat (1903).


Ch. Ballochmyle Perfection
Red Classic Tabby Shorthair Male, owned by Lady Alexander
Photo: from Page 290, The Book of The Cat,(1903), by Frances Simpson 1
Courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

Ch. Ballochmyle Perfection
Photo: 'The Tatler', 9th November, 1904. Taken at The Crystal Palace.
Courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection


Clearly based upon the above photograph, this painting of Ch.Ballochmyle Perfection is by Rosa Bebb, as one of over 100 such illustrations for Charles Lane's book, 'Rabbits, Cats & Cavies' (1903).2
Courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection
This image is a cropped Press Photo, taken by Russell & Sons, of the Crystal Palace, and appearing in a news report on Show winners at the Crystal Palace, published in 'The Bystander' on November 1st , 1905. The caption reads: "Lady Alexander's 'Ballochmyle Perfection' which was successful in the Red Tabby class". When this photo was taken, 'Perfection' was already over 11 years old.5 Image courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection.


  1. The Book of the Cat by Frances Simpson. Published by Cassell & Co Ltd 1903
  2. Rabbits, Cats & Caviesby Charles Lance, J.M.Dent & Co. 1903
  3. The National Cat Club Stud Book and Register
  4. The Cat Club Register, Vols 1 & 11
  5. The Bystander, November 1st, 1905
  6. All photos as per Sources and Credits given.

Registers associated with this article include The Incorporated Cat Fanciers Association of Great Britain (TICFAGB), National Cat Club (NCC), The Cat Club (CCR), Beresford Cat Club (BCC), Feline Federation Francaise (FFF), Siamese Cat Registry (SCR), US Register & Studbook for Cats (USR)including Supplement(USRS), The Studbook of the American Cat Association (ACA), and the Studbook & Register of the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA).


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