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Manx cats started to come into their own, in the latter part of the 1890's, with a growing number of well-educated breeders starting to take an interest in them. Two of the earliest to be found in the Registers were 'Sedgemere Toff' (NCC: 1636), a Silver Tabby male owned by Mrs. S. Woodiwiss, who won a First at the Royal Aquarium Cat Show of 1894; and 'Manx Pickles', (NCC: 2160), a male born in 1893, bred by Mr. E. S. Woodiwiss and owned by a Miss Ashley. 'Pickles' is also listed as the sire of 'Manx Beauty', (NCC: 3254), a Manx female born 5th July, 1895 bred and owned by the same Mr. E.S. Woodiwiss.6
Breeders specialising in Manx at that time included the Woodiwiss brothers, Miss Samuel, Mr. Jungbluth, Mr. & Mrs. H.C. Brooke and Mr. Gambier Bolton. Others to share in this interest were Lady Alexander, Miss Jay, (better known for her Blue Persians), Mrs. Moseley, and Miss Hester Cochran, the latter who eventually gave up all other breeds to specialise only in Manx, and who in due course became the Honorary Secretary of the Manx Cat Club when it was duly formed in 1901.
That the Manx Club had a difficult time establishing itself is apparent from the writings of both Frances Simpson, and those particularly of 'Dick Whittington', who in the columns of The Ladies Field made her views clear on the 'prejudice' inflicted upon the fledgling club:-
"When the Manx Club was started, very determined efforts to belittle it were made in some quarters, and it was freely and publicly asserted, that it would 'do no good'. The club has now been established for nearly two years, and it has quite justified its existence. It has steadily worked on giving specials and guaranteeing classes, and otherwise inducing people to exhibit, until at the present time the Manx fancy may be said to be fairly on its legs, and is, at any rate, as strong as the Siamese. To no properly conducted show has the club refused its support, its guarantees and specials have all been paid up, and in every way the club has fairly refuted the aspersions cast upon it."2
Despite these difficulties, the plucky Manx breeders persevered, and although the club was never a large one, it did contribute to the success of the Manx breed remaining a force to be reckoned with at the larger shows, by the guarantees it provided for multiple classes and prizes.
'Golfsticks' was Miss Samuel's first top show specimen, and as would soon become apparent, she would herald the beginning of a consistency in conformation, both within the breed, and within a specific bloodline that, hitherto, had not been seen before.
Unknown Manx Philip | Unknown Golfsticks, Jul-1900, Black Manx, F | Unknown Teenie Tinee Unknown
'Golfsticks' was born in July, 1900. (NCC: Vol.6). Her sire is recorded as 'Manx Philip' (aka Philip I) and her dam was 'Teenie Tinee'. She was of course, bred by Miss Emily Samuel of Hackney, who was very quickly establishing a name for herself by producing Manx of consistently good conformation. This particular breeding she had done before, and it would be repeated again to produce other show winners.
Reporting on one such breeding in the 24th May, 1902 issue of Our Cats magazine, Miss Samuel writes:
"It may interest you to hear that through the medium of your splendid little paper I have found good homes for some of the cats I wished to place, and have also become the possessor of a sweet little tabby Manx. I am thinking now of devoting myself entirely to Manx. They have been my favourites for years. My Teenie-Tinee has presented me with a litter of three such bonnie males, all black, and the best I have had for shape and absolute taillessness. Now their eyes are open, they look a perfect picture tucked up in their nest with mother and foster, in devoted attendance. I did not intend to trouble with kittens this spring, but the sight of this grand litter induced me to change my mind."2
As has been alluded to already, the mating that produced 'Golfsticks' was repeated a number of times, with the following result and full siblings of varying ages (we have included 'Golfsticks' in the dated order of progression):
Of course, 'Manx Philip' was Miss Samuel's primary stud male and the sire of many more of her kittens. Just a sampling of the more notable Sire-Siblings include:
Reported in 16th November 1901 issue of 'Our Cats' Magazine, after the Crystal Palace Show:
"Miss Samuel was very delighted at the win made by her Manx, Golf-sticks, at the Palace. She has two beautiful blacks which she would like to exhibit next month at the N.C.C.C. Show, but is a little afraid of her journey."3
In addition to this recorded win at the Crystal Palace in 1901, we also find that she was placed 2nd at the Crystal Palace Show of 1902, and 1st at the Crystal Palace Show of 1903.
It is often difficult to find relevant stories or information about specific cats, and the usual scenario is that we have to find relevant registration data for progeny in order to build a timeline for the cat and a picture of its breeding history, and if we are lucky, this may lead to clues on where else to look.
In this case, there are no progeny of record, but Miss Samuel appears to have very much enjoyed reading about other people's cats and was equally willing to put pen to paper to share information about the 'goings-on' of her own cats with her home and cattery. The following lengthy dissertation appears in a letter to the Editor of Our Cats published in April, 1904. It is an insightful and amusing look into the life of a Manx cat breeder and enthusiast! - it also provides us a with a little more personal information on our subject cat, miss 'Golfsticks'!:
"What a long time since I have been able to find time to send you any news of my pussies. I am always so interested reading news about other people's cats and kittens, and people are good enough to tell me that they look forward to reading about mine. I am glad to say that they are all well, but so far there are only two kittens, and I do not mind that as the weather has been so trying. It is better for them to arrive later in the year. The two I have are grand blacks, and it is amusing to watch them at play. They can find me in any part of the house, and though only 9 weeks old give me quite an ovation when I return from a walk.
"I am hoping for a good litter next week from Manx Foggotty. She is a tabby, a daughter of Monarch, and during the day she follows me everywhere. No matter where I am or what I am doing, Foggotty is always beside me. At night she comes up and sleeps on a box in my room.
"Manx Philip celebrated his 6th birthday in March, and he looks as young as his two year old sons, and is quite as frisky as they are. When I say 'Phil, where is the cheese?' he will get on the table and take the cover off the cheese, and then wait to be helped to a piece.
"Foggotty is quite wild if you mention eggs to her; and Kangaroo loves fish. Little Jupkins can stand on his hind legs and turn the handle of the door.
"Golfsticks, who always feels the cold very much, will sit and howl like a puppy until I say 'Footwarmer,' and then she jumps about in a state of high glee until the bottle arrives. She simply hates physic, and she hates other cats too, but when I smear medicine on her nose and mouth she goes about rubbing into other cats most lovingly, until she has got rid of all the stuff I treated her to.
"Moff-Toff, is quite taken up with other cat's kittens, and carried off seven a foster cat had, and put them in a box nearly as high as the ceiling. I tried to make her contented with three, and even four, but she would keep stealing the seven, though she has not has any of her own for a long time and is not expecting any.
"Dotty Kelly is not in kitten either, and has not had any for some time, but she has adopted a stray English. She calls it to her bed of a night, and keeps for it, some of her food, and is perfectly miserable if parted from it. Dottie is a most intelligent and amusing cat; she obeys just like a dog, and watches every look when we are talking, and understands perfectly the difference between a frown and a smile.
"Witch mostly devotes herself to her babies, and the two blacks I have now belong to her, so just now she stops at home, but when she wants to walk abroad she can move a chair away and open the door, and let herself out; she can also open the door of the safe, and help herself to the fish. I have never known her take any other food; she evidently likes fish best. She soon learnt to move the button on the door and help herself.
"I must not forget to mention our lovely Blue Persian, just six months old, with a grand pedigree. She is a lovely cat, but uses dreadful language, and spends all of her time driving the Manx about. She simply hates them, and, I believe, they are quite disgusted with her fine tail. It has been highly amusing to watch the war between the Persian and the Manx when they meet. This is the first Persian I have ever had, and, though I like Manx best, I intend to breed some good blues if I am lucky with this little Queen. So, "Our Cats" will hear more of her in the future, perhaps.
E . SAMUEL"5
None currently available.
Miss Samuel took her breed seriously, and materially, was among the most consistently successful breeders of Manx in her day, despite Manx sometimes being difficult to rear. It is to her credit that not only Frances Simpson, but also Miss Higgins (alias 'Dick Whittington) had this to say about her:
"I am glad to say that we have at present two or three breeders who have procured, with great pains, large studs of good Manx cats, and are working steadily to establish strains which will breed true to type. Miss Samuel's black Manx cats are well known, and she has so far been our most successful breeder, for in litter after litter really good kittens have predominated..."8
When the successes in the show ring procured by 'Golfsticks' were later duplicated by her younger full sibling, in 'King Kangaroo', Miss Samuel's reputation as a breeder of consistent quality in Manx cats was reaffirmed. Nothing is more noticeable or desirable than consistency of breeding to type, health and character. Miss Samuels had begun to set new standards for others to follow, and duly led by example.
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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