KEW RONALD (1901)
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The earliest creams were generally referred to as "Fawns" and were most often the result of breeding a Blue male to a Tortie, the subsequent Cream progeny being only males. The colour was generally 'hot' and uneven. When Cream males were retained as studs, and bred to both Blue and Blue-cream females, paler more even coats resulted and in the case of Cream to Blue-cream, or Cream to Tortie, Cream females were produced. The rarity of Cream females was due to the fact that in those days, the genetics of the sex-linked "o" gene was not understood, and hence the misunderstanding of why Torties were almost always female, and the futile rage to keep and attempt to perpetuate the existence of Tortie males. The aim, was to breed pale, unmarked Creams, with little or no hint of tabby barring and free of any white spotting.
Among the earliest breeders of Creams of note was the famous Romaldkirk Cattery of the Misses Beal, from which came a notable litter containing two remarkable early males, who made an immense mark on establishing the Cream as a recognized and sought-after colour variety. These were namely Romaldkirk Admiral and Romaldkirk Midshipmite (1896), who were never known to be shown in anything but superb coat and condition, becoming commonly referred to as 'The Heavenly Twins'.
On the colour of Creams and the difficulties of breeding cats of sound colour, the following notes are from the renowned breeder and judge of Cream Persians, Mr Frank Norris (of Kew Cattery):
"Cream cats are of a modern colour in Persians, but are now being more freely bred and finding numerous supporters. There are however, very few good ones in the fancy, for size, and colour are difficult to obtain. The great failing with them is that, although they are called cream cats, the best and soundest coloured ones are really of a fawn shade. So many show markings, patches, or shadings, whereas the colour should be one shade and sound throughout; better to be a little dark in colour rather than shade from cream to white, as is the case with so many specimens exhibited.1 "
Mrs. Frank Norris of "Kew" cattery fame, came into possession of one rare Cream female, initially bred by Mrs. Milner in 1899, from a pairing of 'Ch.Romaldkirk Admiral (1896)' and 'Sister'. This female was 'Crème d'Or', who had formerly been owned by Mrs Wellbye. This queen had developed a reputation for being difficult to breed, being inclined to refuse to enter into any sort of matrimonial alliance for some time. But her new owner persevered, and eventually succeeded in breeding her to Mrs Ransome's noted Blue Persian male, 'Darius' (a grandson of Ch.Bundle). The result, included a new latter generation of 'heavenly twins' in the form of the males 'Kew Laddie' and 'Kew Ronald'.
Starlight, NCC 1523/BCC 105, Blue ENG CH Darius, ACA 49, Blue | CH Fatima, Blue Kew Ronald, NCC 123a, Mar-18-1901, Cream M | CH Romaldkirk Admiral, NCC 3110, Cream Creme D'Or, NCC 3117, Cream Sister, Blue
Miss Frances Simpson tells of the rise of the two new Cream males, and includes a portrait of the pair, by E.Landor, in The Book of the Cat (1903). She refers:
"Two of these cats, 'Kew Laddie' and 'Kew Ronald,' are well known in their different spheres.'Kew Laddie' I purchased to send to Mrs Clinton Locke, in Chicago, and she presented him to the honorary secretary of the Beresford Club, Miss Johnstone. This lady exhibited 'Laddie' at the big Chicago Cat Show, where he won high honours, and in a letter received from Miss Johnstone I learn that he is growing a grand fellow and, in fact, is quite 'la crème de la crème' in catty society over the water. 1"
Although not shown to the same extent as his American-resident sibling, 'Kew Ronald' did gain some classic wins on his home turf. These included winner of two firsts at the prestigious Crystal Palace Show and many other firsts at other shows. In this regard he followed in the pawprints of his dam, who was also a cream first winner at The Crystal Palace.
While his sibling 'Kew Laddie' contributed extensively to a number of catteries on the American continent, Kew Ronald was retained by Mrs. Norris and placed at stud in England.
'Kew Ronald's' best known son, appears to have been 'Wynnstay Swagger', a Cream Persian born May 15th, 1906. The dam of Swagger was 'Wynnstay Primrose', a cream daughter of 'Ch.Romaldkirk Admiral', making this a line-breed on Admiral, with Primrose being a half-sister to 'Crème D'or', the dam of 'Kew Ronald'. However, the line-breeding on 'Romaldkirk Admiral' does not seem to have stopped with that mating, as we find that Primrose was subsequently bred back to her son Swagger, to produce 'Hillside Gay Girl', thereby tripling on 'Romaldkirk Admiral', and then a daughter from that breeding was bred back to her sire, Swagger, twice, to produce the female, 'Hillside Maiden' in one litter, and on another occasion to produce the male 'Rokeles Roister', these two cats featuring 'Ch.Romaldkirk Admiral' fully five times in only a five generation pedigree.
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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