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In Frances Simpson's chapter on Blue Persians in The Book of The Cat (1903), he is one of only two early Blue Persian stud males mentioned in the first two pages. She explains the rise in the popularity of the Blues and gives an example of the increase in entries in the competitive classes for this variety as follows:
"In 1891 blues came very much to the fore, and the entries at the Crystal Palace number 15 males and 17 females. At Cruft's Show in the year 1894, a grand blue, called 'Wooloomooloo,' was exhibited by Mrs. W.R. Hawkins, and this cat became one of the most famous of stud cats. Many of the finest blues of today are descended from this noted sire."
Given that Miss Simpson only briefs us on only three of the early Blue males before speaking in more detail about the desirable qualities looked for in Blues, this comes as high praise indeed. The other two males mentioned, were Mrs. H.B. Thompson's 'Don Juan' and Mrs. Singleton's 'Moko'. These three could be considered to be among the 'second tier' of famous Blues, the first tier including the very early foundation blue stud males, such as 'Ch. Bundle', 'Ch. Glaucus', 'Blue Goblin' and 'Thunder & Lightning', who were the among the founding pillars of the Blue Persian variety.
That 'Ch.Wooloomooloo', was one of the outstanding sires of this period is fully supported by the number of his sons and daughters who were retained for breeding by a large number of serious devotees of the Blue Persian Cat and his appearance on so many pedigrees to this day.
'Wooloomooloo' was bred by Mrs. A. Smith, and born 3rd March, 1892. His sire was 'Frisk', a Blue Longhair male owned by Mr. Gillam, and his dam was 'Fluff' a Blue Longhair female, owned by his breeder, Mrs. A. Smith. Both his sire and dam were sired by 'Jumbo' making this a half-brother to half-sister pairing. Both parents were also half-siblings to another well-known Blue male 'Blue Boy', also by 'Jumbo', owned by Madame L. Portier. Through 'Jumbo's' maternal pedigree, Wooloomooloo is a great-great-grandson of the Blue Female 'Mater' who was only the fourteenth Longhair, to be recorded in the National Cat Club Register.
Initially he was sold to Mrs. E. Davies, but subsequently came into the ownership of Mrs. W.R. Hawkins, who holds the honour of showing him so successfully at the Royal Aquarium in 1894, as described by Frances Simpson. However. by the time he was siring kittens for Mrs Dean of Hawthorndene, in Slough, he was registered in The Cat Club Register, under her name.
Jumbo, Blue Frisk, Blue | Tomascine, Blue Wooloomooloo, Mar-03-1892, Blue, M | Jumbo, Blue Fluff, Blue Topsy
No notable siblings are recorded, two half siblings are listed but of no significance.
His show wins, as recorded in the Register of the National Cat Club are: Royal Aquarium, 1894 Two first prizes, Six Specials and Beresford Challenge Cup.2
From only a cursory examination of the two main registers, we can pull a considerable list of 'Wooloomooloo' sons and daughters that were retained for breeding. This is highly indicative of his popularity as a stud cat, of the regard for his obvious phenotype. We may reasonably surmise that, like Ch.Bundle and Ch.Glaucus before him, a large number of these cats would have been the backbone of future breeding programs. This list is only of direct progeny, and does not attempt to include his de-sexed progeny, or his innumerable grandchildren.
As can be witnessed from the below listed cats, most were born between 1896 and 1900. So by 1903, when Frances Simpson published her Book of The Cat a great many Blues carrying his lines, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, would have existed in catteries across the country. Just one of the many breeders who made use of his services was Miss Kirkpatrick, whose black and or blue Persian kittens are featured randomly through the pages of Miss Simpson's book. In one of two images from postcards shown below, we see a black Persian kitten alongside a blue one. The black kitten is featured by itself on page 115 of Miss Simpson's book and is clearly identified as bred by Miss Kirkpatrick. Is it reasonable to assume that the blue Persian kitten alongside it may also be one of Miss Kirkpatricks kittens? If so, it may very well be a grandson of 'Ch.Wooloomooloo.'
To the right of the first card is an enlargement, in the form of a second postcard, with a particularly clear view of the same blue kitten, probably taken from the same photo negative. Also in this grouping is another circular image of Miss Kirkpatrick's blue kittens, which were featured on page 129 in the chapter on Blue Persians.
Our cursory list of registered progeny sired by 'Ch.Wooloomooloo':
From the listing of queens, we have found in our archives this image of 'Ch. Tibbeboo', a Blue Persian female born 31st July, 1897. She was bred and owned by Mrs. S.Clunes, sired by 'Ch.Wooloomooloo' and out of Mrs. Clunes 'Tibby'. Her show records as listed in the register of The National Cat Club include: 1st, Special, Botanic 1898; two firsts, Championship and four Specials, Crystal Palace 1898.
The following comments about her are also published with this image:
"A little sensation was caused at the summer show over another blue pet in the shape of Mrs Clune's 'Tibbeboo', who, although but ten months old, captured the championship and specials awarded to its class by Mr Louis Wain. For short face and compactness of form as well as in colour, it quite fulfilled Mr Wain's chief demands. And this beautiful cat easily secured the highest favour at the late show."
From the listing of queens, we have found in our archives this image of 'Ch.Tibbeboo', a Blue Persian female born 31st July, 1897. She was bred and owned by Mrs S.Clunes, sired by 'Ch.Wooloomooloo' and out of Mrs Clunes 'Tibby'. Her show records as listed in the register of The National Cat Club include: 1st, Special, Botanic 1898; two firsts, Championship and four Specials, Crystal Palace 1898.
The following comments about her are also published with this image:
The above illustration by Rosa Bebb of 'Ch.Wooloomooloo' was commissioned by the judge Charles Lane for his book, 'Rabbits, Cats & Cavies', published in 1903 by J.M. Dent & Co. The caption to it reads: "Blue - 'Ch.Wooloomooloo', one of the best of the colour ever shown. Owner, Mrs. Dean."
The above, are Stud Advertisements from listings published in 'Our Cats' during 1903 for the sons of 'Champion Wooloomoloo. It is easy to see, that even 9 years after his famous win at the Royal Aquarium in 1894, even major breeders of Blues, such as Mrs. Ransome, (Editor of 'Our Cats') was perfectly happy to advertise one of his sons at stud (in this case 'Wooshoo').
So understandably, it would be foolish for anyone to underestimate the impact of this singular male, 'Ch. Wooloomooloo' on the continuing development of the Blue Persian during this early period, prior to the rise of the 'Thorpe' strain of Blues descended from Ch.Orange Blossom of Thorpe, his sons and grandsons. The descendants of 'Ch.Wooloomooloo' were many, and these have all played a not insignificant part in creating and adding to the great mix of genes, that ultimately assisted breeders to produce the Persian of today.
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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