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The Final Chapter
|My 1976 challenge to other researchers to join me in my quest was accepted by only one other individual. In 1978, two years after the release of "Genesis", Ms. Patricia Warren published an article in the C.F.A. Yearbook. The work entitled "The Somali: An International Breed" was truly outstanding. It remains, even today, one of the most complete, comprehensive and well documented articles on the breed. Unfortunately some of her theories were faulted.|
|The article had two purposes in being published. The first was to promote the breed and inform the cat fancy at large. The second reason was motivated by the political need to mend fences. "Genesis" had created quite a stir throughout the fancy and most especially among Aby breeders. My work had named catteries and indicated pedigrees that were probable carriers of the then, unwanted, longhair gene. My search was for the truth and I cared for little else. Ms. Warren was attempting to downplay the Chuffa influence and suggest other lines that might figure as prominently as Chuffa thus taking some "heat" off a few politically active Aby breeders. Warren's selective acceptance of the major portion of my work did not have any congruency with her equally selective denial of only one or two points.|
Over time I have studied Ms. Warren's report with
as much detachment as possible and while much of
her writing was logical in its analysis her
political motivation tainted her final
What Ms. Warren did, however, was to fill in the blanks about Chuffa's pedigree and for that I am eternally grateful. She pushed my initial work to a final chapter and that chapter closed the door and added credence to my work. After the 1978 C.F.A. article appeared Ms. Warren discovered more details which again added weight to the validity of "Genesis" and provided the key for the disassembly of her own theories which were born of that political bias.
The missing piece of the puzzle was again
provided by Ms. Warren in 1980. Mrs. Mew, mother
of Roverdale Purr-kins and great grandmother of
Raby Chuffa of Selene held the secret. Mrs. Janet Robertson, who founded the Roverdale cattery just after World War II, wrote to Pat Warren about how she got her first Aby kitten.
During the London blitz Mrs. Robertson found what she believed was a hybrid Aby who was already pregnant by an unknown London tomcat. She named the cat Mrs. Mews. This foundling cat, Mrs. Mew, gave birth to one agouti kitten and one black kitten. The agouti kitten was registered as Roverdale Purr-Kins a year or so later.
World War II England had been severely damaged by Hitler's war machine. Nazi bombs and rockets had destroyed large sections of London and other major cities. England's women and children died in those raids. Homes, factories and churches were turned to rubble. As a minor footnote to history those bombs also served to nearly make extinct the dog and cat fancy in Great Britain. Many of England's finest show animals were killed or escaped during the fury of bombing raids to wander the streets and fend for themselves. It is estimated that in post war England perhaps no more than a dozen Abyssinians were left to carry on.
In order to rebuild the fancy the governing body had no choice but to relax the requirements for registering foundation stock. Many purebred, homeless cats were taken in by strangers. If it looked like an Aby or a Persian or a Siamese it was re-registered with a new identity without a pedigree. Thus the sire of Roverdale Purr-kins will never be known. The true identity of Mrs. Mew will forever be lost in time and her pedigree, if she ever had one, will remain a mystery.
And so ends the tale of Raby Chuffa and anchors
the genesis of the modern Somali in North
America. All the early examples of the breed in
this country and Canada owe their origins to Raby Chuffa of Selene and his great grandmother, a
foundling on the streets of England.
There is yet another tale to be told, however. What about the cats of Australia and Europe? That is another story to be saved for another time. Return to this site in the future for another venture into Somali history.
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