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A look into the past: 1989

Re-print from:
ISSUE #1  
The cats sensed it. The Exhibitors experienced it.  The judges danced uneasily around the pulsating electric tension building within the mammoth red- carpeted St. Louis Convention Center.
The moment you stepped into the hall, you were surrounded with a high-pitched  intensity engendered by this first-of-its-kind competition.  The showhall, draped in midnight blue, was centered around a massive rectangular raised platform holding twelve judging rings.  Back entry cages provided secluded movement of cats in and out of the rings.
Cats were benched by breed, and hanging from the several-storied ceiling were long, broad white banners holding professionally lettered signs, identifying the location of each breed.  At the end of each breed row, space was devoted to an exhibition promoting the breed history, and photographs tracing the development of the breed. 
The November Purina-CFA Invitational Show charged no admission, but over $50,000. from proceeds and donations were turned over to the Robert H. Winn Foundation.  These funds will enable additional feline research grants to be given.
This invitation-only competition was the culmination of almost two decades of dreaming, hoping and planning.  The original idea germinated from a long since gone-to-other-things breeder from Beaumont, Texas.  "Why not," he asked, "have a World Series of Cats?"  Eligible cats could be established in the same manner as batting averages.  Each time the cat competed throughout the show season, whether it won or lost, would alter its national standing."
At the time, CFA had no expanded regional awards and only a few regions had established methods for honoring the top winning cats.  Other Associations were nipping at CFA's hells.  It definitely seemed to be the hour to evaluate new ideas.
The CFA President named Barbara St. Georges [currently Manx Breed Council Secretary] and Paul Raine [deceased ALL Breed Judge] to a committee charged with researching innovations and bringing the most promising to the CFA Annual Meeting.  One of those concepts was a national competition, but it became a remote unobtainable goal.
A decade later the concept almost came to fruition when the national show committee secured a date, site and funding by four corporate sponsors through the site management.  Judges were selected by ballot of the CFA Breed Councils.  The format of specialty rings feeding a three-panel slate of Edna Field, David Mare and Bob Smith was agreed upon and twenty-two thousand dollars was set aside for awards.  The one ingredient required by the site management was the united enthusiasm of CFA.  When local opposition to another major show arose, the heartbroken national show committee disbanded. 
Then at the tail end of an Annual Meeting some years later, Barbara St. Georges proposed a hastily written request that CFA reconsider a national competition.  This resulted in a new committee with get-things-done chairman Joan Pocica of Chicago.  The time for a national competition had come.
Ralston-Purina, the corporate sponsor, created a well-received weekend packed with seminars as well as the show and a banquet attended by over 800 people.  The banquet was capped by Las Vegas type entertainment.
Twenty-six Manx from all seven regions received the coveted initiations.  There were seven kittens, eleven championship and eight premiership listed in the catalog.  The Gulf Shore Region led with seven eligible Manx, with the Midwest a close runner-up with six entries.  The Northwest region claimed five invitations and the Great Lakes three.  North Atlantic and Southern Regions had two each, and the Southwest region one.
In a flourishing finale, CFA President Don Williams presented the winners of each breed, ending with the announcement of the top ten in each category. 
In this historic competition, the campaigned cat stood shoulder to shoulder with the cats of other years.  Wins and losses had no bearing on Top Twenty standing.  It was a showcase for all that we are, all that we have been and all that we will become.
The spirit of the competition was simply stated when on exhibitor said: "I've seen cats I've only read about and met breeders I've only known through correspondence.  I feel a great sense of accomplishment just to BE here."
written by: Jeanie McPhee
Kittens Present:
COTTORI RISING STAR cew,m, b-Becky Cotter, o-Paul & Becky Cotter
TRA-MAR IRISH DEVIL OF GATNEL, -cew,f, b-Dayle & Marion Hall, o-Jody Garrison.
ARROW'S SOMERSAULT, brmact f,  b/o-Linda J. Morse
LUPRACAN MUS AIDA, cal f, b/o-Mary E. Stewart
CLACRITTER CARRI rmct/w f, b/o-Leslie Falteisek
LUPRACAN MUS TOSCA tti/w f, b/o- Mary E. Stewart
Championship Present: 
TAHAME'S HILDEGARDE,cew f, GC, b-Sherman & Sandra Ross, o-Mariana M. Graham
MENDOCINO BEARELEGANCE OF MAYFLOWER, cew f, GC,. b-P&R Webster -Powel/ R&D Denton, o- Muriel Slodden
BRIAR-BRAE MERPHY, rt m, GC, b/o-Barbara St Georges
FRACAR BUSTER BROWN, brntm, GC, b/o- Frank & Mari Witherspoon
SHELLEO BENJAMIN OF JAYESS, brnt m, GC, b-Shelley Page, o- Shelley Page/Joanne Stone
CLAYCRITTER MARIKELL, tti f, CH, b/o-Leslie Faltiesek
CO-MC MAYBE BABY OF FAN-C, cal f, OP, b-Jeannie McPhee, o- Barbara Baylor
LUPRACAN MUS FLOWER DRUM SONG, brnpt/w f, GC, b- Mary Stewart, o- Pam DelaBar
TRA-MAR DIFFERENT LOOK, rvbrnpt f, GC, b/o-Dayle & Marion Hall
Premiership Present:
MR. SOLOMAN, bew m,PR, b-Susan M. Valler o- Char-Ann Meloney
CATAMOUNT TONKABERRY, crt m, GP, b/o-Marilyn Woods
CLACRITTER AEDATH OF KELLOGG, tti f, GP, b-Leslie Falteisek o- E. Harris/L Falteisek
LUPRACAN MUS MOGIZZIE, cal f GP, b-Mary E. Stewart, o-Mary S Harri/ Teri S Wooten
MARIGLAM RAZZMATAZZ OF CATENA, rmct/w m GP, b-Marilyn Miller, o- D&G Norgren/M&D Miller
CLACRITTER CALAMITY JANE OF DUNLORA, rmct/w f, GP, b-Leslie Falteisek o-Karen S Ruzinsky
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Edited by Margaret Messer-Quick.