The Early Years
I regularly exhibited my Spotted Mist,
interest was slow to
develop amongst other potential breeders, though from the first Full
register Litter, Lynden Franklin bought a female kitten, from which she
bred under the Elmridge prefix, her daughter Vanessa Crosland
from descendants under the Severin Prefix, and the line still
continues. Lynden has stayed with us all these years, and now owns
retired Mists, but is still our Vice President.
Another early adopter was Frances Kurschildgen, who had a pet Mist, and one litter. However, her neighbour, Sue Martin was so taken with the breed that in 1988 she bought from me and bred from a generation 3 queen (under my Nintu prefix) then went on to found an excellent line of Tachete Mists. Anne Burrows, a Burmese breeder, came to me for help with a queen who wouldn’t care for her kittens – and fell in love with the Mists. After some months of waiting, in early 1989, she purchased her first full register queen, and has bred a long line of Awatea Mists. Anne was also a wonderful publicist, and helped greatly after the first appearance of the Australian Mist on Burke’s Backyard in June 1989. Anne also founded ‘On the Spot’ and was its first Editor, and Edited our second Breed Book, ‘Cats in the Mist’.
This was the era of the ‘Firsts’, we were newly able to win titles for our breed, so every first title, and Best in Show was avidly recorded. There was a great deal of publicity, culminating in our first appearance in any Cat Book as a recognised breed….
New breeders joined us for a brief – or more extended time – Dr Rosemary Hansell, who constructed our first website, Robyn Howell (who used to travel from Canberra to our meetings) Vivienne Evans, who bred from Generation 3 stock – including Nintu Jerrin, and many who dabbled for a single litter. Dr Sue Roger-Withers turned her academic ability and contacts into help not only for us, but for breeders of many cat breeds throughout Australia. Some of our choices of new breeders were less than successful, with 'rescues' needed at least twice. But then, we did have a Distress Fund, specifically designed to cover such eventualities.
These exciting times are summarised below:
ever Best in Show Award – Nintu Alea- Gold Spay Kitten
|July 1988||Mrs A Burrows initiates ‘On the Spot’ the Spotted Mist newsletter, of which she was the first Editor|
|6 August 1988||Nintu Dardanos becomes the first Spotted Mist Champion|
|February 1989||First interstate acceptance of Spotted Mist (ACT)|
|May 1989||Nintu Dardanos becomes the first Spotted Mist Grand Champion|
|June 1989||Spotted Mist make their first appearance on Burke’s Backyard. We are inundated with letters, orders, phone calls.|
|September 1989||Nintu Raffles (S Martin) becomes first Spotted Mist Double Grand Champion.|
|21 October 1989||Two
Best in Shows – Male Kitten, Desexed Cat
||The first End of Year Presentation and Christmas party held|
||Tachete litter Best in Show at Federal Cat Club Show|
||Awatea Kohu Ariki Best Male Kitten in Show|
Raffles (S Martin) receives the very first CCCA award for Spotted Mist,
at Canberra Show
Mist featured in Australian Women’s Weekly, huge mailbag.
Ch Awatea Kohu Ariki Best Male Cat in Show
|October 1991||Gd Ch Awatea Kohu Ariki Best Group 3 Cat at the first Champion of Champions Show.|
|February 1992||The Powerhouse Museum includes data on the development of the Spotted Mist on its ‘Australian Innovations’ data base.|
||Spotted Mist make their second appearance on Burke’s Backyard.|
||Graham Meadows flies from NZ to photograph Spotted Mist for his newest cat book.|
||Spotted Mist mentioned in the ‘New Breeds’ section of the CFA (USA) Year Book|
|The Middle Years|
In 1993 our breeders spread to WA, with Jeanette Perkins starting with Nintu cats, developed a nice line of Satu Mists. Jeanette leased a series of stud cats from me, and even managed to attend a couple of our annual Christmas and Annual Award parties. Likewise, Dr Valerie Hamilton from SA developed a lovely line of Vavra Mists, and also managed to attend a couple of events. Both Valerie and Jeanette were tireless workers and publicists of the Mists, and both are still active in the AMCFA, as Secretary and Treasurer, though neither breeds cats any more.
In 1994, Rev Jim Dykes leased one of my girls for his first litter, then purchased Nintu Beltane Queen, calling his cattery Beltane. This prefix continued after his death, with Jennine Meehan breeding under it. When she also unexpectedly died the prefix, and breeding stock passed to Barbara Dorrell, where it remains today. In 1996 Anne Basser fell in love with a Severin Kitten at the Royal Easter Show – and became a breeder, under the Linnea prefix – a living testament her much beloved sister who shared the pleasure of her first litters, and is memorialised by it. Jim also introduced a new breeder, Terry Goulden, who purchased from me in 1996 his first breeding queen, a peach spotted girl ( Nintu Chiya Vara). Terry Goulden contributed a great deal to the breed, with an excellent investigation and write up on Early Desexing still forming part of my ‘Breeding Cats …. a practical guide’ handbook. With his partner, John Greenway, he edited our first breed book ‘ Spotted Mist 1986-1996’. Tasmania wasn’t left out either, with Julie Fletcher, and her daughter Kelly breeding from Nintu stock from 1997 under the Trabmakov and Kelmotz prefixes. Julie already bred Russians.
In 1998 the addition of the Marbled pattern to the ‘Spotted Mist’ became the catalyst for both the ACF and CCCA to decide (at their Annual Meetings – on the same day!) that the breed should now be renamed Australian Mist.
In 1997, Patricia Beech came to work for me, a great cat lover, she was quickly converted, and breeds under the Artumblom prefix. When in 2001 I moved to Victoria from NSW she took a selection of my stock so that she wouldn’t need to send girls down to me, as well as some of my oldies. For the latter I was extremely grateful, as moving 40 cats was quite sufficient! In this year Rachel Barendgret also started in a quiet way – she already bred Siamese – also in a small way. She continues to work with Patricia under her Buttonwood prefix.
In Victoria Naomi Taylor started with a Qihai queen, and Cindy Grimes, who had already purchased two Australian Mists as pets, also started to breed. About this time Gillian Napier purchased her first breeding stock from me, though she had owned pet Australian Mists long before this time.
These ‘Golden Years’ are reflected in the Timeline below.
Mist appear on Channel 9’s ‘Wonder World’
Spotted Mist appear on Channel 10’s ‘Totally Wild’.
Spotted Mist receive a 2 page colour spread in UK magazine ‘Wild about Animals’, an extract from this article is picked up and reprinted in a German magazine – Katzen.
||Hastur Litter Best in Show of 22 litters at Federal Kitten Show|
Nutmeg becomes the first adult Spotted Mist to win Best in Show
at Sydney Royal Easter Show
|July 1996||Spotted Mist hold a Specialist Ring at the Siamese Cat Society annual show to celebrate their 10th Anniversary as a Championship Breed. Seventy seven Spotted Mist from all around Australia present. Gold Db Gd Ch Awatea Kohu Ariki judged Supreme, by Mrs Rhondda Watson.|
|22 August 1996
Morning Herald Northern herald feature on ‘Cats in the Mist’
Spotted Mist appear on Channel 9 Midday Show with Kerri-Anne
Spotted Mist appear in ‘Cat World – A Feline Encyclopaedia’ by Desmond Morris
Spotted Mist appear in ‘Family Circle’ magazine
The first Spotted Mist homepage placed on the net by Rosemary Hansell
Application made to the RASCC to add the marbled pattern to the breed
Australian Mist appear in ‘Good Taste’ magazine in an article on Jean Villani a long time Spotted Mist devotee.
1 January 1998 Jan/Feb 1998
8 March 1998
2 May 1998
addition of the marbled pattern to the breed accepted by the RASCC.
Breed name unchanged.
Gold Db Gd Ch Sp Gd Ch ( WA) Nintu Born Epicure first Supreme Exhibit in Show (J Perkins, WA)
Marbled Mist eligible for Championship status
First 3 Trabmakov ( J Fletcher, Tas) litters Best in Show for 4 consecutive shows.
Dr V Hamilton’s Nintu Marmor Bezique first Marbled Mist to win Supreme Exhibit in Show
3 posters of Spotted and Marbled Mist distributed at Royal Easter Show
First all Marbled litter born to Vavra cattery, Nintu Marmor Bezique x Nintu Marmor Aline
14 June 1998
ACF and CCCA accept the name change of the breed to AUSTRALIAN MIST
Nintu Marmor Bee-Balm ( Dr T Straede) first Marbled Champion.
Australian Mist appear on Harry’s Practice (Channel 7)
The first appearance of Marbled Mist on TV, Channel 10.
Hadyn Pollock, NZ judge imports a lilac spotted Vavra Mist, breed recognised in NZ
1 January 1999
25 July 1999
Gd Ch Nintu Dardanos, first Champion Australian Mist, dies.
Gold Db Gd Ch Nintu Essential Helper (M Higgins) first Australian Mist to win a place in the NSWCFA Cat of the Year Awards
Australian Mist eligible for Championship status in NZ.
Australian Mist appear on Harry’s Practice
Breed gene pool reviewed by breed founder ( Dr T Straede) and less vigorous or poor type cats desexed and placed in pet homes. Two new cats (Abyssinian and Domestic) selected to found a new blood line.