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The Thai Breed
|We were among the dozen founders
of the breed club, PREOSSIA,
that was first in the world to coin the name Old-Style Siamese as the
formal designation for the breed that preserves the native pointed cat
of Thailand. Other versions of the old-fashioned Siamese had been
developed by other people and given different names, but those
other concepts of the breed were based on the mythology that had
grown up about the breed, such as the myth of the American
"applehead," a roundheaded, stocky cat that looks more like a pointed
British Shorthair than like any native Asian cat.
We and other PREOSSIANs wanted to know what the cats looked like in their native country. We set out to learn. In the end, we found that Harrison Weir, the professional text illustrator and avid cat fancier of the late 19th century, had it right. He drew sketches of 19th century Siamese cats that he had met, and those sketches were a good match for most of the cats we found in today's Thailand.
There's a lot more to that story, too much to write about here.
We do want to tell you that in Europe in 1990 the World Cat Federation officially recognized the old type of Siamese and gave it the name "Thai" to differentiate it from the long, slinky, triangular-headed cat the Siamese in the West has become. Consequently, when we joined with breeders in many different countries to seek international recognition for the Old-Style Siamese in 2006, we agreed that the Thai name, by then established in Europe for 16 years, should be the international name of the breed. We agreed that despite the change of breed name, in the Thai breed standard it would state that our breed is in fact the Old-Style Siamese. It is the breed, the only breed, dedicated to preserving the original native pointed cat of Thailand.
For more information about the Thai, please see:
2. Thai Breed (TICA)
3. Thai Breed Standard (TICA)
Copyright © 1996-2020 by Dr. Cris Bird of Sarsenstone Cattery. You may not redistribute it in any form without the express written consent of the copyright holder.