A History of the Idlebeck Cats
I bought my first breeding queen, 'Suli' (registered as Polic Rowstock), in 1969 and showed her fairly successfully, first as a kitten and then as an adult (2 CCs) before breeding my first litter from her. My prefix was registered with the GCCF in 1970 and I concentrated on breeding the, then relatively new, Colourpoint Persians and was soon also involved in breeding some of the early Chocolate Persians.
But, by the beginning of the 1980’s, we were becoming increasingly disillusioned with the ‘ultra’ type Persians that were beginning to dominate the breed, so we decided instead to breed British Shorthairs which we had always loved when we met them while exhibiting and stewarding at shows.
An early Idlebeck advert, from
'Fur and Feather'- circa 1973
We used our one remaining Chocolate Persian to help introduce that attractive colour and the dilute version, Lilac, into the British. We were fortunate in finding several far-sighted breeders of top quality British Shorthair Blues and Blacks who were prepared to accept our little girl to stud.
Our first British Chocolate to appear on the show bench, in 1985, was Idlebeck Navaho who features behind the pedigrees of many present day Chocolate and Lilac British in the UK and also in many countries around the world. At his first show he was accompanied by his Lilac sister, Idlebeck Novelty (Nova), and Chocolate Colourpointed brother, Idlebeck Nicodemus. The three of them created quite a stir amongst both judges and exhibitors on that day – some loved them and others felt that those colours could never be ‘proper’ British! How the majority view has changed! Nicodemus went to live with Veldes Carnell as her stud. Navaho and Nova stayed on to live with us.
Idlebeck Navaho and his sister Idlebeck Novelty (Nova) at the Shropshire Cat Club Championship Show as kittens, where they were both awarded their Merit Certificates.
They were also well placed in side classes - such a shame we had a fault on our camera which blacked out nearly half of every photo we took that day
In 1996, for various personal reasons, we gave up breeding and showing for several years and spayed or neutered our remaining cats.
In 2001, when we were in a position to take up our hobby again, we started looking for a kitten whose pedigree went back to our original breeding and a year later, in 2002, were very fortunate to obtain a Lilac kitten who fitted that specification, from our friend Veldes of Misskin British Shorthairs. Using Misskin Idlebecky as our new foundation queen, we have been pursuing a programme of further outcrosses to good Blues and Blacks - and more recently Cream & White Bi-Colours.
We started showing again in 2006 and later in the same year we once again produced our own Chocolate British kitten, Idlebeck Al Abama and bred a few more in 2007 and 2008. All helping towards gaining full Championship status for the Chocolate British Shorthairs from June 2009. Since that was achieved, our aim has been to continue to help with the improvement of these lovely cats so that they can unquestionably hold their own with any of the more established colours on the British Shorthair show-bench.