SBEN International Section
This section currently covers the International Sphynx through a series of interviews. As we continue to build our library of information this section may contain more statistical information and provide a more global perspective of the breed.
Please consider visiting the website below to order the 2010 Sphynx Calendar. This calendar supports Sphynx HCM research. Read more...
2010 SPHYNX CALENDAR
SPHYNX KALENDER 2010
CALENDARIO SPHYNX 2010
LE 2010LE CALENDRIER SPHYNX 2010
Please visit the Calendar home, with information on how and where to order will be available - Thank you - Kathy, of Zeropelagio
UPDATE; 12 August 2009
The calendar project has been running for two years now. The 2009 one has sold better than the first one, so we are hoping to be able to collect even more money with the new calendar. Just like before all proceeds will be donated to the Winn Feline Foundation. They support HCM research in different cat breeds, and also a specific research in Sphynx. As soon as a DNA test can be developed, breeders and owners will not have to have their cats scanned annually. One single test in a life time will be sufficient then. And there will be more knowledge about the breeding stock and their off-spring. But before that day arrives, a lot of work has to be done. Blood samples of positively scanned animals are also very welcome, they will help chart the problem. For more information, please click here:
Winn Feline Foundation
FMI: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
CALENDARIO HCM 2010
Italiano (translation by Marina Nunzi)
Il progetto del calendario e gia attivo da due anni. Il calendario del 2009 ha dato migliori risultati del primo, percio speriamo di raccogliere ancora piu fondi con la prossima edizione. Come sempre, tutti i proventi verranno devoluti alla Winn Feline Foundation. Questa fondazione sostiene la ricerca sull HCM in diverse razze feline, ed anche una ricerca specifica sugli Sphynx. Non appena sara messo a punto il test del DNA, proprietari e allevatori non dovranno piu far testare ogni anno i loro gatti, un solo test sara sufficiente per tutta la vita. Inoltre aumenteranno le informazioni sulle varie linee di sangue ed i loro discendenti. Ma ci sara ancora molto lavoro da fare prima che arrivi questo giorno. I campioni di sangue di animali trovati positivi saranno utilissimi per aiutare a tracciare una mappa del problema: troverete un articolo nella Sphynx Newsletter . Per maggiori informazioni potete visitare questo link: Winn Feline Foundation
Sulle pagine dei calendari 2008 e 2009 potrete conoscere i risultati della nostra raccolta di fondi, e vedere anche le foto delle scorse edizioni del calendario.
Il calendario 2010 e disponibile per l'ordinazione:
THE 2010 CALENDAR CAN BE ORDERED NOW, FROM THESE CALENDAR FAIRIES:
For USA and other parts of the world contact Jen at: email@example.com
For UK contact Laura at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For France contact Ludivine at: email@example.com
For Finland contact Merja at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Czech Republik contact Karolina at: email@example.com
For Switzerland contact Carlee at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Italy contact Marina at: email@example.com
For Denmark contact Britt at: firstname.lastname@example.org
PRICE FOR ONE CALENDAR:
16 US USD
9.50 UK £
If you would like to help out by putting the calendar banner on your site and linking it to this calendar page, please feel free to do so. This is the 2010 banner:
Or copy and paste the code, below, into a section of your website!
<a href="http://www.zeropelagio.be/KalenderEN_2010.html" target="_blank"><img src="../../images/market/HCM_banner_2010_eng.jpg" alt="2010 Sphynx Calendar for HCM Research" width="510" height="113" longdesc="../../images/market/HCM_banner_2010_eng.jpg" /></a>
Jewelry by Jocylyn
by Carlee Marrer-Tising
To make beautiful jewelry, many things have to come together: artistic talent, skills in the various techniques, a sense of adventure, creativity, a love of handcrafting, a love of the materials to be used, as well as love and respect for the tools necessary to create the jewelry. In addition to the things that make a person a successful craftsman, people skills and the ability to match the right piece of jewelry with the right buyer are also essential. Lucky the jewelry lover who finds a jeweler who meets all of these criteria and on top of it all has a passion for his or her work and considers it a vocation rather than just a means of earning money!
Jewelers of this caliber are few and far between, but I have been fortunate enough to meet a few of them in the course of my years of jewelry collecting. Lesley Lane, also a Sphynx lover and cat jewelry fan, introduced me to Jocelyn Mac-Donald, a young Canadian jeweler who created a beautiful Sphynx pendant using Leslie‘s cat as a model. I liked the pendant so much when I first saw it, I asked Leslie if she would mind my having one too. Thanks to her generosity and willingness to share, I, too, have this wonderful piece in my collection. Not only do I admire Jocelyn‘s work, I am also quite taken with her philosophy.
One of Jocelyn‘s strengths is her desire to try new things: ―Most of my work is about line qualities and explorations. If a line is used correctly, a person can express so many emotions and gestures and give character to the work regardless of the medium it‘s made from.
The medium she uses most often is silver. She goes on to say, ―In the craft world you are constantly reading up on new techniques and giving them a try. Most times it‘s experimenting that gives you your best result! Always question and try new things.
The unusual ring illustrated on the left is a result of this thinking.
Jocelyn works in a small studio she has set up in her home. She has a variety of tools, especially small hand tools such as saws, drills, pliers, cutters, and files. She also has a torch, a polishing unit and different acids to clean and create differ-ent finishes on her work. Although she does not have a shop of her own yet, she showcases her work at her other jobs (flower shop and pancake house) and in this way she is able to display her jewelry and make it available to the public. As she says, ―Just a small display case up at the front, and you‘d be surprised how many people get jewelry when eating breakfast!
She mostly gets commission work, usually from word of mouth, and more people give her custom orders than buy ready-made pieces: ―A lot of people already have an idea of what they‘d like, but they need someone to execute it and maybe
How did the Sphynx pendant come about? ―I actually was approached to make the Sphynx necklace by a customer of mine. She was quite the animal lover and was active in the helping of animals. She brought me in a picture of her cat and asked me to design a pendant for her. It was one of the first animal pieces that I've done! I really enjoyed making it. It was different and out of the box from the conservative style that is out in many retail stores.
When asked exactly how she made the piece, she described the process as follows: ―I dissected the picture of her cat....breaking down the layers in the cat‘s face. From there I took each layer and cut it out of silver. Once the layers were cut I pieced the layers back together to make a graphic 3-dimensional face of the cat. From there I soldered them all together and used an acid on various areas of the face to bring a bit more depth to the piece. And when all completed it was a cat pendant with character!
Not everyone owns a hairless cat! I felt it suited the owner, as she was an individual herself.
Jocelyn truly enjoys creating a piece to fit an individual: ―There is nothing better than to see the person‘s face when they see the piece for the first time! And since her pieces are one-of-a-kind, handmade pieces, she has this pleasure every time someone asks her to make something special.
Referring again to the Sphynx pendant, Jocelyn mentioned that the piece was not technically hard to make; the challenge was to capture the expression on the cat‘s face. ―I didn‘t want it to just be a cat pendant, I wanted it to be a representation of her actual cat and maintain its personality. It is not surprising that Jocelyn is able to determine the personality of a cat by seeing its picture because she is certainly no stranger to animals. She has many animals of her own, including dogs, cats, rabbits, mice, guinea pigs, chickens, and fish! She holds her animals in high regard. ―I think animals hold a special place in all of our hearts. They are innocent beings that, although some are more self sufficient, need our love and affection. They are part of the family. They make us laugh, make us cry, test our patience at times, they are good listeners who won‘t interrupt us, and they can make us feel wanted. There are clothes, carriers, and spas, all for our beloved companions. It wouldn't surprise me if more people started looking for more jewelry...for them or their pets!
We love to have pictures and other representations of our animals to show our friends; ―It‘s the same idea as a charm bracelet, says Jocelyn. ―People put things on them that are important to them and remind them of things in their life…so why not your best animal friend?
Anyone who would like to have a piece of jewelry designed after their own cat‘s photo can reach Jocelyn by e-mail email@example.com
Vallmegat Sphynx Cattery
by Carlee Marrer-Tising
Premià de Mar is a picturesque municipality in Catalonia, Spain. Situated on the coast 20 km (12.4 miles) north east of Barcelona, it is both a tourist center and a dormitory town. It is also the home of Mari Ramirez and her Sphynx cattery, Valmegat. Mari, a breeder with a very infectious passion for the breed, saw a Sphynx for the first time at an International cat show in Barcelona in the year 2000. She was already familiar with the breed, having collected and read all the documentation and information about it that she could find. Upon seeing an honest-to-goodness
real-live Sphynx, she immediately fell in love with this enigmatic and special breed of cat and she began searching for a Sphynx of her own. It was not easy for her to find one because there was only one breeder in Spain at that time. She realized her dream in 2002 when she finally got her first Sphynx, a black female with green eyes named Gala. This little lady cast her spell on Mari, who immediately fell in love with the little black beauty. It was then that she decided to dedicate her time to the breeding of this good-natured and likeable breed of cat.
The most important thing for Mari in breeding her cats is health. She has found a wonderful veterinary hospital in Barcelona where her vet is skilled in the most advanced technology.
She recently had one of her cats spayed, and her vet used the very latest laser surgery. The cat was awake when she picked her up only two hours after having taken her to the hospital; she
had a very small incision with no stitches, and, as Mari stated, she was in perfect condition. A very conscientious breeder, Mari also scans her cats regularly for HCM.
In addition to her Sphynx cats Mari has a beautiful Exotic Shorthair female, Cuore Mio. She is an eleven-year old European Champion that has been extremely successful in the exhibition halls, having won many prizes such as the “Very Best of Best,” the “Very Best in Show,” as well as numerous “Best in Show” awards. Her Sphynx do not take a back seat to this wonderful cat in the
show hall, however, because they, too, have won enough Best of Best and Best in Show trophies and rosettes to make Mari very proud of them. She has been exhibiting her Sphynx since 2003.
In addition to health, Mari strives to improve the morphology or structure of the Sphynx, her priority being to return to the original Sphynx morphology. In discussing the “perfect” Sphynx, Mari stated that the “perfect Sphynx Cat exists only in the mind of the breeder.” She has a handsome red
male that is now two years old and five beautiful females. She feels that the most special thing about her cats and the breed in general is their fantastic character.
Although naked cats are not generally well known or popular in Spain, they are well received by the general population and by the Spanish visitors to the cat shows. People are very curious about
them, and Mari has heard some funny comments, such as “It has skin like a baby!” and “wonderful gremlin.”
Mari’s cats are registered in CFA, TICA and Fifé. The most popular association in her area is Fifé.
If you would like to see more of Mari’s cats, kittens and her lovely nursery, visit her website at www.Valmegat.com.
Showing a Sphynx in Switzerland
by Carlee Marrer-Tising
When I entered my first Sphynx in a cat show in 2003, I had been forewarned of what it would probably be like! I had seen a Sphynx in a Swiss cat show a couple of years before and had heard some of the negative remarks and sounds made regarding this hairless cat. I could tell that his owner was not having a very good time and I actually felt quite sorry for her. I talked to her a bit about her cat, little knowing that I would ever be fortunate enough to have Sphynx of my own some day! Owning a Sphynx in Switzerland is interesting, because whenever people see them there are sure to be a lot of stares, as well as some comments and questions. The most frequent question is, ―Excuse me, is that a cat or a dog?
Although the average person here has never even heard of a naked cat, much less seen one, they are rarely rude to me when they see my cats. It is a completely different story when I enter them in shows how-ever. It is a sad fact that Sphynx, on the whole, do not get a very cordial welcome from the general public in the show halls in the German-speaking part of Switzer-land. A lot of the visitors get quite emo-tional. I have been showing my Sphynx in this country for over five years, and I would probably think that the situation here was normal if I hadn‘t also entered my cats in shows in the French-speaking part of the country where the Sphynx are received very enthusiastically, and in Italy (where the gen-eral public love the breed and react with almost total enthusiasm, even if the breed is new to them) and in Germany, where they are also quite popular. The reactions of the average German-Swiss cat show visitor, upon seeing a Sphynx, range anywhere from shocked, horrified, and appalled—the com-ments often expressing pity for the ―poor cats, disgust and anger toward the owners, and a complete lack of understanding for the cruel and brainless breeders who would intentionally ―produce such a miserable creature—to completely enthusiastic and admiring. Very rarely do I run into people anywhere in this part of the world who have a ―lukewarm reaction toward these cats. It seems that they either love them or they detest them.
The rude reactions are a real challenge for the Sphynx exhibitor. I have observed some who ignore the thoughtless and mean remarks completely, some who strike back and insult the person who is being so negative toward their beloved cat, and others who simply leave the show hall as often as possible to avoid having to hear the same negative things over and over again. As for me, it greatly depends on the mood I am in as to how I respond. Usually I don‘t let on that I have heard them.
Here are some of the negative or strange comments I have heard.
A man who was probably talking to his daughter explained to her, ―Oh, look! There are the cats that they breed with no skin! I was so surprised by that particular description that I didn‘t react at all, but it was certainly hard not to laugh out loud.
A woman walked by and commented to her companion, ―Ewwwww, how ugly! Look at that. Another visitor who had heard this replied, ―Hey Lady! Look in the mirror and you will see ugly! Again, I just tried not to laugh!
The following remark DID make me laugh out loud: ―Oooooo! Sphynx! How beautiful they are! Then the lady spotted my Bur-mese. ―Oh Yuck There‘s one with fur!!
Last year I showed my cats in a town where—so I was told, or should I say warned—people were especially unpleasant to exhibi-tors with Sphynx. I braved it and entered three of my Sphynx and my Burmese. It was at this show that I actually had the impression that a woman who was very upset about my cats was going to actually attack me! She lam-basted my cats and me, making lunges at me and shouting at the top of her voice. After saying that they were ugly, she said that if they ever got outside they would die a wretched death because they would never survive in the wild. I asked her what she thought would happen to a Sia-mese or Persian suddenly put outside after having led a pampered life indoors. The discussion did not end here, since she kept raving, but I informed her that she had a very unpleasant tone, and with that I walked away. Four hours later the ―revenge was very sweet for me when my two-year old Sphynx, AlNa-keed Kalli Delight, won Best in Show!! This, of course, shows that the Fifé judges who come to Switzerland to do their job are not influenced by the atmosphere created by the local visitors.
The first time I showed my male Sphynx, Jamie, an unneutered boy who shows his wares more obviously than a furry cat does, a woman went to great lengths to let me know how awful this cat was and how terrible he looked. I asked her if she had ever touched a Sphynx, and she said no, of course she hadn‘t. I asked her if she would like to. Surprisingly, she said yes, she would, so I had her come around to the back of the cage, and I got Jamie out. She hesitatingly petted him, then petted him again and again, saying what a wonderful sensation it was to touch this soft, velvety skin! Then she asked me what his name was. After I told her, she leaned over to him and with her face very close to his, said, ―Jamie, forgive me! When I first saw you, I said some very rude things, but now I see that you are wonderful and I am so sorry I acted that way. That was one of the most touching conversions I have seen so far.
There are also some very nice reactions to my cats. At the last show I attended, a young lady asked me if she could touch Kalli, so I said yes, and got her out of the cage. The lady held out her arms, so I gave her Kalli to hold and she whispered, ―This is a dream come true. Things like this happen every now and then. The most moving experience of all was in Lausanne where there were several people in wheelchairs at the show. One lady asked me if her daughter, who was in a wheelchair, could touch Kalli, and of course I said she could. The lady took her daughter‘s hand and placed it on Kalli‘s back and together they petted her, the daughter, who was partially paralyzed, with a look of complete ecstasy on her face and stars in her eyes, just gazed lovingly at Kalli, and I was so glad that my cat and I were able to be included in this moment of wonder and joy.