Aby-a-Day – December 4: Meeting a Legend

One of the reasons I really wanted to go to the World Show and enter the Red Show was because Wain Harding was one of the judges. (The other was because it was near Philly and I could see my sister.)

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You’ll have to indulge me here with a little fangirling. Wain Harding was the name in Aby breeders when I was a cat-crazy little kid first going to cat shows. I grew up in Davis, CA and Wain was based in Berkeley, CA – only 64 miles away on I-80! – so I saw his Abys a lot when we went to shows in Sacramento and San Francisco. They were probably the Abys I saw most, now that I think about it.

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I’m sure I must have seen Wain at a cat show at Cal Expo or the SF County Fair Building/Hall of Flowers when I was a kid. I may have also seen him as an apprentice judge!

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Wain Harding is Bastis Abyssinians. Bastis is one of those cattery names that shows up in viturally every Aby’s pedigree at some point.

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Jacoby has a solid Bastis backgound, starting with the legendary GC Bastis Zackariah, DM. Zackariah has 83 offspring known to ERoS, and there are probably a lot of his kittens that weren’t recorded there. This one cat is probably the keystone of modern Abys. I wonder if anyone can find an Aby alive today without Zackariah’s name in his or her pedigree?

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Long story short, it was a pretty big deal to meet Wain Harding, no matter what Meg says 🙂

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It was pretty exciting when, as Wain took Jake from the judging cage to the table, I heard him exclaim, “Wow…what great colour!” To have that be the first thing he said when he examined Jake was pretty amazing.

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Needless to say, when I heard Jake’s number called for Wain Harding’s Shorthair Specialty Ring at the World Show on Saturday, I was thrilled.

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I was so busy being excited and taking pictures, I don’t remember what Wain said as he presented Jake with his rosette.

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When I first got Gun-Hee and wanted to start showing, I scoured the internet for information on showing Abys and discovered this article about the perfect show Abyssinian. Several Aby-centric judges were interviewed for this Q and A, including Wain Harding. This article made an impression on me, especially Wain’s comments.

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Jake was Wain’s 14th Best Shorthair Cat in Premiership. This was out of 40 shorthair premiers entered in the Red Show.

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I know a lot of people might think, “Only 14th place?” but this was a very stiff competition. All of the Premiers were in top form at this show, and in all honesty, I got really lucky that the other Abyssinian Premiers weren’t able to attend and Jake ended up being the only Aby in Premiership in the Red Show. All in all, Jake ended up in 40th place overall and he earned 39 points.*

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The one thing I really wanted to do was get a photo of Wain with Jake and I. We had planned on getting one, but even though we were benched right across from his ring all weekend, I never managed to get that photo. Well…perhaps there will be a next time.

*On a side note, take a look at some of the cats’ names in Premiership! There’s a Manx named Jack Benny and a Maine Coon called Maine-ard G Krebbs. Two of my favourite characters! I love names like that.