Breed History

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In the Beginning

For the love of Pixie

Copyright Carol Ann Brewer 1997, Breed Founder

It was in 1985, within the shadow of the Cascade Mountains, near the shores of Puget Sound, that a small Coastal Red Bobcat was seen fighting with a short-tailed poly-dactyl barn cat. The owners ran to save their cat from possible harm, and later reaped a harvest of kittens born through suspicious circumstances. A male poly dactyl kitten was purchased by Carol Ann Brewer, who was immediately intrigued with the kitten's appearance and behavior. She knew that she possessed a kitten with the blood of another world and so began a search for information to help her understand if such an unusual cat would have any special needs. What Carol Ann discovered was that there was, indeed, documentation by others who also believed that they had a cat with wild heritage. According to what she read, it seemed that what had occurred there, in the Pacific Northwest, was not that unusual.

Legendcats

So it was that "the breed" essentially began through what was believed to be a naturally occurring mating between a bobcat and a domestic. But she called her first cat a "Legend Cat", since there was no real proof. "It's like the breed was Providentially handed to me", Carol Ann says, because within a year, she had acquired one more cat with exactly the same "legend" and another of speculative heritage, but whose sheer size, appearance and tail length convinced her to use him also, to form the basis of a program. Pixie was a female kitten born from the union of two of these original cats. She was covered in muted spotting on her reddish-fawn coat and had a very wild face, reminiscent of a Bobcat. Pixie not only became the dam line for most of the females in the program, but also became the namesake for the breed.

The Pixiebob Now and Forever

DNA testing has failed to prove that the pixie-bob has bobcat blood in its lines. Things have come a long way since the original breed was created. The Pixiebob is still a relatively new breed, almost all Pixiebob Pedigree certificates within their 6 listed generations, still lead back to the foundation cats from Stone Island Pixiebobs. They will most likely include Legendcats in their early ancestry too. A lot of Pixiebob pedigree certificates will show the breeds namesake "Pixie" herself. This doesn't necessary make a Pixiebob good, special, or a Blue List cat. Nor is it a bad thing, caused by in-breeding. It is because of the breeds registered newness.

Rarely are cats of unknown origin used in breed programs now. Those that do still use Legendcats do so under supervision, and Hybrids of Bobcats are never endorsed. The Pixiebob breed committee agree if a cat of unknown Origin is suitable to be branded a Legendcat. Only a select few breeders are endorsed to introduce them into their breed program today. As fresh lines from Legendcats are introduced from time to time, the gene pool remains strong and healthy, and hereditary and genetic diseases caused by in-breeding and concentrating genes are very uncommon.

However, any Pixiebob kitten born now with any Unknown Origin Cat within 3 generations, cannot be shown and gain championship titles. They therefore are used for breed programs only, and also very special pets. They are known as O3 if One of the Grandparent is of Unknown origin. O2 if one of the Parents is Unknown, or O1 if the cat itself is of Unknown Origin. Breeders in the UK desire imports and O2 and O3 cats because we want to increase the gene pools. Having so few breeders outside of America means that if we did not import or introduce these Foundation cats, we would hit in-breeding problems.

The introduction of immediate offspring of Legend cats at this time is still essential for us here in the UK. No country outside of the Breeds Origin has imported, nor ever will directly use, Legendcats.

The rate of introduction of Legendcats in the USA has tailed off too. When the diversity of gene pools is large enough to sustain itself for many, many years to come, no doubt NO NEW Legend cats will be accepted into breed programs. Beyond this, it would be a long way into the future before that fresh blood would be needed once more, and Legendcats may be considered for reintroduction. The breed committee is of the belief that we are virtually at the self-sustainable limit with our Pixiebob gene pool and so the time is upon us soon. It will then be deemed introductions of Legendcats will not be advised, unless overall we have lost key characteristics.

So, what is important going forward for the survival and healthiness of Pixiebobs, is to introduce new influences from other Pixiebob lines, but these have to carry strong features to ensure we keep the Pixiebob unique.