Dilute modifier in Scandinavia (G3)

by Dagny Dickens

Dilute modifier is something really controversial. Dilute modifier is the temporary name of a gene that is believed or said to influence the look of the colour of cats with double genes for dilution. Some of these colours have been given their own names, such as caramel and apricot. And the question is: Does it exist or does it not exist?

I can not answer that question with a “Yes” or a “No”, but I might get the reader to open his eyes for the fact that there are colour phenomena, (I will call them so for the time being), that should not easily be rejected and snorted at.

In an article like this one, history must of course be a part, just as standards of points – abbreviated SOP – ought to be – and geography: Where in the world does one find dilute modifier colours? Where are they recognised? And then adding the big dose of genetics that is a must.

To some extent I have used the EMS codes to indicate breed/colour/coat length for the cats. Immediately a problem arises: For certain cats there is no reliable information if they are/were blue based dilute modifier (am | a = blue and m = modified) or lilac based dilute modifier (cm | c = lilac and m = modified). These cats are indicated with am^cm if the EMS codes have been used. In the early stages it is not likely that the cats may have been fawn based dilute modifier (pm | p = fawn and m = modified), but if possible, the indication is am^cm^pm. The same goes for the tortoiseshell varieties, when doubted the indication is gm^jm or possibly gm^jm^rm.

What this article covers on history, spreading, recognition and SOP, covers almost solely Siamese (SIA) and Oriental Shorthair (OSH). It is within these breeds that most cats with dilute modifier colours have been found, whether the cats have been registered with such colours or not. When it comes to registration numbers and titles for particular cats, such information has not always been included.

Dilute modifier and heredity

According to the current (2006-2012) most prevalent theory, dilute modifier is a single gene of its own. As the name implies, it affects the colour (pigment granules) in the hairs of cats that are diluted, that is cats that have a double set of the recessive gene for dilution. It has hitherto not been observed to have had any influence on the colour of cats that are not diluted, the colours n (black/seal), b (chocolate), d (red), f (black/seal tortie), h (chocolate tortie), o (cinnamon) and q (cinnamon tortie). The colours can be listed as follows:

 

EMS code/Without dilute modifier

 

 

EMS code/With dilute modifier

 

 

a

 

 

Blue

 

 

am

 

 

Caramel, blue based

 

 

c

 

 

Lilac

 

 

cm

 

 

Caramel, lilac based

 

 

e

 

 

Cream

 

 

em

 

 

Apricot

 

 

g

 

 

Blue tortie

 

 

gm

 

 

Caramel tortie, blue based

 

 

j

 

 

Lilac tortie

 

 

jm

 

 

Caramel tortie, lilac based

 

 

p

 

 

Fawn

 

 

pm

 

 

Caramel, fawn based

 

 

r

 

 

Fawn tortie

 

 

rm

 

 

Caramel tortie, fawn based

 

The gene is genetically abbreviated Dm. Through the upper case letter D it is indicated that the gene is dominant, which implies that it is enough if only one of the parents has the gene. It need not to come from both parents. The opposite gene is given as dm and could be called non-dilute modifier. The beginning with lower case letter shows that the gene is recessive, that it must come from both parents and that two cats that do not have the dilute modifier gene, can not have progeny with dilute modifier colour when mated.

When the genetics do not correspond

When studying pedigrees for dilute modifier cats, sooner or later one runs across genetic impossibilities. Two cats with dilution dependent colour – but without dilute modifier – for example cream [e] mated with blue [a] should not be able to have kittens with dilute modifier colours. Nevertheless this is what is found and such impossibilities are often brought forward as arguments against dilute modifier. The most simple explanation – and one should not cause trouble unnecessarily, one could willingly compare with Occam’s razor*1) – is that one or both parents are registered in the wrong colour or that the kitten does not have a dilute modifier colour.

The person that eventually, in Scandinavia, tries to decide if a cat has a dilute modifier colour, encounters a very special problem: The light in our show halls. And how bad that is, you all know. To be able to assess coat colour and eye colour, daylight is needed and it is too risky to take the cat and go outdoors. In addition the twilight comes early from September to beginning of April. Indoors the light conditions are miserable, green floors that give colour casting, mixed blue and yellow light from fluorescent tubes, orange walls. The only halls that will do, are those with big glass windows facing north, so that direct sunlight is impossible. In Southern Hemisphere, one should change the direction, the windows should face south there. There are not many of them, but there is one such hall worthy of five stars: The A-hall for betting on horses (aka Totohallen) at the Solvalla trotting course in western Stockholm. It is situated at the winning post and has a four-storeyed glass wall facing north. Even in wintertime there is enough and good light for colour assessment, at least from 10 am to 2 pm.

Oriental Shorthair and dilute modifier

The first cats with different colours, later on classed as dilute modifier dependent, were bred by Pat Turner [Scintilla] in England, at the beginning of 1970-ties. Behind these cats was a Chinchilla Persian and Siamese cats of different colours, among others, red point. Well known descendants from this line were Scintilla Serene Sunset, tortoiseshell silver shaded female, Scintilla Koffee Kreme, caramel point female and Scintilla Muted Mink, caramel silver spotted female. Mostly these cats were used in OSH breeding programmes. Three cats from these lines are known as exports to Scandinavia, the full brother and sister Scintilla Anticipation, OSH bs 24 (M) (to Sweden) and Scintilla Fascination, OSH hs 11 (F) (to Norway), along with the closely related Scintilla Firstinfinland, OSH f (F) (to Finland). Other lines stayed in the English OSH breeding programmes of that time. One more specially known of these cats was GC Folklore Moonwolf, OSH n 24 (M), dob 7/10-79, whose great great grand dam was Scintilla Serene Sunset. More cats and lines are probably to be found, but to include them here, would turn the article into “Introduction in genealogical research on Oriental Shorthair”.

Siamese and dilute modifier

Since OSH cats have not freely been allowed to be bred into the SIA breed*2), how come that the Siamese stock so to say is “swarming” with dilute modifier cats?

Here is what Hetty Berntrop [Taothai], now in Australia, but earlier active in Holland, writes in her article about caramel and apricot: “From an unsuspected side caramel slipped in as well. When the first tabby point Siamese appeared they were seal tabby or chocolate tabby point. However, most tabby points come from a mating of Macji Dom Dija, a seal point Siamese x a Silver tabby moggie. Their daughter Tiggi, mated to Chancasta, a seal point Siamese gave birth in 1960 to Miss Tee Kat, the well-known seal tabby point that can be found at the back of almost all Siamese tabby point pedigrees. The silver tabby moggie was found in the same street where a Chinchilla breeder lived. And in the old days cats were not locked up in cat runs and catteries all the time but often could roam free in the village¼ So it really was no wonder that caramel popped up in Siamese tabby point lines too, although it took some time for most breeders to realise they had a different colour.”

That is quite so, but have not all Siamese imports to Scandinavia been tabby points? How does that tally? Now it will be about genealogical research and that on Siamese.

What the Siamese genealogical research led to

As I was one of the earliest breeders of tabby pointed Siamese in Sweden, as I so to say have “pedigrees in my blood” – I certainly wanted to know what was behind my own lines. My first tabby pointed cat IC San-T-Ree Tiger Favorita, SIA n 21 (F), had a mother that Eiwor Andersson had imported from England. This cat, Shybu Vanya, SIA n 21, had two different lines of tabby point Siamese in her background through her grand dam Greenleaf Tama Fuyo, tabby pointed, but for whom I have not yet found any reasonably certain information of what colour tabby point she was. In springtime 2005 I really set the whole thing going, most inspired and a little forced by Hetty Berntrop’s article about dilute modifier that Rina Matthiessen [Parlörs EUR, BRI, DRX] had translated to Swedish 2004, but which at that time was not considered to be interesting by Orientexpressen, club magazine for the Swedish breed club Siames- and Orientalgruppen.

Pretty soon I had found, behind English cats, the four initial matings made for tabby point Siamese that I already know of and shortly thereafter, also a fifth one. I gave all the initial matings numbers according to the order in which I found them. These numbers have thus no relation to when matings were made nor kittens were born.

Diagram of initial matings for tabby point Siamese

Line #1          Patti, SIA n 21 (F), dob 23/4-60

Sire:        Unknown Unregistered Agouti

Dam:       Lady Me, SIA n, dob 8/1-59

Line #2          Tiggi, XSH ns 21/SIA (F), dob 1/1-59

Sire:        Unknown Silveragouti

Dam:       Macji Dom Dija, SIA n, dob 13/11-55

Line #3          Hi-Fi Lootin, SIA * 21 ♀, dob 30/4-59

Sire:        Man Friday, SIA n, dob ?-51

Dam:       Bhoh Bhoh Adowa Pra, SIA f 21, dob ?-58

Line #4          Kissa Paju, SIA n 21 (F), dob ?-62

Sire:        Montezuma, SIA *

Dam:       Heartsease Zigeunerine, SIA *

Line #5          Limpid Lady, XSH n 23/SIA (F), dob ?-61, GCCF OS 143272 SR

Sire:        CH Whiteacres Mooey, SIA n, dob 23/10-60, GCCF OS 105990

Dam:       Unregistered household pet (Sable, XSH n 23)

Next step was to look for details of tabby pointed Siamese cats that had been imported to Sweden and Norway, maybe even to Denmark, their background and what information of eventual progeny could be found. As you might suspect, I was tracking links, unbroken tabby pointed such, to line #2. At the end I had a list consisting at that time (February 2005) of 15 cats, of which some still had progeny that were breeding, but for most of them the result was meagre and could not explain the wide spreading of suspected dilute modifier lines. A dead end?

Now I made a drastic turn around and listed Siamese cats irrespective of their points colour, cats that had been imported to Sweden and Norway, above all from England, from 2004 and backwards. After a month I had about 750 prints of database extracts, each one showing one cat + four parental generations (P1-P4). This covered relatively many generations and it took many hours of working myself backwards and marking the lines that possibly went back to line #2. But I was really rewarded for the pains!

Of the about 40 English Siamese cats whose pedigrees I have checked and who had come to Sweden and Norway in 1978 and later – Siamese cats that in their turn had generated the about 750 database extracts – they all have tabby point Siamese in their background and this entirely independent of the colour of the imported cat itself. There are of course different numbers of intermediate generations and the lines are intertwining in an intricate pattern. The pedigrees I have studied have been showing SIA n, a, b, c, d, e, f, g, n 21, b 21, c 21 and f 21.

The oldest registrations in Sweden are GIC Iceberg Baccarat, SIA n (M), SVERAK LO 29599 (GCCF NS 096099), dob 26/4-78 and Timeless Micko Tilly, SIA n (M), SVERAK LO 29593 (GCCF NS 097993) dob 18/4-78. The hitherto youngest in Sweden is Kaloke Kama, SIA n (M), SVERAK LO 205199 (GCCF CS 599182) dob 16/9-04. In Norway the oldest registration is Seadog Pinchario, SIA n (M), NRR LO 2064 (GCCF NS 059027) dob 30/4-77.

All these 40 fully Siamese cats have tabby point Siamese in their background, it can be one, two, three, four or even all five of the initial matings – but all have line #2, even if it is the only one they have. Line #4 is the most unusual one, I have only found it in one minor branch in Holland and in Swedish and Norwegian Siamese that go back to GIP & IC Rangoon Tabby Prince Amled, SIA n 21 (M), NRR LO 1870 (FD LO 17601) dob 20/11-75.

For me this explains how the dilute modifier gene has become so widely spread within the Siamese breed independent of the geographic origin of the cats*3) and then it is not difficult to realise that it is equally widespread in the breeds OSH, BAL and OLH, as these have been manufactured with the help of Siamese cats. One can presume that the same distribution to the recently recognised white patched breeds SYS and SYL has taken place.

A slight detour to Denmark

I have also checked some randomly selected Danish cats and found with no difficulty, that the same state as in Sweden and Norway, also prevails in Denmark, even to a greater extent.

Should this have been the beginning of the article?

One can really ask why dilute modifier has come into focus now, when maybe the fact is that it has been there for more than 30 years? And why I, myself belonging to the group of snorters until three-four years ago, write an article about the subject?

The answer to the first question is: Because dilute modifier colours have been recognised within GCCF and it is from there that the majority of new breeding stock came around 2006 and earlier. At least in regard to SIA and OSH and Sweden and Norway. Different dates count for different breeds and colours and also the grade of recognition (provisional, preliminary, with the right to CC/CP, in ascending scale). Two examples: OSH em was recognised with the right to CC/CP as from June 1999 and SIA gm^jm^rm was recognised with the right to CC/CP as from June 2000. With the recognition of dilute modifier colours, up to then “suspected” dilute modifier cats could have their colour officially changed and also be shown.

The answer to the second question is: Because I, as a pedigree book keeper, as judge, as breeder, realised that I no longer could pretend that dilute modifier did not exist.

In the first registration rules of the club SES (Swedish Siamese Society) dilute modifier colours were banned for SIA and BAL. One could not do much about it if they eventually existed in the OSH breed and thereby even OLH, as a result descending from the Scintilla cats with dilute modifier colours. The risk for it to enter SIA and BAL from that direction was fairly non-existent as the SES rules demanded at least 8 parental generations pointed cats only (only SIA for Siamese, SIA and BAL for Balinese) for a Siamese or Balinese to be permitted for registration and breeding. And then came a cat to be re-registered with SES…and all protective netting gave way.

Cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face?

This cat, Baligal Red Baron, red point SH Balinese Variant, had a great grand dam with dilute modifier colour: Marholm Balletangelskiss, caramel tabby point SH Balinese Variant. And what was behind her? The father was a Balinese with mixed BAL and SIA background and the mother was pure SIA. If we should adhere to our rules, the cat should not be accepted – at the same time we would literally cut off our own nose to spite our faces – because the SIA lines behind the father and the mother contained the same cats that were behind the cats we already had, cats with 14-16, even as many as 20 generations of pure Siamese. We would no longer be permitted to breed with the Siamese cats we had. They shared their background with the Siamese cats behind Marholm Balletangelskiss.

The first step was to lift the ban of dilute modifier colours. Next step was to gather information of dilute modifier colours and preferably also some examples to look at. Rina Mathiessen had translated Hetty Berntrop’s article and when the magazine Orientexpressen rejected it, Rina turned to SES. Maybe SES was interested? The text and the contents were good, but left some question marks. Rina and I then decided that an article of our own, based on Scandinavian conditions, would be the best solution.

Actually both Rina and I had seen photos of some of the Scintilla cats with dilute modifier colours, this was at Anne-Marie Nilsson [Harlekins]. Anne-Marie had gone to England several times in the 1970-ties and among other things also made visits to Pat Turner and had taken pictures of Scintilla cats with caramel colours. Unfortunately access to the photos was impossible after such a long time. So what to do now?

An ally

I now tried to get myself an ally in caramel matters, one on the opposite side of earth and she began her reply mail to me in this way:

Good morning, Dagny. Ah, the dreaded c****** word! Well, I’m a believer, as you know – and have done a hell of a lot of pedigree research in all the breeds I can where I’ve seen Dm colour occur.

Lesley Morgan Blythe [Comyn PER, EXO] – LMB – had accepted.

I already knew that LMB was pro dilute modifier and that had really started with me getting some photos via mail, photos that showed dilute modifier colours in different breeds. One picture had particularly got stuck in my memory, it showed an AUM am 22 (Australian Mist, blue based caramel classic tabby). I had studied the picture for a long time, because within me I knew that I had seen this colour before and that was in Scandinavia. But not in one of our breeds, but in Norwegian Forest Cat. The cat in question was at the top of his show career in the mid 1990’s, he became both EC and EP. He was competing in group IV (black/blue agouti with white), as NFO a 09 24 (blue spotted tabby with white) and his colour was much debated. Everyone saw that he was some kind of a blue patterned cat, the tiny little white he had, was found on his chest, so there was a great part of coat with colour to look at. Everyone also realised that his blue patterned colour was not normal. It was not a lilac one, as I once asked for a lilac (certain) patterned CRX to be collected for comparison and it was obvious that the NFO was not lilac patterned.

Caramels from every direction

Now it was not long before I got to see my first dilute modifier cat ”live”. A breeder friend had a litter from a tabby pointed female, registered as chocolate tabby point, but whose colour was known as notoriously suspect and now she wanted my help to determine the colour of the single kitten in the litter, 10 weeks old. An early afternoon in February 2005 I took my trip to the breeder. The daylight conditions were good, only a slight cloudy overcast, but no precipitation and no sunshine. The apartment had a big windowpane facing north and this established perfect light. Two things were obvious when I looked at the mother and the child. The mother had precisely that colour I had imagined that a caramel tabby point would have, most likely she was lilac based, that is SIA cm 21. Strangely enough, her son had already, even at his young age, almost the same colour of the points as his mother had.

Some days later I had the comments from LMB. It was highly probable that I was correct in my assumption that the mother was SIA cm 21 and that the son was of the same colour. One characteristic of dilute modifier was precisely that the kittens developed their points colour much faster than cats of other colours. Now I have to tell the reader that I did not tell LMB what cat and kitten I had studied.

My survey of dilute modifier now made a very curved extra lap. A breeder in a SVERAK club contacted me, she wanted my help to determine the colour of a kitten with a very strange colour, she suspected the kitten to be some kind of caramel. This breeder also wanted to know if there were some good possibilities to exhibit the litter at the SNRF Show in Uppsala in May 2005, even though such an exhibiting would not count for the eventual FIFe recognition of dilute modifier. I also received via mail, a photo of the kitten in question and his parents (Sire: OSH d / Dam: BAL a). And the kitten had really a very peculiar colour. Lilac based caramel (OSH cm Var) was not a bad guess made by the breeder.

But there was something else that did not correspond, it looked like the kitten’s colour was faintly pointed, like a tonkinese and how had that happened? A fellow breeder and I started to check the pedigrees for the father and the mother, but it was all impossible. There was literally no chance the OSH would carry the cb gene, something that was equally impossible for the BAL, as she already had two cs genes. After a visit to the breeder’s homepage, I had a pretty clear picture of what had happened and I did not look forward to the unpleasant phone call I had to make. A CRX c 32 (Cornish Rex, lilac mink/tonkinese) was the father of four out of the five kittens in the litter, among them the one with the suspected caramel colour, and the OSH was the father of one. So in this case there was no “real” caramel. For those who might start wondering, the breeder handled the case very properly and honestly. The litter was all scientifically checked for parentage and four registration certificates (for the kittens with the CRX as father) were returned to SVERAK.

Another Swedish caramel case in late spring

When attending an informal seminar for Swedish breeders of category IV cats (in FIFe this is SIA with related breeds), I had a chat with a breeder of many years, who had some difficulties in determining the colour of her litter of OSH. I looked at photos of the litter on the breeder’s homepage and asked if she had thought of caramel colours? That was very far-fetched for the breeder who considered cinnamon related colours to be closer. And there were cinnamon lines behind both parents of the litter, which I then stashed away in the compartment “Useful knowledge for the future”.

Down under

Now the genealogical research regarding Siamese cats in Sweden and Norway had come to the end of the road, but LMB had given me some names to check. It was Tigerlily Troubadour, SIA b 21 (M) (“mr Dm”) and it was Samsara Silver Shadow, SIA n (or ns) 21 (F), both exported from England to Australia. I had no problem in finding the links back on both cats. Samsara Silver Shadow was generation F3 of both line #1 and line #2, the one that is officially suspected of bringing in silver. As a matter of fact, it could even be so that Samsara Silver Shadow was silver tabby pointed.

Tigerlily Troubadour was generation F10 of line #2, a non-surprising fact. But it all became interesting when I made a search for his progeny and found Snowdonia Captain Cook, SIA n (M), who had been exported to Finland and who had Tigerlily Troubadour in generation P4. Two rather well known descendants of this line are Kattilan Ned Kelly, SIA c (M) and Kautonsalon Greta Garbo, SIA n (F).

Two souls but with a single thought

Between us LMB and I have exchanged photos and ideas, links and mail. Each of us has looked and searched on our own and then we have compared. In late autumn I mailed LMB some photos of one of the kittens from the Swedish late spring litter, now more adult in age, and without revealing the identity of the cat. The reply was: Well, with no doubt this was a neat and clear example of a lilac based caramel spotted OSH (OSH cm 24) plus a photo of the sire of the cat. And this photo showed very obviously that the father is not a lilac spotted (OSH c 24), but a lilac based caramel spotted (OSH cm 24). A few days later I had another mail from LMB tipping me of a homepage that I ought to visit to see caramel tabby point Siamese. At first I did not recognise the address of the web page, but when I had clicked my way down to the cat in question, I lost my power of speech. The photo showed the very same tabby pointed Siamese queen I had seen in February.

Coming so long I had gained a certain ability to recognise dilute modifier colours. This was not all due to the photos I had collected, but also to me beginning to realise that I as judge and as breeder during a rather long period of time, maybe as much as 30 years, probably had seen several cats with colours (irrespective of breed) that should have been classed as dilute modifier dependent. The probably most well-known of these cats must have been Freudenreich Kalendergirl, a Siamese female that Liv Holst [Liberho’s] imported from England to Norway at the very beginning of the 1990-ties. Was she a chocolate tabby point or was she a lilac tabby point – or was she not an entirely “genuine” caramel tabby pointed cat? [LMB note – in a discussion with Liv in Oslo spring 2006, she freely conceded she thinks Kalendergirl was undetected caramel.]

The most difficult thing

Is to describe dilute modifier colours (caramel and apricot) in a way that is intelligible for the reader. My own best way is that when cats with diluted colours look dirty in their colour, as if someone had had goo (that viscous mushy mud that is such a delight for children to jump into at spring) on them – well, then it is a good idea to suspect dilute modifier. The colours are described in the SOP of GCCF, but that standard is not consistent, it really hobbles. And in addition to that, a standard usually describes what is most ideal, but not cats and colours of a lower level. In this case the primary thing is to recognise a dilute modifier colour when observing it.

LMB provided me with the following quite nice descriptions:

I have a bit of a problem with the standard we’ve inherited from GCCF. But you asked for anecdotal, non-judge description. OK – first, the brownish cast to whatever colour it is (talking caramel here). I like Di Clarke’s description of it being the kitten you are certain is lilac when you’re having your first coffee of the day, which, by the time you’ve read the newspaper looks definitely chocolate, and half an hour later you’re certain is blue.

Mismatching points is common, and in my experience there’s often precocious development of colour – more intense colour comes through much earlier than you’d expect in a true lilac, for eg. They don’t develop that metallic effect (esp on on the feet/hocks and between the toes) instantly but invariably there’s a brownish sludgy tone to fur around the pads. (Talking about show-age kittens here). As they develop, the pattern (esp in tabby) acquires that gleam which tends to reflect almost a blue/mauve look in some cats in some lights. A steely effect. Invariably, in tabbies, the ground colour is warmer than in the equivalent “straight” tabby.

As to colour itself – well, a lilac-based tends as a kitten to be the colour of the underside (gills) of a champignon. Not like a pale choc kitten exactly, but perhaps easier to confuse with a choc than with a lilac. But whatever base colour, to lesser or greater degrees, there’s subtle blue and brown tone in the coat simultaneously and it changes with the light. Often the nose leather doesn’t match the colour you think you’re seeing – you can be looking at a cat which is more blue than anything else, but there’s a mauve tinge to the nose leather.

AUM_am_22_small

Above: AUM am 22 (Australian Mist, blue based caramel classic tabby)

Photo: With permission from ACF Year Book 2006

EUR_a_24_small

Above: EUR a 24 (European Shorthair, blue spotted tabby)

Photo: www.heikkisiltala.com

OSH_cm_smaller

Above: OSH cm (Oriental Shorthair, lilac based caramel)

Photo: With permission from ACF Year Book 2006

OSH_c_smaller

Above: OSH c (Oriental Shorthair, lilac)

Photo: www.heikkisiltala.com

SBI_em_60

Above: SBI em (Birman, apricot point – Sire: SBI a / Dam: SBI g)

Photo: With permission from ACF Year Book 2006

SBI_e_small

Above: SBI e (Birman, cream point)

Photo: www.heikkisiltala.com

Already the old Greeks…

Had the dilute modifier arisen through a coincidence, a whim of fate that pressed the button when the development of the tabby pointed Siamese begun? Or could it be so that one should go back even further? LMB sent me some extracts of some postings from an Australian mailing list for cat judges. And I was once again rendered speechless by what I read and amazed because I had not realised what it was that I had read so many times.

Cutting from an English judge’s posting to the mailing list:

“Also Laurentide Mercury was possibly the first “caramel” (Aaaaaagh!!). A panel of judges met to inspect him and decide whether he was blue, lilac or chocolate !!!! He could look any of the three depending on the light !! When I came into the Siamese world (early 70’s) he was an “unmentionable”. It is curious though that some of the first cats where people really did “question” the colour could all be traced back there. I had an acquaintance in the 90’s who had an elderly blue-point siamese female. Glacial contrast but rather dark blue points. The coat was soft, short but too dense. Her pedigree was 4 generations Russian Blue to Russian Blue – well known GCCF prefix and well known champions on the pedigree too. That was because the Ruskies were used to get blue-points.”

Russian blues and Siamese? – but that was not the first time these two breeds met. The early Scandinavian RUS strain contains much blue pointed Siamese, just as well as the lilac colour of points in Siamese has been produced by the assistance of English Russian blue. Now I take the stride to “The Siamese Cat Owner’s Encyclopedia”, my Siamese bible*4), the chapter “Origin” and the text that I had read without considering: “…Amethyst was mated to a Blue-Point, Chatwyn Tamarack, whose dam, Mistery Maid, traces her ancestry back to the Russian Blue cross. Of this mating, there came Laurentide Mercury and Quicksilver, males, Heliotrope and Olivine, females. With these two males the fun starts. At first they were registered as Blue-Points in the Supplementary Register, but this was later changed to Chocolate-Point…With the recognition of the Lilac-Points and the bestowal of a breed number 24c in 1960, the question of another change of registration arose. I well remember the controversy and arguments at the meetings of the Governing Council: What did Laurentide Mercury really look like? Was he Blue-Point, Chocolate-Point, or Lilac-Point as his owner said?”

Some Greek dates

 

Parents

 

 

Progeny

 

 

Sire: Silvershoen Blue Peter, RUS, dob 19/11-46

Dam: Laurentide Ludo, SIA n, dob 15/2-46

 

 

Laurentide Ephone Ebony, XSH n (F)

Laurentide Ephone Eclipse, XSH n (M)

Laurentide Ephone Jet, XSH n (F)

Laurentide Ephone Sable, XSH n (F)

dob 7/8-48

 

 

Sire: Morris Sirdar, SIA n, dob 27/7-48

Dam: Laurentide Ephone Jet, XSH n

 

 

Laurentide Ephtoo Jade, SIA n (F)

dob 1/5-50

 

 

Sire: Inwood Ching, SIA n, dob 1/6-47

Dam: Laurentide Ephone Ebony, XSH n

 

 

Laurentide Ephtoo Sapin, SIA n (M)

dob 18/5-50

 

 

Sire: Laurentide Ephtoo Sapin, SIA n

Dam: Laurentide Ephtoo Jade, SIA n

 

 

Laurentide Ephree Amethyst, SIA a (F)

Laurentide Ephree Aquamarine, SIA a (F)

dob 6/6-51

 

 

Sire: Chatwyn Tamarack, SIA a, dob 19/11-53

Dam: Laurentide Ephree Amethyst, SIA a

 

 

Laurentide Mercury, SIA c (M)

Laurentide Quicksilver, SIA c (M)

Laurentide Heliotrope, SIA c (F)

Laurentide Olivine, SIA c (F)

dob 2/5-55

 

 

I think that the history of dilute modifier goes back very far in time, even further back than the history of tabby pointed Siamese. That does also explain why dilute modifier colours are found in more breeds than the breeds in the FIFe category IV (SIA, BAL, OSH, OLH, SYS, SYL, PEB) and these are breeds that have been established without outcrossing to Siamese. A strong denominator for dilute modifier seems to be silver.

In which breeds, organisations and continents are one or more dilute modifier colours recognised?

So far (July 2012) I have found the following:

  • Europe/GCCF has (EMS codes from FIFe): SIA, BAL, OSH, OLH, ASS, ASL, BML, TIF, SNO, TOS. However, all possible dilute modifier colours are neither described nor included in the SOP for these breeds (GCCF Complete SOPs July 2005). Please, do also remember that the breed designations of GCCF differ from the ones of FIFe.
  • Europe/Nordic WCF clubs: Dilute modifier colours are recognised in all breeds
  • South Africa/SACC has dilute modifier colours recognised in all breeds
  • Australia-New Zealand/ACF has SIA, OSH, BAL, OLH, AUM, CRX, DRX, BML, RAG, SBI, PER/EXO * 33, BRI and BRI-related (among them SFS and SFL)

Notes

*1) Occam’s Razor (also spelled Ockham’s Razor) is a principle that states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible. It is attributed to the English logician and Franciscan friar William of Occam, 1275-1349, who in Latin wrote: Non est ponenda pluralites sive necessitate. He is also attributed with the alternate wording Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem which translates to Entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity, or as it is often expressed: The simplest answer is usually the correct answer.

*2) Restrictions within SVERAK until mid 1990-ties, totally free – except silver and white patching – from about 2001-2002. Restrictions within NRR until 2004, thereafter almost free, except silver and white patching. The restrictions disappeared earlier within SRK (Finland), but Finnish cats are registered in the RIEX (equals supplementary register) if the background is mixed, for instance PER-EXO and SIA-OSH. Within FD (Denmark) there have probably never been any restrictions, at least not during the last 20 years.

*3) Possibly with exception for CFA Siamese cats of the following colours and codes: SIA n (0272-M | 0273-F), SIA a ( 0276-M | 0277-F), SIA b (0270-M | 0271-F) and SIA c (0274-M | 0275-F). Yet, do not forget the old Greeks

*4) author Mary Dunnill [Sumfun], published 1974 by the English publishing house Pelham Books Limited, London, ISBN 0 7207 0575 4. Unfortunately very likely no longer in stock.

Without LMB acting as sounding board, opposite pole and source of inspiration; without the Norwegian breed club SiOrBaJa’s hunger for information; without Rina Matthiessen’s ideas and points of view – this article had not been put to paper. A great Thank You Very Much to you all.

This text is based on the article with the same name, published in Autumn 2005 and later updated by the author (Dagny Dickens).

 

Copyright © 2012 PawPeds

Translation: Armadillo

Adaptation: Armadillo

Proofreading: Capricorn

Updated: 2012-07-26 (03.10)

G3-EN

 

 

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