Meet Barbara

Hi, my name is Barbara Lydiate. I live in a small town about fifteen miles north of Montgomery, Alabama, with my husband Eric, and our two dogs Millie, a blonde Labrador, and Max, a Chihuahua. I started breeding and showing Russian Blues about 20 years ago. They were my first love, and today they are still my most loved breed.

The Russian Blue is a shy cat, but at home you could not ask for more devoted pet. They are loving, they get along with children, and I have found my Russians to get along with other cats as well. Most breeders will say that you cannot let two stud boys live together. Well, my Russian boy lived with my Singapura boy, and they loved each other.

But for the Singapura it is time to consider out-crossing the breed to unrelated lines, which is impossible because of the small Singapura gene pool. It would require to go out to unrelated breeds, then breed back to the Singapura standards, in order to improve genetic diversity.

Being a breeder of this little breed for a very long time, I have seen breeders come and go.
I stayed in for 17 years, but then the health problems got to me. I've seen so many things happen to this breed, due to inbreeding because of the small gene pool. I had to stop! It wasn't right!
Breeders were going behind close doors - which I completely understood
why it was being done, but the pedigrees were being falsified and the looks of the Singapura were changing. They were going from a small, cobby cat to a streamline, tall on the legs, with elongated face.
That is not the Singapura, it's an Abby with a face that "looks like" a Singapura.

I had to get back in, and I needed to get into an out-cross program and do it right.
I have a mentor, Ed Manning a former TICA judge. I did the paper work, so I could work my program the right way and my pedigrees will all be honest. Hopefully and mainly the health!
Next came the question...what cat do I go out to? So many Singapura breeders were talking about the street cats of Singapore. Our Singapura is a man-made cat, it is not a natural breed!
There are many who would argue this but it's been genetically proven and you can't argue with genetics. It was the Burmese and one street cat, the Abby and yes, the Siamese. But, mainly the Burmese is from where the Singapura inherited the big eyes, round short face and head, the cobby body. I can't say it was easy finding a Burmese breeder to work with, because it wasn't. They didn't want to get involved.

Then I approached Janice Lancaster in a group about out-crossing and explained what I wanted to do with my breed. I told her the history, all about the small gene pool. I told her everything. Mainly all the health problems that I had seen...kittens born without faces, mothers dying, kittens dying of FIP from weak immune systems due to the tiny gene pool. I had to help my breed!!
She offered her help and it all came together in about three months. Within a year I had my F1, first generation Singapuras - nice fat, healthy babies, not sick a single day in their lives.
Now I have my F2 second generation fat little babies, and so far the same thing...no problems!
ALL of my Sindapuras have been tested for PKD and DNA tested for FIP. There are only two places in the world who do DNA testing for FIP and that is France and Croatia.

I was contacted by a member of ACFA who had seen my pictures and asked for my permission to take them before their board of directors to see if they would vote on an out-cross program for the Singapura. They did and it passed! One more step to go and that is the breed committee. Hopefully the other Cat Associations will follow and approve an out-cross for this little breed.
If any breed needs one, it's the Singapura!
We breeders, and I mean those of us who have worked so hard for their health and well being, have had many heart breaks and that goes for the pet buyers too.

 

 

Acknowledgements & Special Thanks

I'd like to acknowledge and extend a special thanks to the following people:

Dave and Karen Boyce for giving me a very pretty Russian Blue girl, and to
Ed Manning, former TICA all breed judge and Southeast Regional Director, for mentoring me in a difficult outcross program. I could not have done this without his help.

Thank you for visiting my web site!

 

 

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