THE ‘HOPE’ OF ALANTRIS TURKISH VAN CATS
It has been 19 years since we acquired our prefix ALANTRIS from the GCCF. Our reason for getting involved with the cat world was Persian Colourpoints and we had some lovely older type boys and girls. Why did we start with them? well, there was a lot of publicity about them and there was also a lot of them about. Why did we not start with Turkish Vans? no one had heard of them, a bit like it is now. You still get people saying “what’s a swimming cat, cats can’t swim” or “Turkish what?”, the question is - WHY?
After about a year, we decided that we wanted something that was different but we did not have a clue as to what breed we wanted. Our idea was something big and something unusual. We got all our cat books out and spent days going through them until we came to a picture of an Auburn & White Turkish Van and straight away we knew that we wanted one. We couldn’t find very much about them, but that was what was so interesting, almost mystical about them.
Our original breeding Turkish Vans came from the Houses of Chantrymere, Scindapus and Sheri, who we thank very much for introducing us to the mad world of the Turkish Van.
Over the years, we saw our kittens go to new owners and we saw many breeders old and new, but still there appears to be very little interest in the breed, again, the question is - WHY?
As for the shows, we had a great time with a lot of success with the Auburn & Whites and Cream & Whites and as we know, so did many of you other Turkish Van owners, but there was not many of us on the show bench then which appears to still be the same now. Many a time, there was only 2 or 3 Turkish Vans at the shows and on a few occasions we were the only ones there.
The year was 1997, we stopped breeding and we stopped showing. Alan's new job did not help, but the main reason was that we got disheartened with the breed and everything that was going on with it. Its now 2007, 10 years on and we have been back, for 2 years now but time seems to have stood still and not much has changed in the popularity of the Turkish Van. We have decided that enough is enough, we have put the past behind us and have decided to do something about the lack of interest in our wonderful breed. We intend to get the Turkish Van Auburn & White and Cream & White recognised by everyone. We want them known as good as, if not better than the British Short Hair or the Main Coon. We also miss going to the shows, the excitement and the friendship of every one.
What can we do about it? well, we all need to get as many Turkish Vans on the show bench to start with. More than there is now. We also need to get the Turkish Vans advertised more, especially in the media. How? Not to sure yet but we will be working on that one.
We need to ask ourselves, 'how do other breeds achieve the recognition they have?'. Have a look at the GCCF ‘Analysis of Cat Breeds Registered by Breed 1994 – 2004’. It is quite an eye opener. The Turkish Van peeked in 1996 with 191 only to decline to 73 in 2004. Now look at the British Short hair & Main Coon, in their thousands and still increasing or even the Bengal which in 1994 there was 218 registered increasing to 2,926 in 2004. Why? You could just say that there a lot being breed and registered, but surely this is because there are a lot of potential owners wanting them.
As Turkish Van lovers, we need to look at why this is and either copy it or even improve it. We want to get the Turkish Van recognised as the best of the best. We all need to work together to achieve this. We all need to do our bit, breeders and owners. We know that some of you have and still are working hard for the breed, but it is going to need all of us to pull together.
We have no problems with the colour lines, but we have decided to stay with the Classic lines to try to preserve the history of this wonderful breed and all the hard work that has gone into preserving the breed.
We are ‘Hope’ing to have kittens from ‘Hope’ at a later date, which will ‘Hope’fully reward us with our own Turkish Van to show. As well as kittens from Bell and Ruby.
We look forward to seeing many of you on the show bench in the future. Lets make 2008 the year of the Turkish Van.
We have also decided to join the world of the Norwegian Forest owner and breeder. As time goes on, we shall include the Wedgies on our website.
Alan & Trisha Baker
Alantris Turkish Vans - Norwegian Forest Cats
Phone:- 01283 210044
Last updated: Wednesday, 07 November 2012. Web design by Alantris Media