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I/. the origins of the pixiebob
Part 5: The ORIGINAL Fondation Lines
by Carol Ann Brewer, owner of Pixie and of Stoneisland's pixiebobs Program.

Here is the story that CarolAnn Brewer, owner of Pixie and of Stoneisland's pixiebobs Program wrote me in 2003, while she was my mentor:

Belle & Sacha...

The first kitten I acquired was in 1985, in the spring. I read the newspaper often, as I am always looking for antiques. I just happened to stumble upon an advertisement offering "bigfoot Manx kittens". I called up the owner immediately, as I had once had a bigfoot kitten when I was younger, and was definitely interested in getting another one.

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My husband took me out to the woman's home, which was located off the Mount Baker Highway. Her name was Donna Sofie, and I still see her from time to time even today. She showed me a wonderful litter of 5 kittens, born from a short tailed classic tabby patterned mother who also happened to be polydactyl. They were gorgeous, all of them a reddish brown spotted tabbies, with some of them having white on their feet. I fell in love with one male, all polydactyl also having a short tail. He had a fabulous, and even larger sister, and she had no white on her, but I thought that the white on the poly feet feet made them look even larger than the 6 toes on every foot already made them look, so I chose him. I asked Donna who the father was. She said that hers was outside. I couldn't believe it..."You let your boy run outside?! Isn't he going to get killed out there with so many wild animals, cars and what-have-you!" She insisted that he was not in any danger, as far as she was concerned and that we would not get to see him even if she called for him, as I had asked her to. Well, I continued to ask her if we couldn't at least try to call him, and after a bit she finally said, "I don't know who the father is exactly, but Belle got out of the house and we heard her fighting with something in the barn and think that it was a bobcat.

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$She was hurt, we brought her in and two months later she had these babies." "Nice story, lady," I thought to myself, "but I'll take the kitten anyway.". I truly didn't believe a word of it. She charged me $75.00, the only cat in the early program that I ever paid for. I named him Sasha and he was a wonderful, unusual and even a quite strange fellow as he grew up. That summer we went back to Alaska, to the remote islands of the Southeast, to work for the Forest Service, camping as we always did. The work was so good, that we decided to stay until Christmas. We made our own shelter, and lived with the wolves and the bears as our neighbors. Nightly, the wolves would surround our little home, made of logs and visquene, and they would sing the same song, with each wolf singing a different part, all night long. So this is how Sasha was raised, running free, as it were, in the wilds of Alaska with our family. When Christmas came near and we began to pack up to leave, Sasha was no where to be found. We had a plane to catch into the nearest town, and the weather was perfect for the flight. We HAD to make that flight because we were to catch the next ferry out of town in order to make it home before Christmas. Sasha refused to show his face, (I knew he did it on purpose!), so in tears, I left with my family, to head south for the Holidays. I asked some people we knew in the nearby logging camp if they would keep an eye out for him but never thought they would. I was worried sick that with no shelter, he was going to be eaten by the wolves. When we arrived into Bellingham, I called the people in the logging camp, to see if anyone had found him and indeed the husband had gone out and found the little stinker. They shipped him by plane into Ketchikan, where a good friend there picked him up to ship him to Seattle. After weeks of fog that wouldn't go away, we finally got our boy back! Oh, I was so mad at him and so happy to see him at the same time! But if he had been a semi-wild creature before, he was definitely more wild than ever before now! Sasha was very difficult to keep in the house. He did everything he could to slip through to the outside, but he couldn't get past me. He was elusive and not a loving cat in the least! He would skirt around the house, hunkering down low, and never seen by company.. He was not what I considered to be a family cat, that was for sure. I began to wonder about the story that came with him.

Keba...

Then one day, in the winter of 1985-86, I was again reading the paper when I saw an ad regarding a found cat on Mt. Baker. He was a large, short tailed male, and the people who found him were asking the owners to come get him. The ad ran for about 3 weeks. Finally, I couldn't stand it. I called up the people who ran the ad and asked if the cat's owners had come to pick him up. No, they hadn't, I was told, so I said that we would be right up to get him. You see, I had previously been a home to take in extras from the Alternative Humane Society, and had done volunteer work in the Ketchikan Humane Society, so I was not willing to have a large, beautiful, short tailed boy sent to the Humane Society and be put to sleep. When we got there, I was surprised at the appearance to the cat. He was not at all what I expected him to look like. As we drove I thought he would be a somewhat fat(large), average bodied, short tailed Manx looking type cat. He was none of that. Rather, he was very leggy, with his back standing to my knees. He had a longer, half-length tail, with a knot on the end of it, and was very heavy, in spite of being starved in appearance. The man who gave him to us was a struggling rock musician by the name of Todd Smallwood who has since made it in Hollywood recording scores for movies. He still owns the property, but the tiny cabin has been turned into a recording studio and a new, enormous and gorgeous home sits on the hill. Bill and I went to see him a a couple of years ago to tell him what had happened with that cat and how , inadvertently, he had played a part in the origination of the pixiebob. So we took the big cat that day, and immediately went to show him off to Mom. She flipped out completely. "You aren't going to take that cat home! He might hurt the children!" I hate it when she's right, but she sure was. We didn't know the brute from Adam, and decided to take her up on her offer to keep him. She fell in love with his looks as did we. She named him Keba, and he ruled the neighborhood for several years, scrapping just like a bobcat. On an interesting note, he was weighed in at 17 pounds in an emaciated condition.

Keba and Maggie's first children: Pixie...

Then Providence shined on me and in April of 1986, something wonderful happened, and I thank God for it nearly every day. I was over visiting with Mom when there was a knock on the door. The neighbor from across the street was standing there and did not look happy, no, not one bit. She complained that our male had come over and bred her female and now she had a litter of kittens that she did not want. Feeling guilty for not neutering him, I sheepishly agreed to come get the kittens. But when I went over to the house, and saw the mother, my mouth dropped open! "What kind of cat IS she?" The neighbor explained that they had had her for several years, that she had come from a barn in the Everson area (just north and east of Bellingham), and that she was supposed to be part bobcat. I really didn't have to ask the question I did, it was just that I didn't expect something that wild looking to be in a home...it was just so out of place. I could hear her husband in the next room muttering and cursing about the cats and so I asked her if she would be willing to let go of the mother with the babies. She tearfully said yes. I couldn't believe my good fortune! Now this really LOOKED like a part bobcat, and there were 3 wonderful kittens with her, children of Keba, no less! I was enamored with the group, especially the long tailed female kitte She had a very unusual face, unlike I had ever seen in a cat before, she seemed almost ethereal! I place the two boys, both with stumpy tails, in loving homes, and being in love with the little girl's face, I kept her and called her Pixie.

Maggie and Sasha's only litter: Battu & Petey

In the few months that I had Maggie, I was able to breed her to Sasha, and she produced a litter in September, 1986, from which I kept one male and one female. I named them Battu and Petey. So they were half siblings of Pixie.

Then Sasha, shortly after he bred Maggie, left us for good; he got out of the house, and never looked back. We never saw him again.

So we kept Pixie, Petey, and Battu, and we still have a few pictures of them as kittens. Petey and Battu were both naturally short tailed cats, both of them having a very wild face, extra toes(from dad Sasha) and a wild attitude. Petey, especially, we couldn't even touch, she would have to come to you, and anytime she did, we felt very special. She was very ghostlike, indeed. You could never find her or hold her when you did. But her nature, although shy, was very sweet. She ended up living with my parents for most of her life, Because she was so shy and took to my step-dad so well.

Petey's kittens: StoneIsland's Black Bart & Sasquatch

But we were able to breed her occasionally and today, her only descendants in the program are Stone Island's Black Bart and Sasquatch.

By this time, I knew that there was indeed something special about the 3 cats and knew that I couldn't live without Pixie's incredible face! Plans were starting to swirl in my head!

Pixie and Battu's kitten: Monster

Having gone back to Alaska once more, we then moved south in March 1987 for the last time, settling in Bellingham. When Pixie was breeding age, she was bred to the only male I had, her half-brother Battu. She produced a single fabulous polydactyl kitten in the summer of 1987 that I ignorantly sold. Then I bred her again, and this time she produced a kitten that, although I sold, I also later bought back, and her name was Monster.

Monster and Jamaïca (black manx)'s kitten: Amy

She became the mother of the famous Stone Island's Amy. And now Amy is the mother of Stone Island's Monster II, whom I still have.

Jamaïca (black manx) & Pixie's daughters: Lucy, Lioness, Bobby-Jo

But Battu was let out and killed on the highway and suddenly, I had no male to breed with Pixie. I looked all around and couldn't find anything with bobcat heritage(when you need it, it's never there!), so I purchased a Manx for $50.00 and bred him to Pixie four times. These matings produced Stone Island's Lucy, Lioness, and Bobby-Jo. These three sisters were the foundation of the next generations, along with Monster, the cats that furthered the breed, because it was when we bred these lovely Pixie daughters with Samson, that we got the kittens that would be the perfect type that I was looking for... as the goal was "to produce a 1000 more like her"!

Samson and his mother Tibbins

Being Samson's mother, Tibbins was already added to the program, having been a cat that had moved into our old house, where Sasha had run away. Was acquired her because she had produced a litter of polydactyl kittens, all but one having white feet. The neighbors had been seeing Sasha, of all things, for years after we left, and so we acquired another Sasha kitten in 1989, and we named him Samso Tibbins also ran away, and we never saw her agai It was then that I began to think about keeping them in an exercise pen, when not in the house.

Cheetah

Cheetah was added to the program, being found in a local feed store, dropped off by someone in the county.

Tazmania

Tazmania was a wild thing that someone was going to put to sleep, but since she had a bobcat length tail and looked as though she was going to eat you up, I brought her into the program.

Whiskerz

And , last of all, Whiskerz was brought into the program by Debbie Shain, who was the first person to take me and the pixiebob seriously. Buying the Samson/Petey son, Black Bart, and a couple of females, she began an excellent breeding program consisting of all original bloodlines. Debbie then found Whiskerz at a gas station in the country., having a short tail and a wild face, Debbie deemed her worthy to be bred to Bart and I agreed.

And so there were 8: Sasha, Keba, Maggie, Jamaica, Tibbins, Cheetah, Tazmania, and Whiskerz. These are all the cats in the original program prior to 1994, when others were added in.

I was handed off a newsletter from Cass Nemzek, who had started it in 1992, but was very discouraged that everyone wanted to do their own thing, people I didn't even know early on that were working with some sort of program. So in October 1992, I created and sent out the first issue. From then on, mostly quarterly, newsletters went out faithfully, though often late as it was quite a project and more work than I ever imagined. Yet I began to feel that if this breed, which was already named and had a standard by 1991 would ever grow, the word would have to get around. It started out very small, with only a handful of subscribers, but soon grew into a large newsletter having over 160 subscribers. People began to hear about what I was doing and very soon I was contacted by D.D. White and Diane Fish, both in Tennessee, in 1992, having their own programs; Lisa Newell, that same year; Rose Estes, and isolated American Bobtail breeder, also in 1992; Tara Duffy, Lisa Black and Marion Mann, all American Bobtail breeders, in 1993; then Jerry Wolfe, a hybridizer, and also in 1993, and Jim and Lani Rose in 1994, then Susan Ranella in 1995. I am certain that I am missing someone whom I cannot think of at this moment of writing.

But what happened when all these people began to contact each other was that some who had begun to breed my own pixiebob (my own variety of what I believed to be natural bobcat hybrids), began breeding against the standard. The first case of this was a couple in Oregon by the name of Tim and Lynn Nobbs, who had previously purchased a young male from me, also somehow found a man by the name of Jerry Wolfe, and had purchased several cats from him. Anxious to see what they had gotten, I was very disappointed upon driving ten hours one way to view the cats. I knew so little about what wild breeds were out there but I knew that I did not want ANY of those cats in the program. Lynn had purchased a male kitten from me several months before and named him (Stone Island's) Sierra Sam I Am. All total, the Nobbs purchased several females and one or two males, from Jerry Wolfe, and three cats from D. D. White, yet none of them looked at all like our cats. They were either Bengal looking, Siamese looking, plain American Domestic looking, or something I never saw before, Chausie cats. There were three Chausie cats from Jerry Wolfe, two of them had 50%Jungle/50% Bengal blood and the other one, a large female had, according to Lynn, 50% Bobcat/50% Jungle Cat blood. I told Lynn that I didn't want that in the program, and since I was the registrar for the breed at the time, I did have some say, after all. So when she asked me to come see the kittens produced from Sam I Am and Mama and to see the wild cats, although I didn't care for the wild cats, I did like a couple of the kittens, who had a distinctly different look than the mother, as though they had more bobcat, which I reasoned might happen, seeing that it was on both sides of the pedigree, as far as I knew.

So 3 kittens from that breeding were sold to existing pixiebob breeders with the serious admonition that the Jungle needed to be bred out and the bobcat side strengthened. I believe that the women who acquired those cats have done a fabulous job in breeding out the Jungle Cat characteristics. Little did I know that Jungle Cat would become the most prevalent illegal outcross that I would have to contend with in the future, with ;more people bringing it in later. I never realized what doors would be open because of TICA's open door registry category that the pixiebob fell into, when we would finally come into the coveted NBC status. It almost ruined the breed. But more about that later...

But regarding the foundation of the breed, all the cats in my colony were found cats or cats believed to be produced from a bobcat mating with a domestic, with the exception of the one Manx that I brought into the program in 1987-88. I gave him to someone when I decided I no longer wanted to use him in the program. But his daughters, Lucy, Lioness, and Bobby-Jo, went on to produce, with Samson, the type for the future pixiebobs. And the Original Eight, the foundation bloodlines, including Sasha, Keba, Maggie, Jamaica, Tibbins, Cheetah, Tazmania, and Whiskerz.

© Copyright Carol Ann Brewer, 2003

last updated: 06/13/2016

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