In the period from 1871 to 1887 (16 years), only 15 cats and 4 cats participated in exhibitions in London. In 1901, an English Siamese cat club was formed in England. And in America since 1899 there has been a Beresford cat club, founded by Adele Clinton Lock, the “mother” of American cat lovers. In 1900, the first Siamese were registered in the club’s studbook – the cat Siam and the cat Sally.
By the 40-50s of the XX century, the cult of the Siamese cat reached its climax: they began to be associated with luxury and well-being. At this time, the Siamese became the favorite characters of movies and cartoons; many books were written where they were heroes. For example, Lilian J. Brown created a series of detective stories in which the cat Coco and the cat Yum-Yum help unravel the crimes, and the English author Dorin Tovey wrote several books about his Siamese, and these books became bestsellers. For a long time keeping a Siamese cat was considered prestigious, and many celebrities had it: Charlie Chaplin, Vivien Leigh, Faina Ranevskaya, the famous chess player Alekhine (the Chess cat who accompanied his master on all his trips and was present at all chess matches).
But back to the story. It is known that the German naturalist Peter Simon Pallas, while in Russian service, near the settlement of Insar, made sketches of a blue-eyed short-haired cat with a black muzzle, tips of ears, tail, and paws. In his book “Journey through the Southern Provinces of the Russian State in the Period 1773-1788,” Pallas describes this meeting as follows: “We were so impressed with the appearance of a cat so unusual in its physique and color that I cannot but take a special place in the book to represent this animal. This is a medium-sized cat, it has longer and thinner legs than those that we used to see with a regular cat, it has a longer and narrower head, and its tail is three times longer than its head. The color of the coat is dark brown, such as the color of the mink, but more saturated on the muzzle and tail, and more lightened on the sides and stomach. The nose is covered with a black mask, which also surrounds the eyes and ends in the form of a pointed triangle on the forehead. The ears, paws, and tail are very dark in color. The structure of the coat is more pleasant than that of an ordinary cat and resembles the smooth, shiny mink coat. The undercoat is soft, lighter in tone. The hair on the tail is short, smooth, snug. ”
It turns out that cats with Siamese color met not only in Siam? Judging sensibly, it is unlikely that for several centuries not a single Siamese cat has left the royal palace in Bangkok. Already at the beginning of the Christian era, there were lively commercial contacts between the Middle East and China, and it was near the Caspian Sea that the Great Silk Road passed – a caravan route from China to the countries of Central and Western Asia. For hundreds of years of its existence, Siamese cats could find refuge along the route of caravans (perhaps the merchants brought them with them to protect the goods from rodents).
I think that over the years, a huge number of legends and legends have appeared around Siamese cats, in which it is often difficult to separate the truth from fiction. But, most likely, the spread of a unique color-point color outside the original range was facilitated by the fact that this color is so “tenacious and indestructible” (if you can use this expression) that over time it completely naturally spread to all of Southeast Asia and further advanced north. It is known for certain that the Siamese cat lived in the family of Nicholas II, it belonged to Tsarevich Alexei (photos were preserved). How this cat got into the royal family is not known, although it is not assumed that it was brought as a gift from the Siam government, with which Russia had close contacts.
In Russia, until 1985, no one was involved in breeding cats, but they were always loved and kept at home. Siamese crossing with other cats occurred spontaneously. As a result of this, the acromelanic (Siamese, color-point, Himalayan) color is firmly entrenched in the Russian cat population and therefore quite often you can see color-point street children on our streets. We have been familiar with Siamese cats of a traditional type since childhood (it’s worth recalling at least the cartoon “Kitten named Woof”), and the bulk of people do not perceive them as thoroughbred animals. Often at exhibitions from the audience, you can hear the phrases: “Oh, I had such a cat in my childhood” or “The same cat lived with my neighbor.”
They began to engage in breeding work in Russia only in the late 80s and did not have time to modify the traditional Siamese, “catch up with the west”. It so happened that in our country there are almost more traditional Siamese surviving than in Europe. With the development of the cat lovers’ movement, many owners of old-type Siamese brought their wards to clubs, and it was with these cats that breeding began. The patience of lovers of traditional Siamese was rewarded in 1990 when the WCF adopted the first official breed standard, which received the name “Thai” (under the new name of the country Siam – Thailand).
There were few cats that fully met the standard, most of our Thais as a result of interbreeding with purebred cats had one or another disadvantage, but nevertheless, work to recreate the original appearance of the Thai cat continued and is ongoing. The WCF standard says: “The purpose of breeding is to breed animals with the original appearance of a Thai cat,” with the best proportions, without undue stretching, characteristic of modern Siamese. But what exactly is meant by the “initial appearance of a Thai cat” is far from a simple question. Here, the breeders have different opinions, since few have been doing serious research on how Siamese cats looked at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. During the preparation of this article, I came across a very interesting American site. The couple, the owners of this site, has been working in the archives for 30 years, looking for all references to the Siamese in the United States since the 70s of the XIX century. On this site, a huge number of photos showing the birth dates of animals, as well as all the standards of the Siamese adopted in the United States in different years. Judging by the old photographs, the Siamese were really really round-headed, with a rounded face, strong physique. Approximately 20-30 years of the twentieth century. the division went into types: “lightened” animals appeared with more elongated heads and muzzles. Approximately 20-30 years of the twentieth century. the division went into types: “lightened” animals appeared with more elongated heads and muzzles. Approximately 20-30 years of the twentieth century. the division went into types: “lightened” animals appeared with more elongated heads and muzzles.
Currently, all three types of Siamese are bred in Europe and the USA and they are significantly different from each other. Traditional siam is a medium-sized, dense animal. It moves as easily as other Siamese cats, but it looks more muscular. Head wide, apple-headed, rounded lines. Head length slightly wider. Ears of medium size, widely set, smoothly continue the line of the head. This cat is currently known as Thai. The classic Siam is also a medium-sized animal, but longer, taut and slim. Has a wedge-shaped head, muzzle narrowed at the end. The eyes are the color of blue sapphire, set obliquely, almond-shaped. The coat is short, fine texture, tight-fitting. Classic cats are slim and elegant, but not fragile. Modern Siamese is medium-sized cats, but much more graceful than classic ones. The body is long and slender. The head is a narrow wedge that ends almost at a point, together with large and very elongated ears forms an equilateral triangle. Legs are long and thin, with small oval legs.