DR. TRUDA M. STRAEDE
Truda with her beloved Riki.
So.... How did they get to the UK?
Well, it's quite a story and one I never get tired of telling. I was introduced to Truda by my very good friend Kyra Foster in Australia when we were on holiday there in 2005. One of those chance meetings that kind of changes history, we were at the Vets with a litter of Kyra's kittens and in the waiting room Kyra introduced us to Truda who was also waiting with kittens to be vaccinated.
Truda started telling us about her beautiful Australian Mists and judging by the ones in the carrier I have to say it was absolute love at first sight. She very kindly invited us to visit her property and see all the cats properly a couple of days later. Well, talk about Cat Heaven! I thought I had died and gone to heaven! These were quite the friendliest, affectionate and outgoing cats that I had ever met. I was of course suffering dreadfully missing my own cats back in the UK, four weeks is a very long time away and I had never spent so much as a week away from our very special boy Finch.
When Truda told us that there were no Australian Mists in Europe I simply couldn't believe it, but an idea starting forming in my head and I returned to the UK brimming with ideas. I returned to Australia in 2006 and went and chatted seriously to Truda, of course we had been corresponding by email but at last I saw the kittens that were to come to the UK the following spring.
In February 2007 two beautiful Australian Queens entered the UK for the very first time, they both delivered healthy litters of kittens 5 weeks later and thus the UK breeding programme was underway. The kittens from those first litters were mainly kept for breeding and as the two girls were unrelated and had been mated to different unrelated sires in Australia we were able to start breeding kittens that were conceived in the UK the following year.
Actually Eddie and Rose Kitching took the honour of having the first 'made in the UK' litter from Miss All Australian Beauty and Sea Mist both lovely lilac spotted cats. Later that year we imported two more Australian Mists from Truda, a lovely Brown spotted male Grand Champion called Thera Onyx and a blue marbled female called Thera Marmor Prunella. Eddie and Rose also took delivery of three new cats from Truda, Lotsospots, Alberge and Sophonisbar arrived in Wales the following spring.
The UK population gradually increased and we were joined by some new breeders in the UK, namely, Sam Atherton-Ryan in Derbyshire, Julie Coleman in Leicester, Valerie King in Berkshire, and Barbara Pointing in South Gloucestershire. Eddie and Rose recruited Phillip and Rodrigo in Portugal and sent two lovely breeding cats to join two that they had imported direct from Australia. My very good friend Hege Bruvoll and her husband Andre in Norway also joined the programme and I sent them two kittens in early 2008 which have now both had kittens sired by my chocolate spotted stud boy Tim Tam who has been on loan to Hege in Norway. He returned home and now miaows in Norwegian!
In March 2009 six new Australian Mists were imported to the UK. A chocolate marbled boy, a gold spotted boy and a peach marbled girl, who consequently gave birth to seven lovely kittens sired by yet another unrelated sire. Valerie took delivery of a beautiful brown spotted female who also arrived pregnant, she had five kittens. I got Audrey!... possibly the most affectionate and utterly nutty Australian Mist in the world. She is a peach spotted and on April 17th she gave birth to nine kittens, unfortunately three were still born but six is still a big litter for a first time mum and she handled the task brilliantly.
In May 2010 we received a beautiful Gold marbled male from Truda and her great friend Dr. Jennifer Glenister. His name is CH Tajj Marmor Rafferty and he has settled into life in the UK. With Rafferty came a super lilac marbled girl GR CH Thera Marmor Ashen Rose who is living with Val King in Berkshire.
On behalf of all the breeders listed above I would like to thank Truda for her time and patience over the last four years, working out pedigrees so that we got a lovely foundation group of cats here to start with and for the dedication she has given to the breed over the last thirty years. Truda you are a hero.
Below is a link to Truda's webste, please click on the link to read the story of how the Australian Mist, originally named the spotted Mist, came to fruition, Truda's battles with the governing bodies and the uncovering of the 'marbled gene'. From Cowshed to Cattery is a wonderfully humorous account with pictures of the move to 'Evergreen'. Click on Truda's links too to aquaint yourself with some of the other Australian Mist breeders in Australia.
Click here to visit Truda's website