Russian Blue Tabby
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The Blue Tabby Russian

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History

Below is a quotation from the article by Mavis Jones "Love is a Russian Kitten".

"The ancestral coat pattern of all cats is tabby. Black cats are really tabby cats without the tabby inducing gene and blue is a dilution of the black. Therefore the Blue Russian had to be preceded by the black which originated from the tabby. To date we have test mated all four colours the tabbies, the blacks, the blues and the whites."

Dick and Mavis Jones had bred and kept blue tabbies but had not tried to gain recognition for them as they were, up to 1983, working on gaining acceptance for the whites and blacks.

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Riverlight History

The first recognised blue tabbies were two females, Rovene Viktoria and Rovene Alexandra, born on the 15th of February 1984, bred by Mrs Velma Strupis. Her white stud (masking tabby) Rovene Sniegs a 6th generation Russian White was mated to his blue mother, Zebelia Za Meintyne and the two tabby girls were produced.

Ramsallah Polar Viktor, 5th Generation Russian White, was the sire of Rovene Sniegs and a direct descendant from the first white used in the Myemgay Russian White breeding program. This can be seen in the "bloodlines" information on our website www.riverlightrussians.com. I was contacted by Bobby Mathers, a Russian breeder who had visited the cattery and spotted the two tabby girls. So after many phone calls to Mrs Strupis and the GCCF of SA we were given the chance to have these cats accepted.

Rovenet AlexandraWe had to abide by the rules of the GCCF of SA to gain recognition and a certified pedigree for the tabby girls. We went to several meetings to put our case and all of the affiliated clubs in the Governing Council (around 10 at the time) had to vote to approve accepting the tabbies. On the night of the final vote we were so nervous we could only wait at home for the result. We were given strong support and encouragement from the Sacred Siamese Cat Club, Foreign Shorthair Cat Club, Mt Gambier Cat Club, Cat Fanciers of SA (the oldest club in the state) and many individuals in all the different breeds. The next day I phoned Mrs Judith Adams the secretary of the GCCF to find out the result. The vote of all the clubs was unanimous to accept the tabbies.

So the Russian Tabby gained acceptance on the 25th of March 1985 and given the breed number of 16d by the GCCF of SA. The number covers all the patterns for both blue and brown tabby. This acceptance also granted the tabbies championship status.

I was thrilled and that day phoned Dick and Mavis Jones to tell them. Dick was pleased and was going to start to gain recognition for the tabbies with the RAS in NSW as they still had one blue tabby female. Unfortunately this never happened as later in 1985 Dick Jones passed away.

Rovene Alexandra (pictured above), 1st generation Striped Blue Tabby, on her first birthday 15 February 1985, gave birth to two blue tabby males the best of these was kept for breeding: Riverlight Boris, 2nd generation Striped Blue Tabby. His sire was Aislinn Nikolai Platov. Boris gained his champion status and was mated to one of our blue females, GdCh Riverlight Natja, giving us our first spotted blue tabby, Riverlight Mara born 21st September 1986, 3rd generation.

The spotted blue tabby is the one I find most desirable and the marking I have continued with until today. I researched the tabby genes and found the spotted to be recessive. It was nearly 8 years before Riverlight Mara gave me another spotted tabby. Riverlight Maroussia was born on the 27th of July 1994 and was our 4th generation blue tabby. She was mated back to her father and two blue spotted tabby girls were born. The best of these was kept to breed: Riverlight Belaika, 5th generation blue tabby.

Back in 1986 Riverlight Boris was mated to GdCh Riverlight Nada Inskya, producing Riverlight Grekov a male striped blue tabby. Grekov was mated to one of our blue girls Riverlight Ritza and the result was Riverlight Platov a male striped blue tabby.

I now had my first chance to breed two blue tabbies together and the result should only be spotted tabbies. Riverlight Belaika (5th generation spotted) was mated to Riverlight Platov (4th generation striped) and on the 27th December 1998 Riverlight Laika was born. It was a long and anxious labour producing only Laika a 6th generation spotted blue tabby.

Riverlight LaikaLaika at an early age developed beautiful spotted markings and went on to gain two titles of Champion and Premier (after speying) and we are hoping she will advance to Grand Premier this year (2007). She has won many special awards at shows and has twice been in the top ten cats. 
Laika was mated twice to the same blue male Riverlight Akirov. The first mating gave us Riverlight Catya, female 7th generation spotted blue tabby, the second mating gave us Riverlight Danilov, male 7th generation spotted blue tabby. Riverlight Catya was mated to Riverlight Dargay a blue male and on the 21st December 2005 gave birth to Riverlight Fleurette, 8th Generation spotted blue tabby female. Fleurette is pregnant and is having her kittens today, having been mated to our blue male GoldDbGdCh Tushbah Mi Uragan.

Laika's son Riverlight Danilov mated Riverlight Nikita, the best blue female I have bred. On the 19th December 2005 Riverlight Fayette, female 8th generation spotted blue tabby, was born.



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Sadly in October 2008 Laika passed away after a short illness.  She will always be remembered as a wonderful personality and one of the foundation cats of the Blue Tabby lines ... she will be missed.

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I also found in my early years of breeding that the blue tabbies from matings between; blue tabby to black, blue tabby to brown tabby or blue to brown tabby not desirable matings to get the best blue tabbies. Blue tabbies from these matings tend to have a dark ivory patina in their coats which I consider to be most undesirable.

The blue tabbies I have developed have pale blue coats, with plenty of silver sheen with the spotted markings plentiful but small and soft looking. The spotted blue tabby Russian is a very pretty cat and it has given me great pleasure in developing.

Today’s Russian Tabbies are all descended from these 2 original cats.  Riverlight Laika (above) is typical of the quality of the Russian Blue Tabby today. 

Grand Champion Riverlight Fayette is our current show cat and is a good example of the Russian Tabby today.

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At present I have put the blue tabby program on hold.  Breeding will take place some time in the future as we have one blue tabby stud: Ch. Riverlight Hugzinov.


Bloodlines

See the development of the Russian Blue Tabby by clicking here.

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Gallery Photos

For pictures of the Russian Blue Tabby click here

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