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Prestwick-Beresford Old-Style Siamese
Breed Preservation Society
"There's no cat more beautiful than a healthy cat."
The Prestwick-Beresford Old-Style Siamese Breed Preservation Society (PREOSSIA) was the first club in the world that was devoted solely to the preservation of the Old-Style Siamese (OSS). In fact, PREOSSIA was the first club to use the term Old-Style Siamese as a formal name for the old type of Siamese.
Many of you will remember the OSS as the Siamese seen everywhere during the mid-twentieth century and before. We see the OSS in old movies such as 1958's Bell, Book and Candle. Many people call this old type of Siamese the applehead Siamese. Some cats that meet the PREOSSIA definition of an Old-Style Siamese may be labeled elsewhere as Traditional Siamese, Classic Siamese, or Primary Siamese. However, those other names are defined so that they sometimes refer to cats that do not meet the definition of an Old-Style Siamese. The Old-Style Siamese is the same as the Siamese still bred today in Thailand and long known in that country as the Wichien Maat.
When we first created the PREOSSIA website in 1999, the Old-Style Siamese could not be shown at cat shows sponsored by major international cat associations. Beginning in 1990, they could be shown as the "Thai" in Europe, using the World Cat Federation standard. The World Cat Federation in Europe is not an international cat association. It is an organization that publishes standards and offers guidelines to hundreds of independent European cat registries that they may adopt if they choose. From the start, many breeders complained that the WCF standard for the Thai was vaguely worded such that it could describe many different types of cat. The judging of the Thai, according to many European breeders, varies greatly from club to club and even from judge to judge.
Nonetheless, Europe did something very important for the breed. The breed name Thai became well established from 1990 to 2006, and the rest of the world's registries began to get used to the idea of letting the old type of Siamese back in the showhalls.
Thus, in 2007, the name Thai was adopted by The International Cat Association (TICA) as the international breed name, the cat show name, of the Old-Style Siamese.
You could say that "Thai" is Esperanto for "Old-Style Siamese." :-)
By whatever name it is known, this is a Siamese that is more robust and less extreme than the modern CFA show-style Siamese. Despite the nickname applehead, the cat is not cobby and roundheaded like a Himalayan. Rather it is like most of the cats you can still see in Southeast Asia today: a substantial, moderately oriental cat with a modified wedge head. The kind of Siamese we are talking about can be clearly seen above and in many old photos of Siamese cats from one hundred years ago. It is clearly described in the TICA Thai Breed Standard.
To sum up, PREOSSIA is the international breed club devoted exclusively to the Old-Style Siamese, now known in the showhalls as the TICA Thai.
A few of the things people like best about PREOSSIA are:
- The Old-Style Siamese Breeders List (directory of breeders that is free to all qualifying member breeders and all kitten seekers, whether the kitten seekers are nonmembers or members).
- The opportunity to network with people, e.g., on the club's members only listserv, who love the Old-Style Siamese as much as you do.
- We help people learn more about the Old-Style Siamese. For example, we can provide titles of the most useful old books and magazine articles about the Siamese, names of organizations that publish inexpensive copies of rare books, names of archives and libraries and individuals who have collections of rare Siamese-related publications, and more. One of the best books for learning about all of the breeds of cat dervied from Southeast Asia, including the Old-Style Siamese, is Martin Clutterbuck's book, which is described in a box on this page. This book may be purchased directly from the publisher in Thailand or may be purchased at cost from PREOSSIA (shipped from the U.S.) or from the OSSC (shipped from the U.K.). To contact the OSSC, go to www.oldstylesiamese.co.uk
Siamese Cats: Legends and Reality by Martin ClutterbuckThis 2004 book, a considerably expanded version of an earlier book by Mr. Clutterbuck, contains the first complete English translation of the 14th century Siamese Cat Poems. It also contains the first published, factual, detailed account of the evolution of Siamese cats in their ancient homeland and their place in ancient and modern Thai culture. Western myths about the cats are debunked, and the reader hears, for the first time, the Thai side of the story. A charming, enlightening, unique book by a university-trained expert in Asian cultures.
For more about the Old-Style Siamese and PREOSSIA:
TICA's Thai Breeders List
Note that TICA is currently revising their website design. They will keep adding breeders to the different breed sections as they gradually catch up with the mass of data not yet uploaded.
Code of Ethics - Extensive ethical guidelines considered the ideal by the founders of PREOSSIA and followed by most of the breeders listed on the club's Breeders List.Ten Signs That You are Dealing with a Bad Breeder
Click the links below to find out if PREOSSIA is the right club for you and about PREOSSIA services and activities:
The International Cat Association's Thai Breed Standard
This is the breed standard used internationally when showing Old-Style Siamese at cat shows. It is the ONLY breed standard for the "applehead" or old-fashioned type of Siamese that has been approved by a major cat association. We define a major cat association as a cat registry and cat show sponsoring organization that has reciprocity agreements (official standing) with hundreds of well established cat registries located in many different countries and on more than one continent.
For Breeders Only: Should You Join PREOSSIA?
PREOSSIA Breeder Mentoring Program
Click the links below to learn more about Old-Style Siamese, their genetic traits, behavior, and care:
Educational Materials & Articles
Siamese Eye Colors from Whitish Blue to Navy Blue (see photos showing the full spectrum of Siamese blue eyes)
Those Amazing Old-Style Siamese - (the cats in action)
By Jamie, age 7,
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