A love for cats ...
I tried on several occasions to introduce a kitten in the house. It began with wild feral cats caught in the neighborhood’s backyard, but my father always sent them back, upset, menacing to kill them in the toilet, and I was left spreading all the water of my eyes!
Finally, the promised day came after I finished my bachelor degree. I was by myself in an apartment and free of choice. Well, almost free of choice because my first rental contract stipulated: "No pet were allowed". However, I had mice in this garret apartment, provocative mice, and my landlord was out of the country, living in Switzerland 10 months per year. I did try to get rid of the little rodents, but without any success, they were spreading like ... mice ... and, after a while, did not bother to escape, when I returned home. So ... I had to do something ... and this provided a good excuse to introduce .... A Cat in the House!.
A quest ...
Thus, my decision was made. But, what kind of cats would I have? I decided to buy a book about cats. It was the “Larousse du Chat”, an encyclopedia that listed all the breeds with beautiful illustrations. I read the entire book in one day. And, I became amazed by the beautiful picture of one striking feline ... A Seal-Point Birman. I was mesmerized when I saw it! My search was completed. I looked in the phone directory, and found the Cat Club of Belgium. I called and asked for further information. A Cat Show was going to take place that week-end in the south of the ecountry: in Bastogne.
So I went. I had never been to a Cat Show and was quite excited. There were, indeed, two magnificent Birman kittens for sale, from Germany, but the price was prohibitive, well-over my small salary budget, and I couldn't afford to buy one.
I came back home sad that evening, and went back to the Cat book again. I had to pick up a cheaper breed, in my means! Another breed, with same kind of colors, that got my attention was the Persian Colorpoint. I called the Cat Club again and was referred to a Persian breeder in my city (Cattery of Gofforth). I went to visit the lady owner of this cattery. She had a female seal-point for sale and asked me if I also want to take her brother, for the same price. This later had heart problems (a deformation) and she was not sure how long he might live (he died in fact from a heart attack, months later). I took the two and came back home with my new cats. As I became friend with this breeder, I found myself quickly involved in Cat Shows...
Cat Club Activities
My mother had begun the last phase of her leukemia, but was not aware of it, and the doctor had given me hope she would make it. I decided to get her a companion cat as we were not living on the same side of Brussels. My heart was still set on Birman. I was able to acquire a pet quality blue-point female named W’Aril a san (from Dutch origins: Snozepoesjes) that I soon re-baptized Wickie, from the Kleetbos cattery, Mme Nadine Mellaerts, for a reasonable price. I didn't really chose Wickie. She picked me. I knew -at that time- close to nothing about Birman standard extreme specifics. She had irregular gloves, one runner, and was not show quality at all, but she had an outspoken personality. Amidst all the kittens for sale, she came straight to me and fell down inside my hand, as saying : "You are the one, take me with you, pleassssse!" That's how I chose her, with my heart. I gave the cat to my mother. Unfortunately, my dear mother passed away on August 23, 1986 and I took Wickie back with me. One week later, to change my mind, I put her in a cat show in Waterloo, on August 31, 1986 and the judge (Mr. Rossi) asked who had put this kitten in the show, because she was really not a show quality! I was embarrassed but was such a rookie at that time. She made Excellent 2nd female as there was only three kittens in her 3-6 months class! I still have the judgment which reads: “Front gloves too high with a runner. Nice back gloves but high. Nice head with contrast and good eyes. Ears well placed and contrasted. Excellent coat. Well presented, uniform. Excellent tail well contrasted. Excellent condition except for the gloves!”
Wickie was the beginning of my cattery, my first generation of Birman. In becoming a member of the Cat Club de Belgique, led by Mme Rossi at that time, I find myself involved with secretary work with Mme Rossi. I also met important Birman breeders (The Antoine family).
I had no male and became friend with the Antoine (Andara & Chidwin cattery), the main Birman breeders in Belgium at that time. They had a blue-point male stud named Ricky Jachara (from Holland’s lines: Snowepoesjes) that was, as a matter of fact, the grand-father of my cat (as I discovered later), and I mated Wickie with him, on January 20, 1987. Wickie gave birth to my first four kittens, on March 22, 1987, a Sunday, 61 days later. They were, of course, all blue-point, one male and three females: Arakhan, Amanda, Ava and Amara-Pura. None were show quality, of course. As I needed a cattery affix name to record them, my Persian Colorpoint friend, Mme Verzin, told me I could use her name and they were de Gofforth. I was very lucky to have my four Birman kittens on the television Animal weekly Show, because my vet (Dr. Yvan Beck) was a very famous university vet in charge of the pet TV programs on RTL. So, with my little knowledge of Birmans, I had 5 minutes on National TV. From the four Birman kittens, I kept one female: Amara-Pura de Gofforth.
I registered an official name for my cattery in 1990 at the French, Federation Feline Française (FiFe), after a visit to Laddak, in India, and called it : Du Laddak Doré. Cattery # 7.93.4843. The addition of Doré to my affix was a reference to Buddhist temples I had seen in Laddak, and well represented also in Burma, the country of the Birman cat legend.
In 1994, I bought a new female from Mme Neeman, a birman breeder in La Louviere, Belgium, and picked up a nice seal-point girl named Jade du Val de Gwen (03-19-1994). She is the second new generation of du Laddak Doré (Julipaul Tigerface line). She gave me beautiful kitten with a new male acquired (and rehomed) in 1996: Insolite de la Rose des Vents (03-28-1993). Insolite was mated with Jade for the new generation. In 1996, Jade gave birth to four seal-point female kittens on 08-02-1996: Mandalay, Mélodie Enchantée, Marilyn and Marquise de Charme du Laddak Doré. These were my first quality show kittens produced. I kept Mandalay.
Jade was put again with Insolite and gave birth to 6 fat kittens, 3 females and 3 males, all seal-point: Mandarine, Myosotis, Mimiou, Mistral, Mandrin and Mirabeau du Laddak Doré (06-25-1996). It was a magnificent litter. The prettiest one was Myosotis and then Mandrin. Ironically Mistral du Laddak Doré was the lowest quality in this group (he is the one that is found in many pedigrees today via the cattery of la Baie des Anges and du Mas d’Orphée. (He is the grand-father of Timo du Mas d’Orphée). He had, according to my notes, a left runner, short front gloves, however a very pretty head and a magnificent coat and nice strong morphology.
Myosotis du Laddak Doré was magnificent and won all the shows. Mandalay did also well in the Mouscron Cat Show in 06-02-1996 where she was Excellent 1st kitten 3-6 months, Best of Variety and Best in Show. Myosotis also made the Best in Show in 1997, beating all the other Birman present.
Made in USA
In 1998, I moved to the United States (Boston area, MA, and Storrs Connecticut) where I completed my education and began long studies leading to my PhD in French Literature. In 2000, I was able to have Mandalay shipped to me to Boston from Brussels. I tried without success to have Myosotis back (my best female), but she was stolen from me with many lies (she had one more litter under my cattery name without my authorization (04-29-1998)- as I discovered by coincidence through pedigrees studying) and I never got her back or heard any news from her. This is one of my main regret as she was magnificent for these days standard.
I recorded my cattery name at CFA & TICA, but had to drop de DORE part because US Cat clubs only accept one word name. This is why the name now is Du Laddak (or Laddak) only.
In 2010 we resumed breeding in San Diego and went back to zero having lost our main male cat (Adagio Silkfire: 2024-25) to FIP, and having to go back to zero with completely new lines
We acquired Valinka Lati Meri (chocolate-point) from the Czech Republic in 2013, and Galileo de l'île Khotao (lilac-point) from France.
We also acquired Java du Bleu Nathier (Belgium) a seal-tortie girl, born on April, 14th, 2015. She was my favorite girl.
These three cats are at the base of our actual lines.
From the new lines, we kept Champion Lubelle du Laddak (Lilac--Point) - from Valinka and Galileo- and acquired two new males from France: Norman de Chatterley - chocolate-point (living with my friend Breeanna Kirby) and Nohlan du Menne Val - chocolate-point- (living with my friend Julia and Paul).
Our new lines included today two girls and a brand new male:
1. Champion Olwen du Laddak - chocolate-point- is a daughter of Lubelle du Laddak and Norman de Chatterley. She was born on June 30, 2018.
2. Samantha du Laddak -chocolate-tortie girl-is a daughter of Lubelle du Laddak and Orlando du Laddak - red-point male (a son of Java & Nohlan). She was born on March 4th, 2021.
3. We are acquiring a new Blue-Point Male: Telemaque du Manoir d'Ambre, born on May 21, 2022.
We should now be able to produce the dilution gene: Blue-Point and Lilac-Point and the Tortie combination options.