The Summer of Fire and Ice

The Appearance of the Blue Golden

By Christopher Bock

It was early in this decade when I first held a photograph sent from Holland in which there appeared a Persian cat of great stature whose color I had not seen before.

Her coat was silvery with what appeared to be golden running throughout and she had been born well before "her time" on June 30, 1985.

A huge cat, I thought her rare and unusual and wondered if such a color class might ever exist in my own work, in my own (Golden) breeding programs.

This well-built Persian girl of significant weight (by eye to the photograph, approximately 15 lbs.) with massive boning was Int'l GC Zuleika van Hoog Moersbergen, a Blue-Golden Persian.

Zuleika had been from a breeding of Amor from the Lucky Place, shaded golden x Rosella van Hoog Moersbergen, a black smoke. Amor was from a cream x a shaded silver Persian and Rosella had been born of a silver bred to a blue import from the USA. Dilute was present, and close, behind Zuleika on both sides of her pedigree. Zuleika, the Blue-Golden in that photograph (and her classic Golden litter sister, Zampa) were bred by Mr. and Mrs. Pieter Prose' of Holland.

Geneticists, the Proses' had done much work with crossing color classes and with acknowledging, recording and publishing the results of their various programs and work. Little did Mr. and Mrs. Prose know what they had begun. More than a decade later, there has been such an onset of the Blue-Golden Persian as to create the basis for acceptance of the color class for Championship in the Canadian Cat Association (CCA -1998).

The word has spread across Europe and the color class will be represented at least 15 strong at the FIFe General Assembly show in Copenhagen in May of 1999. Further, The International Cat Association has acknowledged the genetic realities of Blue-Silver and Blue-Golden for some time through the genetic work of Dr. Solveig Pfluguer who is responsible for writing the color class standards for TICA.

Mr. and Mrs. Prose wrote to me often beginning in 1991. In some of that correspondence, they described Zuleika and told me that the cat was an intended result in one of their planned programs. While the color photograph of Zuleika indicates a somewhat yellow eye, this is a cat bred very early on for the color-class.

Significantly CCA recognizes an eye color in the color class of Shaded Blue-Golden in addition to green or blue (hazel) and FIFe may as well in the end. TICA considers the class a green-eyed/blue eyed cat as is the Silver and Golden Persians and as will be proposed to the Silver/Golden Breed Council of CFA. A color class alternative to the Chinchilla/Shaded Blue-Silver Persian, as the Golden is to the Silver, the Golden of Blue-Golden would then be recessive in Blue-Silver.

The color-class is derived from the passing of a dilute gene from both parents to the offspring of Golden Persians (as is the Blue-Silver from two Silver Persians carrying a dilute gene). Indeed, the Blue-Golden has been born of one Golden Persian bred to/by a Silver Persian with a recessive golden gene. Both parents must of course carry dilute.However, dilute has been known to pass from as far behind a breeding 10 and more generations.

Due to the increased influence of hybridization over the past decade or more of the Silver and Golden Persians to both solid color classes and Himalayans or Color-point carriers, the Blue-Silver and Blue-Golden were due to surface in larger numbers.

Golden (& Silver) Persians are genetically black cats as is generally accepted. As such, they are as capable of producing a Blue-Golden (Silver) as a Black Persian is of producing solid Blue Persians. Point in fact, CFA (and other registries) recognize the Blue Silver Tabby and TICA acknowledges this color class as a defining point along the spectrum of Chinchilla Silver, Shaded Silver, Blue-Silver Tabby.

It would stand to reason that a Blue-Golden Tabby is as much a genetic possibility - a cat I one day hope to see with my own eyes.

It was with considerable interest that I heard of recent births in Iceland, Denmark, and Canada as well as other European countries, of the same color class of Persian as bred more than a decade ago by the Prose's of Holland.

In The Land of Fire & Ice (Iceland), a Golden breeder was amazed this past early summer to have, in a single litter from two Golden Persians, a shaded golden female and one each male and female of a very "strange color". She phoned her friend with excitement and perhaps a little concern. After all, she had expected a litter of Golden Persians, as that is what we believe is known historically to occur in a Golden to Golden breeding.

As the 3 kittens progressed from 10 days to 4 weeks to 6 weeks and then 12, the breeder became aware of a very changing color pattern on those two something other than Golden - something separate from their Golden sister. At birth and for the first 10 days or so, the color pattern appeared a dilute blue - as if the two Golden (a Chinchilla Golden sire and a Shaded Golden Dam) had actually produced two blue cats. By 4 weeks of age, the pair had begun to look cream or beige with a tone of red perhaps. Their sister was clearly becoming a bright shade of Golden.

At 6 weeks of age, it was apparent that the two now thought-to-be Blue-Golden were heading yet a different direction from their sister as the cream/beige color began to once again show a blue tone and tipping.

Photos of the 3 at 12 weeks show a definitive Shaded Golden in the sister and a brilliant Golden/Cream undercoat with a hue of blue tipping on her siblings.Their noses are an old rose trimmed in blue with the rims of the eyes and lips as well as their paw pads blue.

The two golden owned and bred by Johanna Hakonardottir of Snæljós Cattery in Reykjavik, Iceland had unexpectedly produced two beautifully tipped and clear-coated Blue-Golden Persians, Boris and Babushka and a Shaded Golden litter sister, Bathsheba.

Sire to the litter is EUR CH De Perséfelis Golden Einstein of Snæljós DK (bred from two shaded silvers) and dam to the litter was a shaded golden female, IS* Af Eoal Loga Midnight Sun (of Snæljós) - bred from a chinchilla golden x a shaded golden.

In reviewing the pedigrees behind Einstein and Midnight Sun, there appear in the second generations chinchilla, shaded silver, golden shell, shaded silver chinchilla silver, chinchilla golden, shaded golden and silver classic tabby. Golden Shell is a rare occurrence, accepted in Europe and in some registries in North America and is a paler coat than even the light Chinchilla Golden.

Simultaneously, in other areas of Europe, there were reports this summer of additional Blue-Golden being born from Golden Persians and in Canada, the CCA had seen sufficient results to accept the color class for Championship. Working for the acceptance of the standard in CCA have been Shirley Gunter and Joyce Wetmore-Petitpas of PetJoy Cattery. Both worked diligently with the CCA President Timm Smith in order to bring the color class before the CCA Board with the resulting acceptance of the color class standards by CCA below:

CHINCHILLA BLUE GOLDEN -The base coat is a pale creamed honey. The coat on the back, flanks, head and tail is lightly tipped with blue but the chin, ear tufts, stomach area and chest must be pale creamed honey in color. Faint facial markings radiate out from the edges of the eyes. The rims of the eyes, lips and nose are outlined with lavender blue. Center of the nose leather is pink. Paw leather is lavender or blue. Eye color. is green with shade of blue preferred.

SHADED BLUE GOLDEN -The base color. is a creamed honey with a definite mantle of blue tipping shading down from the back, sides, flanks and head creating an overall dilute version of the Shaded Golden. Faint facial markings radiate out from the edges of the eyes. The rims of the eyes, lips and nose are outlined in slate blue. Center of the nose leather is pink.
Although preference should be given to cats whose markings are less noticeable, prominent tabby ghosting may appear on the forehead. Such wild-type markings are more apparent than on the Blue Chinchilla Golden, and are not grounds for withholding awards. Legs may be deeply shaded but not heavily barred. Chin, ears tufts, stomach area and chest region must be a clear creamed honey color. Eye color. is hazel to bluegreen, blue shade preferred. Paw pads are lavender or blue.

OBJECTIONS - ticking effect on the coat, blue roots, lack of warmth in base color. or patching of any other color.

WITHHOLD AWARDS - gold to red or cream splotches in hair tipping; obvious barring on the body and for any other eye color. than hazel, green or Bluegreen.

CCA has accepted the following additional Blue-Golden, Blue-Silver and Golden color classes - Blue Golden Tabby, Blue Golden Patched Tabby, Chinchilla Blue Golden Tortie, Chinchilla Golden Tortie, Golden Patched Tabby, Shaded Blue Golden Tortie, Shaded Blue Tabby and Shaded Golden Tortie.

A Blue-Golden, bred by Joyce Wetmore Petitpas, was also born in Canada during this summer of the midnight sun from a breeding between Petjoy's HoneyBear, a Blue Golden x Petjoy's Apricot Brandy, a Shaded Golden and half-sister to Honey Bear. The 2nd generation behind this blue-golden malekitten are shaded golden, shaded silver, shaded golden and again a shaded silver.

In the next generation is a shaded golden x shaded golden, silver tabby x chinchilla silver, shaded golden x shaded golden and a chinchilla silver x a shaded golden. In color this photo of the summer kitten presents a blue-silver tipped coat at a young age - with a golden hue at his face and head and just appearing in the undercoat (and he likes to climb trees if judged by his photo here).

Across the Atlantic again, and again in the recent summer, breeders in Denmark found the same incidence of Blue-Golden in litters born from Golden Persians. De Perséfelis Xantippe DK was born to De Perséfelis Golden Ibrahim DK, a shaded golden bred by Sylvia and Allan Outrup x USA Import Jamkay Golden Phyllis of Perséfelis, also shaded golden. In the 2nd generation behind this new Blue-Golden boy are two shaded golden and the cross of a shaded silver x a shaded golden.

In the immediate generation following are shaded golden x chinchilla silver, golden shell x chinchilla silver, a golden x shaded silver and shaded silver x a shaded golden. Xantippe is similar in tipping and undercoat and at a similar age to that of the Blue-Golden born at Petjoy in Canada. Also bred in Europe this spring were blue golden and shaded golden kittens from De Perséfelis Irresistible Isaiah DK, shaded golden x Vi'xi's BlueBird, a solid Blue Persian. Five kittens were born in this litter from Isaiah and the solid blue dam (Blue Bird); 3 blue-golden and 2 shaded golden.

Interestingly, Isaiah's sire is the golden male in Iceland (Perséfelis Golden Einstein DK of Snæljós and Isaiah's dam is a US Import, Dalee Buttercup of Perséfelis.
There have been reports of Blue Silver Persians, both Chinchilla and Shaded, born in recent years in the United States. The only Blue Golden (not Tabby) that I am aware has been born in the United States - and registered - was born during this same summer of fire & ice - in July of 1998. He is Paws & Purr's Southern Gentleman (Sooty) and was bred by Joan Styers in Grimesland, North Carolina.

This Blue Shaded Golden's sire is a shaded silver carrying dilute and with a golden in the 4th generation behind, while Sooty's dam is a CEW carrying dilute. The silver sire of this Blue Shaded Golden male has not yet been bred to a dam expressing a full golden coat.

Paws & Purrs' Southern Gentleman was shown AOV in CFA both on the east coast and in California.

Others have had the occasional and isolated Blue-Golden born to their Golden litters since perhaps the mid-90's. It was by this time that the dilute gene had integrated the Silver and Golden Persian stock from hybridization to solid Persians carrying the dilute gene.

The appearance of Blue-Golden Persians was fated as were Blue-Silver Persians. It was only last year that I discussed with an acquaintance (who has a good grasp of color genetics) that my own Golden and Silver lines had either distant blue or distant cream. My conjecture was that crossed, the two separate lines would produce the sudden Golden Dilute Torbie or, as now recognized in Canada, a real surprise in a Blue Golden Patched Tabby. "One in a million chance", my friend retorted.

The odds seem lessened when one reviews the very recent results of the influence of the dilute gene on golden litters born in North America and Europe.

The dilute gene of course must be carried on both sides of the pedigree, as in the dilute solid Persian, and is not to be confused with the Rufism sometimes seen presenting on a Silver Persian coat.

Rufism is not a gene but rather the lack of dominance of an inhibitor gene, to my opinion, while dilute is dilute is dilute. Rufism cannot express on a golden coat to our eye and, as I discussed in my recent article Platinum Beginning, Silver Shadow, Golden End (Persian News, September, 1998), should not be confused with the appearance of an expressed recessive golden gene in silver. Bred to golden, a silver expressing Rufism and not "carrying a recessive" for Golden will not produce Golden - even if the Rufism has taken the entire coat nose to tail, shoulder to paw pad.

Both Blue and Cream Persians sit behind many of the Silver and Golden Persian lines known and worked with throughout the world. A dilute gene may not express itself for generations and then suddenly appear - when least expected. Studying Silver and Golden pedigrees for as far as 10 generations and beyond would help breeders to know whether or not to hold a possible expectation of Dilute of the black tipping in Golden or Silver, or both, in offspring. These colors,
Blue-Golden and Blue- Silver, are obtained from colors already recognized by CFA for championship status in the Persian Breed, the Chinchilla and Shaded Golden Persian.

Blue is a naturally occurring color, occurring in the Silver and Golden shaded line where the dilute gene is present and can appear at anytime when present in both sire and dam. Just as the solid blue is the dilute of a solid black Persian, the Blue-Golden is the dilute version of the Chinchilla/Shaded Golden with its black tipping. Genetically, the cat is as much a possibility as Blue Silver Tabby (recognized by CFA) and would be the Golden alternative to Blue-Silver,
Chinchilla/Shaded. Perhaps one of the most defining standards on the Blue-Silver or Blue-Golden are the nose leather (a warm shade of old rose trimmed in blue) as well as the paw pads and the rims of the eyes and lips which are a definite blue, dilute of black.

Presented to the CFA Silver/Golden Breed Council this fall/winter, in addition to color standard proposals for a Blue (Chinchilla/Shaded) Silver color class is the following proposed color class standard:

BLUE CHINCHILLA GOLDEN: undercoat cream.
Coat on back, flanks, head, and tail sufficiently tipped with blue to give golden appearance. Face and legs may be slightly shaded with tipping. Chin, ear tufts,
stomach and chest cream. Rims of eyes, lips and nose outlined with blue. Nose leather: Old Rose. Paw Pads: Blue or Old Rose. Eye Color: GREEN OR BLUEGREEN.
Disqualify for incorrect eye color, incorrect eye color being copper, yellow, gold, amber or any color other than green or blue.

BLUE SHADED GOLDEN: undercoat cream with a mantle of blue tipping shading down from sides, face and tail, from dark on the ridge to cream on the chin,
chest, stomach and under the tail. Legs to be same tone as face.
The general effect to be much darker than the chinchilla. Nose Leather: Old Rose. Paw Pads: Blue or Old Rose. Eye Color: GREEN OR BLUE-GREEN.

Disqualify for incorrect eye color, incorrect eye color being copper, yellow, gold, amber or any color other than green or blue.

Author's Acknowledgments & Appreciation:

+ Johanna Hakonardottir, Snæljós Cattery - Rekjavik, Iceland;
+ Allan & Sylvia Outrup, Perséfelis Cattery - Denmark;
+ Joyce Wetmore-Petitpas, Petjoy Cattery - Quebec, Canada;
+ Joan Styers, Paws & Purrs Cattery - Grimesland, North Carolina;
+ Dr. Solveig Pfluguer - Geneticist, Springfield, Massachusetts;
+ Timm Smith - President Canadian Cat Association
+ Leslie Bowers - TICA Headquarters Office Manager, Harlingen, Texas.
+ The work of and historical correspondence from Mr. and Mrs. Pieter Prose, Holland has been an incredible aid with this writing.

COPYRIGHT 1998 CHRISTOPHER BOCK: Reprinted by permission of the Author. Reproduction in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the written permission of the author.