Manx Breed Council

Breed Council Secretary


Sande Willen

I have lived with Manx since 1969, after 14 years of living and learning from my first Manx, Mouse, I decided to begin breeding and showing Manx in CFA.

I registered my cattery "Tirion" in 1983 and was fortunate enough to obtain a beautiful tortie girl, bred by Frankie Hull, GP, Hullmark's Eryn BanSidhe of Tirion. She became my foundation queen, and my beloved companion for her 19 years.

Sande WillenWith the guidance and help of Frankie Hull, Rhett Bockman, Blair Wright, Susan Nuffer, Kelly Tanner, Becky Cotter, and many others over the years, I developed a breeding program that has produced a number of healthy, sweet Manx. Many went on to make regional or national wins. All of have been wonderful friends and companions. I was very fortunate to have GC, GP Helle's Baby Blue of Tirion, DM (bred by Blair Wright). I started with shorthair Manx, but in 1993, in a shorthair to shorthair breeding I was presented with the biggest and best surprise of my life; a little boy who started to sprout hair everywhere. This baby went on to become GC,BW,GP,RW Tirion's Fionan of Nufurs. When Fionan was born he was a Cymric, that first year of his life was CFA's last Best Cymric. The following year, he was CFA's first Best Longhair Manx. He was also my "heart" cat. Since Fionan was born, I have been equally involved with both longhair and shorthair Manx. Each has their own special qualities but each is, first and foremost, a Manx with all of the personality and beauty of our breed.


To foster a climate where all Manx Breed Council members and fanciers can work together for the good of the Manx breed. Recognize that we will have differences, sometimes very strong differences, but as adults we should be able to discuss issues rationally and with civility. Only by open discussion without fear of flaming, can we fully address issues of importance that come up and, come to understand the reasoning behind positions that may be different from our own. We can come to a resolution that will be acceptable to all. In some cases, we may have to agree to disagree but should still treat each other with respect k nowing that we all do have the best interests of our breed at heart. We are a small group and we really do need each other if the Manx breed is to continue to flourish.

We also need to be on the look-out to protect our breed. We are a natural breed and most of us, I am sure, want the Manx to remain as it originally developed on the Isle of Man. I think I speak for most when I say that we don't want to see our breed used to out-cross with wild cats or to produce other breeds which are, essentially Manx, with non-allowable colors and patterns such as the oriental series of colors or the Himalayan pattern. We need to make our voice heard on these matters to the CFA Board but we need to do it in a well-thought out manner with as much supporting ‘evidence' as we can muster.

In addition, I hope to see some clarification in our color and color class descriptions. In the past several years, there has been some confusion in the calico/tortie and white areas and in the bi-color area. Proposals have been forwarded this year which may help to clarify this. While wor k ing on this, I also discovered an omission in our OMC class of the green and hazel eye colors for our blue silver and silver patched tabbies. We all need to ta k e a good loo k at our color descriptions and classes and be sure that they are accurate and reflect what we are truly looking for. We have a good standard that has been used as a model by other breeds. I think it accurately describes our ideal Manx while still allowing for individual variation but we do need to review our standard as needed.

A year or two ago, it was discovered that the part of the standard dealing with lockets and buttons had been moved for some reason and, in moving it, de-emphasized it. This caused some trouble for exhibitors in the ring. When the move was discovered, Leslie Falteisek proposed a resolution to move it back to a place of prominence which the council overwhelmingly approved. These are the kinds of things along with unintentional inconsistencies like the OMC eye color that we need to k eep an eye out for and, if possible, correct.

Finally, as individuals and as a Breed Council, we need to be good citizens of the Cat Fancy. We need to help as we are able with the rescue of Manx cats and others – people and cats - who have found themselves in serious need. The current situation with Hurricane Katrina is one which will call upon all of us to assist in whatever way we can for a long time to come. We need to help as much as possible with legislative issues on both local and national levels; assist with health research especially as it relates to the Manx cat; help promote the Manx cat and purebred cats in general as healthy, loving family pets; support CFA shows and clubs, and, in general help the Cat Fancy to show itself to the world as a caring group of people who are genuinely interested in feline and human welfare and are willing to wor k to make concrete and positive contributions to the health and welfare of our communities and all of our cats.


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