Breed Profile: Pioneer Spirit

The American Shorthair is a friendly, undemanding breed that has grown up with its country.

By Elisa Jordan

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Good old-fashioned competition. It’s healthy. It’s all-American. The other cats were playing along just fine. As they often do when looking over near-perfect feline features, the judge dangled a toy in front of GP Sarouk’s Sydney of Placer, or Sydney to his friends. Sydney, as it turns out, was far more interested in the toy than primping. In fact, he couldn’t get enough of toys. Literally. His owner, California-based Carolyn Lyons, knew this but was surprised when he showed his true colors at a cat show.

“This cat was a real toy fiend,” says Lyons, a Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) all-breed judge.

“[The judge] was playing with him with a toy, and pretty soon Sydney grabbed the toy and wouldn’t give it back to her,” she says. “So [the judge] took another toy to divert him so that she could get that [first] toy away, and he grabbed that one away from her, too. So then she thought, well, I’ll try another one. This time she was laughing so hard she was almost crying. She tried another one and he grabbed it with his paws, and he wouldn’t give any of them back.”

This kitty didn’t need all-American competition. He already was all-American — an American Shorthair, that is. And that’s the American Shorthair for you — playful but not harmful, mischievous but charming. They are, in fact, defined by moderation.

**Get the July 2009 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article.**

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