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Norwich Bulletin - 8/23/2009

The Bombay's Comeback

All of a sudden there seems to be a resurgence of popularity with the Bombay breed, both for pet owners and breeders. A wonderful combination of American Shorthair and Burmese, created a cat who exhibits the best of both breeds and is absolutely stunning to look at.

When I judge a Bombay I am always surprised when I first pick the cat up because they are literally little tanks. Very solid and muscular little cats with black patent leather coat color, these cats will hypnotize you with their big, round eyes the color of a new copper penny.

In the early 1950’s beauty queen Nikki Horner wanted to create a cat breed for purely aesthetic reasons; she wanted a cat that would look like a panther. The American Shorthair and Burmese proved to be a perfect combination. Bombays have the loving personality and business of a Burmese, but the craftiness of the American Shorthair. Everything seemed to fit into place, even the coat was short and flat lying like a Burmese so that there was less shedding than if they had taken after their other parent breed.

Nikki Horner got her wish in that the panther inspired breed still holds true for the Bombay look. In fact, the name was picked because India is the native country of the panther. The muscles of the Bombay ripple as they walk, just like the big cat. They are very sturdy and heavy – with a round head and gently contoured face and short muzzle. But it is the eyes that always get me when I am judging this breed; those big copper or gold eyes popping out at you from that black satin coat.

One of the most winning characteristics of the Bombay is the bond it creates with its human companion. They are very in your face, extremely interactive cats. And when they are finally tired out, they insist on being in your lap. They are attention seekers, happy to sit on your book or newspaper (you know, the one you are trying to read), and will follow you from room to room, including the bathroom if you are not fast enough in closing the door.

Your Bombay will be there to greet you when you come home from work, or they will come running to the door to greet you as you walk through the doorway. They are looking for their time with you – whether its playing fetch with a little ball or taking a walk outside on a harness and leash. They are always ready for anything you might throw their way.

Many Bombays are born showcats and thrive at the shows. They love the attention and pampering they get from their humans, as well as the adoration of the crowd. And believe me, they know when they are being adored. Most Bombays strut, prance, play, purr and show off on the judge’s stand. They are not shy or afraid and will delight the crowd by climbing the scratching post or engaging in interactive teaser play with the judge. Some will nuzzle and kiss-up to! They have the perfect temperaments for showing.

Grooming is really easy too. Brush them occasionally and that’s about it. They don’t shed much so a curry brush is great for getting them ready for a show ring. Then you can use a chamois cloth to get that extra shine. Or you can just pet them a lot and get the same shine. The most grooming for both a show cat or pet, would be that the Bombay’s face should be washed every day to keep the sensitive eyes clean and free of discharge. Other than that, you pretty much have a wash and wear cat.

The Bombay is a dynamic little cat who will not be happy with a quiet, sedentary life. They thrive on human companionship and discovering new things. This is a delightful family cat who will not be ignored under any conditions.

It is imperative that a Bombay is only purchased from a reputable breeder and, if at all possible, you visit the cattery to meet the parents and spend time with the cats that your kitten comes from. Never, never, buy a pedigree kitten from a pet store.

If you would like to see the beautiful Bombay, as well as meet some breeders, consider coming to the Norwich TICA cat show on September 19 and 20, 2009 at the Kelly Middle School, 25 Mahan Drive, in Norwich between 10 am and 4 pm either day. There will be many cats there for you to admire, but none more striking than the Bombay.

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