Peggy Paris, who died at the end of May at the age of 89, belonged to a rare group of breeders who strove for perfection in her cats. Pegavi cats were renowned for their strength and beauty, their gentle temperaments and their stamina. As show cats they excelled and many pedigrees still carry the name of her studs, Champion Pegavi Wodenspride being the last of the lineage. Peggy named all the litters she bred alphabetically. It was typical of her straightforward thinking to mark the breeding years so logically. Pegavi Aphrodite, who is commemorated in the poem below was from her first litter in 1984 and “Wody”, who died just a couple of years ago, one of the last. She so nearly made it through the alphabet. Creams and blues were her great love, with a special place for blue torties, and it is somehow fitting that the picture for this month in our calendar is Pegavi Questa.
A memorial service was held for Peggy at King’s Pyon in Herefordshire on 6th June where she lived so happily with her beloved Burmese and garden. This she had designed with the cats in mind with space to roam and two immaculate stud houses. New owners were given guidance and help and many remained good friends over the years. The service in a small country church, filled with friends from the community and flooded with warm sunlight, was dignified, simple and sincere – much as Peggy herself was. Her integrity, her determination to maintain the traditional Burmese type and her commitment to others, human and feline, will be greatly missed by many.
Champion Pegavi Aphrodite
5 May 1984 – 27 June 1995
It’s more than a year since Phreddie died,
Many a day and night I’ve cried.
Six generations have come and gone,
A little of her in everyone.
Helped at the birth of every litter,
Always the perfect baby sitter.
Also the boss, she ruled with love
The iron paw in the velvet glove.
Full of character, and full of fun
Loving the garden, loving the sun
In winter finding the warmest spot
On top of the boiler like as not.
Paragon of virtue was my Phred,
And that’s not said because she’s dead.
Perfect mother, perfect cat
There’ll never be another one like that.