CATS magazine December 1978

CATS magazine, Volume 35, No. 12, December 1978, pages 24-25Zygmunt Kozaczka
Maine Coon opinion
(in: Fanciers’ Forum,
reactie op het articel van Gale Maleskey, Maine Coons: OUR YANKEE SUPERCATS in CATS magazine, Volume 35, No. 10, October 1978)


Zygmunt Kozaczka, Zig-Krn Cattery

Having just received the October issue of CATS. I find the article on the Maine Coon by Gale Maleskey interesting. However, some of the information is incorrect and in need of refinement.

Living in Massachusetts for several years prior to moving to the West Coast, and showing our cats on both coasts, plus traveling all over the United States and Canada, we have yet to find our first polydactyl in any cattery. I am sure that there were some in the past, and may be some now in the state of Maine, but I doubt that they were ever 40% of the breed.

My statement about 40-pound Maines in a previous Cat World article (I have recently written another), I’ve now found was based on incorrect information. I have yet to see my first even 20-pound Maine.

The author names me as the moving force behind the International Society for the Preservation of the Maine Coon Cat, I thank her for this prestigious honor, but find it to be quite untrue. Members of the society have donated their time and money to help it grow. Some of its members have in their households altered cats, the living proof of hybrid breeding in California. Their stake in the Society is a determination for pure breeding, and they certainly are a driving force. Other members know the situation well and have joined for their own protection. They will want to out-cross some day and they don’t want short-haired kittens in their litters at any time.

It is true that while I was a regional director for the MCBFA, I was approached by several breeders who asked me to intercede on their behalf. They thought, as I did, that the world’s largest Maine Coon organization would hear them through me, and would take steps to prevent (if it could) hybrid breeding and (if nothing else) take a stand on the subject. We could not, unfortunately, get the leaders of the MCBFA to do this, even after several years of trying.

Author Maleskey puts the International Society for the Preservation of the Maine Coon Cat in a bad light. She does not know me, and certainly can’t spell my name correctly, but I am sure she has had some contact with the others she mentions in her article. The members of the ISPMCC are pedigreed breeders who protect their pedigrees honestly (the word honestly being a must). The background of their cats reflects East Coast origin. There are no Domestics or Alley Coons in the background of their pedigrees. The ISPMCC is the first international group formed to protect the Maine Coon through action. It practices many of the things that MCBFA only preaches.

A classic example is a three-part article printed in the MCBFA Scratch Sheet. Part three, in the Winter 1976 issue, tells much of the origin of the Maine Coon, and reflects on hybrid breeding and honest pedigrees.

The article is from an interview held in Memphis/Tennessee by Beth Hicks and others with CATS Magazine’s outspoken former genetics writer, Don Kinard-Shaw Twelve years have now passed, but his views at that time reflect those of old-time Maine breeders: The further away you get from the East Coast, the less likely you will get a true Maine Coon.

I can not speak for the rest of ISPMCC’s members, as it is a democratic organization. However, I would be worried if MCBFA gave us any backing – the two organizations are 100% different in philosophy.

MCBFA has no written code of ethics nor any policy to prohibit cross-breeding. I attempted to introduce one a few years ago, and it was turned down by the Memphis group. Concerned breeders brought it up again on ballot. The results of that ballot vote and minutes pertaining to the vote have never been published as though the ballots were never mailed or counted).

Recently I became the first person to be ejected from MCBFA because of my intensity in expounding my view. My poor wife, who was too busy showing and didn’t even take the time to write her mother, was also expelled. She didn’t have time to express her views.

A year or so ago, after seeing a judge sit an exhibitor down and explain to him why the cat he bought for a large sum of money wasn’t a Maine, Mrs. Margaret Reed of the San Francisco area, took photos and had them enlarged and sent to MCBFA, asking why something wasn’t done about these Shorthairs. To date, she has not so much as received a thank you.

Very simply, a prospective breeder who has just bought stock and finds the stock to be hybrid has two options: The easy one is to take advantage of the rules of some associations and show the cats and sell their offspring—as many California breeders are doing. (For some reason, breeders of good stock are ruining their reputations and their stock by breeding to hybrid cats.) Or they can, as have believers in pure breeding before them, alter the hybrids and purchase true Eastern stock.

Despite my objections to some parts of the article, I must comment that never have I received so many phone calls for cats with all the advertising we have ever done as I received in one day and continue to receive from the publication of Ms. Maleskey’s article. The buyers state they don’t want the “other type” of Maine Coon.

I am sure you will receive a number of letters objecting to the article, and I do thank you for bringing this whole matter of Maine Coon pure breeding out into the open world wide.

Zygmunt Kozaczka
Zig-Krn Cattery
P. O. Box 72
Mesa AZ 85202