Breeder interview

My name is Erna Dahlhjelm and I´m the president and webbmaster of Silver News, a breed club for silvers and goldens. My main trouble is to write short, but I will really try to keep it short. You can read the longer version on my homesite soon.

I´m living by myself with my cats, about a dozen, in an old mansion from about 1700. I´m breeding persians; chinchillas, silver shadeds and goldens in different variants. My two kids, Suzana and Tim, have their own families in other cities. They have given me 6 fantastic grandchildren.

My breeding started 1977. I always had loved longhair cats. I was totally carried away by Chant Dar Ome´s beautiful chinchillas when I visited her 1975. I had looked for several other colours and even Himalayans during a long time.

I´m an International judge for Persians and Exotics since 1984 in FIFe.

My cattery name is a result of an inquiry in my office, when they had to choose between 20 namnes. Yamacatos was my 6th alternative. It´s a word game between "jama" (= mew) and "cat", but spelled in a different way.

At first I wanted only to breed chinchillas, but my interest was soon born for goldens. My first golden was purchased in 1979 (the very first born in Sweden). In due time I understood what I desired in my work. At that time the chinchillas was far behind in type compared with other persians, so I had a lot of work to do. So what had I as my most important goals? Except for better type, body and size, I always will keep the special sweet chinchilla-look and a sound temperament. The earlier chinchillas had a rather short patience. Increased fertility was also on top on my list. To improve that, I purchased 4 cats 1977 with lines from USA and Great Britain in the pedigrees. Two imported females from GB (Clicqout and Suncat) with lines from USA and New Zeeland was my basic queens. Two females from Chant Dar Ome´s, with different pedigrees, was also added the same year. Besides that, I was the very first breeder to cross chinchillas to top quality solids according to a plan. My first outcross was born 1978. There was an ultra exterme typed smoke female in the litter. This was long before any extreme cats exsisted in Sweden. I knew only about some occationally solids in the whole world. The result encouraged me to continue with solidcrosses, even if not all breeders liked it.

My first persian cat was a blue (colourpoint carrier) neutered male, born 1972. He was terrible to bath and dry. This made me very keen to select only the best temeperament later on in my breeding. My first green eyed silver was a chinchilla female, IC Chant Dar Ome´s Isabella, a very successful show cat and a good queen with many lovely kittens. She was 16 years when she died, almost blind.

My memories are endless and there isn´t space here to tell it all. I will spare it for my memoirs. Generally I can tell, that this hobby has given me my best friends, people that I never would have meet otherwise, whitch I´m very greatful for. In addition I have also met the worst people ever, but I think it´s unavoidable, when you meet so many people in a hobby so filled of hard competition. I´m very happy for all people who has showed and bred cats from me. Most of all I´m happy to have encouraged other persons to start their breeding of silvers and goldens. I´m very satisfied to know that all sold pets during all years, have generated so much love and happyness to their owners. That thought makes up for every back step that hits every breeder at last.

My greatest show successes are so many, during so many years, but my latest was during 2001, when
EC Yamacatos Magic Magnolia was so successful. I couldn´t dream about it, when we started the show season. She was 7 years old and was 7xBest in Show Senior, 2x BIS adult, 2xBOX (Best opposite sex adult), 9xNominated, 4xBIV (Best of Variety). She was Best of the Year 2001: Best chinchilla and Best senior persian in SVERAK (FIFe) in Sweden.

My other hobbies, when time allow it, are photographing, reading litterature and to write my self, articles about cats and now a novel, totally free from cats in the story. Other hobbies, like gardening, are excluded owing to time. In the fall I love to pick mushrooms in the deep woods near my house.

One of my future plans was to include Exotics in silvers and goldens in my breeding with very high type and pure colours. I had the opportunity to take over an adult female from my friend Kerstin, Lionstone´s Indiana, shaded golden imported from Germany.

Lately I have started to breed Exotics. So far I have 2 females (solid black and shaded golden).

I´m a member of Dalälvskaten in Sverak - FIFe.

© Erna Dahlhjelm (Yamacatos) 2008-06-15, 2008-11-11


Some cats from my breeding:    
EC Yamacatos Magic Magnolia
chinchilla female
IDP-CH Yamacatos Lady Luck
Chinchilla hona-female

IDP-CH Whistle Stop´s Kitty Foyle
Black exotic female