I am posting the link to what my dear friend, Annie, has written ab the Chantilly and their situation. Annie has held the Breed Chair for Chantillys at ACFA in the past. Her Cattery is in Illinois,USA, and is called Amorino Cattery.
- "The exact origin of the Chantilly is unknown. It is thought that they were first introduced in England; but that is simply an educated guess,
at best. As in most breeds of cats, dogs, and other species, the modern look of today compared to yesteryear’s ‘back when’ appearance of breeds does differ; some more than others. The Chantilly holds true to this metamorphosis as well.
The Chantilly is not a naturally occurring breed, but rather is a created breed from four different breeds. The quintessential Chantilly is four equal parts of Havana Brown, Nebelung, Abyssinian, and Somali.
The coat texture of a Chantilly is extremely
soft. Some cats display a coat so soft, feeling the coat with one’s fingers is difficult. The coat is of a single layer, with no undercoat.
Coat colors vary; however, their signature color is solid chocolate. This is not to be confused with a
mere ‘brown’ coat, but rather displays a rich chocolate, much likened to a Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate bar. The most prevalent coat colors remaining today are chocolate, lavender, blue, and black.
With regard to pattern, these
colors can be of either a solid color, or a coat with tabby markings. Please do not be confused here…tabby is not a breed, but merely a term used to designate a coat with tiger stripes, which is referred to as a mackerel pattern, much like the fish.
There is a second type of tabby marking known as ‘classic’, which displays swirls, or bull’s eyes on either side of the cat. The Chantilly never comes in a classic tabby pattern, nor does the Chantilly ever display any white markings. Sometimes,
on a tabby Chantilly, there may appear to be a white chin, however, this is not truly white, but a lighter version of the coat color, especially notable on chocolate tabbies. This lighter color is due to the Rufus gene, which intensifies the red color in the
The length of the Chantilly coat is termed as ‘semi-long’, as it neither touches the floor, nor is short, but strikes a happy medium. The Chantilly does not shed; however, when the Chantilly feels stressed, they are known
to pull their coat out with their teeth. Only the Chantilly knows what causes stress, therefore, some investigating into any changes in the home, and or in the routine, must be examined.
The Chantilly coat is nicely decorated with a full, beautiful
ruff of contrasting color, fuzzy britches, or petticoats, big, full bushy tails, and full faces adorned with mutton chops. Males are more heavily furnished than the females.
The eye of the Chantilly is preferably a yellow or golden color, sometimes
presenting with a green halo. It is this breeder’s frustration that since each breed that makes the Chantilly has green eyes, pinpointing that lovely yellow to gold eye is somewhat akin to finding the end of the rainbow. I have succeeded in producing
some beautiful yellow to gold eyes, however, how that was accomplished remains a mystery. It seems to be random; however, I digress as the inability to produce consistent eye color is not the purpose of this section.
The chirp of the Chantilly is also
a breed characteristic. Most Chantilly greetings are not done through ordinary meows…oh no…but rather with a series of soft, melodious chirps and clicks.
Until 1967, it was widely thought the Chantilly was extinct. Two perfectly replicated
kittens showed up in a New York estate sale. Both kittens were beautiful solid chocolates with golden eyes. Fortunately, a breeder secured the kittens, and after DNA testing, did breed them. This breeding resulted in an entire litter exactly replicating the
parents. Unfortunately, this breeder also worked with the Burmese breed, so for a time, the rumor was the Chantilly was also part Burmese…this is very untrue. As stated, this was a rumor.
In the 1970s, several Chantilly kittens were registered,
originally as Foreign Longhairs; over time, the Chantilly is now known as a Semi-longhair.
In 2001, there were but five scant Catteries still working with the Chantilly. There was a Cattery in Germany, one in Canada, one in Washington State, one in
West Virginia, and one in southern Illinois. By 2003, only one Cattery in the US was still operating, and that Cattery was, and still is, located in southern Illinois, known as Amorino. For many years, Amorino stood alone in the fight for the Chantilly. This
author is the owner of Amorino and at many times over the years, did want to throw her hands up and quit. There were no other breeders to offer assistance; no other breeders in which to trade kittens, keeping blood lines open. Amorino stood alone, refusing,
even in the wake of several tragedies, to give up the fight.
In 2008, Amorino lost its most beloved dam in giving birth to a litter. Not only was the dam, a beautiful lavender female, Nuage, lost, but so too were both of her beautiful kittens. Nuage,
the contributions you made to your breed live on today. I miss your happy little chirps, and our periodic disagreements over who truly stood in the Alpha position!
In 2011, the Chantilly breed suffered another great blow with the loss of our beautiful
blue queen, Katie. For two years, Katie carried on the breeding program all by herself as Nuage was experiencing hormonal difficulties and was unable to participate. Thank you, Katie. Your hard work continues on. I greatly miss you.
In 2012, Amorino
suffered a devastating and fatal Cattery fire. There were 17 cats and kittens in the Cattery at the time of the outbreak. This was a mix of Chantilly and Norwegian Forest Cats. Unfortunately, five could not be rescued. The fire happened in the early morning
hours, and by the time this breeder awoke, the Cattery was 85% involved. Time was very short, electrical power had gone out, smoke was heavy and black, and the ceiling had already begun to fall in as the origin was in the attic.
All heavy blows to the
Chantilly program; but yet, Amorino stood stalwart in the fight for the Chantilly.
Presently, Amorino has been joined by Anne-Marie of LePors Cattery in Nova Scotia, Canada; and most recently by Norma Hubenbecker of Cacao Criadero Cattery, located in
Skien, Norway. Kendra Geiger, of New Jersey, will also soon join our Chantilly circle as a breeder, linking arms and taking up the cause. Kendra has done tremendous work for the Chantilly, and we embrace her with pride for her resolute nature, with hope as
she approaches opening her own Chantilly Cattery, and with love due to her huge heart. Another great contributor to the fight has been a friend, Gail Anderson. Although not a breeder, she has championed the cause for the past five years, sometimes to the point
Through the years, there have been several people step forward with wonderful contributions toward our cause and toward the survival of this beautiful, sweet, and devoted little cat. Without them, it is seriously doubtful that the
Chantilly would still be in existence. To those in the past, and fighting alongside us now, and to those in the future who have yet to join us, Annie Davenport-Parini (Amorino Cattery), Anne-Marie Brown (LePors Cattery), Norma Hubenbecker (Cacao Criadero Cattery),
Kendra Geiger, and Gail Anderson, stand, and with tear filled eyes, and with hearts bursting with gratitude, we say thank you. Without all of you, the fate of the Chantilly would surely have been set long ago.
The Chantilly continues to struggle for
survival. The setbacks have taken a great toll. At times the heartache has been almost unbearable. Yet, there is no day that passes without effort toward the continuation of the Chantilly.
The work slowly marches forward. Our determination is strong.
Our hope is mighty. Our prayers are unceasing. Our dedication is set in stone. Our love is endless. Small snippets of success push us forward. Great heartache keeps those of us working with this breed bonded to each other.
How will this odyssey end?
Of course, the hope is to finally see the Chantilly strong in health, and in breeding. The ultimate goal is to see this beautiful, sweet, loving breed take their rightful place amongst the champions in the show halls. They also deserve their Winner’s
Ribbons! What fate actually brings to this breed is certainly unknown. Let it be known that if this breed fails to survive, it will not be through lack of caring, or lack of work, or lack of commitment, or lack of anything anyone is able to list."
Annie Davenport- Parini.