Our History

Our History

On June 22, 1979 The International Cat Association was founded by Georgia Morgan, and a handful of cat enthusiasts. Their dream of building the most progressive, flexible and innovative cat registry in the world came true when TICA was formed.

TICA's first show was "A Midsummer Night's Dream" held at Fort Lewis, near Tacoma, Washington, on July 28, 1979. Other "first shows" were in Canada hosted by "White Hatters Cat Fanciers", on October 7, 1979, in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada; Hawaii hosted by "Mid-Pacific Cat Fanciers", on February 23, 1980, in Honolulu, Hawaii; Alaska hosted by "Alaskats", on May 3-4, 1980, in Anchorage, Alaska.

The first international region confirmed outside of North American was JAPAN. The first international show was hosted by the "All Japan Club", on March 2, 1980 in Nagoya, Japan. Since then TICA has grown to have a club and members in all 50 states of the United States, Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

In The Beginning...

The Early Days of TICA

TICA - A Trend To the Future
by Georgia Morgan
From The Beginning All We Had Was Our Word

The International Cat Association was organized/established Friday, June 22, 1979 in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. The village of Branson (near Point Lookout) was the birth place of our illustrious Association. Historical markers were never put in place, but most certainly the spontaneous dream of a handful of cat enthusiasts, reinforced by their courage, foresight, and intestinal fortitude that inspired the establishment of TICA are worth remembering. They have served as the endowment of the most progressive, flexible, and innovative cat registry in the world.

As the newly elected President of ACFA, I called a Board Meeting at Point Lookout, Missouri for Wednesday, June 20, 1979 to enable the elected members of the Board of Directors to observe firsthand the workings of the Central Office, to review established policy, to meet the employees, to establish a preliminary budget, to work out some existing irregularities, and to establish a congenial working relationship with the entire Board; our first Annual Meeting was scheduled in less than 3 months. It was extremely important that the group work harmoniously, address the issues causing concern with the membership, and be aware that ultimate changes were vital. Over a 2-day period all attempts to establish an amenable working relationship, to go forward with a hard bound yearbook, to work on a revised judging system, to promote recognition for Household Pets, and to present a budget for the Association were discussed at length, and subsequently rejected. By noon of the second day we had definitely reached a stalemate.

The Board Members that attended this meeting were: Vice-President, Larry Paul, South Central Regional Director, Arthel Scheuermann, Southeast Regional Director, Jim Costello, Southwest Regional Director, Les Hight, Northwest Regional Director, Jacob Ash, Canadian Regional Director, Jeanne Jeffrey, Executive Secretary, Cora Swan (this position had voting privileges on the Board of Directors), Bulletin Editor, Ed Rugenstein, previous President, Lila Rippey, and myself. Additionally, we were encouraged by the presence of some other stalwart supporters, Jack and Barbara Reark from Florida, and Nancee Beamer of Texas.

We reconvened after lunch and experienced the same hard-nosed resistance, making it evident no compromise was possible and would never materialize. At this point Jim Costello said he was convinced that it would be impossible to fulfill his obligations to the membership, and then he resigned. This action was followed by the resignations of Arthel Scheuermann, Larry Paul, Les Hight, and myself, all stating the same reason: we could no longer fulfill our obligations to our constituents. Jeanne Jeffrey and Jacob Ash stated they would discuss it with their membership (a few weeks later Jeanne Jeffrey joined our group). When the dust started to clear after the explosion, leaving only the debris, it suddenly hit home we were through, at least for the moment.

I must admit some of us had lofty ideas, perhaps a vision or a dream, at least in our minds about how the "Ideal Cat Registry" should function. Quite naturally we were met with staunch resistance and learned quickly there was a major difference in the philosophy of the newly elected group and the "old guard". How do you say immovable object?

We decided to go back to our rooms, get some rest, collect our thoughts, ponder about our immediate future in the cat fancy, and reconvene over dinner. What we actually did was return a myriad of telephone calls, relaying the most recent episodes in this scenario which sounded like a soap opera, using scratching posts and humor as prompting cards. Of course the cat fancy being what it is (basically the same in 1979), the news spread faster than a hurricane, which of course created absolute chaos with the telephone lines into Branson, Missouri: hundreds of friends and cat fanciers had been jamming the Motel switchboard the entire week to keep current on the latest developments. Remember - we only had "Hot Air Balloon" service at our location. During our conversations, each of us "tested the waters", so to speak: WHAT IF, we decided to establish another association - would you be in agreement - are you interested??? The overwhelming positive response was beyond our wildest dreams.

We deliberated during dinner, reviewing and discussing our options (not many at this point): organize a new association (we certainly were of the opinion that the cat fancy didn't need another registry), join an existing group, or make a hasty retreat and leave the cat fancy. Make a hasty retreat, absolutely not, consequently we never entertained the idea of leaving the cat fancy. Collectively, we decided joining an existing registry had all the appeal of a western hoe-down for ballet performers. We were far too innovative and progressive to be satisfied with joining an existing registry, besides they would have run us out of town on a rail. So that left only one solution: organize another cat association designed to include the most attractive features from current registries, implement professional management, establish an Annual Awards extravaganza, start a Genetic Registry, produce a hardback Yearbook, and eliminate political rhetoric from the official publications. Only one problem: no finances. No matter how you cut it, the decision to go for it was made Friday evening June 22, 1979 - the die was cast. So head first we took the plunge.

TICA

Now the hard work commences. HOW, WHEN, WHERE? We needed an office, an Executive Secretary, a location, a name. Wouldn't you know Larry Paul recommended TICA (The International Cat Association) and fortunately we all agreed. We decided to retain the position and title we held upon our arrival two or three days earlier, and function in interim status until an official election could be held. While Larry, Arthel, Jim, and Les were on the phone recruiting judges, and volunteers to serve the other three regions, and an Editor for our publications, I was organizing and planning the Executive Office.

Recalling a recent conversation with Bob Mullen, concerning his employment with "Let's Make A Deal", his interest in becoming Executive Secretary of ACFA, and knowing that he maintained an office in Burbank, California, gave me an instant thought - maybe, just maybe Bob would be interested. So I called him Saturday night, June 23, 1979 from Springfield, Missouri, and asked if he were interested in a new cat association, and more importantly, the position of Executive Secretary of that association (The International Cat Association). He said yes, and accepted the challenge without a moment's hesitation. Since the thought of another cat association had been spontaneous; we certainly didn't have a treasury, and no legacy, not even enough to rent office space or pay an employee (in fact not one red cent). So Bob agreed that until we had acquired a cash flow, he would run the office for the paltry sum of $200.00 a week (Starvation Wages).

By this time with the Executive Office issue a reality, the rest of our group had secured a Northeast Regional Director, Helmi Ehrhart, a North Central Regional Director, Dr. Patricia Hevenor, a Northwest Regional Director, Dan Gornan, an Editor, Roland Lindsey, a slew of judges (see the list of judges below - this almost doubled by the printing of the second volume, including ten from Japan, seven from Canada, one from Hawaii, and one from Alaska), and an unbelievable number of clubs had made a commitment to join our "Gusty Clan".

Bob Mullen organized, and managed the first Executive Office, and furnished his own office equipment. He had the Office open and operational at 211 East Olive, Suite 201, Burbank, California 91502, even including a telephone, by July 5, 1979. The Office was inundated in less than a week after opening, with an avalanche of documents for processing, which included cat registrations, membership and cattery applications, letters, applications for club charters and show licenses... enough paper to fill a box car. This deluge was the result of an introductory offer of $1.00 per cat for registration, an offer almost no one could refuse. Of course, with the fee at $1.00 per registration, after processing, typing, mailing, etc., it was virtually impossible to maintain a salaried staff.

During the ensuing weeks, which crept into months, Bob's staff (made up of his enthusiastic friends) came to sort mail, maintain records, prepare membership cards, type, code the cats, preparatory to typing registration certificates, and whatever else needed to be done. CODE the cats? Yes, a completely new theory, and a new system - a genetic registry - designed, developed, and furnished by Solveig Pflueger (later appointed as chairman of the Genetics Committee), which was eventually implemented. Mind boggling? Try phasing in and making a new system operational, just when you have opened a new office, with literally hundreds of cats to be registered, letters to be answered, forms to be developed and printed, membership records to be prepared, new clubs waiting for their charters, show supplies to be shipped... remember, our first TICA show was held July 28, 1979.

Upon my return home from Missouri, and just committing myself to God only knew what, I didn't have a free moment, neither did anyone else, and still don't, believing that very day there would be a breather. But, aside from the constant ring of the telephone (day and night), I made time to compile, copy and mail the first TICA communication (see below). This was mailed to every person who was or who had ever been in the cat fancy. The price list appeared in the first issue of the TICA Trend (see below). This memorandum was captioned "TICA - A TREND TO THE FUTURE IN THE CAT FANCY", and a closing remark "JOIN THE TREND TO TICA". In a matter of days, Roland Lindsey, our newly appointed volunteer Editor was already preparing the first issue of our newsletter. During one of our many telephone conversations, he asked, what will we call the newsletter, and almost instantly I said call it the "TICA Trend". He agreed and so did the rest of the Board members. So you can see first hand what inspired the name of our "TICA Trend". Little did Roland know at that moment that he would (with the able assistance of his wife, Linda Lindsey) also be the Editor of the first TICA Yearbook.

TICA - The emergence of the most recent innovation to the Cat Fancy, IS ALREADY A REALITY. A viable association of enthusiastic, energetic members, who take an active part in management, and policy making, plus sharing the responsibilities, and privileges.
TICA - the WORLD WIDE CAT ASSOCIATION, where management has extracted the unique features from all of the existing association, and combined them with progressive, professional programs to create a FIRST CLASS ASSOCIATION, Registering body, and the best qualified Judges, available to the cat fancy.
The basic concept of TICA, is still BY AND FOR THE MEMBERS, combined with the current WORLD TRENDS in computerization of the REGISTRY, with concise, uncomplicated SHOW RULES and BY LAWS, that are easily interpreted by the layman, thereby eliminating ambiguous language, and conflicting issues, that lead to confusion and frustration.
THE TICA TREND - KEY FEATURES:
  • COMPUTERIZATION - whereby programs have been initiated, manually phased into operation - THEN equipment acquired that is compatible to the programs.
  • REGISTRATION RULES - hand in glove with computerization, using Genetic coding by Breed, Colors, etc., for registration.
  • HOUSEHOLD PET DIVISION - Your "Feline Friends", and companions are accepted for registration, AND computer for Annual Awards.
  • NUMERICAL SCORING eliminated UNLESS the exhibitor specifically requires a written evaluation - thereby simplifying the mechanical process that consumes the judges time - THAT can be spent with your CAT.
  • BI-MONTHLY PUBLICATION - NON POLITICAL - to include articles about CATS; breeding, health, and daily care; show report - advanced show schedules; notes of interest that YOU, the members desire. LET YOUR THOUGHTS BE KNOWN - write the EDITOR - write the Executive Officer. VOTING privileges - BALLOTS, in simple easily understood language.
  • TECHNICAL TERMINOLOGY COMMITTEE - to maintain consistency in terminology used in preparation or amending Standards, and/or Show Rules.
  • TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT - Judges evaluated by their peers, as well as Show Committees. A professional training system, divided into three specific division. I - Basic, care of cats, breeding seminars, show procedures, and exhibiting; II - Intermediate - directed to orientation and training of applicants, for those expressing a desire or interest in the judging program; III - Advanced - geared to training of Judges. All training sessions, breeders and genetic seminars, based on credit system.
  • TICA ANNUAL AWARDS - hard backed publication, a prestige issue, that you can be proud to display.
CHARTER MEMBERSHIP FOR TICA IS ENCOURAGED. For the period 1 July through 30 September 1979, the following fees apply.
Single Membership: $6.00
Single Membership with Cattery: $10.00
Family Member (1 per single Member): $3.00
Registration/per cat 9HHP included) *: $1.00
Club Charter: $5.00
SHOW LICENSE (AllBreed ring): $12.00
Specialty - each LH & SH Spec: $7.50
JUDGES License (AllBreed): $7.50
Specialty: $5.00
Probationary: $5.00
*Requirement for Registration of your cat(s): Photocopy of your current registration (any association) forwarded to the EXECUTIVE OFFICE of TICA, with $1.00. Additional information will appear in our official publication.
The influx of Telegrams, Letters, and constant ringing of the telephone is indicative of the concern for CATS, and the "VOICE OF THE MEMBERS". The preceding material has been compiled, from the suggestions, submitted by many sectors of the CAT WORLD, and reflects the wished of the concerned people. The short period of time, since the inception of TICA, has only permitted the organizational structure, establishment of the Executive Office, Publication Editor, Recognition, for AA Scoring, appointment of the temporary Officers, and the initial phase in of mechanized registrations.
In order to be assured that your club is recognized by Cats Magazine - AA Scoring, forward a copy of your minutes or an affidavit to Cats today:
CATS Magazine
ATTN: Mike Brim
P.O. Box 557 (Skyline Drive)
Washington, Pa 15301
JOIN THE TREND TO TICA

Georgia Morgan, President Protem
The International Cat Association

Breathing spell? One never developed. From the time the Office opened, the response was overwhelming, and the workload increased to the point where Bob was forced to farm the work out to associates, friends, and of course, other feline enthusiasts. Due to the infancy of our Association, and our spontaneous eruption, it took months to develop and prepare the publications and forms that were required for operation of the business. This meant even more time was required to build a treasury necessary to pay salaries. During our first Board of Directors meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, November 1, 1979, Bob's salary was increased to $300.00 per week, however, he voluntarily elected to use those funds to offset the expenses in maintaining the Office. Bob and his volunteer staff functioned in this capacity until December of 1979, when the first full-time employee was hired. In addition to the physical and mental work, these volunteers who graciously gave freely of their time also furnished their moral support at a crucial time in the development of our Association.

The Executive Office crippled along status quo for a few months with Bob and his volunteers, and one full-time employee. With increasing activity, the workload demanded additional employees because it is impossible to rely on volunteer labor forever. May of 1980, our Executive Secretary, Bob Mullen announced that the backlog of registrations which flooded the Office since the formation had been cleared, and paperwork was being handled on a current basis.

Unfortunately for TICA, in August of 1980 Bob (for the sake of survival) returned to "Let's Make A Deal". His exit came simultaneously with the second Annual Board of Directors meeting, and the FIRST Annual Awards ceremonies, held in Pasadena, California. Revenue for the first fiscal year (07/01/79-06/30/80) was a little more than $27, 000.00. September 1, 1980, Mark Walters (already an employee) was selected by the Board of Directors as the second Executive Secretary. Again, an unfortunate event as Mark was forced to resign within a couple of weeks.

Another crucial period for our Association, no Executive Secretary, practically no funds or time to recruit the caliber of employee that was required to manage the Office. Really a dilemma, but we were still in it for the long haul, and upheld our commitment.

Since the Executive Office was in Burbank and most importantly the Southwest Region, the brunt of the catastrophe fell on that Regional Director's head. Les Hight had resigned earlier in the year as Director due to pressing matters at school, and Mary Haffner had been appointed Interim Director to finish the term (she was later elected as Regional Director). Of course Mary was the "Point Man", so to speak, and like all TICA people she accepted the challenge without hesitation, with the able assistance of Marc Costa who immediately responded by volunteering his services. Together they came up with a workable agreement to handle this latest catastrophe. Please remember these two members also had a life of their own. They said, if the Board was in agreement they would function as Co-Managers in a volunteer status (no salary I might also add) until we could locate an Executive Secretary. Of course we were exuberant, and graciously accepted their offer. This action took place around the middle of September 1980.

The Office functioned smoothly and efficiently under their management. However, this arrangement could not go on indefinitely, so the Board continued to search for a suitable permanent employee. Finally Jim Costello, the Southeastern Regional Director said he was interested in the position as Business Manager, and he agreed to make the move to California. The Board approved his appointment and Jim started in late February 1981, with the existing salary of $300.00 per week. By November of 1981 it was evident to Jim that it was impossible for him to exist on this salary, and support a young son. He had kept the Board advised on the status of revenue, and expenditures (expenditures surpassed revenue).

The middle of February, 1982, I drove to Burbank, California to make a personal observation about the predicament we were in. When I arrived at the Office there were three full-time employees (Jim Costello, Carol Seigal, David Villarreal), one part-time employee (Ron Durkell) on the payroll, and one employee (Bob Mullen) in contract labor status. Then I learned that our liabilities were astronomical, we owed over $20, 000.00 to: The Internal Revenue Service (in the process of filing a lien on the Association) for nonpayment of taxes or 940's and 941's, the State of California (Employment Development Department), Xerox Company, PIP (printer), Office Supply, Cats Magazine, Pacific Telephone, and even Bob Mullen had not be reimbursed for the part of his salary he had used for operating expenses (during his employment), plus rental fee for his office equipment.

Another critical period in the history of TICA. With the financial status we were facing, there was no way we could increase Jim's salary, so he resigned February 25, 1982. Of course we still didn't have funds to recruit a suitable replacement, or even pay the salary. Instead of staying a few days, which had been my intent, I ended up staying a little more than three months. During this period of time, I took complete charge of the Office. First bunking with Mary in Carson (quite a long drive back and forth through heavy traffic to Burbank - actually clear across Los Angeles), and then finally moving into Burbank. I spent an average of ten hours a day in the Office, including Saturday and Sunday, unless I was judging a show or going with Mary to Santa Catalina Island or Griffith Park, stress relief for us both.

It was obvious we could not continue going further in debt (beside the breath of the IRS was getting hotter); I had several conferences with them, and the State of California. Eventually we worked out a payment schedule, but green backs were a scarce commodity during those lean months that evolved into a couple of years. It was scrape and save, of course the $300.00 a week that had been designated as salary for a Business Manager (that we no longer employed), was applied to our outstanding indebtedness (this was possible because my time was donated, no salary and I was acting as Business Manager). It was obvious to me that it would take more than a few months to not only pay our debts, but to build the Association to the status we envisioned, but I knew it could be accomplished with dedication and hard work. It was imperative that the Association function as a business, and at the same time acquire solvency. The word went out by the 1st of March that we would be recruiting for a Business Manager. An article appeared in the next issue of the TICA Trend to do just that. The Board of Directors received several applications for the Business Manager position at the Semi-Annual meeting in Greensboro, and invited others to submit applications before June 1st. Copies of the application were to be sent to the Executive Office, with sufficient copies for each Board member. The application was to include anticipated salary, cost of labor if a move of the Office was proposed, and the cost of office space in the proposed location. We received numerous applications, requiring the Office to be moved to various locations: Port Lucie, Florida; Seattle, Washington; Boise, Idaho; Houston, Texas; and Charleston, South Carolina, to name just a few. Without exception, the office rent was higher, and employee salaries were about the same as Burbank, but the Business Manager salary was placed at an average of $25, 000.00 annually. Since the Association was in critical condition financially, and didn't have the funds to pay an annual salary, as stipulated in the applications, none of them were accepted. Please be aware that revenue for fiscal year 1981-1982 was just over $30, 000.00.

During this time some of the Board members asked if I would remain in California and manage the Office. This was of course impossible because everything I owned (my home, and other real estate properties), besides a few clothes and a car were in Texas. I offered to manage the Executive Office in Harlingen, Texas, as Interim Business Manager (donating my time - with no salary, and taking a leave of absence from judging), until the Association was solvent and could pay a permanent Business Manager. The Board of Directors voted to relocate the Executive Office, and to extend the time for interested persons to apply for the permanent position of Business Manager. All applications had to be submitted no later than one month prior to the 1983 Annual meeting. The Board, without a dissenting vote, requested that I relocate the Office to Harlingen, Texas.

This decision was made early in May 1982. I immediately started making preparations for the move, by opening a bank account, obtaining a post office box, securing office space, and a telephone in Harlingen, plus all the forms, publications, and stationary were stamped with our new address, and a notice was placed in the TICA Trend. Of the employees that worked for TICA, only one, David Villarreal, elected to stay with the Association, and move to Texas with the Office. In fact he drove the U-Haul truck with all our worldly possessions/assets/liabilities: a desk and credenza for which Jim Costello had paid $75.00, a Xerox machine that we were in the process of purchasing (we still owed $2, 500.00), one typewriter desk and one rickety chair, one student desk with broken drawers, two (donated) typewriters that required reconditioning, one used calculator, a used file cabinet, boxes of 201's (individual cat files) a staple machine, forms, AND enough indebtedness to last a lifetime.

David left Burbank May 28, 1982, with our worldly possessions, and arrived in Harlingen, Texas, on June 1st. We unloaded the truck, and were open for business June 2, 1982. Upon our arrival the post office box was already brimming with documents for processing. David and I managed to keep the work current until July with the workload kept increasing, in fact we were becoming inundated. I then hired Betty Moss (for an unbelievable salary of $800.00 per month), followed by Del Diaz in part-time status (minimum wage - $3.35 per hour) who later moved to full-time. With three employees on board I had time to establish accounts with the printing company, paper company, office supply, maintenance agreements for equipment, UPS, Federal Express, and file the Corporation documents with the State of Texas, prepare standard operating procedures, and guidelines for the staff. We still had our noses to the grind stone, the work load was constantly increasing, and the Association was still making payments to our creditors. However, our financial future looked brighter: revenue for fiscal year 07/01/82-06/30/83 was over $84, 000.00.

The Annual Board meeting was held in Jacksonville, Florida, September 1-4, 1983. No applications for Business Manager were presented, so I continued as Interim Business Manager, until the Semi-Annual Board meeting when Betty was appointed to that position. Unfortunately she had to resign quite suddenly on February 22, 1984, when her husband was transferred, and I returned as Interim Business Manager. Leslie Bowers was hired as an Administrative Assistant (salary still $800.00 per month) to fill the position vacated by Betty, and came on duty February 28, 1984. Our revenue was still increasing, and of course so were our expenditures; however, while still paying on the IRS indebtedness, all other creditors had been paid.

In the summer of 1984, the Board of Directors felt it was time to employ a permanent Executive Secretary. All applications were reviewed at the Annual Board of Directors meeting August 22-24, 1984, and Don Shaw was selected for the position, with the salary of $1, 000.00 per month, increased to $1, 400.00 per month on December 1, 1984, and he would continue judging. This action meant an additional employee would be added to the payroll and the Association was not in position at this point to increase salaries by this amount. David was paid $1, 195.00 per month, Leslie $800.00 per month, Del $150.00 per week, and a part-time (Lorraine) $3.35 per hour. A drastic decision had to be made quickly, do I terminate two employees or one? There was n o way I could afford to lose two well trained employees, not to mention that I had spent more than 3, 000 hours over a period of time to train these employees. That meant terminating the one with the salary commensurate with the new employee's salary coming on board. Which meant David, because the Association could not financially accommodate both salaries.

Don reported for duty October 3, 1984. Of course he needed time to find a residence, move in, and get established, in addition to his judging assignments, which required his absence from the Office usually on Friday, and/or Monday, presented a problem in keeping the document processing current. In order to alleviate the problem the part-time employee was advanced to full-time. The workload was extremely demanding, and the atmosphere strained; I was still working night and day (it seemed), however, it was impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Another catastrophe for our Association, by the end of December both Leslie and Lorraine had resigned, and by the end of January, Del had given her notice of resignation. It was obvious by now this arrangement just wasn't workable, and with the approval of the Board of Directors, Don was terminated on February 7, 1985.

I convinced David to return to his previous position, since he hadn't found employment, but the other three former employees had secured other employment. Eventually, I was fortunate enough to convince Leslie and Lorraine to return to their old jobs (early March), with a pay increase for both because of their concern surrounding the permanency of their positions, but we worked out a suitable agreement, firmed up with contracts approved by the Board of Directors. Del had secured another position, and would not return. March 1, Leslie was appointed Executive Secretary, and the Board of Directors appointed her Business Manager/Executive Secretary during the 1986 Annual meeting in San Rafael, California, a position she still holds. Lorraine returned in the same position, and later was processing the mail, preparing deposits, and maintaining club charter records. She is still an employee.

The past 20 years we have weathered indebtedness, a lawsuit, threats of lawsuits, an IRS audit, competitors, rumors, rumors, and more RUMORS, and numerous Executive Secretaries/Business Managers; many changes in the Regional Directors, volunteer positions, committees (both chairpersons and members), numerous Editors to the helm of the TICA Trend and the TICA Yearbook; and we still survived. On a lighter side, the indebtedness to the Internal Revenue Service was all paid in 1984, and I finally convinced the Board in 1994 (after I had offered to pay for a "Certified Audit" myself in 1991, which the Board declined), that a Certified Audit was long past due, and they agreed. We were all elated when the Certified Audit from the CPA revealed that TICA had been a viable business for years, but could now BOAST that financial status had been verified by an accounting firm. Some of our other accomplishments include: originating, formalizing, and activating a simplified point system for earning titles of distinction for ALL cats; registration of Household Pets and awarding distinctive titles; establishment of an Annual Awards system for Regional and International winners with each region flaunting Regional Banquets and Awards ceremonies, and an International Annual Convention, Banquet and Awards Extravaganza, supported by our Association; establishment of a unique streamlined judging system, whereby cats are entered without identity - no means of previous titles being available; established a genetic registry with a complete inventory of possible colors.

TICA Judges List published in the first TICA Trend, July 1979

Judge Emeritus
Mrs. Rosamund Flynn

AllBreed Emeritus
Edward Brehm
Anne Chapman
Betty DeHay
Marjorie Hanna
Patricia Harding
Les Hight
Jeanne Jeffrey
Georgia Morgan
Maureen Nottingham
Yvonne Patrick
Larry Paul
Jane Rebello
Gloria Stephens

Roxie Belk Spight
Phyllis Whitney
Bert Williams
Grace Woodman

LH/SH Specialty
James Becknell
Peggy Churchill
Prissie Conner
Michael Durham
Kay Hanvey
Ruth Hammerle
Jerry Hemme
Dawayne Goodburn
Cris Jonson
William R Jonson

Probationary LH/SH Specialty
John Burch
Irma Castle
James Costello
Joyce Davis
Beth Hicks
Charlotte Leutze
Solveig MV Pflueger

Guest Judges (AllBreed)
Ed Bowers
Sharon Carl
Marcie Findley
Carolee Hubbard

Betty Meins
George Silva
Mary Snyder

Training Status LH/SH
Stanley Bass
Nancee Beamer
Sue Becknell
Sue Boykin
Marilyn Cole
Roland Lindsey
Mrs. Pat Smith
Arthel Scheuermann
Jill Berger Eisenhuth
Michael Winters
Marti Poff

Like every new organization or corporation that has appeared in the cat fancy since the first association was chartered in the early part of this century, TICA was established because of the strong convictions of a few: that a cat association should give equal representation to all cats, maintain a close alliance with scientific researchers, provide an avenue to insure that the cat fancy remain an elite group, and always promote camaraderie among enthusiasts, breeders, exhibitors, and spectators at the shows; it is imperative that the association be managed as a business, that governing be handled as a continuous action in support of the association's goals, always function with an open progressive mind, and be receptive to change.

Of course, what really set TICA apart from the beginning were the alternative options offered to the cat fancy, the instantaneous impact, and the sudden phenomenal ascent to become operational in a short period of time. Within days, even hours after our positive decision was announced to GO FOR IT, we had a full slate of Regional Directors, an Executive Office, an Editor, a fabulous slate of judges, new clubs taking the plunge by affiliating with TICA, and then scheduling their shows. The number of volunteers was incredible, waiting for appointments to fill the positions that were essential to a successful business in the beginning and the following years. Some of these are:

TICA Trend Editor, Roland Lindsey, followed by Frances Yow, Prissie LaJaunie, Nancy Nolen, Ron and Wendy Klamm, Leslie Bowers, Alice Rhea, and currently Cathy Welch;

YEARBOOK Editor, Roland Lindsey, followed by Alice Hanby, Nancy Nolen, Jerry Thompson, and back to Nancy Nolen;

Genetics Chairperson, Solveig Pflueger;

TICA Scorer, Sue Servies;

Director of Training and Development, later Judging Administrator, Gloria Stephens (the first one being Woody Rice);

Clerking Program Director, Ken Ehrhart, followed by Sue Pannell, Nancy Turner (now Parkinson), Vickie Shields, and Dewane Barnes;

Ballot Judge Brenda Kinnunen, Mary Haffner, followed by Marge Hanna;

Of course as months went by numerous committees were established and filled; the first election to fill the Breed Committees was held March 1980; the first election for President, Vice-President and Regional Directors was held in October 1980. In fact the first TICA show was held five weeks after the rallying calls from Branson, Missouri.

This first show "A Midsummer Night's Dream", was held at Fort Lewis, near Tacoma, Washington, July 28, 1979. This event was co-hosted by Olympicats (Lance Metcalf, co-Show Manager) of Olympia, Washington, and Quality Cats (Dan Gorman, co-Show Manager) of Spokane, Washington, Entry Clerk was Joi McNamara, and Assistant Entry Clerk was Bobbie Myers (now Tullo). These feline enthusiasts, plus about 50 more were all charter members of the first TICA club that was chartered. "Commencement", with charter #1, was reactivated and is hosting a twenty year anniversary show in July 1999. The first show in Canada was hosted by "White Hatters Cat Fanciers", October 7, 1979, in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada; first show in Hawaii was hosted by "Mid-Pacific Cat Fanciers", February 23, 1980, in Honolulu, Hawaii; first show in Alaska was hosted by "Alaskats", May 3-4, 1980, in Anchorage, Alaska. Point of Interest: The first designated region outside of the North American continent that confirmed our International presence was JAPAN, the first International Regional Director was Jun Negami, followed by Mrs. Chieko Ohira. The first TICA show hosted by the "All Japan Club", was held March 2, 1980 in Nagoya, Japan.

Kudos and Accolades to the thousands of feline enthusiasts who have been named in this article, and to those whose names have not been mentioned; for instance, the members that registered their cats, exhibited, claimed their titles, chartered TICA clubs, hosted shows, and gave their unconditional support of a new endeavor.

When I started compiling this article, and reiterating the past, it all seemed like a dream. Perhaps it was, but what a fabulous dream.

With a parting word, I can say, and I stand firm on my convictions, that you can accomplish anything if you believe in yourself, recognize the abilities of your contemporaries, accept change as inevitable, and meet the daily challenges without hesitation. The International Cat Association, Inc.™ (TICA) is the spontaneous dream of a few evolved into reality. From our humble beginning, when all we had for an international cat association was "OUR WORD" and thousands of devoted feline enthusiasts who migrated to TICA with "blind faith", and their support. Since that day in June 1979, when TICA was declared an international cat association, the growth pattern has been constant; based on numerous indicators, such as shows, exhibitors, revenue, members, club charters, registrations, etc. Projected revenue for fiscal year 07/01/98-06/30/99 is over one-half million dollars.

Would I be a part of this endeavor, if I had it to do over again? My answer is a resounding YES.

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