Article on the Leger Sisters in "Life in the Country", April 15, 1935

                                               CLOSE WINDOW

"Starting our first year at Bell-Ile-sur-Mere we were astonished by the number and beauty of some blue cats with short fur, that were called, at le Palais (the main city of Belle-Ile), the cats of the hospital. In the country, we also found these cats and strange thing they were all of the same type, despite breeding with the European (Feral) cats of the land, they had kept their characteristics. We acquired several of those cats, and from the first generation we obtained remarkable results. From the very first breeding of a blue male cat and a blue female cat, we had a litter of kittens all blue and perfectly typed. It seemed to us, then, that there must have been through many years and through breedings, the re-constitution of a race, with all the essential characteristics. From the first female cat acquired at le Palais, "Marquise", bred under our supervision to a blue male cat of the hospital, "Conquito", was born to us "Mignonne", who later became an International Champion.
In the beginning of the Leger sisters' breeding, they used only those cats roaming free on the island, but as time passed it was necessary to use cats from other sources. They acquired a male cat, "Calou de Trevise" (a cat with deep copper eyes), from M. Marolle, followed by "Titus de Saint Pierre" (breeder: Mme. Bastide), and a third cat from the cattery de Bertouget (Mme. Decorps); these three were the first cats not of their breeding which were incorporated. Others were added later.
Regarding the cats of M. Bastide, John Gamon, husband of Helen Gamon, who imported the first Chartreux to America in 1970, writes "We drove alongside the River Dorw, meeting a farmer with a scythe on his back who pointed out a farm-like house, well off the road, as the home of M. Bastide. Upon arrival at the farm, I went with Louis Bastide (husband or son?) to see the Chartreux, which were housed in a screen enclosure alongside the barn; the enclosure had access through punched holes in the wall to a similar screened enclosure inside. Louis went into the barn and emerged with a ten-day old male kitten with eyes just about to open."



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