Pattaya Daily News

10 December 2007 :: 15:12:17 pm 22306

Uncertain Future Of Traditional Thai Cats

Traditional Thai cats are said to be one of the most popular breeds in the world. But very few people appreciate the felines’ presence in their own homeland.
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A Thai cat fancier is now fighting to bring them back into the hearts of Thais.

Preecha Pookkhabut, a 71-year-old resident of Samut Songkhram province, some 70 kilometres south of Bangkok, dedicates the final chapter of his life to write a new episode of traditional Thai cat history.

There were 17 breeds of traditional Thai cats, as recorded in an ancient manuscript, dating back some four hundred years. However, only four breeds survive today, according to Preecha.

The fear the cats might soon exist only in the memory prompted Preecha to set up the Thai Cats Conservation Center.

“I would like to preserve traditional Thai cats so the new generations would know what the world’s most beautiful cats are like,” said Preecha.

Thai cats had many fanciers around the world, he said, as several Thai cat clubs have been established worldwide. Even two of the four remaining Thai breeds were also registered outside Thailand.

The Vichianmart cat was registered in England after, in 1884, King Rama V gave a pair of them as a farewell gift to a British Consul General. The world knows it as the Siamese cat.

The Sisawart cat was also registered in England by an American visitor under the name of Korat cats.

“Sisawart cat is known as Korat cat as, in 1959, Mrs. Jean Johnson, an American visitor, found a pair of Sisawart cats in Korat province and brought them back to her country for breeding development. She later registered the cats in England as the Korat cat,” said Preecha.

The senior citizen said he was committed to preserving traditional Thai cats, which had been a part of traditional Thai lifestyle since ancient times.

Apart from dedicating himself to breeding kittens for sale at very low prices, the senior citizen can only hope the new generation of Thai people pays more attention to traditional Thai cats.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Lifestyle

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