Brown Classic Torbie Siberian Cat

This is ‘Gemma’ photographed by Helmi Flick. The photos have the Helmi stamp all over them. You can recognise a Helmi Flick photo very easily. Below the photographs I add some words; the source of the information is the Pendraig Siberians cattery.

Gemma: Torbie Siberian Cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick
Gemma: Torbie Siberian Cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick
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Gemma: Torbie Siberian Cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick
Gemma: Torbie Siberian Cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick
Gemma: Torbie Siberian Cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick
Gemma: Torbie Siberian Cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick
Gemma: Torbie Siberian Cat
Gemma: Torbie Siberian Cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick

Gemma is a classic torbie Siberian cat. Her full name is: Forestwind Gemma Sultanovna. The word ‘classic’ refers to the type of tabby markings which are swirls and blotches rather than spots and stripes. You can bundle the Siberian, the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest cat together in terms of ancestry as they may have a common ancestor. I say ‘may’. We don’t know.

Gemma is at the Pendraig Siberians cattery. Her parents come from European breeders.

Gemma is ‘sweet, affectionate and friendly’. She looks it, I have to say. She plays the role of peacemaker in being friendly with cats who are in dispute with each other.

Pendraig describe her as having ‘great size’. Her coat is very high quality. They also write of traditional and non-traditional lines. Pendraig deliberately acquired a Siberian cat with European breeding behind her as it appears the Europeans breed traditional Siberians and Americans in general don’t. I am not sure of the difference in terms of appearance between traditional and modern except that Pendraig describe her “strong characteristics which we found lacking in non-traditional lines…’

It seems that non-traditional Siberians are smaller and less cobby (stocky and thick-set). I’ll guess and presume that the original Siberian cats which are still farm cats in Russia will be very robust and natural looking strong farm cats while breeders in America may have decided to ‘refine’ that natural appearance and in doing so lost their rugged, natural appearance. I could be wrong. Perhaps Pendraig will comment.

The Siberian is known to throw up what is called ‘bimetallic cats‘. Bimetallic cats look a bit like torbie cats. Gemma is said to be a ‘golden carrier’. Is this a reference to bimetallic cats? Gemma is a breeding cat.

In 2009-10 She was awarded the Best Siberian cat in the South Central Region (TICA) and best brown classic torbie Siberian.

A page on how Helmi takes cat photos.

7 thoughts on “Brown Classic Torbie Siberian Cat”

  1. My first thought when I saw Gemma was “Now there is a proper cat.” Siberians of the Americas look bred to me. I think a lot of our NFC do as well. Taking from the more natural breeding lines was obliviously a brilliant move. She is healthy, good tempered and beautiful. I love her rounded chin, tuft ears and kind eyes. Thanks for sharing her pictures Michael.

    Reply
    • “Now there is a proper cat.”

      I think that is a very good observation. I had similar thoughts. I don’t like over-engineered cats. I like them natural and strong looking.

      Reply
      • In 2004 Dr. Irina Sadovnikova (WCF Int. All Breed Judge) wrote an article for a Russian cat fancy magazine on the history of the Siberian. It makes for very interesting reading and threw up a few surprises I wasn’t anticipating.

        Her opinion was that many Americans breed for roundness. Europe started off with poor stock, but have improved sufficiently to bring the cat up to favoured standards. Too much roundness (both facially and physically) is not considered good because it’s too similar to Persian.

        British breeders it seems had got it just right in terms of matching the standard used in Russia to breed the ideal “type” of Siberian.

        Reply
          • I wouldn’t say you were wrong Michael. What I gleaned from Dr. Sadovnikova’s article is that the Siberian has a confusing history and it would seem that even in Russia there was disagreement as to what physical traits defined the breed in the early days.

            http://pawpeds.com/pawacademy/general/siberiancat/

            Gemma is a beautiful example of a Siberian and I’m pleased to see the more natural looking breeds becoming popular. Perhaps the public are gradually turning away from “over-typed” breeds?

            Reply
  2. Thank you for sharing about Helmi’s techniques. A lot goes into studio shots of people and animals. Animals can be more challenging because we can’t communicate with them vebally.

    Although I had a studio at one time, I only used it for people. Most of my cat shots weren’t planned, although I usually had my camera handy, just in case an opportunity presented itself.

    Reply
    • I think with Helmi the key to her success is her husband Ken. He devised the whole set up and he wrangles the cats. Shame he is a rather unpleasant person in my opinion. With cats there is a time limit for each session and it is about 10 mins.

      Reply

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