The KCA has lost its Chairman.
Anthea Whitehouse died very suddenly and will be greatly missed. She had been breeding Korats for over 20 years under her Hibreeze prefix and had been actively involved with the club for much of that time.
Her name will be on many a pedigree and she’ll be especially remembered for caring for Ianthe Cormack’s cats and thus perpetuating valuable Thai import lines, ensuring they were widely shared as Ianthe had wished. She introduced many a newcomer to Korats and their special charms and positively enjoyed the bonds of friendship mutual admiration of the breed created here and in other countries.
When I heard on Friday 12th May that I’d lost one of my closest Korat friends this is the tribute I wrote to announce her passing to Koratdom. I’d like it to stand as my tribute to a special Korat person.
Jen Lacey (KCA Secretary)
It’s another spring morning. The lilac is in full bloom outside my study window, the spring flowers are a mass of colour beneath and the birds are singing. It all seems a little bit colder and sadder though than this time yesterday, which is nothing to do with the weather, but because I’ve lost a very dear friend.
Many Korat people, home and abroad, know or have heard of Anthea Whitehouse (Hibreeze Korats). She’s one of those stalwarts who has kept faith with our breed through good times and bad for over twenty years now. A true enthusiast of the blue cat, no other breeds (and no other colour’s, except once when two turned up unexpectedly in Thai import lines) she adored her Korats and they lived an idyllic life in a rambling cottage in a quiet corner of North Wales with views out across Colwyn Bay.
Her death yesterday was entirely unexpected. She went to the Citizens Advice office (a job she loved) as usual and had died before the next colleague arrived. She wasn’t so old (early 60s) and had really blossomed after a hip operation last autumn. She was so looking forward to more cat filled time. She took the meeting as usual for KCA’s AGM at the end of April and had been chivvying me only a couple of evenings earlier for baby news. She was then just so typical Anthea, a warm, friendly lady with a dry sense of humour and ready laugh.
We shall miss her so much because she was an absolute rock – steady, reliable and full of good sense. She was a calming influence and guide. It was Anthea that could usually see a way through when tempers were fraying and things needed sorting. People, even complete strangers, responded readily to her warmth, one of the reasons she was so good at her job. Any Korat crisis and I’d call Anthea to chew things over, and now she’s gone and I’ll never be able to do that again. I think the gap that’s left is what hurts most.
My prayers today are for Anthea’s husband Brian (we used to joke about having a Brian being good for you) and her children and grandchildren. They are a close family and I’m sure will support each other, but to lose so suddenly someone so special without a chance to say goodbye must be almost unbearable.
Wherever you’ve gone Anthea may there be kittens to play with……
It was a great shock to hear that Anthea had passed away, so suddenly. David, Trystan and I met Anthea at a KCA Trophy Presentation, almost 20 years ago and we had also worked with her and other KCA Committee Members for many years.
We have spent some happy days, always full of laughter, at Anthea and Brian’s home, playing with the kittens and eating wonderful food prepared by Anthea.
When my beautiful Lali died, unexpectedly at a young age, I was heartbroken and Anthea promised I could have a little female kitten from Lali’s litter sister, Nimnuan Malisorn, when I was ready. In August 2000 we went to see a litter of kittens, just 7 weeks old and I chose my ‘baby Lali’. I always remember Anthea panicking and reassuring me that by the time the kittens were 12 weeks old they would have grown their fur back! Malisorn was a prolific mother who loved to wash and wash and wash…her kittens, so much so that they were almost bald! On Sunday 15th October, 2000, we went to spend the day at Anthea’s – I was to bring ‘baby Lali’ home – on my birthday! It was a very special day and one that I will always remember. Anthea had cooked a wonderful birthday lunch and once again the day was full of laughter and Korats!
Anthea will be greatly missed by her family and her friends and Korats will miss her too…
With love and fond memories, from
Helen, David and Trystan and all the Koorahk Cats, especially Hibreeze Nimnuan Laliwan (Lali)
What a wonderful lady!
I can clearly remember the first time I met Anthea when we collected a cute little girl kitten (who we named “Kalaya”), as a companion for our other newly acquired boy kitten, “Kiko”. Anthea was so helpful and sent us on our way with the happy feeling that we had been entrusted to adopt one of her “children”. Life with the two new arrivals was fantastic and really changed all of our families lives. Some time later, fate played a cruel trick & we unfortunately lost Kalaya in a road accident which left us devastated and our little boy kitten “Kiko” feeling quite lost. In our hour of torment, we decided to contact Anthea to tell her the bad news and this was when she came to our rescue. She told us that she had another little girl Korat who was very timid and was a Lilac, who she could let us “adopt” in a very short period. This gave us an overwhelming sense of joy and the wonderful reassurances we received from Anthea was overwhelming. She really was “There” in our time of need. I feel privileged to have known such a wonderful lady, who I am sure has given much happiness to many people & families, including her own. I would wish her family to believe that there are many little parts of Anthea, so to speak, settled in many homes throughout the country.
Our love and thanks for Anthea
Howard, Denise, Colin & Karl Gill + Kiko & Kalaya No2
If I hadn’t met Anthea, I wouldn’t be breeding Korats today. She was my first line of contact in the cat breeding world, and always there at the other end of the phone if I had a problem or otherwise. In Autumn 2004 we manned the KCA stand at the Supreme show together in Birmingham, and did nothing but laugh and tell tall tales from start to finish. Anthea was great company and a wealth of information about Korats and breeding. I smile when I think of how she would whisper that there was a super kitten she wanted to keep if she could only persuade Brian… I think she always won in the end!
Liz Monument, Persephonies Korats
It was about nine years ago, after the loss of a much-loved cat, when Bill and I were looking for a new addition to our family. This time I wanted a kitten of a certain breed, one that I had wanted for a long, long time.
During our search for said kitten, we happened upon an article about Korats in a cat magazine. Both of us were so taken by what we read that we immediately rang the contact number and arranged a visit to see a litter of kittens. This was our first meeting with Anthea.
We were introduced to the famous Petchara of Nimnuan, mother of the litter, who immediately climbed up Bill and snuggled in his neck! Of cause the kittens were a delight and we made our choice – Korky who was later joined by Rosie to complete our family.
Little did we know that we were beginning a new and delightful journey into the world of the Korat and our guide was Anthea, a lovely lady whose passion was her boys and girls two of whom she kindly allowed us to have as our own. We shall miss Anthea not just for her help in understanding our Korky and Rosie but also for her humour and kindness.
Bill and Sylvia Edwards
I am totally shocked. I was staying with Anthea and Brian at least twice at the week-ends of the KCA shows. She was such a warm-hearted woman. I shall miss her.
What sad news Jen and what a lovely tribute! I now feel I know that lovely lady and would like to
pass on my condolences to her family.
love Sue xx (Chairman of Novice Breeders Association) >^..^<
So sad not to be able to say good bye. Jen, she sounded a wonderful Lady and will be greatly missed.
Nicky Goulter and the Shadycombe Crew (Turkish Van & Snowshoes breeder)
Please accept my sympathy over the loss of Anthea. Yes, today, age, makes no difference. One just never knows what tomorrow may bring. Since she passed doing what she liked to do and hoping her passing had no suffering, God bless her. I didn’t know her or of her, but may her soul rest in peace, Amen.
Maureen Monteiro. USA
Oh – I’m so sorry to hear this awful news – I did meet Anthea once a few years ago. What a shock it must be to everyone. Condolences to her family.
Naomi Johnson (Judge)
What a shock, Jen! I really enjoyed Anthea (and handsome Brian) and was so glad to get her input on my Aussie girl’s pedigree, since she owns (still, I think?) a couple of Matilda’s ancestors. Let us know what happens to the cats, and please give the family my sympathy. I wish I had known her better.
(But what a way to go, no???)
Ann Boylan (New Mexico USA)
Jen, I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend Anthea. Thank you for so eloquently sharing these memories of her. It sounds as if her untimely passing will leave a big gap in many lives, human and feline.
There must have been many loving, friendly Korats of all ages assembled to greet her at the Rainbow Bridge and guide her over it.
Oh Jen, How so dreadfully sad for her family, for you and for the Korat community as well! I believe Anthea came to Kansas City, did she not?…that year John and I drove there to be in on the meeting and take a half hour early in the am to visit everyone at the International show…? I am pretty sure I did meet her, however so briefly…such a thoroughly warm and friendly lady…Korat through and through…
I cannot believe it. Anthea was a lovely lady, always said hello and she never complained, well if she did I didn’t hear it. I really liked her. Sorry I’m wittering, but I was just so shocked.
Hilary (Rex BAC)
I just wanted to say how very shocked and saddened I was to hear of Anthea’s passing. It seems only yesterday that I had a chat with her at the show – she was in very bright spirits then and full of those infectious smiles! I’m sure she will be greatly missed by all who knew her and especially in the Korat world.
Simon (Joint Show Manger at the KCA show)
Oh Jen, I am so sorry. She will be very much missed by all her friends. and I include those of us who were only a short time in her company. Anthea will be long remembered by many people. Love and a friend’s hug,
Ailsa (Canada) who contribute the poem beneath which was also read by one of Anthea’s sons at her funeral.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die!
Mary Elizabeth Frye
Jen. I don’t know what to say… I’m speechless and shocked. I met Anthea last time in Feb. when I visited for the seminar and was as sweet as she as always been since I met her years ago. This is really terrible and I feel so sorry, especially for Brian. They love each other so much… Poor Brian…I feel for the Korat people in UK very much as I know how important Anthea has been, not only as a breeder, but also as a very special person. Sorry all, but words can’t express how I really feel now…
Oh, Jen. I’m at a loss for words. I’ve known Anthea only by reputation and wonderful stories shared with me. I’ve always hoped to meet her some day. I can’t begin to imagine your heartache and her husband’s pain.
All will sort itself out over the days, weeks and months to come, but what an awful thing to have to endure, and so suddenly. My heart and prayers are with you all.
I am so shocked by this terrible news. Anthea was such a wonderful, caring person who loved her cats. I will always remember her cheerful and enthusiastic personality. I am remembering my visit to her and her Brian with you and your Brian when I was in the UK. She took me out and introduced her lovely Thai import boy to me. It was a most memorable visit.
Ann Segrest (USA)
Thank you, Jen for the beautiful tribute to this wonderful lady. My heart is aching so very much for her family, for the UK Korat community and for the loss of a very special friend.