Florida has long been a haven for animal lovers and marine biologists. The Sunshine State is populated with a fascinating mix of both marine mammals and land animals that are native to the area. Marine biologists travel from around the world to study one of its many wonders, the Florida manatee; a large aquatic relative of the elephant. Recently a new exotic animal the “Lykoi”, a fascinating new cat breed has drawn worldwide interest to the state.
The Lykoi has affectionately become known as the “Werewolf Cat”, but have no fear as their meow is not nearly as dangerous as their affectionate personalities. The Lykoi Cat is a natural mutation from a domestic shorthair that has the appearance of a werewolf. The hair coat pattern is unique. These cats are hairless around the eyes, on the nose, on the muzzle, and on the ears with partial hairlessness on their extremities. They are very loving, and they adore brushing. They tend to use their paws much like hands and often they appear to be "praying" as they clasp their paws together
From March 7th to March 10th, 2014, Miami, Florida will be hosting the World Cat Congress, an organization represented by breeders and cat experts from around the globe. Their focus is improving the health and welfare of all cats while sharing resources to promote the interests and to educate the participants of the ‘Cat Fancy’ throughout the world. For anyone seeking a pleasurable and unusual adventure a trip down “Alligator Alley” to Miami will offer a unique getaway.
One of the breeders that will be participating in the global event is Florida native Cheryl Kerr. Cheryl Kerr’s interest in the Sphynx breed of cats was sparked by the adoption of her first cat Leo. She had no idea how affectionate the little fellow would become and before she knew Leo had become a fixture in her bed. That extraordinary show of affection has transformed Cheryl from a casual cat owner to a coveted cat breeder. One kitten soon turned to two and soon she quickly embraced her love of Sphynx, Devon Rex and most recently, the fascinating Lykoi.
Cheryl’s Sphynx and Devon Rex breed of kittens have traveled from as far away as the Ukraine to the country of South Africa. She has placed kittens literally all over the world but not without a great deal of careful consideration before parting ways with them. She seeks out the most prized felines to breed in order to carry forward the exotic genetic makeup of these highly recognizable animals. Recently she has dedicated to getting the Lykoi to be a recognized breed along with a small group of exotic breeders that includes Brittney Gobble as well as a breeder from Canada and France.
The Lykoi went before the TICA Board in 2012 and was passed to "Registration Only" status. Every board member of TICA (The International Cat Association) accepted the Lykoi and it passed with no objections. That vital step propelled the “Lykoi” to become a recognized breed with TICA. The group is now focused on increasing the number of Lykoi born so that they can take the next step toward becoming a Championship show breed. Their sights are set on 2016 for the new exotic breed to reach full championship status.
One of the features of this year’s World Cat Congress will be “Nada Moonlight Becomes You”. “Moonlight” is a female Lykoi cat that will proudly be on display during the event. Attendees will quickly fall in love with the unique and distinguishing appearance. Since the discovery less than four years ago the breed has undergone extensive genetic testing to find if it was related to either the Sphynx or Devon Rex, two other exotic breeds that will be on hand at the World Cat Congress. Testing determined that the Lykoi is its own distinct breed and this may be your only chance to see it firsthand as the World Cat Congress takes place in the United States only once every ten years. So if you are feeling adventurous and looking for an excuse to visit the beautiful sandy beaches of Miami be sure to leave a little extra time to stop by the Doubletree Miami Airport and Convention Center and make sure to take a moment to get a glimpse of the Lykoi as the opportunity may not present itself again for several years.
For more information on the event visit Worldcatcongress2014.org.