Is pleased to recognize
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
Harriett at the 1995 Southern Regional Awards Banquet,
where she accepted the award for GC, RW Lilliput Lillet
I first met Harriett Little in the very early 70s at a show in Miami, Florida. This sprightly woman came to me after my finals and said her husband had just bid on a job in Oklahoma City at the FAA Aeronautical Center (where I lived and worked at the time) and if he got the job they would soon be moving. He did get the job and soon, Harriett, Bob, Deborah, and Renee moved to Oklahoma and a thirty year friendship began. Bob and I worked together at the FAA and Harriett and I had a common interest in cats. These were good days and happy memories and I was sorry when they moved back to Florida.
Harriett was always a very active and caring person and was often painfully honest. If you wanted to know what she was thinking you simply had to ask her. Sometimes it didn't even take that. She was also charming, intelligent, generous with her cats, her time and her money. She was totally devoted to her family, her beloved husband Robert, her two daughters Deborah and Renee and to their children all of whom are dear to her. One of her granddaughters, Haley, perhaps her closest buddy, started going to cat shows as a small child. By the age of 10 she could tell you every judge she had shown under and could handle and show a Siamese like a seasoned professional. A high school Sophomore today, Haley was recently picked up by a private coach who is working with her to achieve her goal to become an Olympic Champion pole-vaulter. Haley is a very special young lady.
After her love for her family came Harriett's love for her cats and the contributions she could make in CFA and for the Siamese breed in particular. It's interesting to note that Robert was the one who initially wanted a cat, and surprised the family with his purchase of Ichiban, their first Siamese, as a pet in 1956. This subsequently led to Harriett's involvement with the Siamese and CFA. Even though Harriett was religious about keeping her numbers down, "never more than 15 cats at one time," Robert was often heard to say he was "sure glad he had not wanted an elephant!"
Harriett's first show cat was Rockdene LaForrest of Oolong. Rockdene was an adult when they got her and had belonged to a family that had kept her as a pet until the Littles convinced them to sell her to them. Rockdene was then over 5 years of age. She had a long wedge shaped head and really deep eye color. Robert and Rockdene went to their first show (without Harriett!), the Cotton States show in Atlanta, in 1961. There were 47 Siamese entered in Championship in that two ring show. Harriett still has the catalog. In fact, Harriett kept the catalog from every show she ever attended! In 1964, following a 2 year stint in Puerto Rico, Harriett returned to South Florida and bought her foundation stud, CH Spice Cats Blu-Sage of Lilliput, a blue point, from a woman named Xenia Agello. Xenia became Harriett's first mentor. Harriett and Xenia remained in close contact until last year, when Xenia passed away at age 82.
Blu-Sage was "pure Elo-Yse," having been produced by mating CH Elo-Yse Blu-Cho of Spice Cats to Elo-Yse Luma-Setta of Spice Cats. Harriett largely credits the superb health, vitality, stamina, disposition and personality of the Lilliput line to the work of Elo-Yse (Frank & Eloise Magnum). The Magnums were both ACA judges, who occasionally showed in CFA in California. Harriett recalls, "They had wonderful Siamese in all four colors, and although they didn't show much in CFA they still earned color wins in their region in all four colors every year for several years."
The Littles arrived in Pensacola shortly after DeLuna Cat Club was formed - just in time for Harriett to type the catalog and judges' books for the club's first show, "Long before computers." She was quickly made a member of the club, and they "voted me secretary to take care of the paperwork forever more." Harriett was also a charter member of the City Beautiful Cat Club in Orlando, Florida.
Harriett first preferred the blue points and she soon began to see blue, blue, blue, blue. She had a friend who wanted to breed a female from Dodie Wilcox's lines to Blue Sage so Harriett agreed to take pick of litter. The litter consisted of a seal, a blue, and a chocolate female. Harriett selected the chocolate and named her Carioca. That was the beginning of her sojourn into the world of dilutes where she would soon became enamored of the lilacs which would ultimately become her favorites.
Harriett was so impressed with the Elo-Yse cats that she purchased her second stud, CH Elo-Yse Hi-Lar-Ity of Lilliput ("Lari"), a lilac point, from the Magnums in 1966. Born in April of 1966, Lari was sired by 3xGC Elo-Yse Hi-Noon. Hi-Noon is known to many in the fancy for also having sired GC,NW New Moon Eclipse of Rogers Hts, DM ("Clipper") in 1970.
As the years passed, Harriett purchased cats from Kalyan lines and some Van Lynn descendents. Her watershed cat in the 1980's, GC Waltur's Bacchus of Lilliput, from Nancy Krakow, was another descendent of the Elo-Yse lines. Bacchus' mother was GC Mar-Ray Darcey, a daughter of GC,NW Sin-Chiang's Kali of Mar-Ray. Kali was sired by Clipper (GC,NW New Moon Eclipse of Rogers Hts, DM). Clipper, as mentioned above, was sired by 3xGC Elo-Yse Hi-Noon.
Harriett always practiced generousity and sharing, never selfishness. Lilliput cats played key roles in the foundation of many well-known catteries, including Sia-Mews (Camille Flankey), Star of Siam (Doug Rowland), Petitfois (June Shatto), and Skipsu (Gloria Jean Smith), to name but a few. Calermar (Marion Butler) was started with a Star of Siam cat out of Lilliput Chianti. GC Lilliput Lauren of Calermar was Marian Butler's first one show grand.
Those who know Harriett readily testify that she was, "Never greedy, willing to sell in region, enjoyed competition, regularly traveled to and from shows with her competitors, and enjoyed the successes of her competitors and progeny as much as she enjoyed her own."
In the 1980's, Harriett's legacy took on international scope when she exported Lilliput Johnny Walker to Eeva Vuojolahti (Kattilan cattery) in Finland. Harriett was greatly concerned with the three month quarantine requirement for cats entering Finland, so she kept Walker until he was eight months old, "To fix his personality," before shipping him. She fondly remembers standing in the chaotic Atlanta air cargo office, with noisy jets nearby, holding Walker stretched above her head while he purred and cooed and kneaded the bread. Shortly after his arrival in Helsinki, Eeva called Harriett to report that Walker had arrived safely. He had come out of his carrier into her arms - purring, cooing, and kneading the bread. Walker was very successful, earning the titles of Fife GC (the highest Fife title at the time), stud of the year, and second best cat of the year.
Years later, Eeva purchased two additional Lilliput cats: GC Lilliput Miller H L, a seal point male, and Lilliput Lakka, a lilac point female. Miller enjoyed even greater success, earning titles of Fife GC, EC (European Champion), stud of the year (twice), and second best cat of the year. Among Miller's offspring are several notable Kattilan cats, the most famous being EC Kattilan Kaikuniemen Don Ottavio ("Otto"). Otto was Finland's cat of the year (twice), and stud of the year (three times!). Still actively breeding, Otto has already sired several ECs, including two International World Winners. He is grandfather to yet another International World Winner.
In a letter to Harriett dated April 6, 2001, Eeva wrote:
"From the European point of view, the standard of Siamese and Orientals in Finland is high. It would be far less without your contribution. Without you and your cats, there would be no Otto, no Kattilan world winners, no Siamese and Orientals in Finland with such beautiful type and utmost sweet temperament. Without you, Harriett, many Finnish cat breeders would have experienced much less joy and success."Harriett was elected CFA Siamese Breed Council Secretary in 1980 and was the first Siamese BC Secretary to be elected by her peers. Marge Naples who preceded Harriett was appointed by the CFA Board when the position was created. Harriett served three terms and moved the Breed Council into modern times with the creation of a newsletter and some standard changes made by the Breed Council members.
"You did wonders for us with your cats, and you did wonders for me with your friendliness in spite of what you have been going through during all these years. You have always been a true friend, a great lady. You deserve all the respect and love there is in the world. Thank you, Harriett, thank you a thousand times."
Harriett feels her biggest contribution to the cat fancy was sharing her knowledge and helping new breeders get started. Her biggest disappointment with the breeders was the use of Siamese for integration with the Colorpoints and Orientals.
Harriett agonized when she decided to retire. She was very emotional about giving it all up and retiring but the time was right. She went out when she was at the apex of her career like the winner she often was. As is so often the case she lost touch with many of her friends throughout the Cat Fancy after she retired, "a big disappointment to her personally," but through the years has continued her close contact and friendships with Marian Butler (Calermar cattery), Charlene Bennett (Windance cattery) and Nick Spencer (Sukhotai cattery).
Harriett's favorite show cats - the ones she feels were among the highest quality she ever produced? With little hesitation she lists two:
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