Is pleased to recognize

Laina Aitken
WaLa Cattery

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

GC, RW Wa-La Sassy Sunshine

Seal Point Female


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Laina Aitken was a great lady, a loving companion, a lasting friend, a tireless volunteer and one of the matrons of the Siamese breed we can never let be forgotten. Laina will be remembered for many things, but the mark she left on the cat fancy is among her greatest accomplishments in life.

Life was never easy for Laina, but she made the absolute best of every situation she was presented. She suffered from diabetes from the age of 15, and those complications cut her time with us short. But what great times those were, and many of us each have their own story by which to remember Laina. Her friendships were sacred to her, and by far her best friend and life long companion was our dear Brent, her husband. She moved around the country early in their marriage teaching school while Brent finished his Ph.D., and it was in those early years that she and Brent got their first Siamese. It was just a pet, but that was all it took. That started them on a path of breeding Siamese, in all four colors, that has spanned over 25 years.

After Laina and Brent made their move East they settled in Delaware. Their cattery, WaLa (Walter is Brent's first name, and La is of course Laina) produced some of the great Siamese in concert with people we recognize also as matrons of our breed, Donna Davis of Thaibok and Jeanne Singer of Singa. Laina's favorite Siamese was her Sam Siam, a seal point male.

Brent and Laina were two of the early movers and shakers of one of CFA's oldest clubs, Diamond State Cat Club. Although Brent took the early lead in helping firmly establish Diamond State, many of us will always remember their move from the tiny hall and their back-to-back format to their big 4th of July celebration at the University of Delaware. For many of us, the highlight of the show was the lovely casual dinners Laina threw at her home on Saturday night as she delighted in being the gourmet hostess. Tradition for as long as I can remember was Thanksgiving at the Aitken's. There were never guests at Laina's Thanksgiving dinner - everyone was considered family.

Laina also served several times as President of National Siamese Cat Club. She was a proud member, and was insistent on not only displaying her club plaque on her show cage, but having other members display theirs as well. In her last years with CFA, Laina will fondly be remembered as the regional director of the North Atlantic region. During her two terms, she produced some of the most memorable regional awards banquets and increased the region's bottom line. She also chaired two Philadelphia annuals - will we ever forget the Irish River Dancers?

To her friends she is many things. Member of her gourmet cooking club, rescuer of barn cats she took in, mentor and supporter of numerous new CFA fanciers, on-call vet advice and geneticist, part-time architect and designer, nemesis to construction workers, planner and leader and shoulder to cry on. She will ever be remembered as a loving and devoted wife, a true and loyal friend, an honest and forthcoming advisor, and a dedicated cat fancier. Although Laina would find 50 reasons why someone else should be getting this Lifetime Achievement Award, she would be honored and gracious in her acceptance, as are we all who share this moment with Laina's memory. We will always miss you Laina. God keep you.

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This page last modified Sep 20, 2014 at 05:27AM

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