The Story of Dr. Jazz

By Jo Cornwall

The impossible Dream becomes a reality when friends work together. How many National Winning cats have been owned by a group?  Ours is owned by the British Shorthair Heritage Group.

GC BW NW Atzelhof Crazy’bout The Blues (of TrueBrit)

 was bred by Michael & Brigitte Schleissner and Colin & Jo Cornwall.  He is co-owned by so many people that there was no reasonable way to get all the names on the Registration.  Schleissner/Cornwall/Lawton/VonAswege/Sturn/Cohen/Shek was a bit too long for the show catalog as well. We come from Germany, Illinois, California, Kansas, Arizona and Hong Kong and we share friendship, respect, knowledge, advice, moral support and cats. Our common goal is to produce strong, healthy and friendly British Shorthair cats that stay true to the heritage of our breed and standard. We all co-operated and made sacrifices to make this win happen and Colin and I will never forget this experience and what the Heritage Group has done to make this happen.

The story about Dr. Jazz actually starts in September 2007 when Colin and I had traveled to Germany to deliver a kitten to Michael and Brigitte.  We were sitting out on Michael’s patio having coffee when Michael made the most amazing offer.  He wanted us to take GC, DW Atzelhof Blue Velvet back to the States to breed her to our male GC, RW Ravenswing Positively Orestes (of TrueBrit). He said that any kittens from this breeding would be ours but then he would like us to breed her again and send her back to them in Germany. We were awed by his generosity and gladly agreed.

With this first litter she produced GC, RW, BW TrueBrit St. Louis Blue of OZ Creek, our first ever BW, GC TrueBrit Blue Butterfly and GC TrueBrit Azure Winter Blue of KLA. 

Michael wanted her bred and sent home pregnant but I did not want to repeat the same breeding because Michael already had those lines so we arranged to have Blue Velvet sent out to Sonoma to Kathleen Lawton to be bred to her boy GC Beansidhes Brian Boru.  Kathleen and I had been trying to combine our lines for years.  The first problem was getting Blue Velvet there because we wanted her to travel in cabin.  Nothing seemed to be working until our son Matt called from Peru to tell us that he would be stopping in St. Louis for an interview on his way home.  I asked him if he would be willing to take a cat home with him to Las Vegas and I would arrange for Kathleen to meet him there to pick up Blue Velvet for the next leg of her trip to Sonoma.  That worked.  Thanks Matt! Next problem was that we had five weeks before Michael was coming from Germany to Judge a show in Ocean Shores, Washington.  Blue Velvet was not in season and Brian Boru had never bred anything in his four years.  Luck was with us again because shortly after she arrived in Sonoma Blue Velvet came into season and Brian Boru bred her immediately.  The pregnancy was confirmed and Kathleen had one week to get her to me at Ocean Shores so I could deliver her to Michael at the show.

Michael took her home and she produced five kittens, one boy and four girls.  Michael insisted I take the boy, and he kept one girl. He delivered the boy to me and a girl each to Kathie Von Aswege (KLA) and Leah Sturn (Oz Creek) at the Annual in Indian Wells.  We named him Atzelhof Crazy'bout The Blues and nicknamed him Dr. Jazz.  He was a scared little ugly duckling. Kathleen and Michael had to pull out from under the hotel bed so we could put him in a carrier and take him home.  This little ugly duckling started turning into a swan before our eyes.  He granded in seven rings and never looked back.  At the end of 2010 he had earned his RW. We decided he had the potential to make a NW so we talked to our British Shorthair Heritage Group and we decided to have him co-owned by the entire group. Colin and I did all of the showing and the group helped with the strategy and financing.

We are very grateful that the judges could also see the quality and conformation to the standard that Dr. Jazz represented.  They praised his correct coat and gorgeous copper eyes.  After a slow start he decided he really liked the judge’s toys and the sisal poles. From the beginning it was a very rare occasion that Dr. Jazz did not make a final. We were delighted that he was Best Cat In Show on several occasions.  We knew he had the “wow factor” by the response of exhibitors and spectators alike. It was slow getting to the ring and back because so many people wanted to see him and touch him and take his picture.  He was always the perfect British gentleman.

After 23 years of breeding this little ugly duckling became our second Breed  Winner and first National Winner. He was to become Blue Velvet's and Michael and Brigitte’s second BW and and first NW as well.  After a very remarkable campaign year and 20,000 miles in the car GC, BW, NW Atzelhof Crazy'bout The Blues (of TrueBrit) finished 12th. Best Nationally.  This was a first British Shorthair National Win for the following catteries: Atzelhof (Germany), Beansidhes (California), TrueBrit (Illinois), KLA (South Dakota), Oz Creek (Kansas), Taylor Baron (Arizona) and Polarprint (Hong Kong). 

Campaigning a cat is a marathon and a very important part of it is the other runners.  We would like to congratulate all of the winners and all the people who tried but did not meet their goal.  We met some very delightful people along the way and made many new friends as well as spending quality time with old friends. The encouragement and support of fellow campaigners made this year very special and one we will not likely soon forget.