The club was the brainchild of founders, Kay Short, who sadly, suddenly and unexpectedly passed away in mid 2018. and Lesley Szwed and came about from a simple phone call from Kay to Lesley, from which the germ of an idea was discussed and grew to fruition. Kay, along with her son, Simon, Lesley and Lesley’s daughter Rachel, and friends Ian & Yvette Barber and Sarah Walker formed the initial committee. They had in common that they all felt that for too long the Household Pet (HP) section at GCCF shows had been the “poor relation” and decided that a club dedicated solely to them was badly needed. The aim was to become the first ever GCCF affiliated (at the time, now all clubs are members and not affiliates) HP club and to hold a championship HP show.
Kay was a Persian breeder but had long held an interest and affinity to Household Pets and strongly believed that they should be treated equally. Ian & Yvette were friends of a similar ilk. Sarah was a Selkirk Rex breeder and Lesley was a long time HP “campaigner”, forging a path for equal and fair treatment firstly with the original, and long since defunct Non Pedigree Development Association (of which several of our current committee were also members), then, through her position as Chairman and Show Manager of the Coventry & Leicester Cat Club, introducing the very first unofficial but accepted titles for Household Pets, long before Lesley, along with former GCCF judge Anne Gregory, finally “persuaded” the GCCF to formalise the situation in respect of official titles.
Over a span of 6 years, from the inaugural meeting in July 2011, through the Club’s pre-affiliation to the GCCF in June 2012 and full membership submission in 2017, the team worked tirelessly gaining support, potential members and sponsorship until finally, in 2017 they had what they needed to make a formal application to the GCCF for full membership and recognition and in 2017 the Club was accepted as a full member and history was made.
The first show was held in February 2018, alongside the Coventry & Leicester Cat Club show, and there was a bumper entry of 46 cats, being a good mix of Non-Pedigrees and Pedigree Pets. Although Kay sadly passed away suddenly only a few months later at least she had seen hers and Lesley’s dream achieved, her ideas brought to fruition, and the GCCF cat showing history book rewritten. We at the HHPCCGB will continue to build on that dream and honour her legacy.