To avoid confusion: The “Prairiebaby”name was transferred to Lori Majerrison in 2012, before my breeding break.
Hi, am Judith Schulz, owner of Masterweaver Cattery, breeding Maine Coon cats exclusively since 1987. I have always valued a modest operation, with emphasis on impeccable feline husbandry. Striving for above-standard temperament and health in my kittens, I would personally not touch a breed that does not allow foundation breeding. My favourite Maine Coon has a balanced, moderate type.
Grab a cup of coffee, as I like to talk! 😊
I am married to Torsten who imported me from Germany to Canada in the early 90s. We have three adult sons, three beautiful grandchildren and live in Rural Thunder Bay, Northern Ontario.
My life-long hobbies have been home schooling my children, learning/teaching natural horsemanship, helping out at youth camps and breeding offensively affectionate Maine Coon kittens. My husband works as a public health inspector for the Thunder Bay District Health Department.
My personal story with this wonderful breed started in 1986 when I saved up my pennies and proudly acquired my first Maine Coon cat, “Mira”.
CH Tilly Cats of Silver Dream, Born 1986, Color: Blue and White
Mira had two litters of kittens for me in Germany. She was later championed at an ACFA show in Winnipeg when we first moved to Canada in 1992. Here is a picture of one of Mira’s sons, named “Valentin”.
CH Dustin’s Valentin, Born in 1988
Color: Silver Tabby/White
Valentin was massive!! Oh my! His head was impressive, his coat was luxurious! Valentin’s moderate type was something very much sought after in Germany in the 80s and early 90s. How times have changed! We as breeders have no choice but to accept and embrace an ever converting fashion. We do, however, have the ability to preserve some of the good ol’ traits in our present kittens.
The Canadian Cattery “Prairiebaby” was founded in 1997. I was writing handwritten letters back and forth with the late and wonderful Trish Simpson of Cheeptrills who greatly impacted me with her concern for the breed’s future. Sandra Stirling of Cooneyisle continued the MCBFA mentor ship after Trish’s passing. A year later, Phyllis Stiebens of Kumskaka (Behold) and Donna Chase of Thunderpaws were kind enough to share some of their lines with me and to mentor me in Outcross- and Foundation Breeding. In the late 90s, I started my own Maine/Canadian/Michigan foundation lines. Some of these early foundation cats are on the gallery page. Others can be viewed on Pawpeds or at Behold/Kumskaka Maine Coons. I am starting a new project in 2020.
THE MASTERWEAVER POLYDACTYL LINE IS BORN
Picture above: Masterweaver P, F2, Polydactyl on all four feet (4WD)
Note: Only one “P”. We never started adding the second P for a “4WD“ until a couple years later. Now everyone does it :-)
In the year 2000, a Canadian born Polydactyl Foundation Maine Coon was added to my breeding program. I called him “Prairiepoly of Masterweaver”. Due to the value he presented, not only for me personally but also for the Maine Coon breed in general - a breed that had been reduced to a limited gene pool and only one of the “original” Poly lines at the time, I named a whole bloodline after him. I chose the word “Masterweaver” not to blow my own horn but rather to give glory to our God who created the whole universe and every living creature in it. Prairiepoly’s F2 son, “Prairiebaby Masterweaver P”, was then paired with three of my foundation females, in order to integrate the Snowshoe type foot (MW Polydactyl on all 4 feet) into several pedigrees. A lot of passion and effort was poured into these Masterweaver cats, by trying to improve their weaknesses and to enhance their natural strengths.
Picture taken at a TICA show in Texas in 2010 when they started accepting Polydactyl Maine Coons in the show hall. My kitten received his ribbons but no titles were given out at that time.
In 2010, some of us were finally able to show our Polydactyl Maine Coons in TICA "New Traits”. This was kind of ironic since about 35 - 40 % of the original Maine Coon breed was actually Polydactyl (lol). The promotion of Polydactyl Maine Coons resulted in a positive reverse effect on our breed. Showing Polies has also served as a perfect tool to educate a deserving public and to eliminate some of the old ‘myths’ on Polydactylism. Polydactyl Maine Coons are super cool!!
Due to the lack of cat exhibitions in my area, Sheila Haskins of Coonopry offered to mix the foundation lines with her lovely Texan show cats. She did a wonderful job granding several F6 Maine Coons to RW status in CFA, around that same time. See the “Outcross and Foundation” Link for pictures.
Original Masterweaver feet are the “Snowshoe” or “Patty” type, but we breed with “Mittens” or “Thumb” type, too!
When I wanted to retire from breeding in 2012, the wife of our veterinarian, Lori Marjerrison, approached me and suggested to purchase the Prairiebaby Cattery name. We agreed, and she has now developed her own style and has made herself quite a name in the show hall.
I tried to buy Prairiebaby back in 2020 but it didn’t work out and probably wasn’t meant to be. Thankfully, my Masterweaver Cattery name had been retained and will be my sole Cattery and breeding name from now on.
For a quality start up, I contacted Elena Udovenko of Allegiancelove Cattery in Bulgaria. Elena had taken over some of my very best outcross breeding cats in 2012 and did a fabulous job improving their quality. She was kind enough to help me import some offspring back to Canada. The goal is to continue making kittens with a similar look and temperament, while maintaining the exact same breeding philosophy and practice.
Note: I reject the newest standard revision in some associations that was literally adjusted to fit a faulty, overtypified Maine Coon cat.
Thanks for listening :-)