by Jette Eva Madsen.

In the last months I have had different phone calls from different countries in Europe. The persons at the other end of the phone all told me the same story: "Pans Polaris passes on tail faults to his children." The persons could even support their story with the fact that the owner of Polaris, Else Nylund had confirmed that it is known that some of Polaris children has tailfaults.

After the fifth person had gone through the trouble to call me and tell that story I started to reflect about the background of the story. I know that stories travel fast in the cat world, but now suddenly we all seemed to share this story since nearly all of us had the same "fatal" cat on the pedigree of our offspring’s. And here we find the source of the matter.

Polaris has over the years been one of the few cats we could call "matador breeders". One of the very few males that become so famous for their breeding qualities that everybody want to use them for their female cats, and they will therefore over the years sire many litters. This in turn leads to the fact that no matter what kind of defect we talk about in the world of the Norwegian Forest Cats we can usually find one cat that is present on all pedigrees and sometimes this cat will even be present more than one time within the first five generations of the same pedigree.

To conclude that Polaris passes on tailfaults to his children on that kind of vague hints is just a too easy answer to the problem. And to conclude that Polaris is the source of nearly all tail faults in the world of NFC is definitively wrong. It would also be wrong on the present data to conclude that more tail faults occur in cats where Pans Polaris is present on the pedigree. I remember that we had plenty of tail faults in the world of NFC before Polaris was even born and I don't suspect that the percentage of tail faults measured on the total amount of kittens born today is any higher than it was 15 years ago.

During the last 10 years I have from time to time heard about different defects that should be traceable directly back to Polaris. I believe none of the rumors have proved to be true and I therefore think that it is now time to try to defend Polaris and state the following:

Polaris has proved to be an unusually healthy breeding male. A lot of inbreeding has been performed with his offspring’s and this far we have seen no harmful recessive defects in spite of all the halfsibling matings, direct back matings, etc. that has been performed after Polaris.

Polaris has provided the NFC world with an unusual pleasant temper and strong and stabile nerves.

Polaris has passed on a beautiful type and an unusual alert look to his offspings. This type has set the standard for the past 10 years and is still today the guideline for many NFC-breeders.

These words just to emphasize that Polaris has done a lot for the breeding of NFC. And to make breeders realize that every cat that attains the status of "matador breeder" will later in their life be an easy targets for the stories about inheritance of different defects.

This is not a defense for the fact that we, the breeders of NFC, from time to time allow cats to attain the status of "matador cats". Generally it is unhealthy for any breed of animals if one member of the breed shire too many offspring’s.

Polaris is today 12 years old. He was neutered this summer. He is now the father of 27 European Champions............