This is a national beauty contest for cats attracting more than 100 “cat contestants”, with contestants
HANOI – When Neymar was named to win the top prize in the international cat contest, Nguyen Hoang Bach was silent because his 5-year journey had finally yielded sweet fruit.
“This is one of the two most beautiful cats I’ve seen at this year’s shows. The head structure is so standard that it’s very rare to see in breed cats,” said Mr. Kaai du Plessis, member of the World Cat Federation WCF, Judge of the international cat contest in Vietnam 2022 ( WCF International Cat show in Vietnam) .
Three other judges of the contest, which closed on April 17, also judged Neymar to meet the standards of the Persian cat with a beautiful face, big round eyes, forehead, nose, and chin on top in a straight line…
Neymar overcame 150 domestic and international competitors such as Thailand, Philippines, Russia, China… to be honored as “The most beautiful cat”.
Nguyen Hoang Bach, 31 years old, owner of Neymar shared: “Neymar’s victory gives me hope that the future of cat breeding in Vietnam can keep up with countries like Thailand or some European countries. “. He revealed, that to create this cat, he started with his grandmother, more than 5 years ago.Nguyen Hoang Bach (who holds the trophy) and his friend, a 10-month-old cat, Neymar, weighing 4 kg, were honored as “The most beautiful cat” at the WCF International Cat show 2022, on April 17. Photo: VCA
Hoang Bach is the leader of the construction engineering team at an interior design company in Hanoi. In 2016, he started raising cats just for fun, but the more he delved into it, the more Bach fell in love with the beauty of the Persian (long-haired Persian cat) and Exotic (short-haired Persian cat).
In order to create beautiful Persian cats , Bach regularly studies images of cats with high titles of international cat associations, and breed standards. In 2018, Bach combined two imported cats to breed Ashe, a cat with many of his father’s features, big round eyes, pretty face, even though his nose is not “Persian standard”.
A year later, he combined Ashe with Ultima, a male cat with a very beautiful face and body, imported from a famous German cat farm, to create Moon, converging all the beauty of the previous two lives. “When Moon was born, I was very surprised because it had a very beautiful round head,” Bach said. However, the point Bach did not like in Moon was that the eye color was not green enough for the Silver color line (silver seal).
To improve this point, the following year he combined two cats with emerald green eyes. The result was Flynix with large round eyes, deep blue color, and very thick golden fur.
In 2021, Bach combined Moon and Flynix to give birth to Neymar. The cat converges the most beautiful features in both parents, from eye color to face, nose, and body shape. “If the process of creating Moon is a stroke of luck, the creation of Neymar is in the clear plan,” Bach said.(From left) Father cat Moon, mother cat Flynix and Neymar. Photo: Character provided
After more than six years of pursuing his passion, Hoang Bach admitted that he had to trade a lot in both money and time. When he first started, he had to save up to 60% of his monthly salary and borrowed 100 million VND to import from Germany a cat he liked for a long time.
In order to bring this cat home, Bach had to find a lot of new carriers to have a place to receive it and had to book two flights from Germany to Russia and then back to Vietnam. “I have to deal with transportation risks, while there is no guarantee of fertility. But because I like it, I still do it,” Bach shared. Recently, he also spent 250 million VND to buy a cat named Bhakti Armoniosa from Italy.
Bach’s work is inherently busy, so he sacrifices all hobbies, including relationships, to spend time with cats. He never dared to go out for more than two days, and during Tet, he rarely returned to his hometown. Every day Bach spends two hours cleaning the whole house; cleaning the eyes and noses of children with tears; removing tangles… Every Sunday, he spends almost all day bathing them.
The most difficult is the process of taking care of the cats from birth to a few months old. Because they are flat-faced, their nose structure is prone to breathing problems. Many children could not breastfeed by themselves, every night Bach had to get up to give them milk and go to the toilet several times. Every time a cat gives birth, Bach is stressed because of a prolonged lack of sleep.
He is saddest when his “children” get sick and die. “A lot of times I want to stop because I’m tired but I can’t bear to waste years of effort. Currently, I only breed two to three litters a year to have time for work, myself, as well as taking care of myself. take care of them the best,” Bach confided.
Vu Dai Thong, 28 years old, a co-owner of the cat farm with Bach, shared that he still remembers the time when the female cat Flynix was sick, Bach had to come home every day at noon, and wake up once every two hours at night. Persevering for a long time, it finally recovered. “Every time I think about it, I still admire him for his love and devotion to each cat,” Thong said.Hoang Bach with his cat Neymar at his camp in Dong Da district, Hanoi, on May 20. Photo: Dai Thong
Through dozens of breeding times over the years, the two most beautiful cats that make Hoang Bach’s name are Moon and Neymar. In 2020, Moon won the most beautiful kitten award at the National Cat Show , for the first time held in Vietnam.
To prepare for this year’s WCF International Cat Show , three months ago Hoang Bach and Dai Thong paid more attention to the diet and hair care of the three cats that will compete, including two crossbreeds, Neymar and Starlight, with the newly imported cat Bhakti Armoniosa. In the last round, Neymar overcame the cat that had just been bought for VND 250 million, to win the highest throne. In the coming time, Neymar will continue to participate in regional competitions.
For Nguyen Hoang Bach, breeding is the act of breeding and re-selecting good traits through generations, so that the next life can be more beautiful than the previous one, not giving birth a lot to sell. “I don’t care about coat color, a factor that most breeders in Vietnam pursue, because any color is beautiful, as long as it meets the standards,” he shared.
This breeder also appreciates the cat’s personality, which is to be alert, affectionate, and friendly, but still maintains arrogance, not to see everyone following.
“Currently, even Neymar has not achieved all the characteristics that I want, so I will still pursue the path of breeding, even if it is a decade, maybe a few decades from now,” the guy said.
See more photos of some cats at Hoang Bach and Dai Thong’s camp: