The members of the World Cat Congress were shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden death of our former president, Alva Uddin.
The existence of the Congress is solely due to Alva’s foresight. When ANFI, the FIFe Italian member organised the “Cats and Man” event in 1994 and invited representatives of the major world cat fancies to attend, it was Alva who saw the benefits of such meetings and who arranged the further annual events which were to lead to the formal Congress as it is today.
Alva had been a central figure in the Cat Fancy for so many years. She was known all over the world as an all breed judge and for ten years she was President of FIFe; years in which the FIFe family expanded and strengthened. On her retirement from that role, she was made FIFe’s Honorary President.
She had unbounded enthusiasm and energy for anything which involved cats. She was a superb judge with an uncanny affinity with cats—there were few she could not handle and none she did not love. She was also happy to share her knowledge and experience with others and was a willing mentor to many student judges over the years.
Alva as a person was ‘larger than life’ and it is hard to believe that her light has gone out. During her life in cats she touched the lives of many other people, all of whom will have their own stories and memories. Whilst she was always first and foremost “FIFe”, she was always interested in other organisations and open to new ideas. Alva was loved and respected by many people and will be sorely missed.
In 2004 the Congress decided to honour its founder and first President and bestowed on Alva the title of Founder President Emeritis, a gesture which gave her a lot of pleasure. It is in this role that we shall remember her with pride and gratitude.
On behalf of the World Cat Congress
Penny Bydlinski, Secretary