Norman Auspitz - CFA Allbreed Judge
Louisville, Kentucky USA
Born in Philadelphia, Norm spent 15 years living in Southern Ontario but eventually settled in Louisville, where he now lives. He recently retired from the CFA Judging Program after a judging career that lasted over 30 years. He bought his first pedigreed cat in November 1970; the breeder suggested that he show it, he gave it a try, and “one thing just led to another.”
Norm’s first cats were Siamese, but he soon acquired and fell in love with Abyssinians. He has also worked with Manx, Persians, Exotics, and Maine Coons. His cattery, Abizaq, which he runs with his wife Martha, is still actively breeding and focuses on Abyssinians and Maine Coons.
Norm worked in various aspects of information technology from 1965 until his retirement in 2003. After that, he focused more on breeding, showing and judging. His favorite part of judging was seeing and handling all the cats, and he is proud of the fact that he never let cat show politics get in the way of his judging decisions. He is excited to continue his judging in this new format.
Jacqui Bennett - CFA Allbreed Judge
Buford, Georgia, USA
Jacqui has been in love with animals for as long as she can remember with a childhood filled with furry friends. Her adult genesis with the cat fancy began over 20 years ago with Ocicats. She and her son traveled the US to shows as he grew up a true “show hall kid” raised by the CFA family. While she has raised and exhibited a number of breeds, Ocicats are her first love and she is very proud of her accomplishments within the Ocicat breed becoming the breeder of the first ever Tawny breed winner and first ever Cinnamon national winner. She served as Breed Council Secretary for 6 years and has been a CFA judge for over 10 years.
She currently lives in Buford, Georgia with her husband David and her furry family. “Being a judge is one of the greatest honors of my life” says Jacqui. “Every cat I am given the privilege of handling has a glory and beauty that it is my honor to be able to evaluate and present! I never forgot that each cat I handle is someone’s beloved treasure.”
Kathy Calhoun - CFA Allbreed Judge
Chicago, Illinois USA
Kathy Calhoun was born and raised in Chicago, where she still lives. A CFA judge since 2007, Kathy founded her cattery, 5800 Dreams, in 1991, with her son. Her primary breed has always been the Maine Coon but she has also bred American Shorthairs, American Wirehairs, and recently began to breed Lykoi. Other breeds she has worked with include Persians, Orientals, Abyssinians, Chartreux, and Devon Rex. She has achieved national wins with both her Maine Coons and her American Wirehairs.
Her resume in CFA is extensive; she is not only a member and a Secretary for several show producing clubs, but serves as the treasurer for the Maine Coon Breed Council, the CFA Foundation, and the CFA organization itself. She also served as Midwest Regional Director.
Recently retired from her job as a Product Manager with Pepsico, Kathy has been a CFA judge since 2007. She has judged across the United States, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Canada, Russia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia. When not involved with cats, judging, or her many organizational responsibilities, Kathy has been known to play the bagpipes.
Merilee Griswold - CFA Allbreed Judge
Blythewood, South Carolina USA
As a music major for vocal performance in college, Marilee never imagined she would end up judging cat shows! She started her official journey into pedigreed cats in 1994, at the same time that she started medical school. She began showing with Scottish folds and quickly became “hooked” on the fancy. From 1998-2006, she was on active duty in the United States Navy, yet continued to be an active exhibitor and breeder. She now works as a psychiatrist, which gives her the flexibility needed to judge on the weekends.
She has bred British Shorthairs and has over 25 years of experience with Scottish folds. She has produced 5 National winners, 37 Grand Champions, 2 Distinguished Merit cats, and is proud of her Cattery of Distinction, Tier II. In addition to her Folds, Marilee has owned and shown American Shorthairs, Russian Blues, Oriental Shorthairs, Abyssinians, Maine Coons, Persians, Exotics, Turkish Angoras and Birmans. She also has experience with breeds such as the Siberian, Somali, Siamese, Havana Brown, and Colorpoint Shorthair.
Marilee was accepted into the judging program in 2013 and works diligently to be the best judge she can be. She considers it an honor to judge all over the world and strives to treat all cats and exhibitors with respect. She has a strong sense of justice and judge all cats on beauty and merit as defined by the breed standard. Given her medical background, she gives medical/technical talks on Feline DNA testing, discussing both traits and diseases. She is also available for intensive talks/presentations and evaluation of the Scottish Fold breed.
She hopes her work and dedication demonstrate her passion for all cats.
Teresa Keiger - CFA Allbreed Judge
City, North Carolina USA
Teresa has loved cats her entire life, but she never dreamed what an impact they would have on her life. Her journey began when she and her husband showed a Russian Blue which they had bought as a pet in premiership in the mid-90’s. They were hooked, and soon began a successful breeding career under the PLATINA LUNA cattery name. In 2009, GC, BW, NW Platina Luna’s Blade Runner achieved the win of second best cat in the world.
In the meantime, Teresa was encouraged to join the CFA judging program and she was accepted in 2006. Since then, she has been fortunate enough to judge all over the US, France, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Kuwait, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan, and China, and in Australia and New Zealand for other associations. About the same time she became involved with CFA, Teresa also began her second career in digital graphics. She worked as a digital retoucher and critical color specialist for a commercial photography studio for 15 years, working on products as varied as furniture and interiors, lawn mowers and patios, and race cars and drivers.
One of the things which she is proudest of in her CFA resume is creating the CFA NewBee Program for new exhibitors in 2008. Its intention was to bridge the growing lack of education and expertise new exhibitors were facing as shows became faster paced and the usual time for camaraderie and education in the show hall dwindled. Now existing as a private Facebook group, it is a place where new exhibitors have a place to ask questions about exhibiting, get support, and make friends.
In 2013, CFA was looking for a graphic designer and offered Teresa the position, as she had been doing freelance for them for some time. Suddenly, life was all cats, all the time – which isn’t a bad thing! She is now editor and layout designer for CFA’s magazine Cat Talk, editor of the CFA’s monthly newsletter, and designer of a variety of CFA media products.
Teresa is also a proud member of the Cat Writers’ Association, having won several MUSE medals for her graphic work and for Cat Talk.
Nancy Kerr - Former CCA Judge
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Nancy has spent most of her life there except for four years of living on Prince Edward Island. She is a former CCA judge with two years of training and judging experience throughout the central and northeast Canadian provinces, and is currently working towards qualifying for the CFA judging program.
After acquiring her first pedigreed cat, a Maine Coon, in the mid-1990s, Nancy attended a CCA cat show to “see what it was all about.” Bitten by the cat fancy bug, she began breeding and showing with Maine Coons but quickly fell in love with Norwegian Forest Cats. Her Kerrisma cattery now focuses exclusively on Wegies and she has achieved several national and regional wins in CCA with them. She attended her first CFA show in 1999, has also shown in ACFA and TICA, and is very proud of her two CFA regional wins. In addition to her Wegies, she has shown an Exotic, a Persian, and a number of Turkish Angoras. She loves judging because of the opportunities it provides to see and handle so many beautiful cats and meet the people who love them.
Nancy is a member of two CFA New England clubs, Seacoast Cat Club and New England Meow Outfit, Inc. (NEMO) and a staff writer for Cat Talk magazine. Although she had previously entry clerked only in CCA, she volunteered to serve as the entry clerk for the first CFA event held on the VCC platform, this summer’s NEMO. Her technical expertise proved invaluable to show management, and as a result of that experience, she was asked to join the new CFA VCC Committee, which helped to support the Regional Qualifier shows for last year's Top Cat Challenge event and now manages all CFA virtual competitions. In June 2021, Nancy received a CFA service star for her work with the committee.
When not involved with cats, Nancy works as a network administrator for Mount St. Vincent University. She says the job covers “everything from A to Z and you’re always learning something new.” Her cats and her CFA activities take up most of her leisure time.
Nicholas Pun - CFA Allbreed Judge
Born and raised in Hong Kong, where he still lives, Nick attended graduate school in Canada, where he was first exposed to the cat fancy. He began showing in both CFA and CCA with his first show cat, a Scottish Fold. When he started his Dragonhill cattery, in 1997, it was focused on longhair and shorthair Folds. However, Nick soon branched out into other breeds and has now worked with American Shorthairs, Ocicats, and most recently, British Shorthairs and Japanese Bobtails. Dragonhill has produced numerous grands, Divisional Winners (the Hong Kong equivalent of a Regional Win) and National Winners. One of Nick’s British Shorthairs was CFA’s Kitten of the Year in the Hong Kong Division for 2018-2019.
Outside his breeding programs, Nick has exhibiting experience with many other breeds, including Abyssinians, Devon Rex, Russian Blues, Siamese, and Somalis. He exhibited the first Turkish Angora ever shown in Hong Kong and enjoys introducing and promoting new breeds there. Other longhair breeds he has exhibited include Exotics, Persians, Birmans, Ragdolls, and Maine Coons.
In 2014, Nick entered the CFA judging program and is now an Approved Allbreed judge. Over the years, he has judged in Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the USA, and all over China, as well as in Hong Kong. He is the founder and president of the Hong Kong and Macao Cat Club and a contributing writer for one of Hong Kong’s cat magazines. Nick is honored to have been selected to represent the International Division to judge for the International Show in October, 2021. He was also one of the recipients of a CFA Service Star Award for the 2018-19 show year.
Iris Zinck- CFA Allbreed Judge
Medford, Massachusetts, USA
Iris has wanted to judge cats since attending her very first cat show in 1988. But it took a while before she was able to achieve that goal.
She began breeding both Russian Blues and Turkish Angoras in 1990 with her first husband, the late Robert Hoffman, under the cattery name of Silverlock. While working toward the judging program, she participated in all aspects of show production and the clerking program, eventually becoming a master clerk and running clerking schools. After her husband’s death, she phased out the Russian Blues, bred Oriental Longhairs, and showed Persians, Birmans, American Shorthairs, Norwegian Forest Cats, Abyssinians, and Manx. She was first licensed as a judge in 2003.
When Iris met Robert Zinck, now her second husband, and successfully lured him into the cat fancy, they established a new cattery, Folie a Deux (inspired by a French psychological term that refers to a disease/delusion shared by two people). They focused primarily on bicolor Turkish Angoras, and bred two national winners as well as a number of breed and regional winners. In 2008, they began working with Siberians, and have achieved several regional wins with them. The Siberians are now Iris’s primary breed. However, she has recently fallen in love with Japanese Bobtails; it is not yet certain where this will lead her.
Iris is Lead Copy Editor and a Staff Writer for Cat Talk magazine, CFA's Siberian Breed Council Secretary, and the chair of CFA’s Virtual Cat Competition committee. She is also a singer and songwriter and invites anyone interested in her music to check out her YouTube channel.