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The Blue Cat Woman of Havana: Olga Fernández

The Blue Cat Woman of Havana: Olga Fernández

Cats are eternal; for them, time does not exist.
Jorge Luis Borges, Argentinean poet

The Cuban Blue cat is a natural breed that has emerged spontaneously and which is closely linked to the life of Olga Fernández, who has devoted her life to cats. Olga, who is a member of the Cuban Cat Lover Association since 2006, is breeding these cats with the intent of producing first-class Cuban blues that meet the standards of major international cat associations.
Olga shares her apartment in Mariano in western Havana with 33 cats, only four of which are Blues. She takes in every stray she finds and gives them a home and a name—Jade, Violet, Lavender, Onyx, Azurite, Quartz, Mystic, Smoke… She owns cats of other internationally recognized Cuban breeds, such as the Cuban short- and long-haired varieties, Bengal, Siamese and Persians. However, the Cuban Blue stands out for its beauty, strength and elegance.

Although called blue, all blue cats—the Chartreux, the Korat, the Russian blue, the Nebelung and the British blue—actually have a gray coat. The Cuban Cat Association has described the Cuban Blue as a mid- to large-size strong cat, with short to semi-long blue grayish hair with silver shades.

A faithful protector of such sensitive animals, Olga goes to great pains to give her cats the best care and affection. “Cats are wild animals by nature,” says Olga, “but are as easily domesticated as dogs. They respond to displays of affection and are also affective themselves. However, cats have their own territory and like to stay in one place.”

Olga has rescued cats in pitiful state of health from the streets, and has cared for them until their full recovery. And of course, she has kept them. No wonder her house is full of kittens and cats of all kinds, colors and sizes. For Olga, it would be inconceivable to return them to the streets. And she becomes so protective of them that she is wary of giving them away even to friends.

Olga has established a successful healthy and balanced vegetarian diet with plenty of water for her cats. Because her apartment is rather small, she has a special place in the building where she takes her pets out every day so that they can play with each other in the sun.

Olga receives the systematic support of the Cuban Association of Cats, which encourages and promotes the care of these pets and gives advice to all cat owners. It also schedules cat shows every year in December where dozens of cats compete for awards. The judges examine the cats carefully to make sure that they are healthy and meet the standards for the particular breed.

Olga is not alone in her altruistic endeavor. Her friend Rita shares with her the love for animals, especially cats. So much so that Rita has taken under her wing 85 cats of different breeds, most of which have been abandoned to their fate and have been successfully rehabilitated at her home. The display of noble generosity of these two women is an example to all men and women in the protection of animals.

As for the Cuban Blue, it remains to be seen if the international cat world will accept it as a new breed.

Olga Fernández
Ave 51, Edificio 4, apto 6, entre 78 y 80, Marianao, La Habana
Tel: +53 (7) 267 6951
May 2012

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