The European beginning
After World War II, Maus were nearly died out and not longer bred.
Troubetskoy, born in 1897 in Lublin, Poland was a member of an influential Russian family. She studied art and medicine in Moscow and after serving as a nurse in Russia towards the end of World War I she moved to England where she lived and worked for 20 years, nursing, lecturing and broadcasting. Shortly before World War II she moved to Rome where she served as a nurse to the US 2675th Regiment apon its arrival in Italy. The story goes that one day in the early 1950s, while Troubetskoy was living in Rome, a young boy presented her with a silver-spotted female kitten that he had been keeping in a shoe box . Apparently, the kitten had been given to the boy by a diplomat working at one of the Middle East embassies. Troubetskoy was immediately taken with the striking appearance of the kitten and sought to learn more about where it came from. Her research lead her to conclude that the kitten was an Egyptian Mau, a breed known on the show benches in Italy before the War, but now all but extinct. Troubetskoy became determined to save the Egyptian Mau breed and set about acquiring more cats.
Troubetskoy’s first litter of Maus was born in Italy in 1953 followed by a second in 1954. She is reported to have exhibited these first kittens widely in Europe.
In 1956 the princess emmigrated to the USA taking three of her maus with her to form the foundation for her cattery named Fatima.
But years afterwards the Mau was brought back to Europe from three breeders living in Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands. Without knowing from each other they imported Maus from the U.S., mainly Traditional Lines. From the free associations was this breed recognized soon, the FIFe followed some times later.
Since these cats were shown at European exhibitions, the breed became more popular, and Maus were also brought from the U.S. to France and Germany. Because of the genpool is still small in Europe, cats are frequently imported from the U.S. until today.
Meanwhile the Indian Line made also its entry in Europe.
Jean S. Mill (Millwood) located two rufous bronze spotted tabby kittens of pronounced
Egyptian type in a zoo in New Delhi. In 1980 she imported these siblings, named Toby and Tashi, into the USA. The cats were registered with the American Cat Association in 1982, and Toby’s line was accepted by The International Cat Association (TICA) shortly thereafter. The progeny of these cats bearing the Millwood cattery name were finally recognised by CFA as Egyptian Maus in the late 1980s after a battle in the course of which the cats were first accepted only to have this acceptance temporarily retracted.
The Indian Maus brought with them the desired health benefits of an increased gene pool and also improved the contrast and clarity of the spots when bred with traditional maus. The Indian lines are also responsible for a change in the colour of bronze maus from a sandy brown to the richer rufous coppery brown favoured in the show ring today, and the glitter gene which gives bronzes in particular a sparkling sheen.
There are only a few breeders keeping these cats as what they are – a “Natural Breed”.
This means, the first cats were taken out of the original population and – until today – it is not allowed to mix it with any other breed, what makes breeding Maus still more difficult. It is the reason why the Egyptian Mau still remaines a rare breed in Europe, though
it got more popularity already.