His sailboat seems a fair trade-off for her Persian cat shows


BEAUTIFUL Persian cats, two spoiled dogs, a sailboat and each other. "I guess you could say this is our life," says Lillian Davidson, who lives in Perry Hall with her husband, Robert.

He caters to the dogs, a dachshund and a Rottweiler, and she owns and shows Persian cats.

Sandtraps Snappy Affair is her blue-cream Persian, not yet a year old, who took a second in the blue-cream Persian class at the Chesapeake Cat Show this year. His color is a mottled cream and pale blue-gray.

According to breed information, the longhaired Persian cats are called Persians in the United States and Longhairs in England. Their colors are considered varieties here, but in Britain, each color is classified as a separate breed. Colors include black, blue, white, red, cream, chinchilla (a white coat often with lavender tint), cameo (white undercoat often tipped with red or cream), smoke, bicolor (one of several colors with white), tabby (slate-blue over bluish-ivory), tortoise-shell and calico. The tortoise-shell is always a female because of a combination of genes linked to the female chromosome that a male cannot inherit.

Lillian also owns a tortoise-shell, Champion Ropah Sweet Tasha, called Tasha, who is the mother of Snappy Affair. Tasha is predominantly black with a dash of cream and red.

The family dogs are Christy, a 6-year-old black and tan dachshund who rules the 4-year-old Rottweiler named Samantha. "We can't sleep without Christy, and she has never slept without us unless we are on a short trip and we have a sitter for the dogs," says Lillian, adding that "most every night Samantha sneaks on the bed too."

Although she says she's afraid of the water and sailing, "I go sailing anyway because Robert goes to cat shows with me."

Their boat is docked at Fells Point and "we often go down to walk in the area instead of sailing," she says.

The Davidsons have been married for 11 years. He was originally from Philadelphia and she from Wilmington. "We met as the two oldest students at the Delaware Technical and Community College, where we were both studying nuclear medicine," she says.

Lillian, who has two grown children by a previous marriage, laughs now about why she studied nuclear medicine. "It sounds crazy, but I was out on my own for a time in my life. I had small children, no money and only a high school education. The only jobs I could find were in sales or parking cars at the Hotel Dupont in Wilmington, and I discovered I could make more money parking cars so that's what I did. But, I knew I couldn't live my life like that, so I began to check into just what I could do and nuclear medicine fascinated me. I went back to school, holding down several jobs until I finished," she says.

Robert and Lillian Davidson both work in the nuclear medicine departments in Baltimore County hospitals, she at St. Joseph's and he at Baltimore County General.

"Our work is in diagnostic testing of the gall bladder, heart, lungs and such," she says.

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