Leo Pugliese and Melissa Neumann are the people behind Severo Cats.

The name Severo came from Leo’s family connection with San Severo in Italy. Our foundation cats came from Vivace cattery which in Italian means “lively” so we thought it would be nice to continue the Italian connection into our breeding program.

Leo is an educator with a love of motor bikes and whisky. He was never a big cat person even thought we had a house full of cats. His life was changed the day he met an Amy called Fonzie.   Melissa is a professional photographer who has over 30yrs in the trade. She has won many awards for her work and is now focused on creating amazing cat portraits. She can be seen often photographing at cat shows and has a YouTube channel that documents her work.

Melissa, Leo and Leon.

Their love of Abyssinians started with a cat called Fonzie. Melissa was looking for Abyssinian cats to photograph as part of her portfolio and photographed Fonzie. Melissa decided to take Leo to a cat show to meet Fonzie and there started the love of this breed.

Derrick Bennett was their first Aby. He did really well in the show ring as a kitten winning many rosettes and ribbons. He is also an Instagram sensation; you can find him @derrickbennetttheaby.  His brother El Leon DeOro had been kept by Vivace for breeding purposes, but they were looking to desex and rehome him. Leo and Melissa asked if they could keep him entire to start their breeding program and luckily for them the ladies of Vivace agreed. Leon joined our family 2 days before his first birthday.

Calliope also came to us from Vivace to be Leon’s queen. We have been so fortunate to have Rita and Evelyn as our mentors while starting our breeding program.

Artemis came to us late 2019. She is half sister to Derrick Bennett and Leon. We adore the look of their mum so when we heard that their mum (Nile Panope) was having a last litter we again were blessed by Tracey at Amahle Abyssinians with this sensational future queen. We are now searching for the perfect partner for Artemis and hope to add a second stud boy to our breeding program in 2020.