Tomorrow, Oct. 22, is the London Cat Show at Western Fairgrounds (Canada Building 9-4:30). I went to it in 2011 and wrote the following in my St. Thomas Dog Blog.
Many years ago, I went to a cat show. I found it very funny, mainly because no one else – exhibitors, judges or cats – did. Long slinky Siamese held, stretched out like a skein of yarn, glowering at the crowd like a supermodel. No one noticing the face of disdain, just the markings and body shape.
At Sunday’s show, cats were held up, stretched full length. They also were played with, ears ruffled, and talked to by the judges. A long feather teaser acted as an intelligence test, and sure enough while most cats saw it flick behind the judge’s shoulders, some looked around like “where’d it go?” It was funny, and fun.
Nice things that I don’t remember from the show years ago (but might have been there) are the competition category for household pets and the presence of cat rescue groups.
Categories of competition
There are four categories of competition and four “best of” winners. Cat breeders compete in the Championship Class for unneutered pedigreed adult cats. The Premiership Class is for neutered and spayed (“altered”) pedigreed cats. Obviously, wins by these cats will not increase the monetary value of their progeny, but the prestige is still there. There’s the Kitten Class for registered breeds 4 to 8 months. And there’s the Household Pet Class. Your old moggie can compete with the best of them, mixed breed and purebred, here.
What’s nice about the Household Pet Class, I think, is that cats must be neutered or spayed and must have their claws. The cats I saw competing ranged from a very pretty little silver and white “girly” cat to a big old cat with lopsided black and white markings and wonderful tomcat head. There was a grey tabby who looked just like my Yeti. But while I was thinking maybe I should enter her, the judge explained that part of what he’s looking for is temperament – “it’s not good if they try to bite me.” Rules out Yeti, I thought.
Exhibitors lined half the Special Events Building, with nylon mesh carriers housing their cats between appearances in one of the five rings. They were happy to let visitors look, even pet their cats. But it’s serious business, so you have to make sure you’re not in the way or bothering an animal gearing up for the show ring.
Cat Rescue and Cat Merch
On the other side of the hall were booths with pet food, grooming supplies, cat toys, cat beds and litter boxes. Scattered among them were cat rescue groups. Our local Animal Aide was there, along with Animalert and Cats R Us from London. The rescue groups can’t bring cats with them, but they had poster boards with photos of their cats.
A rescue woman said it was odd being there with cat breeders. Kind of cross-purposes, she said. Yes and no, I thought. Good cat breeders love cats, and a particular breed is their hobby or life’s work. But they want their – and all – cats treated properly. And that’s the same objective as rescue groups.
It was a good chance to learn a lot about breeds of cats. It was informative and informal and fun.