Category Archives: Cats

Cat Show

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.

close up of cat being judged at western fairgroundsThe good news for me with last Sunday’s STDOA meeting being cancelled was I got to go to the PAWSitive PAWS Cat Show at London’s Western Fairgrounds.

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.judge holding up Cornish Rex

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 Bengal cat nappingstill 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 Cornish Rex on lapexplained 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.

Somali kittenA 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.

Happy Hallowe’en

Mouse batteries dead in my usual computer, and not a new battery in the house.  But pets in costumes German Shepherd pixieluckily I have pets in costumes pics on my laptop. As if there aren’t always ‘stupid pet pics’ on any computer of mine!  So in case you need some inspiration to dress up your dog, cat, kid or self on this eve of All Saints’ Day, here you go.

Three dogs and one cat, for your viewing pleasure, present:

Pets in Costumes

Cat with clown hat 

dogs dressed up on front porch    dog with bows in hair and around neck   Elvis costume and poodle in purple and leopard skin outfit    tricked out Shepherd pixie lying on floor

And at the end of the day you can only hope you get enough treats and not too many tricks.

For those feeling the full power of Hurricane Sandy and whatever else is happening with weather patterns right now, we are all thinking of you.

Elsie 1997-2011

Elsie Rose died yesterday, Sept. 1st, peacefully with her family beside her. She is buried at Sandy Ridge Pet Cemetery in Eden. She is mourned.  This was written last Sunday.

Elsie in car, Sept 1/11I’m writing this when I’ve realized Elsie is in pain. It’s time to phone the vet, time for her to go peacefully. She wants to, I think, but I don’t want her to.

She arrived around my house in May fourteen years ago, a month after my old cat had died. I wasn’t looking for another one. But there she was, still kittenish, but past the fluffball stage. About 5 months old, the age of coming into first heat. And she did, in my back yard. Every tom in the area camped out there too.

She wouldn’t come near me, but one night she was in the narrow lane between houses and I caught her. She had a flea collar on, so she belonged somewhere. But no response to posters I put up. I’d been planning to leave Newfoundland. One new cat was more than enough. Kittens?  No. So a quick trip to the vet.

Elsie hanging out Outer Battery house window, St. John's 1998Another cat, Spam, spent a lot of time at my house and hated her. Twice her size, he attacked and beat her unmercifully. My vet said let them sort it out.  Interfering will just make it worse. So I tried.  It didn’t get any better. Even my next-door neighbour who did not like cats came over one day to try to save poor Elsie.

I knew why he hated other cats: my previous cat Cedric had made his life a living hell when he was a kitten. So he learned from her to hate other cats. Cedric, in her turn, had been found wandering and, in her first new home, their cat bullied and terrorized her. The cycle of violence perpetuates itself, and I thought for sure it would with Elsie after what she endured from Spam.

Accepting, adaptable Elsie

But in Elsie, nature overcame nurture. She is willing to accept any person or animal – even cats. Never did she let bad experiences with an individual affect her treatment of others. She likes and dislikes based on the individual alone, not her preconceptions of them. That, in my experience, is almost as rare in a cat as it is in a person.

I stayed another year in St. John’s after getting Elsie and acquired a pup in need of a home. She was fine with him. She told him at the outset to mind his manners, and he did.

Then we moved to Ontario. She traveled easily, just zoned out in a Zen state in her carrier. She adjusted to new surroundings and to Elsie's 10th birthday notice 2007 St Thomas TJbecoming an indoor only cat. My dad, not a cat person, loved her. He played yoyo with her for hours – dangling the string for her to bat and chase. When she’d escape outside, he could get her in with the yoyo string. She fell for it every time.

She is my last living connection with St. John’s. Jack has been gone three and a half years and now it’s her turn. My lady cat, Elsie Rose.

 

Waterworks Cat

I’d planned to write something about this past week’s national birthdays but I’ve been Waterworks cat Wally rolling on floor, July 4thbusy – dealing with someone else’s problem, I think.  We have a new cat.  We didn’t seek him out, didn’t want a new cat.  But he’s here and my hope that he will return to his real home is fading fast.

Monday evening he was wandering the parking lot at Waterworks Park, meowing.   People said he’d been there for an hour or so.  He came right up to us, purr-purr and headrubs. Dark was coming, what are you going to do?

Put him in the car, stopped at a nearby variety store.  Nope, he didn’t look familiar and nobody asking about him.  So he’s been in our garage, slowly venturing into the house.  Our nasty cat hisses and spits at him.

Posters up in Waterworks area

Wally on stairwayPosters are up, ads are placed.  If someone has lost their pet, I hope they find us.  And he definitely is a pet cat.  He’s neutered, he’s not starving, he looks healthy, and he loves cuddling on laps and being petted.

But he’s been here two whole days now.  If I lost my cat, I’d be beating the bushes, going door to door – I’d call in the police if I thought I could.  Maybe someone is doing that and just hasn’t found us yet,  so please accept my apology for what I am about to say.

If this cat no longer fits in your plans or if you thought you could help solve a difficulty by dumping him, thanks for giving us your problem.  If you drove him to the park thinking “somebody will take him in and give him a good home”, thanks for disrupting our lives for two days so far.

Yes, we did take him.  A crying cat alone in a public place with no houses near by, almost dark.  What kind of person wouldn’t?  The people there were all concerned about him, and I could see the looks of relief when they realized a sucker was there willing to take him.  Lucky them!

Vet check needed because we don’t know

So he’s now being treated for parasites – no evidence of any, but just as a precaution old cat watches new catbecause I don’t know anything about his history.  If he isn’t claimed soon, he’ll have to get vaccinations.  He might be up to date on them but, again, I don’t know.

So, I have a request for anyone planning to dump their pet for someone else to look after. Spend one last dollar and buy a collar.  Attach a note with information on vaccinations, age and medical history.  If you want me or some “nice person” to clean up your mess, that’s the least you can do.  We’re paying money to do preventive vet care that may not be needed.

Again I apologize if someone is frantically looking for him.  Please contact me if he’s your cat.  We like him, are calling him Wally, but would love to see him reunited with his people.

Here’s a July 29th update on Wally – still with us!