Something else that’s been on the back burner…

When I took Gun-Hee to ArtBeat in Somervillle a few weeks ago, a woman approached me, impressed by how calm he was in the midst of such kalidescopic turmoil, and asked if I’d ever thought of training Gun-Hee to be a therapy animal. Truth be told, I hadn’t until she asked me.

But wow. Gun-Hee would be really good at that, wouldn’t he? The way he behaved towards the two young girls at the cat show yesterday only underscored that…

So, tonight, I sent an email to the Massachusetts affiliate of the Delta Society, the leading international resource for the human-animal bond. I think that, once we’re done with cat shows, visiting sick people might be a good thing for Gun-Hee to do. And, more importantly, I think he’d really enjoy it.

Cat Show Part Three: After the Show

Towards the end of the show, things got a little quieter. There were no more rings to listen for, and a little time before we had to vacate the hall. It was nice. I had a chance to relax, talk to Cheryl, and kind of chill with Gun-Hee.

A father with two girls (the younger one named Tess – I told her that we had a kitty at home named Tessie) came by and they were fascinated with Gun-Hee. Since it was the end of the day, and Gun-Hee didn’t have to face any more judges, I let both of the girls pet him. They were so great, those girls…kind of reminded me of when my sister and I went to cat shows. Let’s not pretend: some exhibitors at cats shows can be downright rude to “outsiders,” the people who just come to shows to look at cats. I remember them when I was young…and now that I’m (gasp!) actually showing a purebred cat in a CFA show, I want to be an ambassador of sorts.

When Cheryl first came, she said, “Oh, I’m just doing Household Pets,” and I said, “Hey. Nothing wrong with that, that’s how I started.” But I kind of got the feeling that not everyone feels that way. Which is too bad.

I took the opportunity the calm at the end of the show afforded to get a few shots of Gun-Hee’s “home” when we’re on the road..

I couldn’t decide if it was better without the flash or with it…

Cat Show Part Two: At the Show

We got to the show a bit before 8am. Perfect timing, really, since judging began at 8:30 sharp. I set up Gun-Hee’s cage and we went to the first two rings almost immediately. It was the fastest show I’ve ever been to; the hotel needed to set up for a reunion that same evening, so we had to be out of there by the advertised closing time, 3:30pm.

I like one-day shows. It’s nice not to have to spend the entire weekend at a show, nice to not have to go to a hotel with Gun-Hee and all his stuff, and I think it’s better for him, too; Gun-Hee’s typically done better on the first day than on the second day of the two-day shows he’s been in.

I also hadn’t done a show by myself since college. I made friends with a lovely woman named Cheryl who had three HHPs entered (Chase, Little Man, and Autumn). She was also at the show by herself, and she got quite a workout running to and from the rings with one cat at a time!

Gun-Hee did well. Six rings, five Winners Ribbons. There were two other Ruddys and one Red (one Ruddy was absent); and Gun-Hee took Second Best of Colour three times. All of the Abys in Premiership seemed a little edgy; two of them were very “hissy” and that made Gun-Hee hiss back at them.

The judges ignored him, which is good.

This was one of the judges who gave him the Second Best of Colour

Before being judged in one ring.

This judge called him “handsome.”

After judging: a Best in Class and a Winners Ribbon!

I didn’t get photos of all his rings. Only managed four out of the six. They were going fast!

Not a bad day, all in all. Waiting to be judged in his last ring, Gun-Hee seems pleased with himself.

One thing happened at the show, though, that I’m still a little shaken and confused about. One judge in this show disqualified Gun-Hee in his ring because he said Gun-Hee had a grey undercoat. I had to ask him why he’d disqualified Gun-Hee and that was his reason…which seemed strange to me since he’d gotten Best of Colour, Best and Second Best of Breed, and a Best Kitten in his previous shows…which, granted, could be because he was a kitten and hadn’t developed his full colour yet…but the judge in the previous ring had just given him Second Best of Colour (as did the next two)!

I asked the women at the Clerking Desk about it, and one told me that that judge was an Aby breeder and that sometimes judges who know the breed tend to judge them more strictly. The other clerk, it turned out, is in training to become a judge; she looked at Gun-Hee and said, basically that she couldn’t really tell. The first clerk opined that to her, it should have been a deduction of points rather than a disqualification.

The told me to talk to my breeder (which, of course I will – she’ll be a stunned as I was), and also explained that if three different judges disqualify him in their rings, he’ll be unable to show in CFA. So now Gun-Hee kind of has one strike.

And being disqualified, he only got five Winners Ribbons rather than the six he needs to become a Premier (the neutered version of a Champion). Which is disappointing, but not really that bad; I mean, you’re not supposed to get all six Winners Ribbons in one show.

Still…disqualified. It makes me feel like some sort of an impostor. And he was so good this show, too. His coat was gleaming and the residual runny eyes and sniffles he’s had in the past were gone (hurrah, L-Lysine). I’d managed his chin acne, too. He was really in top condition…it took me down a peg, I have to say.

Ah well. He was wonderful, and he did great against cats who’ve already become Premiers and Grand Premiers. There’s always the next show.

Edit: Very interesting round table discussion between 5 CFA judges about what they look for in a show Abyssinian.

Cat Show Part One: Getting to the Show

Yesterday, Gun-Hee and I took the Commuter Rail to the CFA show in Mansfield, MA. I didn’t think it would be a problem, given his love of riding the T, and it wasn’t; the worst thing was that it was so early in the morning that the windows were fogged up, and he couldn’t see outside. I could tell this frustrated him, because with no windows it was 45 minutes of sitting still with nothing to look at. I mean, I had a book to occupy me. He just didn’t have much to do on the ride, and as we all know, a bored Abyssinian is a ticking timebomb of trouble. Apart from trying to jump up on the back of the seat in front of us (and one attempt at the overhead luggage rack), he did very well.

You can see in the first photo how opaque the windows were…

I love to hear the rhythm of the clickety-clack…