Jacoby and Kylie are off to Connecticut this weekend to attend the Damn Yankees and Touch of Class CFA shows in Groton, CT. This is a new type of show for us: each club’s show is a one-day, 6-ring show, and they’re held back-to-back, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Kylie’s only entered in the Saturday show, sponsored by Damn Yankees, and Jake is only entered in the Sunday show, sponsored by Touch of Class. On Saturday, Jake and I will spend the day acting as CFA Ambassadors for the first time. To make things more interesting, 5 of the 6 judges at the show on Sunday haven’t ever seen Jake in their rings before.
I always get excited before a show. I love them: the cats, the thrill of getting called into a final, meeting up with friends…and I always think back to where this love affair started, the cat shows I visited and later entered in my teens.
We didn’t have the snazzy portable show cages that we have now. All we had (unless you wanted to spend a bomb for a custom-made wooden and plexiglas show cage) were the wire CFA cages. When my sister and I started entering our cats in the Household Pet class, we used bed sheets to cover our cages.
Later on, my mom made us special show curtains with hooks to attach to the cage frame. The curtains for my sister’s cat, Paul, were a brown calico print that complemented his brown mackerel tabby fur, and the curtains for my cat, Sgt. Pepper, were pale blue satin, to match his Siamese-mix eyes.
I loved those curtains; I wish I could find them now. And our rosettes, too; I don’t know if my mom still has them, but I’ll have to ask her. Back in Sacramento, in the 80’s, the HHP class was huge. I remember there being upwards of 40 cats entered, so winning a rosette was especially sweet. There were also fewer rings; at a two-day show today, there can be ten or twelve rings, but then there were only four rings per day. For us kids to go to a big show like that, at Cal Expo, and come home with a rosette was a great accomplishment!
When I went to my first show in New England with Gun-Hee, about 25 years later, it was a very different experience in some ways.
For one thing, we had our own cage for the first time.
The shows here, at least the ones I’ve entered, are much smaller than the shows we went to at Cal Expo. I think I like that better, though; the show feels more intimate when it’s held in a school gym or a town hockey rink than when it’s held in a major concert venue and the site of California’s state fair.
And showing a purebred cat is a lot different than showing a HHP! For one thing, the ribbons are more complicated, and the way they’re awarded is more involved
But the essence of the show is the same whether you’re on the west coast or the east coast, whether you’re showing HHP, Kitten, Championship or Premiership: It’s all about the cats, and waiting to hear your number called to a ring…hopefully more than once!