Aby-a-Day – 15 Juni: Parallel Judging (Cat Show Saturday)

Amongst all the other things that happened at last weekend’s cat show, I mentioned that there was a trainee judge watching the Abyssinian judging, shadowing a Group 4 judge. But later, after the Singapuras and the Selkirk Rex had been judged, Stellan called me to bring Izaak over to the Group 3 “Parallel judging.”

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I’d never heard of that before, much less seen it. Stellan said it’s fairly rare. But it’s actually pretty cool, and I don’t think either CFA or TICA have a thing like this.

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Basically, you’re all called up to a mock ring. Stewards take the cats up to the student judge, who judges each cat and writes down notes on every one, the same as the real judge does. She also chooses her Bests in Variety and the cats she would Nominate if she were the judge.

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Later on, they compare her notes and decisions to the actual judge’s notes and see how she did in comparison. We exhibitors don’t get to see the notes, nor do we ever know how our cats placed…but it was interesting to watch.

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Zak thought it was a lot of fun! Maybe even more fun than the actual judging, because he got to do it and Lorelai didn’t!

Aby-a-Day – 8 Juni: Double play! (Cat Show Saturday)

Today we are at our first cat show since Örebro in January – four and a half months is a long time to not go to a cat show! We were supposed to go to a show in Falköping last month…but someone missed some kittens’ vaccination boosters, so we couldn’t go. So here we are in Gislaved at the DackeKatten show.

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And what a great show it is! Lorelai was first up, and the first thing that happened when she got onto the table was…another judge brought a cat over to our judge’s table for a second opinion on the cat’s colour.

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Even though a strange cat was just inches away from her, Rory didn’t even notice. This is why Jacoby didn’t like FIFe…he didn’t like having to see other cats. Being close to them was right out. But that happens in FIFe. Luckily, Rory and Izaak, having grown up in FIFe, don’t mind being held out in the open with other cats.

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Rory’s judge today was Alexey Shchukin from the Netherlands.

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He had a judge-in-training, Hannah Jensen, with him, so he spent a lot of time explaining what he was doing as he went along.

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He explained what he saw in Rory as she listened intently.

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Then Hannah looked at Rory herself, trying to see what Alexey saw.

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During her judging, Rory decided Alexey need a hug. He kept explaining things to Hannah despite the schmoozing.

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Rory supervised as Alexey wrote down his judging notes.

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Then it was Zak’s turn on the judge’s table.

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His judge was Thea Friskovec, from Switzerland.

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I didn’t know it until the end of the day, but she actually breeds Singapuras herself.

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Zak sat nicely whilst Thea wrote her notes on the judging sheet.

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Our friends Stellan and Hans Owe from S*Kustens were at the show, too, with their two girls, SW GIC S*Kustens Chi Sarà Con Te and IC S*Kustens Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. We’ve seen these two girls at shows many times before.

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Because there were three Singapuras in the show, we got to compete for Best in Variety (BIV).

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It was a very close competition. Stellan and Hans Owe breed amazing Singas. But, to our shock…

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Our Zak was named BIV!

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And whilst I was watching that happen…Lorelai got a Nomination in her class (Unspayed Females)!

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Then Zak was up for his Nomination, and his competition was stiff: He was up against a sweet Egyptian Mau and a stunning Bengal.

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But the Singapura was the one Nominated to the panel! Both Rory and Zak have gotten one Nom each…but this is the first time both our cats were Nommed in the same show.

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Not only that…but Rory became a Champion today.

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After lunch, it was time for the panels. Rory went up first.

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For Best in Show, Category 4, Unspayed Female, Rory was up against a very nice Cornish Rex.

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And she won!

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This is Rory’s very first Best in Show win.

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Next up was Zak.

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I mean, we were still over the moon about Zak getting his BIV. And now he was going to the panel!

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Zak was up against a very nice Burmilla in Category 3 Unneutered Males.

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And the judges’ choice was…

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Our Zak!

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Both of our cats were Nominated, and both were named Best in Show. AND one got BIV! We were stunned…

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We had a really good day at the show today…probably the best since we showed Jake.

 

Aby-a-Day – 26 Januari: Birthday of Champions (Cat Show Saturday)

Today is Izaak’s birthday! He turns one year old today.

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Not only that, but we are at a cat show in Örebro. So this is a very special birthday – the first one of any of our cats that we have celebrated away from home.

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Before he could have his little birthday cake, Zak had to go up and be judged.

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Today we had a judge we’d not seen before. He was from Romania.

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He really seemed to like Zak quite a lot.

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But in the end, he wasn’t Nominated. Neither he nor Lorelai were today.

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In a way, though, Zak got something even better: he earned his third CAC certificate today, which means he is now a Champion!

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So Zak celebrated two milestones today.

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He looked a little unimpressed by his candle and cake.

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Since Zak usually rejects anything that isn’t raw food, I wasn’t sure if he would even eat his cake.

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And, at first, it did seem that Rory was more interested in it than he was! Back off, Rory…you’ll get yours in two weeks.

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At first, Rory was the only one eating Zak’s cake.

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Zak watched her eat it for a while.

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Eventually, he took a bit more interest.

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Finally, he decided to give it a taste.

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At last, he tucked in alongside Rory. I was so happy that he actually seemed to be enjoying his cake.

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There’s a really good pet store near the show hall, and I found a squeaky mouse toy there that had been marked down because it had lost its tail. I didn’t think Zak would mind the missing tail…

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…and I was right!

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I couldn’t really capture him playing with it with my still camera.

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So I made a little video of him playing with it (Click on the image to watch the movie in another tab).

Aby-a-Day – 15 December: Jólakötturinn (Swedish Cat Show Saturday)

There’s an interesting holiday custom in Iceland: the Yule Cat (Jólakötturinn). According to legend, the Yule Cat eats people who don’t get new clothes for Christmas.

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It’s actually kind of hilarious. When I went to Sweden for Christmas in 2015, I had a stopover in Reykjavik and I saw him for myself. It’s like happy little santas and elves, pretty white angels, sparkly snowflakes and snowmen…and then, WHAM! ANGRY BLACK CAT!

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The Yule cat is associated with the Yule Lads, thirteen troll-imp brothers who show up starting 12 December and don’t leave until 6 January. They harass livestock, steal random objects, and generally do bad things. It’s so different from any other holiday tradition I know of. I absolutely love it.

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Drinking is also a significant part of Scandinavian Jul celebrations…so naturally, Yule Cat bottle covers are a thing.

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Of course, I had to buy some Yule Cats whilst I was there!

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Since seeing the Yule Cat for myself in Iceland, those ornaments have become a part of my holiday tradition. He plays a prominent part of our decorations. And to that end, I made my own Yule Cat. When I discovered the Japanese Scratch cats, plushies with scowly faces and extended claws who generally look pissed at the world who were designed by artist Tamiho Maita, I knew the black one would make a marvelous Yule Cat. So I took one of Jacoby’s Santa hats and scarves, and voilà! One Yule Cat plushie!

On a whim, I brought him along to the cat show last weekend. He attracted a bit of attention, and one of the club’s members even posted his photo on the club’s Facebook event page!

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I tried to get Lorelai and Izaak to pose with him in their show cage…it didn’t go as well as I hoped.

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Look at Zak’s face! He looks like he’s trying to out-anger Angry Black Cat!

Aby-a-Day – 8 December: The ears have it (Cat Show Saturday)

This weekend, we took Lorelai and Izaak to the Ädelkatten Kattklubb show in Västra Frölunda. Nobody got Nominated, but the show was very good for both Zak and Rory. About which I will post tomorrow.

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I found my realistic cat ears and wore them to the show. As I posted five years ago, some cats have an…interesting…reaction to seeing a human with cat ears.

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My friend Peter saw me taking the above photo and decided I needed yet another set of ears. Thanks, Peter.

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But at the show today, we met an Abyssinian who had a very strong reaction to my ears.

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When he first saw me, IP IC S*Aloysius Tiger Lily’s Trazan‘s eyes got HUGE. Then, he backed into a corner of his cage.

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And, after careful consideration of my ears, he…hissed at me.

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I mean, he really hissed at me. I gave his human some dry food we won in the lotteri to make up for his traumatisation.

Aby-a-Day – 1 December: A little show close to home (Cat Show Saturday)

Today, the Sverak club Björn belongs to,
Billingebygdens Kattklubb, had a little “mini-show” at our local DjurMagazinet. And by local, I mean, we can practically see the place from our house.

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It was pretty cool to have a show we could walk to.

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Of course, it wasn’t really a “show” in the sense that we weren’t really being judged for any FIFe points…but it was great publicity for the Singapura breed and cat shows in general.

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And…a chance to bond a little with Izaak…and give him a warm-up to the show we’re going to next weekend. We took Zak and not Lorelai because this was more publicity than an actual show…and we figured there’d be Abys there. We were right; there was one Aby and two Somalis.

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It was a great opportunity to show off the rare, new Singapura breed.

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And, it was a really fun day.

Aby-a-Day – 6 October: Izaak and Lorelai at the show in Vårgårda (Cat Show Saturday)

Quick show report from Vårgårda today.

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Because of the funeral yesteday, we decided to cancel our motel reservation and just stay at home Friday and Saturday night. This meant a long, speedy, frenzied drive to the show hall this morning…only to face a long, slow line at check in. Of course.

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Of course, once we got the cage set up, Lorelai and Izaak were their usual, over-stressed selves.

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Although we did have a bit of excitement over the dried beefheart samples…

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We were benched next to our friends Anna, Peter and Bonk. That was pleasant.

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The big surprise was that Rory’s half-sister was entered in the show! They have the same mother, Kajza, but Adela was born in January 2017.

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Here is Rory’s half-sister Adela up for judging.

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Rory was up for judging first, before Zak.

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The judge, Ulrika Eriksson, liked her well enough to call her back for the nominations.

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She was up against this tabby-point and white Siamese…

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…who ultimately ended up getting the nomination.

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Then it was Izaak’s turn.

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He was the only cat Jaana Jyrkinen judged today in his class (11 – Juniors, 7-10 months), so he got the nomination by default…but she loved him and would have had him in her final decision regardless.

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Here’s Zak with his little Nom trophy.

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…No, Zak…nothing to eat here…

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We were so excited! This was Zak’s first nomination! Okay, it may have been by default…but still, it’s a nomination and it counts!

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In the panel, Zak was up against a Bengal and a blue-spotted Ocicat.

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It was close…but the Ocicat ended up being Best in Show today. But still, it was a good day for the only Singapura entered in the show!