Aby-a-Day – 10 Januari: The second day at the Swedish CFA show (Swedish Cat Show Sunday)

The second day of that Swedish CFA show was as much fun as the first, both for us and for Jacoby.

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We had a lot of judges come over from the US. At this point, I had only been in Sweden for six months, so it was fun to see some familiar faces and hear some familiar accents.

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This judge, Albert Kurkowski, was one of the few non-American, non-CFA judges; he was from Poland, and he was a guest judge from the World Cat Federation.

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I really enjoyed watching him handle Jake.

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There was a really pretty little Burmilla girl who was frequently benched next to us during judging.

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She reminded me a bit of Tessie.

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This judge, Inga Balciuniene, was also a WCF guest judge from Latvia.

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Pam DeLaBar is a CFA judge who lives in Finland. I actually hadn’t ever seen her at a show in the States. It’s nice having another ex-pat in the cat fancy.

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And our friend Russell Webb was there, too. He was always Jake’s lucky charm.

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Jake was Second Best cat in Premiership in Russell’s ring.

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As we did Saturday, when Jake got a little antsy we went outside to play in the snow. This time, I didn’t bother with the harness and leash. I figured, how far is he going to get in that deep snow.

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Famous last words.

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He started making off towards a little house. He went pretty far really quickly, too! I was surprised how hard he was to catch.

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I finally caught him, though.

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The cats we have now are awesome, and a lot of fun to show…but I still miss going to shows with Jake.

Aby-a-Day – 9 Januari: Scenes from a Swedish CFA show (Swedish Cat Show Saturday)

I never did post the photos from the CFA show we went to in 2017 I was reminded of yesterday.

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Jacoby seemed delighted to be back at a CFA show after competing in a few FIFe shows.

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And our friend Teresa Keiger seemed delighted to see Jake on her judging table again.

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Many CFA judges enjoyed showing off Jake’s “hands off” style on the judging table, and Teresa is one of them.

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People never got over how he loved to just stand and pose on the table, with absolutely no desire to run off.

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Jake really loved CFA shows.

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Even so, later in the day Jake started getting a little antsy, so we took him outside to play in the snow.

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The snow was fresh and wicked deep.

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I think Jake was happy for a break outside…but a little taken aback by how much snow there was.

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That didn’t stop him from exploring, though.

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He even plowed his way to a chain link fence.

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When he got there, he gripped the links and looked out through the fence.

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It was strangely reminiscent of the way he loved to look through the chain link fence in our little park along the Harborwalk back in Boston.

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After the first day of showing was over, we settled into our hotel. Jake knew where his food was!

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Jake and Björn chilled on the bed watching TV.

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There happened to be a documentary about cats on TV that night!

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Jake was very interested in it and watched intently. It was so cute!

Aby-a-Day – 8 Januari: Remembering Jacoby’s last CFA show (Friday Flashback)

Four years ago, Björn, Jacoby and I were at our first (and Jake’s only) CFA show in Region 9 (Europe). There in only one CFA show in Sweden annually, and it’s inconveniently located and so close to the beloved Örebro show, so we only entered it the one time.

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It was fun, though, and Jake really enjoyed himself. He always preferred CFA’s format to FIFe’s. And, entered in the show, were three Abyssinians descended from Instincts cats.

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It was fun to see old friends again. Pam DeLaBar, a CFA judge, is also another American expat living in Finland.

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There was also a lot of snow. When Jake started getting bored, we went out and played in it.

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This show was also the only show where Jake finalled in every ring. There were only nineteen cats entered in Premiership, and, interestingly, they were almost all older than five years. It was a fun time…even though the rosettes were printed on cardboard.

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We went outside again on Sunday to play in the snow. This time, I didn’t bother to put Jake on his leash. He went on a bit of a walkabout before I was able to catch him!

I’ll share more photos from that show weekend tomorrow and Sunday.

Aby-a-Day – 20 December 2020: Surprise! Another final! (Cinema Cat Show Sunday)

Surprise! On Friday, when I posted about Jacoby’s victories in the “Haute Cat-ture” category, I didn’t realise that there were two judges in the competition. So Jake won AGAIN, earning 6th place in Millenial Exhibitors Judge Romain Attard’s “ring.”

You can see him narrating his final on YouTube.

Aby-a-Day – 18 December 2020: Good fortune in the fashion show (Fashion Friday)

This morning, I got the following email: “Thank you for participating in the 2020 CFA International Top Cat Challenge, benefitting the WINN Feline Foundation. Your cat has WON in the Haute Cat-ture competition! We will be sending your cat a treat or toy via Amazon Prime, sponsored by ZYMOX pet products, in the near future.

Here are our top 10 winners:

Coconut
PinUpCats Pichu
Khufu
Jasper
Milo
Leonidas (Abysaurus Rex)
Pellburn Jacoby Stealin Home
Snowball
Fury
Gememerald A Million Voices”

Yep, Jake made it into the the top ten…twice! He was Ninth Best in his snow boots and knit cap, and Third Best wearing his Don Draper suit. I had also entered him in his turkey outfit and in his Red Sox uniform (including socks), but those two photos didn’t make the final.

You can watch the final, narrated by CFA Region 9 judge Teo Vargas Huesa, on You Tube.

Aby-a-Day – 6 December 2020: International Top Cat Challenge (Cat Show Sunday)

I finally got around to entering the CFA International Top Cat Challenge finale. After the results of the last show, I was a bit hesitant, but ah, what the hell?

So I entered Izaak,

and Lorelai in the Championship class,

and Dashiell in the Premiership class, using the regular photos.

The entry fees were $10 each, with the fourth entry being free. So, I entered Angel in the Household Pet class.

But the main reason I entered this show was for the “Haute Cat-ture” fun class. Cats…posing in costumes? Um, yes please! I entered Jacoby in four different outfits: His Red Sox uniform…

…His Don Draper suit…

…His super posey snow photoshoot wearing his knit cap and his boots…

…and of course, Jake’s fabulous Thanksgiving outfit! Wish me luck!

Aby-a-Day – 7 November 2020: Paws Across the Sea Results! (Cat Show Saturday)

Two weeks ago, I posted about entering the Paws Across the Sea joint Region 1/Region 9 CFA virtual show. Well, the results were announced last weekend! As expected, Lorelai didn’t make any finals (there were three blue female Abys in Championship), but we did have a bit of luck…each of the other cats made one final each.

Izaak was 15th Best Cat in Championship in Iris Zinck’s virtual ring. He also made a final as 15th Best in the Nemo show.

You can hear Iris’ comments on Zak here (starting at 0:55).

Dashiell was 4th Best Cat in Premiership in Suki Lee’s virtual ring. In the Nemo show, he was 6th Best Cat in Premiership in one ring, so that’s a good sign for when we finally get to go back to real cat shows.

You can hear Suki’s comments on Dash here (starting at 7:12).

Perhaps the most gratifying final, though, was Angel’s HHP final in Gary Veach’s virtual ring. She was 12th Best! This is only her second show…and her first final.

You can hear Gary’s comments on Angel here (starting at 3:06).

I really do miss going to cat shows…we haven’t been to one for an entire year, since last November, if you can believe it. But at least we have virtual shows to keep us going.

Aby-a-Day – 25 Oktober 2020: Paws Across the Sea (Cat Show Sunday)

Remember the artwork I did for a Region 1/Region 9 virtual CFA show? Well, entries are closing today!

I entered Izaak and Lorelai in Championship…even though they aren’t registered in CFA, as long as they are registered in any organisation, they’re eligible to be shown.

I know I use these photos from Örebro a lot, but they are just so wonderful. It’s going to be interesting; whilst Zak is the only Singapura entered (so far), there are three Championship blue Aby girls entered!

Dashiell is entered in Premiership. I wish I had more professional shots of him, but at least we have the photos from the ferry! Although, had I known virtual shows would become a thing, I would have taken his collar off.

Entries were $10 USD each, but the fourth entry was free, so I went ahead and entered Angel as a HHP. The cats will all be examined by CFA judges, just like a real show, and there will be top ten finals. But there is also a Spectators’ Choice element, and people can vote for their favourite cats. To vote for any of our cats, click on their photograph and their gallery page will open in a new window. Votes cost $1 USD each, and you can purchase multiple votes for each at one time, but can only make one transaction per cat per day. Funds raised will go to support both regions. For more information, go to the show’s home page.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Oktober 2020: Making the World Sweeter (Cat Show Saturday)

Last December, we went to a “mini-show” at our nearby pet store, DjurMagazinet, similar to the one we went to in 2018.

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One fun thing about these “pet store” shows is, there is no judging, and a lot more downtime. So we get to explore the store.

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Including the cat trees.

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But Izaak wasn’t the only one exploring the cat trees. If you recall, we met a lovely sorrel Somali named Tootsie at the last show we went to at DjurMagazinet.

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Both Tootsie and Zak were (literally) all over the cat trees at the show.

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It was fun to watch Tootsie and Zak interact.

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They both live with other cats and (used to, anyway) go to cat shows often, so they were quite civil with each other.

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They mostly explored the trees individually, but near each other.

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Zak really liked how high he could get.

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He also really liked the hanging puffball toys, while Tootsie explored the cubbyhole.

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Zak then moved to one of the hammocks, and from there seemed to notice Tootsie.

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He came down to say hello.

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I think they could be friends!

Aby-a-Day – 10 Oktober 2020: My last NEMO show (Cat Show Saturday)

Facebook reminded me today that exactly five years ago, Jacoby and I were at our last NEMO show. Kind of interesting that in 2015, the 10th and 11th of October fell on Saturday and Sunday the same as this year. One nice thing about the show hall at Sturbridge is that it has WiFi, so I was able to FaceTime with Björn and virtually introduce him to my friends.

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It was funny…Jake never used to “pole dance” on the judge’s table, but for some reason, at that show, he did it quite a few times!

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He seemed as surprised as anyone.

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He got a catnip kick-stick from our friend Donna.

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He really liked it.

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We also got to meet our friend Kim’s famous Bobby, star of Netfix’s Catwalk. Yes, we can honestly say we knew him when.

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Jake’s mini-me was at the show, too.

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I had to show it to Carla Bizzell, who had once called Jake a posable action figure. She was quite amused.

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And let’s not forget the costume contest! Jake and I dressed as >a href=”target=#>Jake from State Farm and the woman on the phone.

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It was the best costume. I got to wear a bathrobe and pajamas all day. And I even had a phone.

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“What are you wearing, ‘Jake from State Farm‘?”

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That was one of the best shows I’ve ever been in. I’ll always remember it fondly.

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New England is beautiful in autumn…but our part of Sweden gets similar bright foliage, so I don’t miss it too much.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Juli 2020: The start of an amazing experience (Friday Flashback)

This memory came up in my Facebook feed today. Seven years ago today, I was contacted by Leslie and Sheila of the Westchester Feline Club because they wanted Jacoby to be the 2013 Westchester Feline Club Cat of the Year.

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I have to admit, I really had no clue what a huge honour it was to be named Cat of the Year, but fortunately I’m a fast learner. Of course, seeing his face on the Jumbotron was a pretty big hint.

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I was constantly talking to people, or doing something with Jake. Besides the Cat of the Year, Jake was also entered in the show (we only missed two rings, which is a bit of a miracle) and he participated as a model in the Fashion Show which was held both Saturday and Sunday. Jake is actually the first Cat of the Year to do all three things in the same show!

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The show was good; Jake made a few finals. And the fashion show was fantastic. They originally wanted Jake to wear a Santa outfit…but when we saw how he rocked this turkey confection, everyone agreed that it was the costume for him! The person who made it even gave it to him afterwards, because he owned it so hard.

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The list of previous Cats of the Year is impressive, indeed.

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Jake was given an incredible rosette – the Scarlett Ribbon – with a photo of Scarlett, who was the very first Cat of the Year and the reason the award was created.

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He was also given this certificate…

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…and this poster. I was NOT prepared for all of it!

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It was truly a once in a lifetime experience…but I didn’t realise that in July!

Aby-a-Day – 22 Maj 2020: Facebook has all the memories! It has the best memories! (Fashion Friday Flashback)

Yesterday, Facebook reminded me of the time we got bored at a cat show and put some of the hair I had groomed off Jacoby and put it on his head.

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After I did that, we noticed that the pile of hair on Jake’s bore a striking resemblance to a certain American president.

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Especially from the side.

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Jake was always such a good sport…

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…and he really could rock anything he wore, too. I miss that.

Aby-a-Day – 13 Maj 2020: Wordless Wednesday (When you try to use the litterbox at a show and your little sister is being a brat)

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Aby-a-Day – 12 Januari 2020: International Champion S*Backilandets Mercedes von Ekorntorp (Cat Show Sunday)

Unlike Izaak, Lorelai did not become an International Champion on Saturday at the show in Turku.

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That’s because she was in direct competition for the certificate.

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We saw Thea Friškovec, who loves Zak, and who has seen Rory before on her judging table.

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There was another blue Aby female in Category 7: Ch FI*Redcheetah’s Erin.

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When there are two or more cats in the same category, sex and colour, only one earns the certificate. The other gets an Ex2.

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I am sure it was hard to pick the best cat…they are almost the same age (Rory is four months older), same colour, same level of achievement…

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…It was pretty tense to watch.

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In the end, our friend Jonna and her cat Erin got the certificate. Congratulations!

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But Erin was only entered on Saturday. On Sunday, Rory was the only blue Aby in her category.

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We saw Martienn Tausen, a judge from Iceland.

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He didn’t Nominate her, but that wasn’t important.

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What was important is that she earned her non-Swedish certificate and achieved the title of International Champion. It’s a bit ironic; we started showing Rory earlier than Zak because we had to wait to get his pedigree entered into Sverak…but he earned his title before she did!

Aby-a-Day – 11 Januari 2020: International Champion Joy Minimali*PL (Cat Show Saturday)

We went to a cat show in Turku, Finland, back in November. The main reason we entered this show was so that Lorelai and Izaak could earn their International Champion titles. In order to achieve this, cats must earn three certificates from three different judges in two different countries. We had the three certificates from three different judges locked. We just needed to go to a different country. Turku is a convenient ferry ride, and a place we hadn’t visited yet.

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As is not uncommon, Zak was the only Singapura in the show, so we were pretty certain that he would become an IC.

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His judge for the day, Pia Nyman, loved him. She praised his perfect “reindeer” colouration.

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She also knew Singapuras, which, in FIFe, can be rather hit-or-miss when it comes to judges. But Pia was actually “babysitting” a litter of Singas at home for a Finnish Singa breeder friend.

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Singapuras are almost always the last breed in the ring in Category 3 (unless there are Selkirk Rexes, Sokokes or Snowshoes entered, and honestly, they’re almost rarer than Singas! But because we are last, we usually just hang around for the Nominations, because we’re almost always under consideration. The Champion males were stiff competition. We were up against a Korat, a British Shorthair, an Ocicat, and an Egyptian Mau.

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But you could tell she really liked Zak.

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It was super close and really tense. I am usually the one who’s taking the photos, not holding the cat during the Nomination.

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Pia took close second looks at the Brit and the Oci…

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…and she also revisited the Mau.

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But she kept coming back to Zak.

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Pia had good things to say about all of the cats.

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But, in the end…it was Zak who won the NOM!

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Then it was time for the panel (basically, the FIFe finals), and we had a great steward assigned to handle him.

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It was close…there was a white British Shorthair and a seal Burmese with Zak…Zak did get one vote, but in the end it went to the Burmese.

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That didn’t matter, though. We got what we came for.

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Zak earned his International Champion title.

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And he also earned a really nice NOM medallion. The prize you get for winning a Nomination can really vary between clubs. We have gotten trophies, plaques, banners, and simple rosettes…but medals are by far my favourite, and the Turok medals are seriously the best I have ever seen.

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It seems that they had them custom-made somewhere. They are really heavy and really nicely made (this coming from someone who did metalsmithing and jewellry making in college and coin-making in the SCA). It’s one of the best cat show trophies I’ve ever won.

Aby-a-Day – 7 Januari 2020: Art in garbage (Cartoon Tuesday)

At one of the cat shows we entered recently, I happened to notice a shape in one of the paper towel trashbins in the toilet. Can you see it?

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Now can you see it?

Aby-a-Day – 15 Augusti: A quick visit to the cat show

On Sunday, we spent some time at the cat show in Lempäälä (near Tampere) that Russell and Carol, along with my friend Pam, were judging. Because we had to catch the ferry back to Sweden at 16:45, and it was a long drive from the show hall to the ferry terminal, we couldn’t enter Dashiell in the show – it didn’t matter, pointwise, because he’s still a kitten, and exhibitors aren’t allowed to leave until the show’s posted closing hour. But that didn’t mean we couldn’t drop by for a visit.

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It was a very small show, held in a shopping mall (which was actually rather cool). One-day shows in CFA aren’t common, but they happen; however, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show with only three rings!

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My friend Anne set us up with a small pop-up tent and a litter box for Dash. While in Sweden, people mostly use the metal show cages and spectators view the cats on the same side of the cage as the exhibitors, in Finland, people use SturdiShelters and pop-up tents with a clear back, and the spectators view the cats from the back whilst the exhibitiors sit with their cats by the cages’ doors. It feels a bit strange, not really being able to interact with the people coming to see the cats except over the top of your cage.

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Dash has been to shows before, so he knew what to do.

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He was very interested in this one little boy who stopped to see him.

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Dash wanted to make friends with the kid, but it’s hard when you’re behind plastic.

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If it had been a metal cage, Dash would have reaching out to touch the boy.

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I think both kitten and child were equally fascinated with each other. It was adorable.

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We were only able to stay for about an hour and a half (the show, being so small, didn’t start until 11), but it was nice to hang out with Meg and Anne a little bit more. I also managed to get a photo of Anne’s stunning tattoo…isn’t it lovely?

Aby-a-Day – 9 Augusti: Speaking of escape artists…(Friday Flashback)

Izaak’s escape at the show last weekend reminded me of the time Logan figured out how to open his cage at one of his first shows.

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They look so similar, Logan and Zak, but they are so very different.

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As much as I love my little Zakky…I do miss Logan’s grumpy old man meow.

Aby-a-Day – 8 Augusti: Two words you never want to hear at a cat show: “Cat out!” (Thursday Things)

Especially when it’s your cat.

Sunday at the show, after Izaak had been judged and we were waiting for the Nominations, Lorelai was called up for her Nomination at the same time. So Björn had Rory and I had Zak. Then I dropped my phone and it came out of its case. I needed two hands to put it back in, so I handed Zak over to Björn. Then Zak started to cough up a hairball.

I raced over to the Secretary’s table and grabbed a piece of scratch paper, and got Zak to puke on it. Björn was right next to us, so I asked him to grab Zak whilst I dealt with the barf. In the time between me letting him go and Björn grabbing him…

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…he decided this space under the folded-up bleachers (the show hall’s day job is a basketball arena). And he. Would not. Come. OUT. When he doesn’t want to be caught, he is a master. They announced that a cat was loose and to close all the doors, but I was like, “Yeah, no. The doors are the least of our worries!” He’s roaming around underneath the bleachers, and he’s up for Nomination like NOW

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Finally, a woman with Siamese working the Secretary’s table called to me. She saw Zak in the corner, near her stroller. They asked me if I had any food that would lure him out. I said, “No…he won’t eat anything but raw and chicken necks. Does anyone have a raw chicken neck?” Yeah, nobody did. I had grabbed Chirpy Mouse and Zak’s favourite wand toy (a fishing lure blue crab I picked up in Baltimore), so we tried those. Chirpy Mouse had no effect, but Blue Crab got his attention. I almost grabbed him…but then he backed away. He wandered around a little more, and then came back to that corner, and, with the help of Blue Crab, I was able to grab him. The judge he was up for Nomination with, Glenn Sjöbom, asked me if I was okay and patted me on the back, telling me not to worry and not feel like I needed to rush. When he actually got nominated, I held him up, and, during the applause, I said to him, “You. Do. NOT. Deserve. This!”

I repeated that when he was declared Best In Show.

I don’t have any photos of the actual events…I was too busy trying to catch the little asshole.

But here’s the punchline to the whole escapade: Just after it happened my friend Kinsey posted on Facebook that Zak’s brother, Paolo had escaped that morning and led her on a merry chase around the neighbourhood before she managed to catch him again. He wears a tracker on his collar that she can track on her mobile.

One of her friends commented that it could only happen to Kinsey, and I chimed in, “Nope, not just Kinsey. Today at the cat show, Izaak, Paolo and Keiko’s younger brother, escaped and went exploring under the bleachers!”. To which Kinsey explained, “Must be in their genes. Paolo did that at a cat show once and I was on my hands and knees under the benches trying to get him.”

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They ARE full brothers, perhaps not littermate brothers, but brothers nonetheless. Kinsey’s always posting about Paolo’s adventures…and by the smug, “sorry, not sorry” look on Zak’s face, I suspect I will be, too.

Aby-a-Day – 5 Augusti: Just another day at the cat show (Hipstamatic Monday)

I love doing Hipstamatic photos at cat shows.

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The show we did this weekend is no exception.

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From Lorelai being judged…

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…to Rory being BIV, Hipstamatic casts events in a different, interesting, light.

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I love this photo of the two of them with their rosettes.

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And this, of Rory competing for BIV against the other blue Abys in the show. Hipstamatic turns a boring photo into art.

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After a long day at the cat show, there’s still a train ride home to look forward to.

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It’s a train ride made more interesting with Hipstamatic.