The other day, I woke up with the idea to do this.
Not only did Jacoby not win the Egyptian costume contest (but a Photoshopped photo made the top three), but only one cat finalled in one ring: Dashiell! He was 14th Best in Premiership in Suki Lee’s virtual ring. You can watch his final on YouTube below:
I know I’ve posted Jacoby and his fabulous turkey outfit many times before, but the memory came up again on Facebook this week, and I couldn’t resist sharing it again.
Preparing for the fashion show at the Westchester Cat Club show, Jake didn’t just wear that thing. He owned it. So much so that the creator gifted it to Jake after the show.
He posed so perfectly on that green sofa.
Jake was so confident, he didn’t mind sharing the sofa with another contestant.
My favourite thing about that turkey outfit is that even Jake himself knew how good he looked wearing it.
He looked at himself for the longest time, admiring himself. I know they say cats don’t recognise themselves in mirrors, but I think Jake definitely did.
I know, I know…I dropped off the face of the world for a week. Part of that was due to me getting a new medication that was kicking my butt until I got used to it. The other part is that last Monday I got this email from Iris:
Your former region (Region 1) and your adopted region (Region 9) are joining forces for a virtual qualifier show for the CFA International Top Cat Challenge, and Sharon asked me to help with promotional copy and/or a theme. What I came up with is really crying out for some kind of sketch that we can use on the flyer and platform. It’s “Paws Across the Sea.” I don’t have any visual ideas other than two paws reaching toward each other with an ocean in between, but I thought maybe you could come up with something better. Please let me know if you’d be willing to work on this. The time frame is short but not an emergency. . . If you could do something by the weekend I think that would work.
My mind instantly went to vintage Disney “It’s a Small World” art. I made a globe/earth that featured the US Northeast and Europe and then made the quick sketch above to map out the international breed representatives. I had many ideas, but finally decided on featuring a Siamese, a Russian Blue, a Maine Coon (Marlin, the NEMO mascot), a Scottish Fold, and a Singapura. I had wanted to include a Japanese Bobtail, but I realised that if you couldn’t see the tail, it might not be clear what breed it was.
I started by making a generic cat sketch. I enlarged it for Marlin, made it smaller for the Singapura, and stretched it out for the Siamese.
I made sketches for all five breeds, and combined them on one layer.
Then I did the ink outline in Procreate.
I did the undercolour layer beneath the ink layer in Procreate as well. Colouring tortoiseshell-and-white cats is difficult, but fun!
My best fur brushes are in Photoshop, so I moved to that to work on the texture layer.
Here are all three layers combined.
Then I add the whiskers, eyeshine and shadow, and voilá: a graphic for an international virtual cat show!
A slight postscript: I couldn’t fit an Abyssinian into the graphic…but who’s that holding the Siamese’s other paw?
Today was the New England Meow Unit‘s Virtual Cat Show. I entered everyone, including Alfred, Angel (as a Household Pet), and Logan (in the Rainbow Bridge class). Because it was the Nemo show, of course there was a costume contest, and I entered a few different outfits…and finally won with our Marilyn Monroe and JakeFK costumes. Okay, it was Third Place, but still.
Meg and Drooley got 4th Place as the Unknown Comic and his cat!
Jacoby placed 7th in the Rainbow Bridge class.
And now for the actual judging classes. Izaak was 15th Best Cat in Championship in Teresa Sweeney’s “ring.” You know, this is actually my first CFA final with a Championship cat! All my other show cats were Premiers.
Speaking of Premiers…Dashiell did the best of everyone, placing 6th Best in Premiership in Allan Raymond’s ring.
You can see all the finals on Nemo’s YouTube channel. Each one is pretty long, so clear yourself some time (or fast forward through it, that works too). Oh, and it’s pretty cool that my artwork is all over this show, too.
These are photos from when Lorelai got a NOM at the very first show she was entered in.
We had Izaak at this point, but he hadn’t gotten his SVERAK registration yet, so he couldn’t be entered. This was the only show she went to alone.
The photos of Rory trying to nom her NOM ribbon are among my favourite photos of her.
We haven’t been able to go to a cat show since last November (thank you, global pandemic), and I really miss it. I think the cats do, too.
A friend on Facebook posted a photo of her cats today with the caption: “Is this really all we do now? We can’t leave?! When is the next cat show?! We’re tired of sitting home!!!!”
Dude…I so know that feel.
Because we weren’t able to go to our favourite show in Örebro this year, we haven’t been to a show since November, when we went with Lorelai and Izaak to Turku. It’s the one thing I really miss since the pandemic started.
So, I went back in my backlog of photos and found this set of Zak at the Turku show, after our collection of show wand toys fell over.
He was so cute, playing with the toys. We mainly only ever play with wand toys at shows, so this was a treat.
I even made a short video of it (click on the image to view it on another tab in Flickr).
This memory came up today on Facebook: Jacoby’s and my last Seacoast Cat Show in New Hampshire. It was a great show; Jake got 136 points at that show.
That show, and the one CFA show we went to in Sweden where he made every final, was enough to make him 10th Best Abyssinian in Premiership for the 2016-17 show season, on top of his 8th Best placement the season before.
I know I have some awesome cats now…but I still miss my Jakey.
Yesterday, I posted about the Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade being cancelled. That’s not the only thing cancelled. The Scandinavian Winners Show, which was to be 25-26 April, was declared cancelled on Wednesday.
When I went to the Winners Show in 2018 with Logan, I didn’t fully appreciate what a truly big deal it was. I mean, I knew it was special, and you had to qualify to enter, but I didn’t really get how important it is. Cats who win BIS in the Winners Show get to add the letters SW to their titles. It matters. CFA has nothing like that, where you can earn a title in a single show.
It started to sink in on the second day. There was no judging, just awarding. People dresssed up in their national colours and it felt like a party.
But one of the best things was that our friend Stellan’s Singapura, Chi, won! Now he is SW S*Kustens Chi Sarà Con Te.
He’s also a little doll.
The timing wasn’t right to go to the Winners Show last year when it was held in Turku, but we were excited to go to this year’s show in Norway. Timing was good, the location was good…and it would have been my first time travelling to Norway! But there is a teeny-tiny silver lining…Next year’s Winners Show will be in ÖREBRO! Our favourite showhall and everything! Hopefully this virus will be managed by then.
That’s not all. CFA’s President has announced that, after the Crab and Mallet show in Baltimore this weekend, the CFA show season is over. It usually ends on April 30th.
You may recall I got to visit this show once as a spectator; it’s a wonderful show in a great location. And I got to meet the Mooners! This year, however, spectators are not allowed. Only exhibitors and judges will be allowed in the show hall.
This upcoming weekend is NEMO’s seventh annual show! You may remember that I did a drawing of Marlin playing craps, because the theme of the show this year is “Lucky 7’s” with a Vegas theme.
I also made this spoof of the infamous Vegas sign for the club to use as incidental art. I don’t know if they used it, but it was fun to make.
For the cover of the program, Iris and I brainstormed other Vegas gambling motifs, and I came up with Marlin winning cat food from a slot machine. And, even better, I was able to incorporate my Vegas NEMO sign. I’m pretty proud of how it turned out; Iris said she thought it was one of my best! I wonder what the theme will be next year?
On a whim, we brought the Pets Hate Toys “Donald” cat toy. Izaak actually liked having it in the cage. I think it’s the hair. It did get a lot of laughs.
Just like yesterday, Lorelai was judged first today.
It was funny at this show…we had the same judges as yesterday, but Rory saw Eric and Izaak saw Glenn today.
He was as charmed by her as he was by Zak.
I really like Eric. He’s a good judge, and fun to watch. Plus, since he’s not Swedish, he does everything in English!
Today, there were only three blue Abys. One of the kittens was only entered on Sunday.
But the competition was still tough. Of course, it’s not easy to choose between a mature adult, a young adult, and a kitten, but in the end…
…Rory was, once again, Best In Variety! My friend Anna told me that if Rory keeps this up, she could be the best blue Aby in Sweden! She was also up for Nomination, but like yesterday, she wasn’t chosen for the panel.
Then it was Izaak’s turn to be judged.
Glenn really liked Zak, too.
Ultimately, he decided to put Zak up for nomination today.
Then it was time for the panel. Zak was up against TWO Bengals.
Thea Friškovec was one of the voting judges on the Category 3 panel today (she wasn’t yesterday). Thea was the judge who NOMed Zak at the last show, where he ended up winning his first BIS. She actually sought us out yesterday to say hello to Zak (she breeds Singapuras herself).
She’s clearly very fond of little Zak.
And in the end…
…Izaak got two votes and was Category 3’s Best In Show entire male!
One thing about FIFe shows is…when you win best in show, you actually WIN stuff. You get rosettes, trophies, and medals, sure…but you also get swag. This is the line-up of prize bags for all the categories and all the classes.
This is all the stuff that was in Zak’s swag bag.
The “decoration light” is actually Zak’s BIS trophy. It’s pretty cool, and it’s on the window with the other cool trophies Jacoby, Rory and Zak have won.
After the panel was over, we packed up and went home.
This is the first time we’ve actually used it, and as you can see, it’s quite the hit with the ticked crowd.
The show was in a good location (near an amazing Greek restaurant, too), and it was well-organised and set up…that’s always a plus! Lorelai was the first to be judged in the morning.
The judge, Glenn Sjöbom, was fast, but thorough.
I am always surprised by how calm Rory is on the table with the judge. She’s always so squirmy and active, but put her on the judge’s table, and she’s a perfect angel.
There are four blue Aby girls in the show today. The other two are IC Abychat Whos-That-Girl and her two daughters, S*Cat Claw’s Purr-fect Pleasure and S*Cat Claw’s Purr-fect Paradise.
Here is Whos-That-Girl with our friend Susanna.
Because there were more than three blue Abys, we could have a Best In Variety, so we had to wait around whilst all the girls were finished judging.
Meanwhile, in the ring next to ours, the ruddy Abyssinians were being judged by Thea Friškovec.
I had to laugh when I saw this guy (GIC S*Aucuparia’s Mimar Sinan JW) because he reminded me so much of Jacoby sitting in the judging cage like that.
Then it was time for the blue Aby BIV. Poor Glenn had to choose between four girls.
First he eliminated one of the kitten sisters.
He checked Rory’s ticking and undercoat tone.
I had the presence of mind to switch to video for the final decision…I’m glad I did! Click on the image to see the video in another window.
Rory seemed pretty proud of her achievement.
And perhaps a little stunned, too. She was also up for Nomination, but lost out to a Cornish Rex.
Next, it was Izaak’s turn to be judged.
His judge, Eric Reijers, was quite charmed by our little Zak.
I’m not sure who was having more fun playing, Zak or Eric.
He tried out every toy with Zak to see which he liked best.
(Spoiler alert: He liked ALL of them!)
Our friends Jenny and Skilla (S*Kustens Follia d’Amore) were at the show, too! It was good to see them again.
Skilla was having a bad day. She was cranky and hissing. Again, I was reminded of Jake.
Zak was up against three British Shorthairs; a blue with amazing golden eyes, a brown mackerel tabby, and a young red tabby. Unfortunately, Björn was busy with Rory, and I was holding Zak, so I don’t have any photos. I was shocked when Zak got the Nomination! We almost always lose to the BSHs.
Finally it was time for the panel. Zak didn’t like the grooming I gave him, so he did it himself.
I really like that stewards hold the cats up during the panel. That means the owners and breeders can relax and watch.
The competition amongst the the male cats was stiff! A Bengal, a Lilac BSH, and little Zak. The way it works is, the three judges who judged the class (in this case, Vladimir Isakov, Sirpa Lindelöf, and Eric) look at the cats who were NOMed, and vote on which they think is the best example of their breed.
In the end, the Bengal got two votes. But Izaak got one as well! Considering the competition, that’s awesome!
But remember the ruddy boy who reminded me of Jake? He won Best in Show in his class! Here he is with our friend Jan, his human. They both look pretty happy. I wonder what will happen tomorrow?
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
I don’t know what it is, but every cat I’ve ever known has loved staying in hotel rooms.
They always say that cats like stability, familiarity, routine…so why they love strange new hotel rooms, foreign beds, and different window views? Perhaps cats are more adventurous than we give them credit for. All I know is, going back to my Siamese, Harri, who was born in 1991, every cat I’ve ever taken to a hotel has loved it. And I hear that from almost every other cat person I’ve talked to at shows.
Izaak and Lorelai are no exception. The minute we walk in the room, they’re off excitedly checking out every corner. Jacoby would actually be cranky at cat shows during the day because he’d stayed up all night whooping it up in the hotel room.
The first batch of photos were taken Friday night. On Saturday night, Zak decided to play with the decorative blankets on both beds.
He didn’t just pull them off onto the floor, though; he also bit them, bunny-kicked them and dragged them around the room. Unfortunately, none of those photos turned out.
I don’t know if Zak thought those blankets worked better as rugs or what…
…but he is just so damn cute when he’s being naughty.
Meanwhile, Rory was exhausted after her big show day and just wanted to nap.
And yes, she dug this comforter cave all by herself. She does that at home, too. She is the queen of quilt forts.
Love it or hate it, Facebook is a reality. It’s annoying as hell, but it’s also a great way to stay in touch with friends and family (like friends from second grade and several of my cousins in Canada). And then there’s the “Memories” it likes to show you.
This photo was today’s memory, four years ago. Jacoby and I were on our way to the Seacoast show in New Hampshire, one of our favourites. We’re riding the T on our way to meet the friend I was staying with. Interestingly enough, I never included this photo in a blog post about the show (and I made several posts about it, too)!
So bittersweet…a happy memory, to be sure, but I miss that way he gazed at me.
Sad news…CFA judge Walter Hutzler has passed away. He was a great cat judge and person. I didn’t know him well, but he lived in Region 1 and I was lucky to have seen him judge and have Jacoby judged by him a few times.
The thing I remember about Walter is his flamboyant style of dressing. He also often wore scarves, which I thought was cool, and a nice change from the usual ties CFA judges wear.
He was even featured in the 2006 PBS documentary Standard of Perfection: Show Cats. It’s always fun to see judges you know on TV shows.
Walter was a really fun judge to watch.
He really interacted with the cats as he judged them.
Since it was Monday, I remembered I had taken some Hipstamatic photos of Walter judging Jake at a show in Groton, CT in October 2011 (the same weekend I met Molly and Mosey and Jake Gbecame a Grand).
My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, Walter.
Today at the show was…hopeful, but ultimately uneventful. Lorelai was up for the NOM against the Russian Blue…so she didn’t get it. Oh, well. Izaak’s judge, Daria Lukasik, was from Poland, too…but she didn’t know that he was Polish until after the nominations. She was so in love with him…she threatened to put him in her bag and take him home with her. But ultimately – and it was close – he lost the NOM to a Bengal.
The nice thing about FIFe – especially if you don’t get a NOM – you have a lot of nice, relaxing downtime.
So, Zak decided to use the downtime to practise his newfound talent of…hairdressing.
“Here…you’ll look much better if I do like this…”
“There. Now you look…purrfect!”
Okay, we didn’t win this weekend…and Zak isn’t the next Vidal Sassoon…but we found a kickass Chinese Restaurant in Vårgårda
While the Singapura was accepted for registration by the TICA in 1979 for championship competition and accepted in CFA in 1982 as a provisional breed and was granted championship status in 1988, Singas took longer to be accepted in Europe.
And then, at long last, the Singapuras were accepted by FIFe, Europe’s purebred cat registry.
Because I have known about Singas – and seen them at CFA shows – since I was in high school (at least 35 years), it’s a bit odd to me that they are a “new” breed here in Europe. In Sweden, Singapuras were registered in Sverak (Sweden’s branch of FIFe) since the early 1980’s, but in all that time, only 355 Singapuras have been registered in Sweden. And, as of right now, Sverak’s newest Singapura is…our Izaak.
Which makes our little Polish import a special little cat, indeed!
“Well DUH…of COURSE I’m special! Just look at me!”
Whilst working on a new project for the upcoming NEMO show, I came across an old drawing I did for Iris five years ago for the National Norwegian Forest Cat Breed Club’s show catalogue (the show was around Columbus Day, as I recall). I’d forgotten all about it, but considering where I live now, it was too funny not to share.
Seeing it again also reminded me that I had always wanted to colour it. So, it being a rainy Tuesday, I figured, what the heck?