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 – 13 Juni: Cats love hotels (Thursday Things)

I don’t know what it is, but every cat I’ve ever known has loved staying in hotel rooms.

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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.

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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.

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The first batch of photos were taken Friday night. On Saturday night, Zak decided to play with the decorative blankets on both beds.

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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.

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I don’t know if Zak thought those blankets worked better as rugs or what…

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…but he is just so damn cute when he’s being naughty.

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Meanwhile, Rory was exhausted after her big show day and just wanted to nap.

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And yes, she dug this comforter cave all by herself. She does that at home, too. She is the queen of quilt forts.

Aby-a-Day – 17 Maj: NOM nom nom…(Friday Flashback)

I make a photo family calendar for my mom every year – that’s the only gift she really wants. May’s page is a collage of various cat show photos of Izaak and Lorelai.

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Since I am reminded every day this month of the time Rory tried to nom her NOM rosette…I thought you should, too.

Aby-a-Day – 2 Maj: Thanks, Facebook…(Travel Thursday)

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.

Aby-a-Day – 25 Februari: In memory of Walter Hutzler (Hipstamatic Monday)

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.

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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.

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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.

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Walter was a really fun judge to watch.

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He really interacted with the cats as he judged them.

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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).

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My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, Walter.

Aby-a-Day: 7 October: “Hairdressers are a wonderful breed” (Cat Show Sunday)

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.

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The nice thing about FIFe – especially if you don’t get a NOM – you have a lot of nice, relaxing downtime.

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So, Zak decided to use the downtime to practise his newfound talent of…hairdressing.

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“Here…you’ll look much better if I do like this…”

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“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

Aby-a-Day – 1 October: Happy Singapura Day!

On this day in 2014, the Singapura was officially accepted as a breed in FIFe.

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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.

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The GCCF (the British cat registry organisation) finally granted Singapuras championship status in June 2005.

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And then, at long last, the Singapuras were accepted by FIFe, Europe’s purebred cat registry.

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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.

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Which makes our little Polish import a special little cat, indeed!

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“Well DUH…of COURSE I’m special! Just look at me!”