Aby-a-Day – 4 Augusti: “So much winning…” (Cat Show Sunday)

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.

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Just like yesterday, Lorelai was judged first today.

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It was funny at this show…we had the same judges as yesterday, but Rory saw Eric and Izaak saw Glenn today.

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He was as charmed by her as he was by Zak.

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I really like Eric. He’s a good judge, and fun to watch. Plus, since he’s not Swedish, he does everything in English!

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Today, there were only three blue Abys. One of the kittens was only entered on Sunday.

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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…

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…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.

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Then it was Izaak’s turn to be judged.

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Glenn really liked Zak, too.

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Ultimately, he decided to put Zak up for nomination today.

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Then it was time for the panel. Zak was up against TWO Bengals.

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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).

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She’s clearly very fond of little Zak.

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And in the end…

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…Izaak got two votes and was Category 3’s Best In Show entire male!

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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.

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This is all the stuff that was in Zak’s swag bag.

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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.

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After the panel was over, we packed up and went home.

Aby-a-Day – 3 Augusti: There’s winning and then there’s doing pretty good (Cat Show Saturday)

We’re at a cat show in Södertälje this weekend. At the last show, I bought a little shelf for the show cage which also has a curtain to hide the litter box.

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This is the first time we’ve actually used it, and as you can see, it’s quite the hit with the ticked crowd.

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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.

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The judge, Glenn Sjöbom, was fast, but thorough.

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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.

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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.

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Here is Whos-That-Girl with our friend Susanna.

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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.

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Meanwhile, in the ring next to ours, the ruddy Abyssinians were being judged by Thea Friškovec.

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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.

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Then it was time for the blue Aby BIV. Poor Glenn had to choose between four girls.

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First he eliminated one of the kitten sisters.

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He checked Rory’s ticking and undercoat tone.

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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.

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Rory seemed pretty proud of her achievement.

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And perhaps a little stunned, too. She was also up for Nomination, but lost out to a Cornish Rex.

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Next, it was Izaak’s turn to be judged.

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His judge, Eric Reijers, was quite charmed by our little Zak.

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I’m not sure who was having more fun playing, Zak or Eric.

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He tried out every toy with Zak to see which he liked best.

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(Spoiler alert: He liked ALL of them!)

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Our friends Jenny and Skilla (S*Kustens Follia d’Amore) were at the show, too! It was good to see them again.

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Skilla was having a bad day. She was cranky and hissing. Again, I was reminded of Jake.

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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.

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Finally it was time for the panel. Zak didn’t like the grooming I gave him, so he did it himself.

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I really like that stewards hold the cats up during the panel. That means the owners and breeders can relax and watch.

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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.

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In the end, the Bengal got two votes. But Izaak got one as well! Considering the competition, that’s awesome!

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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?

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.