Aby-a-Day – 28 Mars: Our best virtual show yet – The Singa (Cat Show Sunday)

Yesterday I posted Lorelai’s and Dashiell’s results in the Garden State Cat Club Virtual Show. Today it’s Izaak’s turn. His best final was 5th Best in Sharon Roy’s ring.

This is what Sharon had to say about him starting at 3:54.

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Zak was 8th Best Cat in Championnship in Vicki Nye’s ring. She also finalled both Rory (in this same ring) and Dash, so she liked all of our cats.

Vicki’s assessment of Zak starts at 4:11.

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Zak also made 11th Best in my friend Lorraine Shelton’s ring.

She really liked him, too; see what she had to say starting at 2:53. With Dash making two finals, Zak three, and Rory four, this really was our best virtual show ever!

Aby-a-Day – 27 Mars: Our best virtual show yet – The Abys (Cat Show Saturday)

I entered Dashiell, Lorelai and Izaak in the Garden State Cat Club Virtual Show a couple of weeks ago, and the finals were announced earlier this week. Today, we have the Abyssinian finals. Rory got the highest final: SECOND BEST in Kenny Currle’s ring!

You can see his assessment of Rory on YouTube starting at 5:06.

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Rory got 10th Best in two other judges’ rings: Jeri Zottoli and Nicholas Pun.

You can see Jeri’s comments at 4:00.

Nicholas’ opinion is at 3:52.

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Rory’s lowest final was 13th Best in Vicki Nye’s ring.

Here’s what Vicki had to say about Rory starting at 1:37.

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They had a special class for cats who were never shown because of the pandemic called “A Star is Born.” Vicki gave him 4th Best in her ring.

This is was Vicki thought about Dash, starting at 5:56.

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Dash was 7th Best in Gary Veach’s ring, just ahead of his nephew Max! Max also finalled in some of the rings that Dash didn’t.

You can watch Gary’s commentary on both Max and Dash here starting at 4:34. Tomorrow, we’ll see how Zak did in the show.

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”

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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 – 5 December 2020: Egyptian virtual cat show results (Cat Show Saturday)

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about entering the Cairo Cat Party virtual cat show. I looked up the results yesterday, and…well, it’s a bit disappointing.

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:

Aby-a-Day – 21 November 2020: An Egyptian virtual cat show (Cat Show Saturday)

This morning, I got an email reminding me to enter another virtual cat show. This one is kind of special: “Egypt’s newest cat club, the Pharaonic Cat Fanciers, had its first in-person show planned for November 2020. However, in the indomitable tradition of Egypt’s Pharoahs, the club refuses to give up and has gone virtual instead. In fact, we’re throwing a party. . . the Cairo Cat Party!”

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But apart from the Championship and Premiership classes, into which I entered Izaak, Lorelai and Dashiell, there were some fun classes, including this: Pose Like Bast! Show your cat in her best Egyptian Costume – 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Photo only.”

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Well…of course I had to enter Jacoby in his Egyptian crown and necklace! Jake’s entry is a spectators’ choice, with voting starting tomorrow at $1 USD per vote. You can vote for Jake here.

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.

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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).

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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.

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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 – 20 Oktober 2020: A forgotten illustration (Cartoon Tuesday)

I can’t believe I never posted this illustration I did for CFA’s Cat Talk magazine in 2015. I mean, I posted the other Persian illustration I did for Cat Talk! This drawing was done to accompany a reminiscence written by a known Himalayan breeder about the first cat show she attended. I’m a bit proud of this; I found original ads for Minqua Cattery in old Cats magazines to include in the illustration.

This is the article, written by Diane Castor, that my drawing accompanied:

My mother used to laugh and say, “Diane is my Aunt Mame reincarnated”. I used to beam as Aunt Mame was a famous cat lover and I’d nod my head with pleasure to be compared to this wonderful woman who gave me through her genes, my love for cats.

Cat breeders are not born, cat lovers are.

Suffice to say, I spent my young life in search of any cat that just might want to come and live with us. They followed me home, they turned up on our door step, they walked through the snow. Any excuse I could find, I tried. Only to meet the resistance of both my parents. “No cats.” The pestering kept up for years and finally is desperation, my father promised that when I got married and had a home of my own, he would buy any kind of cats I wanted. There, it was finally done and I shut up.

Life inched by and I finally met and married my husband, Bruce in 1960. By February 1961, I was pregnant and we bought our first house and moved from our adult apartment complex to our new home that Spring. The time had come to make the telephone call to my father.

To say that he was surprised was an understatement, but he agreed to the bargain and I found a red tabby Persian Kitten locally and promptly named him Punkin.

In the summer afternoons, I would sit on the sofa with Punkin on my belly and read. As the baby grew, so did Punkin and in late October, Bruce Jr. was born and Punkin was almost an adult. I adored him.

As any young mother knows, a bit of respite from mothering can be very beneficial to her health. In February 1962, Bruce and I decided to take a long weekend in Atlantic City and his mother would come and care for Bruce and Punkin.

Ah, freedom. Saturday morning, it looked like we were going to have to contend with rain. But we were young and willing to chance a walk on the Board Walk. As the rain fell heavier, we ducked into a small card shop and there on the window sill sat a big fat calico spay snuggled in her basket. Naturally, while petting this lovely cat, we engaged the owner in conversation. As we chatted, she told us there was a Cat Show in town in case we wanted to go. I nearly leap out of my high heeled pumps. I most certainly did want to go!

We were on the move and shortly were surrounded by cats and people. It was the most thrilling moment of my life. I was surrounded by cats in cages, on tables, on people’s laps and cats being carried over people’s arms to Judging rings. Cats of all colors and breeds. I didn’t know which way to look first. I was beside myself with joy. My cup runneth over! As we walked the aisles together, I stopped in front of a cage that held the most beautiful kitten I had ever seen! She was standing up with her paws out between the bars. She looked at me with emerald green eyes and I looked at her and my heart fell into her paws. She had to be mine. I opened the cage door and she came directly to me and into my hands. I fell in love as I held her to my heart and murmured into her ear how beautiful she was and now much I loved her. At that moment, we were alone together.

Into this moment of reverie, a hand touched my shoulder and a gentle voice said, “would you mind putting my kitten back into her cage?” My reply was, “but she loves me.”

“I can see that.” This wonderful, kind gentleman was Tom Markinke. We spent all afternoon with Tom talking about Persians. He introduced us to his wife Jane, who was clerking and by the end of Saturday, we knew we would be back the next day.

On Sunday we continued our fledgling friendship. I learned that this kitten I loved was a silver tabby Persian. Her name was Minqua’s Palmyra. I can still see her in my mind’s eye as I write. We did offer the huge sum of $150! I learned that no amount of money could by this lovely little girl as a silver tabby female was extremely rare. Palmyra was not to be mine after all.

We asked Tom to keep us informed as to where they were going to be showing so that we could come and see them again. We parted as solid new friends with a future cemented together.

Over fifty years have passed since this meeting took place. Tom and Jane Martinke have been dead for many years, but I think of them so often for their kindness to a young cat person. Now, looking back, my meeting them was the very first step in learning just how new people should be treated in the Fancy. A loving lesson I have never forgotten. I was finally learning to listen and to learn from those who knew more than I.

They continued to teach and to take us under their wing. We joined the Eastern Tabby-Tortie Club and we were able to meet other well known breeders who also took an interest in our love for the Persian.
We spent a number of years with the Martinkes before we felt comfortable buying a show kitten and in the Spring of 1967, we found just the kitten we wanted to use as our first show male. We finally had our new baby boy and his name was Jumbies Charlie Brown, a brown tabby Persian. Bred by Dr. Judith Stoyle, who was to become our closest friend until her death a few years ago. I miss her terribly.

In the fall of 1968, we registered our Cattery, Playwickey. We were ready to begin our long journey in the Fancy.

Aby-a-Day – 13 September 2020: Nemo’s Virtual Cat Show (Cat Show Sunday)

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.

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Meg and Drooley got 4th Place as the Unknown Comic and his cat!

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Jacoby placed 7th in the Rainbow Bridge class.

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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.

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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.

Aby-a-Day – 23 Juni 2020: A quick editorial sketch (Cartoon Tuesday)

Chatting with a group of friends yesterday evening, I had a sudden thought that I needed to draw immediately, because I knew it would amuse them. I drew this in almost exactly an hour; I asked for a breed suggestion at 19:33 and shared it with my friends at 20:31. I am not going to explain it here…if you get it, you get it. That’s the nature of editorial cartoons.

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I also exported the drawing stream, because they are so much fun to watch. Remember that this is all one hour, and you can see my idea evolving as I draw it (Click on the image to watch it in Flickr).

Aby-a-Day – 14 Mars 2020: Scandinavian Winners Show…Cancelled

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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He’s also a little doll.

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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.

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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.

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 Juni: Sunday at the Cat Show (Cat Show Cinema Sunday)

Today at the cat show was…well, not as exciting as yesterday.

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Lorelai was the first up again, and she had the same judge, Thea Friskovec, that Izaak had yesterday.

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Lorelai charmed her, but ultimately lost the Nomination to a friend’s Cornish Rex.

This is what her judging looked like…so different from CFA!

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Next up was Izaak.

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Like yesterday, since there were three Singapuras entered, he was up for Best in Variety, but today he lost out to IC S*Kustens Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (on the far right). That’s cat shows: one day, you’re top of the world, another day…not so much. You can’t win them all.

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After the BIV, Zak had to compete for the Nomination, against the Burmilla from yesterday and a snow Bengal.

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The competition was stiff…

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But today, Zak lost to the Burmilla. Ultimately, no Singapuras were Nominated to Panel, where yesterday we had two (who both won Best in Show). But that’s okay; with neither cat Nominated, we were able to leave the show early! That’s always a bonus.

Here is a video of Zak being judged. I think I like FIFe’s style better than CFA, to be honest; not only do you get an honest conversation about your cat’s strengths and weaknesses, but you also get a written copy to save in your cat’s show book. Only being judged by one person a day vs. the CFA method of a cat getting several judges’ opinions in a day is…different, and admittedly, a little hard to get used to. But the fact that you get the judges’ notes to keep for posterity is pretty awesome and makes the shift a little easier to handle. Plus, it’s nice having a written record of what a judge thought about your cat.

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 – 21 August – Remembering Taz in Cat Talk

My friend Teresa asked me to do an illustration for the CFA newsletter/magazine Cat Talk. Her exact request was, “I need something for the ‘Social Media Smarts’ column. What I’m thinking is someone coming home from the cat show…cat and rosette in hand. He/she is talking to someone else. I’ll provide the type, but what he’ll be saying is ‘he got 3 best allbreed champions, and 100 likes on Facebook.’ (subject matter is about using FB to bring in gate).”

I am not so confident about drawing humans, but I instantly thought of our recently departed Cousin Taz, and used him as the winner. For the rosette, I used a photo Meg took of her Toybob Tommy’s CFF rosette, which had the same wins Teresa had mentioned. I’m pretty proud of the final result…and Meg loves it.