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.

Aby-a-Day – 8 July: “Judge not, lest ye be judged” (Cat Show Cinema Sunday)

Last Saturday, as I posted, Lorelai made her first show appearance.

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What was interesting, though, was that her half brother Lord was being judged at the same time on the judging table next to ours. The ruddies and the blues were judged separately on Saturday, and together on Sunday.

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It was fun to watch him be judged while Rory was being judged.

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Rory is a cat show natural! She was fearless, playful, and utterly charming.

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The judge, Marie Westerlund, actually breeds Abys (her cattery name is S*Rackarkattens) and she fell in love with Rory.

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In FIFe, the owner displays the cat to the judge, and the judge talks to the owner and explains what she’s looking for and how the cat meets the standard. It’s a bit different from CFA, where of course the judges know who the owners are, but there’s a sort of invisible wall of tacit anonymity. A show judge is not supposed to see or even know what cat is entered in the show. After the cat is judged, it’s okay to hang out with the judge. Also, in CFA, judges dress up. Men wear ties, and women wear nice suits and dresses. In FIFe, the judges seem to wear whatever they want. Men wearing jeans and a polo shirt is not uncommon.

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Marie seemed to examine Rory for ages

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Meanwhile, Rory’s half-brother was still on his judging table.

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Then something odd happened. Rory’s judge went over to talk to Lord’s judge! I hadn’t ever seen that happen before. Not sure what they were talking about, but it was cool to see them close together!

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As you can see, Rory is a natural star. And you can see how smitten Marie was by her.

I also shot a movie of her being judged. As I said, she was on the table a really long time!

Aby-a-Day – 3 July: Paw & (dis)Order: Abyssinial Intent (Cartoon Tuesday)

In memory of cousin Taz, I am re-running his and Jacoby’s best cartoon appearance: Paw & (dis)Order: Abyssinial Intent.

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It started as a random comment at the Mansfield show in 2012 and grew into…well, this. Meg had brought a little girl called Tiger Lili, who had Jake and Taz all het up. So she became the star of the cartoon as well. Taz and Jake were wearing collars because Meg had gotten them both collars to wear; Taz’s had a sort of flower on it.

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Originally I was thinking they’d be Briscoe and <aCurtis, but they ended up being more like Goren and Eames (Taz being Eames, of course).

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Annnd…I couldn’t resist throwing in a David Caruso joke, because who doesn’t love crime procedural mash-ups?

Other People’s Abys – Kudos to Cousin Taz!

Remember Cousin Taz? Once upon a time, he had retired from the cat show circuit. But this year, he’s come back with a vengeance!

The CFA show season ended on 30 April, and it’s official! Taz is Best Abyssinian in Premiership in all of CFA, the 2nd Best Cat in Premiership in the North Atlantic Region 1, and the 15th Best Cat in Premiership in all of CFA.

Taz is a year younger than Jacoby, and to win these honours at the age of eight is incredible. You go, Taz!