Aby-a-Day – 6 Maj: Cat Scanner app (Thursday Things)

Yesterday in one of my Facebook cat groups, someone posted about an app, Cat Scanner, that claims to identify what breed your cat is from a photograph. So of course I had to try it out.

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It worked great with the Abyssinians.

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It even identified Angel correctly.

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And it got Markis pretty well, too.

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I was disappointed with how it did with Tessie. I was expecting perhaps a Burmilla…but I guess at least it could tell she’s a tortie?

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And then…there was Izaak. Complete and utter fail. I was expecting a Singapura to be a fairly easy ID…at worst, maybe a Burmese or Aby…but a Bengal!? Seriously? Well, you know I clicked that “Am I right?” link to tell them they weren’t. And the explanation was…the app only really works with FIFe-recognised breeds.

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Um….what!? Singas have been recognised in FIFe since 2014…SEVEN YEARS!

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Which, naturally, I felt the need to tell them. Haven’t gotten a response yet, but I can’t wait to see what they say.

Aby-a-Day – 24 Januari: The good old days of 2019 (Singapura Cat Show Sunday)

Remember when, back in the day, we went to cat shows and didn’t know words like “social distancing”?

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Sigh…

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I do.

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Especially in Sweden, the pariah of Scandinavia. We may never have a show again at the rate we’re going.

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These photos are from a show in Västra Frölunda…15 September 2019. Back when the world was…normal.

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This is judge Ad De Bruijn from Holland examining Izaak.

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Zak really turned it on for the judge, too…but he didn’t get the NOM.

I don’t think I have shared one of these before, but this is Ad De Bruijn’s judging sheet for Zak (these sheets are the BEST thing about FIFe).

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 – 22 Februari 2020: Best blue Abyssinian in Sverak! (Cat Show Saturday)

You may recall on Wednesday, I posted Lorelai’s Diplom from our club, AbSolut Kattklub naming her the best female Championship Aby for 2019. Well, yesterday I got another big envelope, this time from Sverak. Turns out, our Rory is also the best blue Abyssinian in Sweden.

Along with the certificate, I also got the latest issue of Våra Katter, the Sverak magazine/newsletter (similar to CFA’s Cat Talk and TICA’s TICA Trend magazines)…and way in the back, there were their photos announcing their International Champion titles earned in Turku. It was a pretty good day for mail, yesterday.

Aby-a-Day: 9 Februari 2020: Instead of Örebro, a tale of Finland (Cat Show Sunday) (Part 2)

Sunday greeted us with a chilly, frosty morning. We checked out from the hotel, went to the show hall, and got ready for the second day.

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Our judge for the day was Marina Vinkel from Estonia. She was very thorough in examining Jacoby on her table.

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Koshka and Jake waited for the Nomination…but alas, it was not to be. However, that ultimately worked to our advantage.

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Not having to be on alert for the panels gave us a chance to explore the show hall and the merchants. Koshka was especially excited to see Arja’s Art, the woman who makes the harnesses the cats wear.

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Koshka raves about these harnesses, and was thrilled to discover that Arja also makes passport covers for the EU Pet Passports.

Because we weren’t Nommed, we were able to get permission to leave the show a couple of hours before it ended, as we had to get back to Helsinki, return the car, and make our way to the port to catch our ferry. It was lucky that they let us leave when they did, as it took a bit more time than expected before we were ready to go to the ferry.

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Jake was such a seasoned traveller, he lead the way to our cabin. After setting up our quarters, which was a mirror-image of the cabin we had on the way to Finland, we pretty much repeated what we did on our first trip, with a couple of exceptions.

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This time, we took Jake to the aft sun deck for some pictures and a final look as we departed Helsinki.

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We also took some porthole portraits with Jake in one of the elevator lobbies.

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After our ship exploration, we settled Jake in the cabin with a snack while we hit the buffet for dinner and then visited the duty-free shop, where we bought liquor, cosmetics and candy well below mainland prices. The seas were calmer on the way back.

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We arrived to Stockholm on Monday morning. A bus took us back to the railway station, where we caught the train for Skövde.

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Finally, 6 o’clock in the evening, we were back home. Jake’s first trip abroad as a show cat was over.

Aby-a-Day: 8 Februari 2020: Instead of Örebro, a tale of Finland (Cat Show Saturday) (Part 1)

Note: today and tomorrow’s posts were written by Björn. We were supposed to go to our favourite show in Örebro, but for a constellation of reasons, we had to stay home. Since I had planned to do cat show posts this weekend, I thought I would share Björn’s account of Jacoby’s Big Finland Adventure.

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We left for Stockholm on Thursday, 29 September.

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It was our first time travelling with a cat EU passport!

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Jake made himself comfortable on the train – his first big trip since he moved to Sweden. The train ride took two hours.

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Once in Stockholm, we caught the bus to the ferry port on the eastern outskirts of the city.

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We checked in, and boarded the ferry.

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Jake, of course, made friends as we waited to board.

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While in the queue on the gangplank, we could see the cars waiting to board (it is a ferry, after all). Sweden is known for its fascination with vintage cars, and it’s always fun to see them. There may have been a car show in Helsinki that weekend.

There was a photographer at the gangway, snapping photos of Jake.

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After finding our cabin and setting up the litterbox, we left Jake to enjoy the comforts of the cabin while we explored the ferry.

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The Baltic Sea ferries vary in standard, but the best are like cruise ships, albeit on a smaller scale. There was a mall, several restaurants and bars, and the inevitable gaming areas. The photographer sold prints of the photos they took during boarding, and those with Jake were awesome.

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We stuffed ourselves at the buffet, and feeling content, we went looking for amusements. Of course, Koshka found a slot machine game with an Abyssinian.

Later in the night, high winds made the ship roll, making us walk like we were more intoxicated than we actually were. Jake was happy to see us return…but the rolling ship didn’t seem to faze him at all.

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The seas were calm next morning when we neared our destination, Helsinki, the capital of Finland. We left our cabin, Jake riding in his stroller, and went looking for a cab to take us from the port to the city center.

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As it was Koshka’s first time in Helsinki (and my first time in 15 years), we stored our luggage at the railway station, and did some sight-seeing and shopping. In every shop (more than half a dozen), we made sure that it was OK to bring Jake.

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Not one turned us down; on the contrary, the staff in every shop were charmed by our furry companion, almost forgetting the other customers.

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After a late lunch at a Finnish restaurant, we went to the rental car pickup place.

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As the driver, I quickly realized that getting out of an unfamiliar city at rush hour on a Friday was a challenge. I sent grateful thoughts to the inventor of the GPS navigator, as it made finding our way a thousand times easier. Jake began meowing straightaway, and kept up the song of his people for the 45 kilometers (28 miles) to Siuntio, a small town west of Helsinki which was the location of the show. We found the hotel, the Rantasipi Siuntion Kylpylä, and checked in.

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The sprawling hotel was pretty labyrinthine, but we found our room and installed ourselves. We had dinner in the hotel restaurant, and by the looks of the other guests, most of them were there for the cat show.

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Saturday, 1 October: Jake’s debut as a show cat in Europe. The vet check was pretty early, but we were there in time (again, thanks to the GPS).

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We found the show cage and set it up with curtains, bowls and litterbox.

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We were benched right next to Jake’s good friend Sketsi.

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As it was the 50th anniversary of the first litter of Abyssinians born in Finland, the Aby people had the goal of showing 50 Abys and Somalis, a goal that was surpassed.

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Our friend Anne Kontula was especially invaluable, helping us find our way in the strange world that is a FIFe show. Anne also shows in CFA, and she was just so great at helping Koshka navigating between the two systems. She and her friends and family treated us to snacks, and made us feel very welcome.

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Koshka said that she had no idea what she was doing, apart from going where her friends told her. That said, our first judge, Martti Peltonen, was very impressed with Jake, and said almost immediately that Jake looked like an Instincts cat! Nailed it!

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There were three ruddy neutered males, so Martti got to name a Best in Variety (BIV). Jake ended up being chosen!

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Martti also Nominated Jake for the final! Of course, we didn’t know what, exactly, a NOM was…but we knew it was good.

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Jake was awarded a rosette and a little charm on a purple ribbon as his award.

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Then it was time for the panel. Jake was up against some stiff competition. It was nice to have someone else handle the cats to display them rather than the owners, as it gave us a chance to just watch the proceedings.

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All the Category 4 judges examined each Nominee, including the judge who nominated the cat. Then they vote for their Best In Show. Jake only got one vote (from Martti), so we didn’t win BIS, but we were pretty happy with our first go.

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When the first day was over, we returned to the hotel. After dinner, there wasn’t much in the way of distractions. A bar, a slot machine…

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and the TV in the room…But we knew we had to get up early for the show’s second day, so we went to sleep fairly early.

Aby-a-Day – 12 Januari 2020: International Champion S*Backilandets Mercedes von Ekorntorp (Cat Show Sunday)

Unlike Izaak, Lorelai did not become an International Champion on Saturday at the show in Turku.

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That’s because she was in direct competition for the certificate.

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We saw Thea Friškovec, who loves Zak, and who has seen Rory before on her judging table.

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There was another blue Aby female in Category 7: Ch FI*Redcheetah’s Erin.

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When there are two or more cats in the same category, sex and colour, only one earns the certificate. The other gets an Ex2.

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I am sure it was hard to pick the best cat…they are almost the same age (Rory is four months older), same colour, same level of achievement…

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…It was pretty tense to watch.

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In the end, our friend Jonna and her cat Erin got the certificate. Congratulations!

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But Erin was only entered on Saturday. On Sunday, Rory was the only blue Aby in her category.

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We saw Martienn Tausen, a judge from Iceland.

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He didn’t Nominate her, but that wasn’t important.

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What was important is that she earned her non-Swedish certificate and achieved the title of International Champion. It’s a bit ironic; we started showing Rory earlier than Zak because we had to wait to get his pedigree entered into Sverak…but he earned his title before she did!

Aby-a-Day – 11 Januari 2020: International Champion Joy Minimali*PL (Cat Show Saturday)

We went to a cat show in Turku, Finland, back in November. The main reason we entered this show was so that Lorelai and Izaak could earn their International Champion titles. In order to achieve this, cats must earn three certificates from three different judges in two different countries. We had the three certificates from three different judges locked. We just needed to go to a different country. Turku is a convenient ferry ride, and a place we hadn’t visited yet.

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As is not uncommon, Zak was the only Singapura in the show, so we were pretty certain that he would become an IC.

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His judge for the day, Pia Nyman, loved him. She praised his perfect “reindeer” colouration.

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She also knew Singapuras, which, in FIFe, can be rather hit-or-miss when it comes to judges. But Pia was actually “babysitting” a litter of Singas at home for a Finnish Singa breeder friend.

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Singapuras are almost always the last breed in the ring in Category 3 (unless there are Selkirk Rexes, Sokokes or Snowshoes entered, and honestly, they’re almost rarer than Singas! But because we are last, we usually just hang around for the Nominations, because we’re almost always under consideration. The Champion males were stiff competition. We were up against a Korat, a British Shorthair, an Ocicat, and an Egyptian Mau.

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But you could tell she really liked Zak.

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It was super close and really tense. I am usually the one who’s taking the photos, not holding the cat during the Nomination.

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Pia took close second looks at the Brit and the Oci…

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…and she also revisited the Mau.

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But she kept coming back to Zak.

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Pia had good things to say about all of the cats.

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But, in the end…it was Zak who won the NOM!

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Then it was time for the panel (basically, the FIFe finals), and we had a great steward assigned to handle him.

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It was close…there was a white British Shorthair and a seal Burmese with Zak…Zak did get one vote, but in the end it went to the Burmese.

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That didn’t matter, though. We got what we came for.

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Zak earned his International Champion title.

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And he also earned a really nice NOM medallion. The prize you get for winning a Nomination can really vary between clubs. We have gotten trophies, plaques, banners, and simple rosettes…but medals are by far my favourite, and the Turok medals are seriously the best I have ever seen.

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It seems that they had them custom-made somewhere. They are really heavy and really nicely made (this coming from someone who did metalsmithing and jewellry making in college and coin-making in the SCA). It’s one of the best cat show trophies I’ve ever won.

Aby-a-Day – 5 Augusti: Just another day at the cat show (Hipstamatic Monday)

I love doing Hipstamatic photos at cat shows.

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The show we did this weekend is no exception.

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From Lorelai being judged…

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…to Rory being BIV, Hipstamatic casts events in a different, interesting, light.

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I love this photo of the two of them with their rosettes.

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And this, of Rory competing for BIV against the other blue Abys in the show. Hipstamatic turns a boring photo into art.

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After a long day at the cat show, there’s still a train ride home to look forward to.

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It’s a train ride made more interesting with Hipstamatic.

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 – 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 – 8 Juni: Double play! (Cat Show Saturday)

Today we are at our first cat show since Örebro in January – four and a half months is a long time to not go to a cat show! We were supposed to go to a show in Falköping last month…but someone missed some kittens’ vaccination boosters, so we couldn’t go. So here we are in Gislaved at the DackeKatten show.

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And what a great show it is! Lorelai was first up, and the first thing that happened when she got onto the table was…another judge brought a cat over to our judge’s table for a second opinion on the cat’s colour.

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Even though a strange cat was just inches away from her, Rory didn’t even notice. This is why Jacoby didn’t like FIFe…he didn’t like having to see other cats. Being close to them was right out. But that happens in FIFe. Luckily, Rory and Izaak, having grown up in FIFe, don’t mind being held out in the open with other cats.

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Rory’s judge today was Alexey Shchukin from the Netherlands.

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He had a judge-in-training, Hannah Jensen, with him, so he spent a lot of time explaining what he was doing as he went along.

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He explained what he saw in Rory as she listened intently.

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Then Hannah looked at Rory herself, trying to see what Alexey saw.

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During her judging, Rory decided Alexey need a hug. He kept explaining things to Hannah despite the schmoozing.

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Rory supervised as Alexey wrote down his judging notes.

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Then it was Zak’s turn on the judge’s table.

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His judge was Thea Friškovec, from Switzerland.

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I didn’t know it until the end of the day, but she actually breeds Singapuras herself.

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Zak sat nicely whilst Thea wrote her notes on the judging sheet.

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Our friends Stellan and Hans Owe from S*Kustens were at the show, too, with their two girls, SW GIC S*Kustens Chi Sarà Con Te and IC S*Kustens Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. We’ve seen these two girls at shows many times before.

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Because there were three Singapuras in the show, we got to compete for Best in Variety (BIV).

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It was a very close competition. Stellan and Hans Owe breed amazing Singas. But, to our shock…

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Our Zak was named BIV!

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And whilst I was watching that happen…Lorelai got a Nomination in her class (Unspayed Females)!

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Then Zak was up for his Nomination, and his competition was stiff: He was up against a sweet Egyptian Mau and a stunning Bengal.

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But the Singapura was the one Nominated to the panel! Both Rory and Zak have gotten one Nom each…but this is the first time both our cats were Nommed in the same show.

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Not only that…but Rory became a Champion today.

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After lunch, it was time for the panels. Rory went up first.

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For Best in Show, Category 4, Unspayed Female, Rory was up against a very nice Cornish Rex.

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And she won!

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This is Rory’s very first Best in Show win.

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Next up was Zak.

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I mean, we were still over the moon about Zak getting his BIV. And now he was going to the panel!

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Zak was up against a very nice Burmilla in Category 3 Unneutered Males.

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And the judges’ choice was…

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Our Zak!

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Both of our cats were Nominated, and both were named Best in Show. AND one got BIV! We were stunned…

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We had a really good day at the show today…probably the best since we showed Jake.

 

Aby-a-Day – 31 Januari: More from Örebro (Thursday Things)

Saturday was not a great day for Lorelai and Izaak; apart from Zak earning his Champion title, neither he nor Rory were even up for a Nomination.

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But Sunday, both of their judges loved them. Here is Polish judge Robert Nowak admiring Rory.

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There were five females up at the Nominations. It was a very close competition.

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At the end, the judge chose a lovely Siamese to go to the panel.

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This is a shot from Saturday. Rory is Number 664. Number 663 is GIC DK*Saltvig’s Oona. We have been a little concerned that Rory small for her age (she’s smaller than Zak!), but Oona is over two years older than Rory and they are the same size! Oona was chosen over Rory on Saturday, but Rory was the judge’s pick on Sunday.

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Zak’s judge on Sunday was Gerardo Fraga y Guzmán, from Spain. He loved Zak, but he was especially enamoured with his coat texture.

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He even called the judge next to him over to feel Zak’s coat. That’s a particular compliment to the owner as well as the breeder, because the cat’s condition is a reflection of diet and grooming as much as it is genetics and breeding. It’s nice to know you’re doing a good job!

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The Nomination in Zak’s category was also stiff. There were two British Shorthairs (one disqualified himself by almost biting his owner), a stunning white Kurilean Bobtail, and Zak.

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The judge had a cat teaser made with a bobcat’s tail that a Danish merchant sells at shows. We have one at home, too, and I have to hide it from the cats when we aren’t using it. Zak really wanted that tail! He actually jumped out of my arms in an attempt to catch it.

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But in the end, the judge felt that, while both cats were excellent, the Kurilean matched the standard for his breed just a bit better than Zak matched the Singa standard. But it was close…and the Kurilean ended up winning Best in Show for male cats in Category 3! So…losing to a cat who ended up being BIS? Yeah, that’s not bad at all.

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On the way back to our benching cage, we met a little girl who was meowing at all the cats.

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I thought she might like to pet one, so I knelt down so she could pet Zak. I know that if an exhibitor had done that to me when I was kid at a show, I would have been over the moon, so I hope we made that little girl’s day.

Aby-a-Day – 30 Januari: Wordless Wednesday (A day at the show)

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Aby-a-Day – 9 October: Crossword Cats (Cartoon Tuesday)

Crossword puzzles are very popular in Sweden. There are dozens of different crossword magazines available, and all the daily newspapers also publish them. A friend sent me this one from https://www.dn.se/kultur-noje/kulturdebatt/sveriges-korsordsmakare-var-korsordstradition-ligger-snart-i-spillror/Dagens Nyheter a year ago, and I recently found it whilst I was looking for something else.

I love it, of course, because it really illustrates a FIFe show’s layout. And the breed depictions are really nicely done. I couldn’t find much out this illustration at all, sadly, but I did find the artist, Ann-Charlotte Odén, on DeviantArt, so I may send her a message asking about it.

As for the translations: The top running pair are saying, “I suggest we start a sports club for cats instead!” (He’s probably a Turkish Angora) The other cat is saying “Okay!”

“Ouch! He only had 10 points to go to 100!” says the Abyssinian.

The black silver classic tabby British Shorthair says, “That’s not the right way to hold (a cat)!” and the Cornish Rex agrees, saying, “Oj! What’s happening!?”

And the human is saying, “Ow! I pulled (a muscle) between my heel and calf!” I have no idea what that means…I suspect all of the comments are clues to the crossword puzzle itself.

Which means the answer to that last one is probably “Achilles.”

Aby-a-Day – 6 October: Izaak and Lorelai at the show in Vårgårda (Cat Show Saturday)

Quick show report from Vårgårda today.

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Because of the funeral yesteday, we decided to cancel our motel reservation and just stay at home Friday and Saturday night. This meant a long, speedy, frenzied drive to the show hall this morning…only to face a long, slow line at check in. Of course.

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Of course, once we got the cage set up, Lorelai and Izaak were their usual, over-stressed selves.

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Although we did have a bit of excitement over the dried beefheart samples…

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We were benched next to our friends Anna, Peter and Bonk. That was pleasant.

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The big surprise was that Rory’s half-sister was entered in the show! They have the same mother, Kajza, but Adela was born in January 2017.

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Here is Rory’s half-sister Adela up for judging.

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Rory was up for judging first, before Zak.

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The judge, Ulrika Eriksson, liked her well enough to call her back for the nominations.

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She was up against this tabby-point and white Siamese…

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…who ultimately ended up getting the nomination.

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Then it was Izaak’s turn.

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He was the only cat Jaana Jyrkinen judged today in his class (11 – Juniors, 7-10 months), so he got the nomination by default…but she loved him and would have had him in her final decision regardless.

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Here’s Zak with his little Nom trophy.

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…No, Zak…nothing to eat here…

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We were so excited! This was Zak’s first nomination! Okay, it may have been by default…but still, it’s a nomination and it counts!

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In the panel, Zak was up against a Bengal and a blue-spotted Ocicat.

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It was close…but the Ocicat ended up being Best in Show today. But still, it was a good day for the only Singapura entered in the show!

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!”