Aby-a-Day – 22 July: “I have one speed, I have one gear: go!” (Cat Show Cinema Sunday)

In a couple of weeks, Lorelai and Izaak will be going to their first show together, held by the Järva Kattklubb in Stockholm. This was Logan’s first show last year.

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It was a fun show, and it was held as part of a larger animal fair called Djurens Helg, with dogs, horses, small mammals, birds, reptiles and even insects! There was a lot to do and see during the show downtimes. Sadly, though, this year Djurens Helg is the weekend before the cat show.

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But the best thing of all about this show was that they had cat agility set up! I hadn’t seen that since I was back n the States.

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Now, you may remember that Jacoby absolutely sucks at agility. But Gun-Hee was really good at it, and came in fourth place as a kitten at our first Seacoast show. So when I saw the agility set up, I had to give Logan a go.

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And, after getting himself oriented in the cage…

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…he did really, really well!

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But at the end of the day, he had come in third place! Unfortunately, there were only trophies for first and second places, but still, he ran the course in 4 seconds!

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It wasn’t a circle, like the one in New Hampshire; it was just a straight line, but he did it perfectly. We are hoping it will be back again this year, because we cannot wait to show it to Zak and Rory!

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Oddly, as with Gun-Hee, we didn’t manage to get a very good video of Logan running it. This is the best we could manage.

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So, here is a video of Logan playing in his benching cage. (Click on the images to see the videos on Flickr.)

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!

Other People’s Singas: Izaak’s brother Joop the victorious (Super Singas)

While we were with Lorelai at her first show in Sweden, Izaak’s brother Joop was at the Wystawa Kotów Rasowych in Sopot, Poland.

I’m not sure exactly how the awards translate, but he did very well indeed, and I think this was his very first show, too. You can see him in action on the judging table

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Unlike CFA, when you win a Best in Show you get not only a rosette but also prizes – usually food and cat accessories.

Here is Joop and all his winnings. That trophy is bigger than he is!

And if you are wondering why we didn’t take Zak along with Rory to the show this past weekend, well, that’s because while he is registered in FIFe, he is registered as a Polish cat, not a Swedish cat. He needs to have his details entered into Sverak‘s database as my cat before I can enter him. So as soon as that happens…we’ll see if he can do as well as his littermate!

Aby-a-Day – 30 June: “A lady never gets her own eggroll. A lady never gets her own anything!” (Cat Show Saturday)

Today was Lorelai’s very first cat show in Forshaga, just north of Karlstad, in Värmlands Län.

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When we got to the benching area and looked at the catalogue, we got two surprises…One, there was a little ruddy girl who was born the exact same day as Rory!

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Her full name is SE*Cat Claw’s Master-Class (I don’t know what her nickname is), and apart from the fact that she looks more like Jacoby, the rest of her was just like Rory.

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She really wanted me to open the cage door and play with her.

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“Oooh, shiny!”

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But the other surprise was even bigger: Rory has a half brother! SE*Cat Claw’s Lord of Light’s father is the same as Rory’s: Norwegian-born Tejas Glenn! Her brother is a handsome fellow, isn’t he? He reminds me a bit of Alfred.

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So how did Rory do? Well, turns out our judge, Marie Westerlund, bred Abys, and she absolutely fell in love with our girl.

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And Rory played on the table like a champ.

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End result? She was nominated to the final panel! She didn’t get Best Kat. 4 Kitten in Show, though; a Russian Blue boy who is on track to be FIFe’s best kitten won the day. But, watching the judges, it looked close decision on the judges’ part, and it’s a very promising start. Let’s see how she does tomorrow.

Aby-a-Day – 19 May: Show stopper (Cat Show Saturday)

Jacoby hasn’t been to a cat show since the first weekend of June last year. This was mainly his choice; he prefers CFA’s style of showing (four to six judges a day, going back and forth to the rings, lots of action and excitement and admiration) to FIFe’s slower pace (one judge a day, and then perhaps the final if you make it to the panel stage, lots of downtime in the benching cage). The biggest difference is in the way the cats are handled: in CFA, a lot of thought is put into keeping cats from seeing each other, whereas in FIFe, cats are held by their owners and the judge selects which cat or cats he wants to send to the final. So after he achieved the title of International Premier, I let him retire and started showing Logan.

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Logan had been entered into the Spinneriet show this weekend…but of course he wasn’t able to be shown, being deceased and all. But we were able to substitute Jake instead, and we also entered him in the Senior classes both days. When we got to the show hall, however, they wouldn’t let Jake in! According to the chairperson (who wouldn’t tell me her name), cats entered in Sverak shows have to get the combined FVRCP vaccine (against Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Feline Calicivirus, and Feline Panleukopenia Virus) once a year. Jake has a three-year vaccine, given in 2016 and expiring next year. Despite my vet telling me that he didn’t need to be revaccinated yet, and the vaccination showing an expiry date of 2019 on his passport, they refused to let us into the show and we had to just take Jake home. I confess to having a bit of a sobbing meltdown, because it should have been Logan entered in the show in the first place…and that reopened some shallow wounds. I miss him so much, and this would have been such a fun show to do with him.

As soon as we got back to the hotel, Björn and I looked up FIFe’s rules for vaccinations both in the general, all-FIFe rules in English and Sweden’s branch of FIFe, Sverak’s, rules in Swedish, but we couldn’t find any mention of a one year rule for vaccinations, apart from a recommendation that cats used for breeding be vaccinated annually.

So I don’t know what to do. I paid 950kr (a little over $100 USD) to enter this show, only to be refused entry because of a rule we can’t seem to verify in either FIFe’s or Sverak’s online rulebooks (if anyone does happen to know where it is in either pdf, please let me know)! We asked our friend Anna, who was also at the show, for advice. Perhaps they will let us show Jake tomorrow, but I have little hope. Also, after the way I was treated by the “chairperson,” I am not sure I want to go back. Too bad, too. That was a fun show in a good location, but I don’t think I want to give this club any more of my money. Especially if I can’t get a refund for this show (nevermind the money we spent on the hotel and the rented car and everything else)…

I don’t normally post very much negativity in my blog, but this…I am upset. This wasn’t handled well at all by the club’s chairperson in my opinion. No one explained this rule (beyond saying, “show cats have to be vaccinated every year” – first time in two years I have heard mention of this) or showed us the citation in the rulebook (or told us where to find it ourselves); when I asked the chairperson about a the refund, she told me to ask my vet to state that since it was a three year vaccine I had been advised not to update it (or something like that, they didn’t really explain that either – I am still not sure what I am meant to ask my vet for, exactly) but she wouldn’t give me the email address to send it to. When I asked for clarification, a name or email address, she just got impatient and angry with me and snapped at me to “look it up on the website.” Considering the reason we even had this cat entered, it was pretty insensitive. We managed to salvage the (beautiful, sunny) day by going to Göteborg for shopping and such…but all day I kept tearing up thinking about Logan and Jake’s almost comeback, and I just kept wishing we were at the show where we were supposed to be. Doesn’t help that it was a really good shows for Abyssinians as a whole today.

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Jake’s happy to be back in a hotel room, though. Click on the image above to see his happy paws and hear his happy purring.

Aby-a-Day – 1 April: “Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory” (Cat Show Sunday)

I had wanted to do a bigger, longer post about the second day of the show…but now it is late and I am exhausted…so that post will have to wait for another day.

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So, instead…let me introduce one of FIFe’s newest Champions: SE*Melur Vide aka Logan.

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He is unimpressed.

Aby-a-Day – 31 March: Scandinavian Winners Show (Cat Show Saturday)

Today we are entered in the 2018 Scandinavian Winners Show in Göteborg, Sweden.

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It’s kind of a big deal. Cats exhibited at the FIFe Scandinavian Winner Show must satisfy one of the requirements in the 13 month period prior to the Scandinavian Winner Show:
Adult cats in classes 7-10 must have achieved:
Best in Variety (BIV) or
Best in Show nomination (NOM) or
Each cat qualified in Class 12 or 11 within 13 months prior to Show

Luckily, Logan has qualified in Classes 12 and 11 (Kitten and Junior) and was NOM in his first class 7 (Open Champion) show.

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The show is conveniently located in Gothia Towers. This weekend (Easter weekend), Göteborg also hosts GothCon, a gaming convention Björn has attended regularly for 34 years. It’s rather nice that both big events fell on the same weekend. We booked a hotel in between the two venues, which is perfect.

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The Winners show is different from regular shows. The first day is a regular show, but the second day is a sort of “Best of the Best,” as I understand it. This is also a much larger show than most of the shows we go to. There are over 800 cats representing 37 different breeds and 14 different countries.

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Before the show, there was an official opening ceremony. Stellan, one of Sweden’s Singapura breeders, lives in Göteborg and was the main emcee for the day.

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After the introduction, there was a demonstration of typical Swedish “Bug” dancing. I don’t know from bugs, but it looked a lot like the swing and rockabilly dancing I did in the late 90’s. It looked like fun!

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Then they had a second dance and invited the audience to join in. You can see Stellan cutting a rug there in the middle.

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Then there was the Parade of Nations. Naturally, Sweden was the first, since they are the host country.

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When the stewards carrying flags from all 14 participating countries were on the stage, it was pretty impressive. There are even cats here from as far away as Brazil!

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After the Parade of Nations, the 14 judges were presented to the exhibitors.

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As you might imagine, there are a LOT of rosettes and prizes to be awarded to the top winners.

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Many of the cages in the benching area are decorated in a nationalistic theme for this show.

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Of course, most of the entries are Swedish.

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This Oriental Shorthair breeder had a very Swedish-themed cage along with two really cute crocheted blå och gul crocheted Oriental dolls.

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This cat has a lighted chandelier in his cage!

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These are cats from Denmark.

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And these kitties are obviously from Finland.

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But guess what? These Finnish entries aren’t just “cats”…they’re all Somalis!

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Logan’s cage wasn’t decorated to any theme apart from the regular one we always use at shows. It includes fake pussy willows, because his registered name is Vide, which is the Swedish word for pussy willow.

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If you’re thinking it looks a lot like Jacoby’s show curtains, well….you’re right. They are the same.

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