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

I love doing Hipstamatic photos at cat shows.

hipstaroryBIVspeedcat8546

The show we did this weekend is no exception.

hipstarorySpeedcat4499

From Lorelai being judged…

hipstarorySpeedcat0916

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

hipstaroryzakSpeedcat1687

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

hipstaroryBIVspeedcat8896

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

hipstaroryzaktrain5530

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

hipstarorybjorntrain7143

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.

roryjudgingSpeedcat_8295

Just like yesterday, Lorelai was judged first today.

roryjudgingSpeedcat_8294

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

roryjudgingSpeedcat_8282

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

roryjudgingSpeedcat_8281

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

roryBIVjudgingSpeedcat_8309

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

roryBIVjudgingSpeedcat_8302

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…

roryBIVspeedcat_8309

…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.

zakjudgingSpeedcat_8316

Then it was Izaak’s turn to be judged.

zakjudgingSpeedcat_8317

Glenn really liked Zak, too.

zakjudgingSpeedcat_8314

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

zakPanelSpeedcat_8320

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

zakPanelSpeedcat_8335

zakPanelSpeedcat_8334

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).

zakPanelSpeedcat_8336

zakPanelSpeedcat_8325

She’s clearly very fond of little Zak.

zakPanelSpeedcat_8337

And in the end…

zakBISspeedcat_8345

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

swagSpeedcat_8245

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.

zakBISswagSpeedcat_8341

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

swagSpeedcat_8346

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.

bjornroryzaktrain_8349

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.

roryzakSpeedcat1851

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

roryjudgeSpeedcat_8155

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.

roryjudgeSpeedcat_8158

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

roryjudgeSpeedcat_8165

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.

roryotherbluesjudgeSpeedcat_8166

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.

whosthatgirlSpeedcat_8170

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

rorybjornSpeedcat_8152

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.

ruddiesSpeedcat_8172

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

mimarSpeedcat_8173

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.

paradiseSpeedcat_8175

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

rory-abysBIVspeedcat_8179

First he eliminated one of the kitten sisters.

roryBIVspeedcat_8183

He checked Rory’s ticking and undercoat tone.

roryBIVspeedcat_8190

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.

roryBIVspeedcat2

Rory seemed pretty proud of her achievement.

roryBIVspeedcat

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

zakjudging1Speedcat

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

zakjudging3Speedcat

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

zakjudgingSpeedcat_8208

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

zakjudgingSpeedcat_8215

zakjudgingSpeedcat_8217

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

zakjudgingSpeedcat_8220

(Spoiler alert: He liked ALL of them!)

skillaSpeedcat_8236

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

skillaSpeedcat_8240

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

zakNOMspeedcat_8242

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.

zakPanelSpeedcat_8260

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

zakPanelSpeedcat_8261

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

zakPanelSpeedcat_8272

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.

bengalPanelSpeedcat_8269

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

janBISspeedcat_8249

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.”

zakdackekatt-parallel_7308

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.

zakdackekatt-parallel_7309

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.

zakdackekatt-parallel_7313

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.

zakdackekatt-parallel_7306

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.

rorydrackekatt_7396

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

rorydrackekatt_7397

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!

zakdrackekatt_7402

Next up was Izaak.

zakBIVdrackekatt_7408

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.

zakNOMdrackekatt_7414

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

bengalNOMdrackekatt_7421

zakNOMdrackekatt_7418

The competition was stiff…

burmillaNOMdrackekatt_7420

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.

rorydackekatt_7214

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.

rorydackekatt_7211

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.

rorydackekatt_7217

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

rorydackekatt_7221

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.

rorydackekatt_7227

rorydackekatt_7233

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

rorydackekatt_7240

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

rorydackekatt_7223

rorydackekatt_7225

rorydackekatt_7226

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

rorydackekatt_7242

Rory supervised as Alexey wrote down his judging notes.

zakdackekatt_7279

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

zakdackekatt_7265

His judge was Thea Friškovec, from Switzerland.

zakdackekatt_121725

zakdackekatt_7271

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

zakdackekatt_7277

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

stellanChi_7258

hansoveChi_7254

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.

hansoweLucyzakdackekatt_7285

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

stellanChi_7282

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

zakBIVdackekatt_7290

Our Zak was named BIV!

roryNOMdackekatt_7245

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

zakdackekatt_7292

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

roryzakNOM-BIVdackekatt_7318

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.

rorychampiondackekatt_7371

Not only that…but Rory became a Champion today.

roryPANELdackekatt_7325

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

roryPANELdackekatt_7336<

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

roryBISdackekatt_7340

And she won!

roryBISdackekatt_7341

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

zakPANELdackekatt_7345

Next up was Zak.

zakPANELdackekatt_7347

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

zakPANELdackekatt_152338

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

zakPANELdackekatt_152355

And the judges’ choice was…

zakBISdackekatt_7363

Our Zak!

awardsdackekatt_174515

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

zakroryawardsdackekatt_7367

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.

roryÖrebro_091339

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

roryÖrebro_6126

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

roryÖrebro_6116

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

roryÖrebro_6017

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.

zakÖrebro_115130

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

zakÖrebro_115423

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!

zakÖrebro_115920

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.

zakÖrebro_120212

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.

zakÖrebro_115936

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.

zakÖrebro_121704

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

zakÖrebro_121720

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.