Monday, August 31, 2009

Hanging out with some real cool cats

Patty here…

A week ago Saturday I went to the Cat Fanciers' Association cat show at the Santa Monica Civic Center, where I encountered a few idiosyncratic cats—owners, too. It was an “all breed” show that offered something for everybody, including a chance to look at feline varieties I’d never seen before. Lest you think this was some hoity-toity purebred catillion, the competition also included a “house pets” category, including one kitty of dubious heritage that was nearly as large as a pony. I wouldn't rule out self defense, but before inviting that big boy into my house, I’d check to make sure his previous owners hadn’t meet with foul play.

I love the Maine Coon, especially a guy named Beretta. I suppose he got his name because he looked like a 45—not caliber, pounds. If you’re going to get a cat that big you might as well get a dog—or a grisly bear. On the other hand, my friend just adopted two part-Maine Coon cats. Both are loving and sweet. Both are bigger than she is. Sort of like this guy:

I got to cuddle a four-month old Norwegian Forest cat. The breed is similar in size and appearance to the Maine Coon. I’ll let the experts argue the relative merits of each. I took a couple of steps away to show the little guy to some passersby. The poor owner must have thought I was a cat-napper because when I turned around to hand him back, she appeared to be having a major anxiety attack.

Cat judging is a mystery to me. I understand the importance of physical perfection, but what about the cat who objects to the judge whapping a peacock feather across his nose? What if he just doesn’t feel like batting some dumb toy with his paw? Does a bad attitude mean he’s not blue ribbon material? There should be a special ribbon for kitties with attitude.

There were some rescue cats on display at the show. Lots of people were standing around looking at them. I’d like to think they were all adopted into loving homes because the alternative makes me really really depressed.

Breeders have highfalutin names for their cats. They should take their cue from hoipolloi cat owners like me and simplify. My Scottish Fold was named Tigger-boo-the-wonder-cat, but I had the sense to call him Tigger, Tiggie, Tig or You-are-such-a-good-pussy-cat. He loved that last name the best, especially when I said it in a deep Barry White voice or when I had his food dish in my hand.

Any cat lovers out there?

Happy Monday!



  1. Oh my goodness. I love these pictures! And your story! Nice kitties!!

  2. Oh yeah, definite cat lover here. Those photos are great.

    I had a Maine Coon for about 16 years - he was The Best Cat Ever, name of Felix, and I just adored him.

    My current fuzz balls were inherited - they're a mother and son, Himalayans named Missy and Sam, and they are adorable, affectionate, and like to indulge in both projectile shedding and barfing. Keeps things interesting ;-)

  3. Thanks for tuning in jk. And Rae, you must send us photos of Felix and the fuzzballs (sounds like a rock band) for our Naked Cat Hall of Fame.

  4. from Jacqueline

    Well, sure we have a cat - can't have a dog in the house without giving her an instant boss! We have Delderfield, otherwise known as Deldy. She turned up on our porch one day, obviously looking in to see if we were worth adopting, and at the time my husband was reading a book by R. F. Delderfield. We passed the test and she has barely moved from the family group since - she is a real team cat, very much a pack animal and she loves her family. Sadly, she is currently battling liver cancer (well, we're battling it for her, she just hangs out and sleeps). She was best friends with our old dog, Sally, and welcomed our newcomer into the house with an "I suppose you'll do" kind of look. It would break my heart to lose her.

    One of my friends, who passed away a few years ago, was a breeder of champion Maine Coon Cats - what big fluffy things they are too!

    A lovely post, Our Patty.

  5. We've got two cats: Hemingway and Eloise. Hemingway named for the writer himself because he's macho but just a little bit gay. Eloise named for the little girl at the Plaza who wreaks havoc. They are both very fat. They didn't start out that way. We've put them on a diet but it doesn't seem to matter.

    I went to a cat show many moons ago. It was an experience.

  6. Oh, no. I'm so sorry to hear about Deldy's battle with cancer. How lucky she is to have wandered into your life.

    Tigger-boo was a kitten when he came to live with two Westies. Eeek! At first they just wanted to corner him but eventually they were all sleeping together. Why aren't we humans able to overcome our differences like that?

  7. Very funny, Karen. I picked up a flyer at the cat show from a vet who believed that feeding dry food to cats was toxic. She promoted giving them raw meat. There was a vendor there who was selling freeze-dried meat. I wonder if they were business partners.

  8. It is a bad, bad idea to feed raw meat to your pets. I'm taking parasitology right now and there is a huge list of little critters that love to inhabit raw meat.

    My roommate has a very finicky cat named Baby. I brought home a guinea pig about three months ago. Baby still hasn't forgiven me.

  9. Norby, I'm on your side in the raw meat debate. It just sounds dangerous. As for Baby, maybe she needs some group therapy.

  10. Found under a taxicab, my cat ("Taxi") thinks she's a dog. This probably results from having been raised by my mutt, Nikki. The two of them follow me around all day and chase each other up and down the stairs. The cat thinks she's smarter than both of us, but until she balances the checkbook, I'm not conceding the point.

  11. James O. Born8/31/2009 11:32 AM

    Currently I get more attention from our cat than I do my kids.

    The cat is named Lucky.

    The cat's name was Shadow but a few years ago she swallowed a charm and it looked dire. Surgery to remove it since it wouldn't pass was a couple of thousand bucks. It happened the day after I got my first book advance. That was a lucky cat.


  12. Chasing each other up and down the stairs? Maybe Nikki and Taxi are making stock market predictions.

  13. You mean your advance was enough to pay for cat surgery? What am I doing wrong!!!!

  14. Our household cat, Fumble (in a house full of middle aged guys), was a recue about fourteen years ago, missing a toe, a chunk of her tail, and a notch in her ear. Slender, black, with gold eyes and a tiny bit of white on her tummy. And I mean literally a rescue, along the side of the highway, she had just had a close encounter of the car kind!

    I had myself intoduced to my friend Linda's two gorgeous cats, including one monster that she called a "Snowshoe", not as big as a Maine Coon, but terrified of me (and everything else in sight).

    Then I also met Hank long distance, the cat of a friend's daughter. Hank was a gorgeous cat, and I can't tell you his breed, but his mother was broken hearted when she lost him to illness...

    Wonderful cats, all. And with your post, Patty, you were hardly even catty at all! So I'm going to be good, and not even suggest that we all overcome our differences. ;o)

  15. Patty, I didn't know you were a cat lady! And if Santa Tom was still alive, you know he'd be sending another dozen cool cat photos to add to the blog.

  16. We have two cats now, an imperious white lady with a stub tail named Isis, who occasionally deigns to lie down next to us and allows us to stroke her. We named her Isis and she does believe she is THE (not "a") goddess.

    Then there's Geordie, who's a Maine coon cross, and is our beautiful freakazoid. He's afraid of everything. Movement. Shadows. Air. But after five years, he's finally realizing that we're gonna keep him, and he doesn't have to hide in the closet.

    And let's face it, in our house, no one's in the closet!

  17. Jeff, I wasn't catty? Remind me to try harder!

    Louise, Santa Tom sent me the kittie with the "mouse." I miss him and his photos.

    Fran, you make me laugh.

  18. One of my cats is a part Maine Coon. He topped out at almost 21 lbs before kidney failure started and he lost 7lbs in one year. I think the weight has held steady this last year and he still looks big. He's 18 1/2 years old.


  19. I currently have four rescue kitties, Bart (named for Bart Simpson because of his attitude), April, Barbara and Gizmo. Gizmo is the monster, though the other three aren't far behind. He runs like a hook & ladder fire truck, with the back end slewing about as the front tries to guide the frantic advance.

  20. Kim, wow, 18.5. Good work!

    buckndi, that's quite a brood. How do you handle the cat boxes? Do they share. Just askin...

  21. Love the post, Patty! Love cats too, but can't have any because of increasing allergies. However, we do like to borrow friends cats while we visit. :-D

    There are such interesting stories attached to cats. Loved Dewey's story: the library cat. Gone now, but his 'friend' wrote a wonderful book about him. :-D

    Thanks for all of your lovely cat stories. Sigh.


  22. Hey Marianne! My mother listened to Dewey on tape and loved it. In allergic to some cats but not mine. Weird eh?