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?