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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hawkeye State Cat Club cat show

Last year I wrote an article for The Des Moines Register about cat shows and in it I said that I am addicted to cat shows. That is still true.

On a recent weekend I took part in the Hawkeye State Cat Club’s annual CFA cat show in Altoona, Iowa just to salve my addiction. My cats Mulberry Spot and Gooseberry (pictured) accompanied me and did their part to feed my addiction by bringing home their fair share of ribbons.

The weekend was perfect with temperatures in the 50s and driving conditions nearly perfect (there was a little frost on the roads in the mornings but careful driving kept me safe). I got to the show plenty early both mornings allowing the cats to acclimate before they had to go up to a ring. I was in charge of hospitality so as soon as the judges arrived I made sure they had their caffeine fix or water to wet their whistles. Then I was able to settle down for a few minutes.

But that would be one of the few moments of peace for me that weekend. I spent a lot of time visiting with friends, looking over the competitors and watching the judging. I love to take pictures of the shows too so I nearly filled my camera with photos. Unfortunately, I seem to have had a problem with shaking or something because at least half of my shots were fuzzy. I sent my better shots to the regional website at:

(Unfortunately the pictures aren't up on the site yet but I'll let you know when they are)

I wish I had a video of the most stressful time of the show for me – and for Mulberry Spot. I was talking with a friend and was showing her Gooseberry but forgot that the cage door was open. Suddenly my neighbor shouted that Mulberry Spot was out! I made a desperate grab for his tail but that was the wrong thing to do. It only served to frighten him more.

He hissed at me and took off at full speed under the tables. He snuck his way through the exhibit tables and made a beeline for the judging rings. Once there he darted back and forth beneath the two adjacent judging tables at least a couple of times. He stopped halfway between them only once and I thought I could catch him but then he took off again. I could tell people were trying to help with comments and suggestions but all I could think was he could very easily sneak up on the stage and disappear in the storage area behind it!

Luckily for both of us our show manager, a friend and fellow club member Bill Glunz, stopped him in his tracks by calling his name. Mulberry Spot walked right up to him and let him pick him up. Thankfully all was well and I carried my baby back to the benching cage where both of us rested up for a time.

The rest of the show went almost uneventfully and by the end I’d added up the points to find that two brother cats, Paddy and Drew were 3rd and 2nd place overall and Furby of Demigod was the overall high scoring Household Pet Cat. Unfortunately it was late by the time the judging was over so not many people got to see the awards ceremony but it was wonderful. Those three top cats were deserving of their awards as each of them had “sucked up” to each of the judges in their own ways.

So now we wait until October for the next local cat show when I will once again be able to feed my addiction. I can’t wait!

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