Cat people are awesome! NauTICAts Annual Cat show in Augusta, Maine was full of some very interesting cat people, many of which this blog will focus on over the next few posts.
Today, this post is an overview of the many fascinating folks one can meet at cat shows.
First of all, I met Steve Mathey from Venice Florida, and his American Shorthair, Sweet Emotion, who had won best altered cat in this cat show, and was moving up in the rankings, going from 10th internationally on Thursday to eighth place on Friday, and he was hoping up to fifth on Sunday. Finding a three-day cat show gives him a better chance to rack up winnings, and put him in better standings. He was a little concerned about coming into another area (the northeast versus southeast), but he liked the line-up of the judges. “It’s a crap shoot,” he said. “You just hope for the best.” So he loaded Sweet Emotion into his carrier, jumped on a plane, flew to Maine, and drove another hour to the show location. He takes a five-pound bag of litter, baggies with food and a water bottle in his backpack, and in the event of a layover, Sweet Emotion has full access to all those essentials. Being at the airport is like camping out for an hour.
Mathey said the drive wasn’t bad. Florida is a long state, and cat showing requires you to travel a lot. He had moved to a condo in Florida leaving her best felines friends in Seattle with good friends. After being pet less for five years, upon retirement, he became involved with cat shows. This was nothing foreign to Mathey who had been involved in cat rescue for many years.
Then, I met Gisele Duplessis, a Maine Coon Cat breeder from Southbridge, MA., who had a number of beautiful Maine Coon cats at the show. She told me the boys usually show better because judges prefer the larger cats. Females run 9 to 14 pounds, and the males go from 14 to 22 pounds. They don’t reach full maturity and size till there’s three to four years old.
With two more rings to be judged in, at eight months, Thor Angel had placed many times in best long hair, with two more rings to go.
I was amazed to see Bridgette Pouliot, of Montreal, Canada, pick up her three Persians very large cats, from the competition ring, and carry all three, all at once, back to their holding areas. She’s also a breeder, so show points and good standing, reflecting well on her cats.
Next to her was a Red Silver Classic Tabby with White, a Maine Coon Cat kitten, only four months old. This was his first show, and he was doing very well. Carol Pedley, of Standish, Maine, also a member of, CFF, and Cat Fanciers Association, was quite proud of LeBreau Minu Maine Coon Dream Cuter. She’s been showing and breeding for 41 years. CFA will be hosting the United Maine Coon Association’s Oct. 20 and 21 Cat Show at the Nasson Community Center, Springvale, Maine. Over 70 cats will be featured, as well as many displays
Marie Atkins, a cat adoption counselor at the Animal Refuge League in Westbrook, Maine, shared Thomas’ story. Now six, the boy encountered some kids that twirled him around by his back legs, disconnecting his hips and breaking his back when he was only four weeks ago. Now Thomas works to educate people about animal abuse. He does have a cart, but prefers to drag his hind legs behind him to get where he wants. She said he is amazingly strong in his forepaw area, and he can get up onto a sofa or bed by himself. A lot of people want to see him use the cart, but I figure if I made him use it, that would be abuse. It’s up to him what he wants to do,” she said.
Candice and Mike Jewett, from Safe Kitty Cat Enclosures, had a sample of a very large cat house on display. These huge sturdily wired houses are ideal to let kitty get some fresh air. Candice said her cats even use it in the winter. It can be attached to the main house, allowing free entry through a cat door or the entrance to the deck. They also can be free-standing, as well. Candice pointed out hat even though she lives in a rural area; her cats that went free-roaming have incurred serious injuries, from being hit by cars, to being attached by other animals. She started thinking about how the cats could enjoy the outdoors, and yet, be safe. Nine years ago, they started making these units, made from New England based materials. For nine years, she’s juggled with two jobs and 12 animals to find the time to make the cat houses. For more information on their houses, go to www.safekitty.com.
As the judges ask for personal stories in the best judging, Christian Sclerau, of Rhode Island tells tales of sasquatch, comparing his 12-pound Himalayan to the big footed abominable snowman. He explains the only difference between the Himalayan and Persian is their colors. It’s the pointed version of a Persian, he said.
I saw a familiar face, one that I had photographed at the Westchester, NY Cat Show. Vandy Veeder from Saratoga, NY, was at the NauTICAts Show with her Egyptian Mau, Gefu, which she said means monkey in Egyptian.
And then I met Cathy Dunlap, who with her daughter Carla Conner and granddaughter Audrey Hobbs, who have a family tale to share, which I will do in my next post.
Have you met some awesome people at cat shows or other cat events? If so, please share.