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Cat Blogging: The CFA International Cat Show

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Cats are so familiar and yet so enigmatic that seemingly normal people are capable of expending a great deal of verbiage describing and interpreting cat behavior, preferences, interactions, dietary and grooming habits, psychology, etc., ad nauseam – so much so that discursive, picayune, ruminative, twee and ultimately inconsequential online writing in general has come to be know as “cat blogging.”

But while almost any cat owner can succumb to the occasional outbreak of cat blogging, only true feline fanatics fall into the circle of “cat fanciers,” as codified and personified by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), who are seriously fixated upon their pedigreed kitties.

The CFA just held its 18th annual International Cat Show over the weekend in San Mateo, California, and for the first time a cat from (shh) outside of the United States has won the coveted “Best-in-Show” title. The cat, “One-O-One Mascalzone Latino,” a black male of the Exotic breed owned by Marcella Mareno of Rinale Ligure, Italy, won the coveted honor from among a field of 823 pedigreed, pampered and preening felines.

“This year’s ‘Best-in-Show’ cat comes extremely close to meeting the written standards for the Exotic breed,” said Pam DelaBar, president of the CFA. “Competition was fierce this year, but he really earned the title with his wonderful presentation.”

Full details of those “written standards” in all their arcana are on the CFA site, but the general description says, “the ideal Exotic should present an impression of a heavily boned, well balanced cat with a sweet expression and soft, round lines. The large, round eyes set wide apart in a large round head contribute to the overall look and expression. The thick, plush coat softens the lines of the cat and accentuates the roundness in appearance.”

The ideal Exotic body is “of cobby type, low on the legs, broad and deep through the chest, equally massive across the shoulders and rump, with a well-rounded midsection and level back,” and a black Exotic should be “dense coal black, sound from roots to tip of fur,” and “free from any tinge of rust on tips or smoke undercoat.”

That’s the minimum I would expect out of a cat named “One-O-One Mascalzone Latino.”

The other top winners at the show were:

— Best Shorthair Kitten
“Heartbeeps Stardust”
Blue Russian Blue Female
— Best Longhair Kitten
“Kissables Sensation”
Blue Patched Tabby & White Calico & Bi-Color Persian Female
— Best Shorthair Championship
“Majikmoon Will Silver With Age”
Blue Cream White Sphynx Female
— Best Longhair Premiership
“Kenkat Play It Again Sam”
Red Tabby Persian Neuter
— Best Shorthair Premiership
“Casadecano’s Black Orpheus”
Ebony Oriental Shorthair Neuter

In order to even qualify for the show, participant cats were required to produce odorless feces.

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.suddennothing.net Alisha Karabinus

    Yay, kitties! That cat has enormous eyes, almost to the point of creepiness. I have a half-ragdoll, and her eyes are like that… they really trip me out when I catch sight of her in a shadowed room.

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com deano

    Okay, Cat Awards I can take…but why are they never for things that cats actually do, rather then some subjective categories? I mean really! Best Shorthair Championship? If I was a cat and won that award I’d be bloody embarrassed!

    Here’s a better set of Award Categories for the future (some are a bit personal):

    – Best at Annoying Tropical Fish
    – Best Able to Sleep Across a Narrow Window Ledge
    – Best Able to Lurk in the Dark Until Deano Passes by While Carrying a Full Laundry Basket
    – Best at Opening Cupboard Doors
    – Best Garbage Pilferer
    – Best at Missing the Litter box in an Artistic Manner
    – Best at Drape Climbing
    – Best at Sneak Toe Chomping
    – Best at Popping the Keys Off of a Laptop Keyboard
    – Best at Shredding Window Screens
    – Best at Provoking Other Cats
    – Best at Sneaking Food From Deano’s Plate
    – Best at Pushing Expensive Handheld Electronics Off of High Shelves

    I’m sure other people have some to add…

    Take for example, awards for my own 6 cats that now lurk about my domicile:

  • http://trishwilson.typepad.com/blog The Countess (Trish Wilson)

    I love your cat awards, Deano. I have one that would win first place in the “Best Hairball Sculpture” category.

    I love going to cat shows. I get to see all my favorite pure breds plus I get lots of free cat food. I love buying cat gack like notepads, door mats, t-shirts, jewelry, and – of course – cat toys. I bought my cat Lucky’s favorite cat toy at a cat show. I’m surprised he hasn’t completely destroyed it, but it is pretty well shredded.

  • Eric Olsen

    Classic awards Deano, though the presence in your house of 6 cats tips you in the direction of (stunned silence) “fancier.”

    We have two cats whom we view with a mixture of fondness and impatience.

    Cat people – I knew they were here! Alisha has a creepy-eyed cat and Trish goes to cat shows for the booty

  • http://spatulaforum.blogspot.com Nik

    “Best at jumping on your bed repeatedly just as you’re drifting off to sleep.” My cat would win that.

  • http://hankthedog.blogspot.com/ HanktheDog

    deano, I like your categories. Let me add one: Best at browbeating the household dog. I’ve known some beauts in that category.

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    The cats and I have, at best, a wary truce. I can take credit for agreeing to two cats, but due to my wife, we have never been able to turn down a stray. The group has…accumulated to six. I routinely have to booth them off of chairs, couches, high shelves etc. What kills me is that none of them seems inclined to do anything about our local mouse….

  • Eric Olsen

    okay Deano, you’re safe – it’s the wife

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com deano

    But my question is: why no dogblogging?

  • http://www.suddennothing.net LegendaryMonkey

    Deano, your awards had tears running down my face. I suspect my cats would beat your cats at opening cupboard doors, though… I only have two and mine are AWFUL about it.

    Let’s see… Random and Y.T. would be contenders at:

    Best At Knocking Over Mommy and Daddy’s Wrought Iron Tiered TV Stand (dunno how they did that one…)
    Best At Crying For Table Handouts They Don’t Even Want (like pickles)
    Best At Leaping Onto Daddy’s Crotch With Claws Extended (always good for a laugh)
    Best At Completely Shredding Those Evil Mini Blinds
    and
    Best At Totally Destroying the Christmas Tree While Looking Totally Innocent

    They’re devilish.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    I’m preparing the spray to make the tree smell awful this year, since we’ve got a brand new kitten. Sigh.

  • http://www.suddennothing.net LegendaryMonkey

    My cats scoff at that spray. We’ve got two different kinds, and they don’t care.

    I would also like to nominate my two for Best In Stealing Mom’s Favorite Chair.

    I’m also the weirdest here, as I’m the first to produce a picture!
    Random and Y.T. in my chair. Ahh, cellphone quality pics.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Good show, Eric! Speaking of ruminative, picayune, and perhaps even twee statements, it has recently come to my attention that the correct spelling for the Latin phrase you employed in your piece is ad nauseam; not ad nauseum as most people think. (And as classicists are quite fond of pointing out, what with Latin being a dead language and all, there’s to be none of this nonsense about the language having to change merely because there are more Google hits for the wrong spelling than for the correct one.)

    Now to get back on topic just a little bit. Living alone and being sometimes gone from the house for days at a time when I visit distant family members, I feel it would be unfair to the cat if I were to have one in my domicile.

    However when I house-sit for friends with cats, the little creatures soon learn they have nearly hypnotic powers over me, so perhaps that means I am indeed a cat person.

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Victor, my dictionary agrees with you on Latin puking! And if you are a “cat person,” you are indeed a sensible one

  • Eric Olsen

    how about Most Revolting Evisceration of Rodent?

  • http://www.magicjunk.com/blog/ Mark Sahm

    The judges should change ‘Best In Show’ to ‘Grand Puss Maximus’. That would make any cat proud.

    Funny post, Captain EO.

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks MS, and that is a grand moniker indeed!

  • http://trishwilson.typepad.com/blog The Countess (Trish Wilson)

    Eric, I love to go to cat shows and stock up on booty. There aren’t as many cat shows in Massachusetts as there were in Maryland. There’s really only one per year I can go to here, but it’s still loads of fun.

    At one show in Maryland, there was this really adorable Somali kitten that eventually won first prize in its category. There was this woman with a huge beehive hairdo that was sitting in front of the cat’s cage. The cat spent that entire showing reaching out of its cage and trying to fluff that woman’s hair. Everyone in the audience saw what was going on except for Ms. Beehive. I hadn’t laughed so hard in ages. That cat deserved first prize.

  • Eric Olsen

    that’s great! maybe the cat saw the hairdo as a potential mate

  • http://www.suddennothing.net Alisha Karabinus

    Or maybe just the ultimate toy!

  • Eric Olsen

    a nice spraying would have been fun

  • http://www.suddennothing.net Alisha Karabinus

    Not for Miz Beehive, it wouldn’t have.

  • http://trishwilson.typepad.com/blog The Countess (Trish Wilson)

    Poor Ms. Beehive. She sure takes a lot of abuse. I’m rooting for the Somali kitten. ;)

  • http://www.pippensqueak.blogspot.com gypsyman

    I confess that I too fall into the cats rule my house catagory. My damned blog address is one of our cat’s names for pete’s sake (no his name’s not pete its pippen and yes he does squeak)

    Potential awards

    Most creative shredding of toilet papper.

    Most mysterious claw marks in the wallpapper.(we have a set up near the ceiling of our bathroom, none underneath or anywhere else in the vicinity. We can only surmise that somebody launched themselves from the toilet at the ceiling after a spider)

    Most creative insect tormenting: One of our dear chaps rips one wing off flys and watches them spin around in circles to his endless amusement

    Most colourful and varied puke: so far the three diffent shades of Christmas ribbon tied up in tinself is the winner in my house.

    Most creative way to move around the house without ever once touching the floor: walls, furniture, humans and other cats are all considered in play.

    Thankfuly I have never blogged about my cats, although my web site is a disastor of pictures of adorable feelines.

    We gave up on the tree thing, when we caught our biggest cat hauling it down the hall by the simple procedure of grabbing one hold of a branch in his mouth and taking off with it. It was only a four foot high plastic tree, but it did give us pause for thought…most people see him and say Holy f is he big…we’re just glad he likes us.

    I’m done now

    gypsyman

  • http://hankthedog.blogspot.com/ Hank

    Deano asks, “But my question is: why no dogblogging?”

    Well, there’s plenty of this also. Indeed, I’ll admit here that my blog, or dlog, fits snugly into that category and has a number of other dog blogs linked to the site.

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com deano

    So I am surfing through Blogcritics last night, ironically looking at the comments and feedback to the cat-blogging post, when my seven-year old son yells from his bath, “Dante’s in the tub”.

    I walk in and standing in the tub, is our cat Dante, a 9-month old new acquisition. With his usual wide-eyed innocence, he hops out of the tub, squelching water with every step and wanders past, giving each paw a careful shake with every step, followed by his long, normally fluffy tail trailing behind, steadinly dripping water on the carpet.

    With my son giggling behind me, I depart back to the computer, bemusedly shaking my head….

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    That’s what you get for naming a cat Dante.