Annual cat show features pedigreed cats, household felines
Groton — A judge in one of the six rings at the Cats Ahoy Cat Club's third annual Allbreed and Household Pet Cat Show on Sunday held in her arms an 8-year-old brown classic tabby with a corkscrew tail. She pointed out the feline's features to audience members.
"That's what makes our household pets so unique," Kim Chenault said, playing with the cat before returning him to his cage. She then took out a black-and-white cat from another cage, calling attention to the feline's white spots and resemblance to Sylvester the Cat.
Exhibitors from as far away as Virginia attended the two-day cat show on Saturday and Sunday in the gymnasium of Ella T. Grasso Technical High School to show off their cats, watch the judging and learn from other pet owners and breeders. Coincidentally, Sunday was National Cat Day.
The show featured about 110 cats from household pets to pedigreed cats, with a variety of breeds, such as Bengal, Persian, Donskoy, Japanese Bobtail and Sphynx, said Show Manager Sharon Stegall, who was showing her Maine Coons at the show.
The gymnasium was set up with six judging rings during the show in which cats could earn ribbons and points toward regional and international awards.
Carla Conner brought her rescue cats, Whiskey, a Bengal, and Bruschi, a domestic shorthair cat, from Maine to compete in the household pet competition. She and her mother, Catherine Dunlap, who also had two rescue cats in the competition, go to cat shows across New England and have been showing together for the last eight years.
"We come to socialize and have a good time. We're like a family," she said about her fellow exhibitors.
"We just do it, because we're proud of our babies," she added.
During the show, the pedigreed cats were judged against written standards of a perfect cat for their breed, while household cats also were judged against written standards, with the cat's condition being a major factor in the judging, said Nikki Crandall-Seibert, a judge at the event.
Courtney Bell drove from Richmond, Va., to exhibit Boone, her 9-month-old Exotic Shorthair cat. She said she loves her cats, but pointed out that the shows are also about socializing with others who show their cats.
"The best thing about cat shows is the people," she said.
Heather Jackson, a cat breeder from Lebanon, also said she enjoys the camaraderie at the shows and learning about all the different breeds of cats. She brought her new 4-month-old Savannah kitten, a high-energy breed, to his first show this weekend. Kittens, between 4 and 8 months old, are eligible to compete.
The brown-spotted tabby with green eyes was taking a nap in the hammock in his carrier on Sunday afternoon, which was decorated with an award ribbon showing his rank in categories for best shorthaired kitten and best allbred kitten. The kitten competed in six rings on Saturday and made it to the finals in three of them.
"Not bad for his first day of showing," Jackson said.
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