After a Sunday hike and drive affair with Mum and my nephew, I got side-tracked by a sign that read CAT SHOW. I’d seen it advertised in the local paper, but the sign really screamed ‘come on by fellow feline friend’ and I succumbed (even though I’m not really a cat person).
“Let’s go to the cat show” I said, probably a little too eager.
Mum blank stared at me with that look of surprise mixed with a hint of sarcastically proud of 4th child.
“Why would you want to go there?” enquired teenage nephew from back seat.
“Because it’s random as” was my deal-breaking reply… and I was the driver, so no-one really could argue with that. I had fond memories of ending up at a dog show with Mr T years ago and watching the mockumentry ‘Best in Show’, so I knew that I really couldn’t go wrong.
As we approached the hall, cat people milled around. The car park was full and I knew this was serious when we drove by the ‘Pussy Mover’, plastered in pictures of playful pussies. Driving proved difficult after that. Not because my vehicle wasn’t up to cat calibre, but because I have the maturity level equivalent to my nephew and I was snort laughing.
We finally found a park and some judges greeted us by huddling and puffing on cigarettes. It must be an intense job choosing which cats win prizes, because I reckon the ones that would walk out ribbon-less would have a tendency to ninja claw you when your back was turned.
Mum paid our entry and to be honest I don’t know where to begin, as this was like seeing a Magic Eye 3D picture for the first time and not knowing where to look. At the entrance were displays of glitzy cage coverings for glamorous cats available for purchase. You know the kind, when taffeta meets satin meets crushed velvet and punches a jar of glitter. The hall was amass of decorated cages and moggy mania.
We waded through the crowds and started in logical sequence by diverting to the left. Cages were lovingly decorated with fancy fabrics and poufy cushions. This was an exercise in me and my nephew stifling laughter, as we looked in at the various kitties; Siamese, Persians, Maine Coons, Norwegian Forests, Seal Points, Birmans… categorised into groups like ‘House Cats’ and ‘Shorthair Entire Cats’. I was quite glad they were entire cats and not half-cats or semi-cats.
I’ve learnt that there are three great things about cat shows; the cats, the cat owners and the cat judging. The collection of cats on display were either asleep in awkward positions, hiding underneath folds of satin or generally looking pissed off. You’d stare and point and they would be severely unimpressed that you had the ability to stare and point. One Sphinx (yes, those creepy ones with no hair at all), heard Mum making fun of it. Cats have a death stare. They can also have a manky monotonous miaow.
The cat owners and cat enthusiasts are an unmistakable breed, they are serious about their furry friends… unlike myself who spent a lot of my time there quietly giving my abs a workout. Some had shifty cat eyes, some looked like the human version of a cat and one or two looked like they had the ability to curl up and catnap.
We were lucky enough to experience some first-class judging. An older man in a suit picked up a pussy cat and held it in the air as if presenting a new born to God. He stretched it out like a scarf and did an all over inspection before pulling its face back taut so its eyeballs popped, to see if it was a contingent for a face lift or botox. He then spun it round like a helicopter and put it back in its cage before it realised that it could scratch, leap and run. The judge then disinfected the table and his suit to avoid catilly transmitted diseases.
We left the CAT SHOW; cats, cat enthusiasts, cat owners, cat judges, cat raffles, kids, cages, cat raffles and crowds with cheeky smiles on our faces for the ‘cateriffic’ experience. That’s the best $5 spent in a long time (thanks Mum!).
I actually secretly hoped it was like this: