Cat owners take hands-on approach

Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds used for annual feline competition

It was a festival of felines at the Douglas Country 4-H Fairgrounds Saturday as the annual KC Midwest Cat Club show took place.

Judge Tim Murphy looks at the eyes of one of Saturday's entries.

The show drew 104 cats from all corners of the country, with the entrants competing in more than 20 breed categories and four divisions: kittens, adults, altereds (for neutered and spayed cats) and house pets.

Murlene Priest, now in her third year as director of the event, said cat owners who show their animals are very attached to their pets.

“Unlike at dog shows where they sometimes hire handlers, these people are the owners, because cats react best to the owners,” Priest said.

Judge Dan Lalley examines a competitor.

The show featured cats from all points along the species spectrum, from the very large Maine Coon, to the sleek and short-haired Siamese, to the curly Cornish Rex. Each cat is judged against other entrants from its specific breed, and then the winner of each breed competes for prizes against other breeds in its division.

The show was sponsored by the American Cat Fanciers Assn., a national organization that hosts a number of events throughout the country. Some cat showers, Priest said, will take weeks off at a time and attend several ACFA shows in a row.

“We have a couple individuals who like the motor home approach; they pack up and then are gone to cat shows for four or five weeks and then they head home,” Priest said.

Oriental short hair Piddy Pat's Shania is carried to the next round by her owner Lori Warren, of Topeka.