Archive for Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cat enthusiasts gather for annual show

June 15, 2013

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Taylor, a 2-year-old Ragdoll cat, sat on a pedestal as judge Murlene Priest looked him over at the KC Midwest Cat Club Show on Saturday.

St. Louis resident Kathy Becker holds her Tonkinese cat, Crystal, as Shawnee resident Julie Grindol reaches down to scratch her neck during the Kansas City Midwest Cat Club Show, Saturday June 15, 2013 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

St. Louis resident Kathy Becker holds her Tonkinese cat, Crystal, as Shawnee resident Julie Grindol reaches down to scratch her neck during the Kansas City Midwest Cat Club Show, Saturday June 15, 2013 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

Taylor, also referred to as “Tater Tot,” received the top award in his ring for the second time that day. Owner Marlys Bartling smiled, gave him a pat and took him back to his cage to rejoin his pal Rio, an 8-year-old retired from show life.

Ninety-seven cats and their owners congregated at the Douglas County Fairgrounds on Saturday for the first day of competition. Cats are judged in four different categories: kitten, adult, altered (spayed or neutered cats) and household. Jan Rook, one of the four judges at Saturday’s show, explained that, when looking at the cats, she compares them to the ideal standard for their breed.

“For household pets, which is what I’m getting ready to judge now, there’s no standard,” Rook said. “But they have to be clean and be in good condition.”

Show manager Brian Hanson, of Wamego, said that people came from as far as Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Canada to show their cats, and 23 breeds were represented. They ranged in variety from large long-haired cats like the Maine Coon to sleek short-haired breeds like the Oriental.

But the only cat for Bartling is the Ragdoll. For the past 21 years, Bartling has shown a total of eight Ragdoll cats — known for their blue eyes, large bodies and mellow attitude — at shows throughout the region. She traveled from Iowa City, a six-hour car ride, to attend this weekend’s show.

“I try to go to at least one per month,” Bartling said. “I just love all of it, meeting new people and talking to the people I’ve known for a long time.”

Bartling didn’t intentionally join the cat show circuit. Her husband wanted a large cat, so Bartling did some research and decided to get a Ragdoll because they were “very mellow, affectionate and quiet,” she said. One of her co-workers, who had showed cats before, told Bartling that the cat was “show-worthy.”

“She said, ‘Bring him, just try it,’” Bartling said. “And the rest is history.”

The cat show, which is affiliated with the American Cat Fanciers Association, continues from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for children, seniors and military personnel and free for children under 6.

— Staff intern Nikki Wentling can be reached at 832-7196.

Comments

gatekeeper 1 year, 10 months ago

LJW - please stop giving publicity to these shows that encourage breeding of animals when there are soooooo many animals that desperately need homes.

My post from the article the other day:

And right across the street, hundreds of cats are desperate to find loving homes at the animal shelter. I hate these cat and dog shows and all the hype around having to have a pure bred animal. There are so many wonderful animals that need homes and people are stupid and spend hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars on a pure bred.

I used to have a Persian cat that was rescued. A breeder was practically trying to force rape to get her to breed because she was perfection. She didn't want to. The breeder had all her claws removed and would beat her. Still never got her to submit and get pregnant. They finally tossed her for dead. For every "good" breeder out there, there's a dozen bad ones that abuse and neglect the animals - they only care about the kittens and puppies they can make money on and if your cat wins at a show, they'll make more money. It took me years to get that poor cat to act like a normal cat. Just like most pure breds, she had lots of health issues.

Please don't attend these shows and don't purchase pure bred animals from breeders. Always adopt from shelters and save the lives of animals that desperately need homes. If you have it in your head that you just have to have a pure bred, then adopt from a rescue group. There's a rescue organization for almost every breed of cat and dog out there.

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