The most important thing for me at the Cat Fanciers’ Association Allbreed Cat Show at the Seaside Convention Center this past weekend is that a nice lady let me pet her cat. Actually, she let me pet all three of her cats.
I must have looked desperate to pet a cat, any cat.
The show, which was sponsored by the Emerald Cat Club out of Vancouver, Washington, showcased breeds rare and common, including American Curls, Maine Coons, Turkish Angoras, Persians, Siamese, Himalayans, Russian blues, and American shorthairs among others. The show drew dozens of exhibitors to Seaside, and literally hundreds of cat lovers.
One exhibitor, Jim Thompson, came from Washington (“We’ll be sleeping in our own beds tonight,” he said) to exhibit two show cats, Hoku, a Turkish Angora, whose name means “star” in Hawaiian, and Opi, a Siamese; he had with him a gorgeous third cat, another Turkish Angora, very shy, whose role was to be the exhibiting cats’ travel companion.
Sounds like a great gig to me.
For 45 minutes I wandered up and down the aisles, taking in the cats waiting their turn to exhibit. Some of them were eager to make eye contact with me, but mostly not.
The majority of cats were chilling in their elaborate travel crates while others were being combed and fluffed by their handlers awaiting their turn in the judging ring. Well, it’s not really a ring. More like a series of curtained tables.
In one aisle I came upon a gorgeous cinnamon colored Abyssinian teenager I couldn’t tear my eyes away from. His owner/handler, Cindy Walker, who came out from Portland, said the cat’s name is El Primo and he comes from an exceptional line. Abyssinians, in case you are unfamiliar with the breed, are exceptionally bright and social cats that enjoy the company of humans and other animals. They’re popular pets. Abyssinians have unique facial features that some say make them look like tiny cougars. Their rather large ears tilt forward on their heads, giving them the appearance of always being alert. El Primo, even at his tender age, appeared aware he’s destined to be a superstar. He seemed to be enjoying the show, but then again, he’d probably been attending them since kittenhood.
The kind lady who offered to let me pet her cats was exhibiting American shorthairs. She had three cats with her, a black and white tuxedo tabby, and two “red” tabby kittens, one with a naturally bobbed tail. I told her in the past I’d had cats that looked just like hers. I said when I first met my husband, he had an older black and white tuxedo tabby named Tippy; a few years later, when our son was very young, a car sped through the parking lot of the health club where I belonged; someone threw out the car window a young orange cat. Which miraculously was unharmed and came right to me when I called it. We named him Duke and had him 15 years.
There have been a few other cats — Leo, Tyrone, Jesus, and Owl — but we’re cat-less for now.
It’s hard to describe the warm and fuzzy feeling I got stroking this lady’s tuxedo cat.
She said his name is Doc Holladay and he’s in training to be a therapy cat.
He was already achieving success, flooding my system with endorphins and oxytocin just from petting him.
Clatsop Animal Assistance was on scene with a half-dozen kitties looking for their forever homes.
Ronnie Lear, a volunteer at the shelter, was holding on his lap, Mojo, a large, exceptionally mellow cat who despite the hubbub, remained calm and unperturbed.
I have to say if I were looking to adopt a cat, Mojo is my kinda guy.
For more information about meeting Mojo or any other cat currently in residence at the shelter, visit them at 1315 SE 19th St., Warrenton.
Or just attend a cat show and hope somebody invites you to pet theirs.