MONROE — In the show ring, he’s known as Grand Champion Nachrel Innoko, but you can call him Noki for short.
Ranked the eighth-best cat in the world — yes, the world — by the Cat Fanciers’ Association overall points tally, Noki made an appearance at a cat show in Monroe on Sunday. The cat was exhibited by owner Lorna Friemoth, an Ottawa, Ohio, native who lives in Columbus.
The seal mink tabby American bobtail — who is co-owned by Barbara Graff of Nachrel Bobtail Cattery in Garner, Ky., and Ms. Friemoth’s mother, Shelby Friemoth — was one of about 150 cats shown at the all-breed Cat Fanciers’ Association show, sponsored by the Midwest Persian Tabby Fanciers and held at Monroe County Community College.
Entrants came from across the Midwest, from Canada, and as far away as Texas, said Cathy Hawley of Clarkston, Mich., a director of the Midwest Persian Tabby Fanciers.
Ms. Friemoth, 28, and the award-winning 16-month-old cat, have been on the road at cat shows every weekend since June, except for the weekend before Christmas.
“My parents starting breeding Persians in 1978, before I was born,” Ms. Friemoth said. “I went to my first cat show when I was a week old. It would be weird for me to not breed and show cats.”
Ms. Friemoth decided when she was 11 years old that Persians, her parents’ breed of choice, were not for her and she’d rather breed Japanese bobtails. She has gone on to breed and show 12 breeds and has gone to judging school with plans to one day become a Cat Fanciers’ Association judge. The downside of becoming a judge is no longer showing, however, she said.
Her mother and her father, John, who recently moved to San Diego, took over her American bobtail breeding program when she went to college. The American bobtail is one of the Cat Fanciers’ Association’s newest breeds, accepted for registration and “miscellaneous” status in 2000 and championship status in 2006.
Ms. Friemoth and her boyfriend, Seth Baugh of Columbus, had several other cats at the show, including a Japanese bobtail; a Balinese; a long-haired Oriental, and a Norwegian forest cat named Valkyrie. The long-haired cat had many admirers, including Nancy Knight, who drove to Monroe from Frankenmuth, Mich., to see it.
“I’m not from a show-cat family, but I really admire the breeds and showing cats is something I’ve been thinking about doing,” Ms. Knight said.
Nearby where Mr. Baugh’s and Ms. Friemoth’s cats were benched, Mr. Baugh’s mother, Loretta Baugh of Rochester, Mich., was judging cats, including three household pet cats.
One was Angel, a ragdoll with blue eyes owned by Lisa Thomas of Maumee. Despite her glamorous looks, the cat was relegated to the household pet-show ring because of a slight imperfection in her tail, which has a kink to it.
“I think she’s beautiful anyway,” said Ms. Thomas, who owns the cattery Becharmed Ragdolls.
Angel was awarded second place. Beating her was Yogi, a seal point Himalayan owned by Nancy Wain of Monroe. Ms. Wain’s daughter, Stacy, also showed a household pet, a blue point Himalayan named Sassy, who placed third.
It was a close decision which cat should be first and which should be second, Mrs. Baugh said. Yogi won by a hair — or rather, because of his hair.
“He was so cuddly,” Mrs. Baugh said. “I loved the feel of his coat. He just had that little special something that said, ‘Pick me’.”
Contact Tanya Irwin at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6066.