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Published: Monday, 2/10/2014 - Updated: 5 months ago

After 3-year hiatus, cat show returns

250 established, mixed breeds to compete

BY ALEXANDRA MESTER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Texas resident and cat judge Karen Stinson tests a cat’s reaction to toys during the last My Stormy Valen-tine show in Maumee in 2009. Texas resident and cat judge Karen Stinson tests a cat’s reaction to toys during the last My Stormy Valen-tine show in Maumee in 2009.
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Toledo-area cat lovers can get a glimpse of a variety of felines, including unusual and new official breeds, when the My Stormy Valentine cat show returns to Lucas County this weekend.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: My Stormy Valentine cat show

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

WHERE: Lucas County Recreation Center, 2901 Key St., Maumee

COST: $4 per person

The show runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Lucas County Recreation Center, 2901 Key St., Maumee. Admission is $4 a person.

Jamie Christian, president of the nonprofit Great Lakes Cat Consortium, Inc., that helped organize the show with another nonprofit club, Glass Citicats, said it began in 2000 under a different name. The event became the My Stormy Valentine show in 2005. After 2011, the organization decided to take a break for a few years because of rising costs and fewer entries.

“We needed to take a couple of years to regroup,” Mr. Christian said.

The consortium, affiliated with the International Cat Association, Inc., plans to make My Stormy Valentine a regular event once again.

“We’ve built up a group of people who want to do the show again,” Mr. Christian said. “It built up a little bit of anticipation, and we think it will be a big success again. The people in Toledo have always been great and supportive of the show.”

Up to 250 cats of both pedigree and mixed heritage will be in the show, competing for titles in six divisions, including divisions for household kittens and adults, as well as regional and international awards.

The event will feature 20 show rings, including six rings Friday for a media-only show, with people and cats from around the globe.

“We have judges from all over the world, including Argentina and Austria,” Mr. Christian said. “The exhibitor who is traveling the longest distance is from Australia.”

Breeds to be shown include well-known ones such as bengal and Savannah, Maine coon, ragdoll, Persian, and Burmese. Unusual breeds such as the sphynx (it lacks a coat), Cornish rex, and Scottish fold, in addition to new breeds being developed such as the khao manee and burmilla, also will also be shown.

As part of the consortium’s mission to help cat rescues, it has partnered with two cat rescues for the event, giving them free space for adoptions and fund-raising. Paws & Whiskers Cat Shelter of Toledo and the County Cat/​City Kitty Rescue of Livonia, Mich., will be at the event.

Any rescue cats up for adoption can be entered into the show for free.

“Someone can come to the show on Saturday, see a rescue cat in the show, and adopt it,” Mr. Christian said.

Paws & Whiskers has participated in My Stormy Valentine and its predecessor since the event began 2001. Shelter manager David Plunkett said the rescue agency plans to bring eight adoptable cats to the show.

“It’s a good time and it’s beneficial to the shelter,” he said. “It gives us exposure to people that might not know about us.”

The number of adoptions varies from year to year, but the shelter’s fund-raising group, Krafting for Kitties, typically had done well with its sales of craft items at previous shows.

“It’s usually a pretty good event for that,” Mr. Plunkett said.

A variety of other vendors will be on hand selling cat-related items such as supplies, clothing, and accessories.

“It’s going to be a great event,” Mr. Christian said.

Contact Alexandra Mester at: amester@theblade.com, 419-724-6066, or on Twitter @AlexMesterBlade.



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