The debate over cats and dogs remains, but love for cats was evident Saturday, with fans gathered in clusters as judges picked the top felines.
The Midwest Persian Tabby Fanciers sponsored the Cat Fanciers Association All Breed and Household Pet Cat Show at the Lucas County Recreation Center over the weekend. A range of breeds was judged throughout the event.
Brian Pearson, one of the cat show’s judges, had the duty of picking his 10 favorite short-haired kittens Saturday. They lay in cages, meowing and reaching through their cages at the ribbons they just received.
Mr. Pearson had placed a feather cat toy in front of the kittens to get their attention.
“We try to get it to look and give its best features by putting its ears up and dilating its eyes,” Mr. Pearson said. “So we’re not really measuring its playfulness, we’re trying to get it to accentuate its best features when we do the toy.”
At the same time, Mr. Pearson said behavior is important. Judges don’t want to see a hissing or growling cat.
“It’s a learned behavior to become a show cat,” he said.
Mr. Pearson held the 5-month-old gray kitten to the crowd, noting the vibrant green eyes and lovely coat. He pulled another kitten from his temporary cage. This time, a 7-month-old Siamese, with long and lean features.
The winner of the short-haired kitten went to a 6-month-old European Burmese named Oralee.
Her muscle tone, balance, and even playfulness were noted by Mr. Pearson.
After her win, Oralee lay in her pen, noticing a towel below her. She playfully grabbed it with her claws.
“She’s done well,” said Joyce Kempf of Kansas City, Mo.
Oralee’s breeder, Allene Keating and her friend, Ms. Kempf, travel across the country for shows with another cat also.
Mr. Pearson, also from Kansas City, started showing his own feline more than 40 years ago. He said it’s a passion for many people.
“This is a people sport. It really is about the contacts you make with different people,” he said. “You go, and you make new friends, you talk to people, you interact with the judge. The cat is part of it, but it’s a people sport.”
Abner, a 7-month old Cornish Rex, climbed out of his carrier to let a showgoer give him a treat. He knows the sound of the bag, his owner, Michelle Dunoski of Toledo, said.
While it wasn’t his first show, Ms. Dunoski said she pulled Abner from the ring because he was having a rough day.
“If you’re a responsible shower, when they’re not happy, if they’re not having fun, you’re not having fun,” she said. “So you take them out. It’s all about the cat having fun and showing themselves off.”
Abner’s sister, Beatrice, a 2-year-old Cornish Rex, has her own Instagram account, @BeatriceTicketyboo. Beatrice remained at home, Ms. Dunoski said.
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