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LEAVE A COMMENT W/ YOUR FAVORITE CAT VIDEO AND SHARE W/ CAT LOVERS YOU KNOW... For thousands of years going back to the Ancient Egyptians, cats have been put on public display. But the first cat shows in the United States, held in Maine, didn't appear until between 1860 and 1870. Finally, in 1895, a show clawed its way into New York City, hosted in Madison Square Garden.
Badoop-badoop! Fast-forward to the present: Cat clubs and cat fancy organizations are everywhere, holding local, state and national shows in every part of the country. And no wonder: If you search YouTube, either online or on your TV with your TiVo HD DVR, it's very clear that you don't have to be a cat breeder to be easily amused and entertained by the very funny videos featuring endless breeds of cats--from hilarious cat bloopers to just cute cat behaviour. But what's missing from most of these viral videos are a the cat fanciers themselves, who regularly travel across the country attending cat shows. Talk about a special breed of PEOPLE! Perhaps you're familiar with the crazy cat lady on some of The Simpsons episodes? I guess they're not all THAT crazy--are they?
So... I went to Pleasanton, California with a very clear mission: to find out just how crazy people can get about cats--and, while I was there, to learn out how well they know their famous felines of Film and Television with our very first Badoop-Badoop Cat Quiz!
What better place to get a close-up perspective of the cat fancier lifestyel than the Crow Canyon Cat Show! I couldn't believe all the cats I saw: Siamese cats, known for their legendary voice and captivating blue eyes; Persian cats, with their long flowing coats and open pansy-like faces; Himalayan cats, actually a Persian cat with the color pattern of a Siamese cat (who knew?!); the Egyptian Mau, which were worshiped as deities in ancient Egypt; the remarkably dense and muscular Tonkinese; Burmese cats, often described as "bricks wrapped in silk"; Exotic cats that look like a Persian but have short hair; Siberian cats, which history shows have been around for at least one thousand years; Sphynx cats, which are the most famous of the hairless cats, and probably made most popular in recent years by Doctor Evil from the Austin Powers movies; and Abyssinian cats, one of the oldest known breeds on this planet. One of my favorites was a plump Russian Blue Cat with a plush double coat similar to a beaver--gorgeous!
What a spectacle, these fancy cat shows! Cat toys are everywhere, grooming stations and supplies to style and fluff abound, and the large crates where the cats are displayed are decorated with animal prints, feather boas and more! In preparation for the show, cats are bathed, nails clipped, and ears cleaned. And some cats are more "high-maintenance" than others. A longhaired cat requires much more effort than a shorthaired cat and, if shown on a regular basis, must be bathed weekly and combed twice daily! What divas!
Here are a few grooming tricks I learned while I was there: By fluffing up the hair on top of a cat's head, you can modify the appearance of large ears; to make a cat's tail appear shorter, trim the excess hair at the end of the tail; to give the kitty a rounded look, clip the hair around the face; and to make their eyes look rounder, cut the hair over the eyes; finally, to make the cat's neck look thicker or shorter, just comb out its ruff so that it stands out to frame its face. Do you think our favorite Hollywood stars heed any of this advice?
Even though our breeders didn't get every answer correct in our Cat Quiz, it's clear that these folks clearly know and love their cats. I got a particular kick out of the fact that while that the show manager assured me that cat people are not crazy, the club's treasurer told me that the difference between cat owners and dog owners is that Dogs have "Masters," and Cats have "Staff."