One hundred twenty five cats strutted their best stuff at this year’s Star City Cat Fanciers cat show. Eight judges called the breeds; in various classes; up one at a time. They examined each one closely and made their decision independent of the others.
Sarah Sieffert from Lanham, Maryland entered her 10-month-old Turkish Angora, Lala, in the show. She’s been a breeder/exhibitor since 1970 and was in the Star City to “have some fun.” Sieffert says Lala branded in one show (beat 200 other cats to earn 200 points to earn her Grand Champion title) at eight months, when she became an adult.
“You can show them as early as four months and anytime between four and before they turn eight months, they can be shown as a kitten. And that’s when you see most of them (competing) to get them acclimated to being shown and handled by strangers; all the noises and the smells.”
Seiffert has a regime to get the all white cat ready for her big day. “She does get a maintenance bath during the week and then she will get a show bath either the evening before. . . or early in the morning Saturday.”
She’ll continue to show Lala until the end of the show season, April 30th, with the hope to be in the top three of her breed. Then Sieffert will breed her and Lala will go into temporary retirement. “She seems to like showing, so she may come out (of retirement) when she’s finished breeding.”
Ryan Lutzkanin from Stafford, Virginia was showing his 1-year-old Cornish Rex, Flash. He says Flash won one round already that morning but was a little cranky. “He’s our house pet but he’s show quality so we bring him to shows. He doesn’t love it here. He’d rather be in front of the fireplace.”
Lutzkanin has shown him about three times. He’s won other shows in the Premier Class, which is for cats that have been altered.
“We’re going to show him until he gets his premiership as a Grand Champion. Once he’s a Grand Champion, then he’s done and we’ll keep him just as a house pet.”
Kathy Pritchard from Spotsylvania, Virginia, is Flash’s breeder. She recently had the number one cat in Europe and last season she had three of the top 10 Cornishes in the country.
“This breed is very, very hard because there’s so many curves you’re looking for… They’re supposed to look just like an Italian Greyhound; deep chest, tiny waist. You want big ears. They have to have a curly coat. You’re looking for curves on the forehead-no straight profile. Also, good temperament makes a big difference.”
If you’re interested in showing cats, she suggests you first shadow someone who’s already involved in the cat show circuit. “Just go but, she cautions, it’s a very expensive hobby. “It depends on how far you want to go with it. If you want to run for a national or regional win, you’ve got to get out there every weekend. You’re talking $150 to $300 depending on where you stay, in motels, and gas. It is what you make out of it. If you go into it not worrying about winning, you get your best results. You don’t want to show a cat that’s not enjoying it. You really don’t. It’s not fun for you. It’s not fun for the cat.”