Felines take centre stage at cat show

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By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – For the second year in a row, the coolest cats around gathered together in the Seaway City to compete for 'top cat' status.

Feline fanatics flocked to see a 120 pampered pusses and cuddly kittens from over 25 breeds at the Canadian Cat Association (CCA) Cat Show at the Cornwall Civic Complex on Sunday.

Bob Gleason, CCA president, judged his first show in 1974. Four decades later, he's still surrounded by the mysterious, elegant, and spontaneous creatures.

Gleason judged the event's all-breed section and he said the quality of pedigreed felines and household cats was incredible. Usually the event lasts for two days, but the night before the CCA held its AGM.

"One of the reasons we come to Cornwall is it's a great location," said Gleason. "The Ontario and Quebec breeders can all meet here without travelling a very long distance. We hope to come back again next year."

He pointed out that many people are unaware of what a cat show really is.

"We're judging cats for confirmation, this way the breeders know where they stand against their competition," said Gleason. "We're (judges) the quality control. We're picking the cats that we feel are the best of the breed. This pushes the breeder to know which way to breed."

He noted that their judging standards are not to the extreme. The CCA is mostly looking for healthy and happy breeding cats that make great pets.

The Cornwall show is part of the ongoing list of CCA events throughout the country, mostly in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. The annual CCA show season starts May 1 and ends April 30 of the following year.

Breeders and their prized felines and pet owners and their furry companions compete for points, which will go towards national wins. Each cat and kitten is judged six times at a show.

Pedigreed cats also compete for titles, grand championships, and bragging rights. Even household cats over four-months-old and spayed and neutered cats have a chance to strut their stuff in a special category.

"There's something for everybody at a cat show," said Gleason. "Spectators get to see the different breeds and speak to the breeders."

Many of the attendees were competitive breeders, hobbyists with a passion for cats or devoted fans to a specific breed. Like Julie and David Dewar, who were on the hunt for an Abyssinian.

The Ottawa couple heard that the Cornwall show would have their preferred breed at a similar event they recently attended in Kingston.

"It's incredible the variety of cats that are here," said Julie. "We have to make this an annual trip."

The Dewars agreed it was the rare selection of cats that made them pounce on the opportunity to come to Cornwall for the first time.

Montreal's Vickie Sauve and her eight-month-old cat, Victore, a maine coon, racked up several ribbons. The two are fierce competitors and constantly travel to cat shows to accumulate points for prestigious CCA titles.

"It's fun and you want to win like any other sport," said Sauve.

For his dominating performance, Victore will be generously rewarded with treats, affection, and a new toy. 

For more information on how cat show's work or to get your precious pet involved, visit www.cca-afc.com.

Organizations: Canadian Cat Association

Geographic location: Cornwall, Ontario, Quebec Nova Scotia New Brunswick Ottawa Kingston Montreal

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