Thursday, March 15, 2007

Blog and Cat Show

More cats? Why not? Even though Monica blogged yesterday about cats and murder, that was my plan, too, though from a different perspective, since this mystery author’s basic blog topic is pets.

Why cats this week? Well, not long ago, I visited my first cat show, and I enjoyed it. Consequently, it’s been on my mind.

I’ve been to dog shows before, mostly those held by the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club USA. And I’ve of course watched some of the major dog shows on television--at least parts of them--such as the Westminster show.

So why a cat show? Well, I wanted to let people there know about my latest Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery: MEOW IS FOR MURDER. Plus, I was curious. How do cat shows work?

With dog shows, the pups are trained to strut their stuff. Accompany their handlers around the ring and stand still as their best traits are examined by the judges. Cats, though, are so much more independent. Would they do as directed and preen for the judges?

Sure--on their own terms, sort of. They remained in enclosures while being observed--and observing the judges, too. If they felt like, they reached for toys dangled in front of them. They showed off. They preened. They probably laughed behind their pretty paws about how the silly humans vied for their attention.

Cat breeds are diverse, although their sizes don’t seem to vary nearly as much as, say, the differences between dogs--chihuahuas and St. Bernards, for example. Some cats are slender and short haired. Others are larger and fluffier. Some have short noses, others long. Many are beautiful, or elegant, or cute, especially the kittens.

But one thing I saw that didn’t differ between dog shows and cat shows is the pride their owners have in their beautiful babies. The love between person and pet.

I had some concerns, though, about how the cats felt about their confinement, when I suspect they’re used to dominating their home domains. I didn’t have the opportunity to ask any of them, but hope they tolerated it out of enjoyment of the competition and humoring the people who thought they owned them.

So what is the purpose of such competitions, whether cat, canine or other pet? They’re celebrations. Excuses for people with similar interests to get together and discuss their babies and show them off. Hopefully, they’re fun, or at least tolerable, to those babies, too.

The kitties who star in MEOW IS FOR MURDER are beautiful Bengal cats. There weren’t any at the show I attended, since Bengals aren’t always a recognized breed, even though they are becoming popular. I’ve never asked Kendra Ballantyne to attend a pet show in her mystery stories. I’m sure that, if she went to one, mayhem would result, since she’s such a murder magnet.

In any event, while I was considering what to blog about this week, I received an invitation to attend a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel show not far from my home in a couple of months. Will I drop in? You bet!



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