Last weekend was a big deal in the cat world. It was the return of the Cat Fanciers’ Association International show. It was the first one since 2019, prior to COVID. I looked forward to it for months. It was held in Cleveland this year. I’d been to the venue in years past. It is huge! The show itself is an extravaganza. It is actually two shows going on simultaneously with up to 900 cats!
Besides the show, there were about one hundred vendors of cat centric items along with a stage for all day entertainment. Unfortunately due to the show schedule, I never got to see any the stage activities. I did get one quick walk through of most of the vendors. I had to buy the kitties a new toy.
I drove to Ohio on Thursday with Smartie, Pixi Stix and Strudel. I wanted to participate in the two special rings offered on Friday. They were optional for cats that were hoping to earn grand championships or premierships. Only Smartie was eligible for those classes. I got there when the venue opened to set up my benching area as well as the RagaMuffin breed display. I rolled in my cart loaded up with enough stuff that it could appear that I was moving in. Most of my friends had not arrived yet.
Smartie competed in the two classes, but was not chosen for finals. I was late getting back to my hotel. I had scheduled dinner with my friend that lives in the area, Sandi. As I was running late, Sandi actually picked up a delicious dinner for us and we had a great time catching up in my hotel room in the company of the RagaMuffin kitties.
Saturday morning, I boxed up the cats early and escorted them to the show. Smartie had championship classes ( hoping to earn points for her Grand Championship). Strudel was competing for her second and last time in kitten class. She will be an adult next time out. Pixi Stix was competing as a Grand Premier in her very last show as I had decided to retire her. She had been a Regional Winner as a kitten and an adult, a Grand Champion, a national Breed Winner and most recently, the Grand Premier.
Smartie did well in the rings. She hides in her tent, but once on the judge’s table, goes up the pole and shows off. I had extra clips on her tent as one time she escaped. I knew if she got out in that venue, I’d be panicked. She earned some points during the day. At the end of the day, she needed 6 more points for her Grand. As I was showing 3 cats in 3 different classes, I got confused and thought I was done. I packed my cats up, loaded the car with them and was driving out the parking lot when I was contacted by a friend looking for me. Smartie had been called to a final. I was devastated. I turned around and made an attempt to get her back to the ring, even though I knew there was no way I could get there in time. I had blown it. I was really disappointed.
I met other friends for dinner that night. I was unhappy with myself, but they did a good job cheering me up. After all, Smartie was having a good show, Strudel was doing well in kitten class and, as always, Pixi Stix made me proud. By the way, Cleveland has some outstanding restaurants.
Back to the venue on Sunday. There were a total of twelve RagaMuffins there. At the International show, instead of the usual benching procedures, all cats are benched with others of the same breed. It was nice to see muffins that other breeders had brought and to catch up with them in person. The show continued to be a busy experience. I swore I would never enter that many classes again. It was exhausting keeping up. I think my step counter got over 17,000 on that day alone. But, all three girls made more finals. Smartie got more than enough points for her Grand Championship. Pixi Stix made finals, the most meaningful being her last ring before retirement. Strudel did well, making 5 finals under 8 judges. iCandy RagaMuffins was awarded top RagaMuffin in championship, premiership and in kitten class in the gold show. I was thrilled..
Sunday night, I had dinner with a couple of other RagaMuffin breeders. We were all exhausted. The cats were exhausted as well. But, in review, the show was exciting, a rare chance to see all those amazing cats. And, a super experience to share with friends.