Last weekend, one of my secret dreams came true. I discovered that we had the opportunity to see not only: 1) about 250 (mostly) gorgeous kitties, but 2) over 250 freaky cat people! All in one place!!! Yes, the Cat Fanciers Association hosted the Oregon Cats Classic at the Portland Expo Center, just across the river from our fair city of Vancouver. In doing a little research, I came to discover that the show would feature “Championship, Premiership, Kittens, Household Pets, Veterans and Agility”. Oh yes, you read that correctly: agility. For cats. As in an obstacle course. Which automatically means that I HAD to go. And just to let you know, I did get video of a cat running the course, but it’s at the end so you have to look at some pictures first!
Here’s what we saw:
Lots of cat-related license plates and bumper stickers in the parking lot.
A mess of crazy cat people in one room.
This friendly guy, named “Dances with Mice”.
This dude, some kind of cat expert with very odd hair, giving ribbons to terrified cats huddled in the back of their cages.
Something that someone was trying to pass off as an actual cat (btw, the hearts and sparkles aren’t fooling anyone – that thing is definitely evil).
Rows upon rows of these little hoop hutches, decked out with ribbons, sparkly bits, toys, and cats (usually passed out).
Nearly all the Persian kitties were wearing coffee filters around their necks. Supposedly it was to keep them from licking and messing up their fur, but I think the real purpose was to teach those cats a lesson in humility, because god knows they need it.
More judging. This cat was clearly peeking at the score card and didn’t look too happy about what he saw.
Apparently, one of the criteria for a winning cat is that it has to be alive. To determine whether the cat is simply comatose and not dead, this tool is often used to elicit an instinctual reaction.
Apparently, the requirement of *NOT* scaring small children was not considered when making the rules for what creatures can participate in the cat show. Terrifying.
Cats do obstacle courses waaaay differently than dogs. This cat decided to take a 7th inning stretch mid-way through the agility course. It was highly entertaining watching owners frantically waving feathered toys and sparkle sticks at their cats, trying to get them to move in something other than a random direction on the course.
The “Pet Me” cats were generally pretty adorbs!
Ok, I guess you’ve been good and have waited long enough. This was the first cat we saw on the agility course and was the best by far of any we watched during the day. This one actually got through most of the course pretty quickly. Generally, the other cats either walked across the course and laid down, hid in the tunnels because they were freaked out, or stood there looking pissed about their handler daring to put them in a position of amusement and ridicule for the enjoyment of humans. Anyway, here you go!
So, coming back from the cat show, Chris and I decided a couple of things. First, our cats pretty much suck. We have five cats and only one or two really like to be petted (sometimes), only about half a cat could be considered a “lap cat”, and none of them would ever permit us to put them in a room with hundreds of other cats without causing a major disturbance or at least summoning an ambulance or two. We tried to trade in a few of ours, but there were no takers; we actually considered simply bringing Oliver there and just leaving him. But we’re kind of pussies too, so neither of those options worked out. And second, and keep this on the down-low…I might just be one of those crazy cat people. Shhhhh… (oh – and by the way – the cat show is coming back to Vancouver in June!!! Who wants to come with?)