Who knew cats could be so accommodating?
At the Wichita Cat Fancy show on Saturday cat after fluffy cat sat calmly, as their owners pulled them out of cages, carried them around, combed them out and even set them near other strange cats.
They just politely sat in their cages resting or looking around.
“They’re used to being handled,” said Connie Oliver, president of the club.
In the show at the Cotillion, there were four areas with a table facing a small group of chairs for the audience. In each area, a judge would reach into the cages behind her or him, pull out a cat and check for how well the cat met the characteristics that breed was supposed to have. The show continues Sunday.
The Maine Coon cats, for instance, were supposed to be large boned, long in body, with long tails and square muzzles, among other traits.
Nearly 160 cats competed in about two dozen breeds, and were also split into males and females, and fixed and unfixed. There were a lot of blue ribbons awarded.
Ruth Perkins of Douglass was tending her two beautifully groomed golden Siberians as she waited for competition. They were sitting in their own spacious plastic soft sided containers.
Perkins has raised and shown cats for 21 years. She likes the showy part of the cat show.
“I used to be a dress maker and did fashion shows,” she said. “This is the closest I’ve come to that.”
Next to her was Chester Peterson Jr. of Lindsborg, who said he has shown cattle, dogs and cats, and he likes cats best.
“The smell is better than a cattle show and your foot won’t get broken if they step on you,” he said. “And it’s a lot quieter than a dog show.”
And the competitive atmosphere isn’t quite as sharp.
“People are a lot friendlier at cat shows,” he said.
One of those friendly people was Maggie Lombardi who had traveled all the way from Orange County, Calif., to compete.
She acknowledged it was a pretty far distance for a cat show, but her exotic longhair Persian Bette Davis had recently done very well in a show closer to home and now she needed points gained in competitions to reach a higher status.
She said had just gotten into cat shows after quitting the showing and riding of horses. Showing cats produces fewer injuries and are much more affordable, she said, despite the airfare to Wichita.
“But it doesn’t have quite the adrenaline rush,” she said.