Thoughts On the Kitty Catalogue

by Lisa-Maria Padilla

Published December 2002

I turned right to the page in the Christmas Cheese Catalogue that said it all:

"The Super Selection"
Just imagine the look of delight on your recipient's face
when they open this outstanding assortment of cheeses,
all carved in the shape of Wisconsin and all festively wrapped!

Is there not something a bit contradictory about "festively wrapped cheese"?

If I were handed a box of "gift cheese" I'm not sure I'd even recognize whether the Colby, Jack, or Cheddar, was shaped as Wisconsin or any other land mass. Knowing how packages often arrive, I'd probably end up opening a box full of broken cheese pieces and assume they were arranged in the shape of the Spratly Islands. But I have come to expect such dramatic, "enticing", and virtuous descriptions, especially during what I have come to call the Pre Christmas Cheese Catalog Conspiracy, with a new catalog full of cheese, and simulated cheese products, filling my mailbox daily.

All of which reminds me greatly of cats. More specifically, cats at shows. Huge assortments of cats, all brought together as though arranged in a giant catalog with more variety than geographically shaped dairy products. Go to enough cat shows and even the diehard fans of a particular breed can begin to look longingly at those "other" feline representatives that before might have elicited little thought.

Lately, I've been benched around a number of different breed exhibitors, and I've found myself taking a liking to more than a few of their various styles of cats.

Last week I found myself next to two cages full of Norwegian (Forest) Puffy Cats, and they really do have the sweetest faces. I can't imagine anyone committing a heinous crime while having one of these serene-looking northerners gazing in one's eyes. And speaking of longhaired varieties, I'm finding the Birmans more stunning all the time. Gorgeous hunks of stately fur that look like they don't have a foolish bone in their body. Not only that, they look WARM. I can easily imagine myself coming home from work, pouring myself a drink, and wrapping my feet in a couple of matching Birmans. Forget the fuzzy bunny slippers.

Of course, for sheer size, I would gladly cover my bed with one of those Maine Coon comforters, a cat whose EAR TUFTS alone are larger than my Abyssinian. These are cats! In many a small apartment in big cities a Maine Coon is considered the sofa. At the other end of the scale, a little Singapura pocket rocket not only provides hours of loving fun for the whole family, they prove incredibly portable, and can be used as falsies--one in each cup--for the flat-chested.

Being a "Bengal person" I'm always tempted to take the entire Bengal kitten class out on a "lease-to-own" option and perhaps harness their combined vocal power in the aid of drivers fogged in on the California Grapevine. And the Cornish Rex remind me, eerily, of a guy I dated, though I'm not sure why. Maybe their fur reminds me of the nice wave of his eyebrows. Maybe it's the nose. Maybe it's the long whippy tail. I need to think about that one.

I'm liking more and more the rumpy roundness of the Cymric. These cats seem to know what they're about even if many people don't know how to pronounce what they are. I've heard
"sim-rick", I've also heard "cum-rick", and "koom-rick". I'm part Welsh, but that doesn't mean I know how to say the cat either, so I try not to. But I do like it, however it sounds.

I've never been a big Exotic person, but that was until I felt one, and realized that many times they often actually move and have honest to goodness personalities. I used to think that people simply kept them on stands at home, along with their Persian counterparts, in order to keep them in such pristine condition. Now I see (and appreciate) that people merely sweat bullets keeping them in pristine condition.

Yes, I can see how cat show folks end up "acquiring" cats of various breeds. After awhile it's sort of hard not to. Take for example the Sphynx . . .

No, I simply can't. Not in this life. Probably not in my next one either. I can't bring myself to it just yet. This one will take time. I'll just have to attend further shows for more in-depth Sphynx appreciation training. Maybe if they just came more "festively wrapped". I think I'll go back to the catalogs and take a look . . .

Your cat can be a star!

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