My First Siamese Grand In CFA

by Melissa Wedel
PharoahsGems Siamese & Colorpoint Shorthairs

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Married with six children, Melissa Wedel is a nurse finishing her BSN and a Bachelor’s in Molecular Biology before entering medical school.

Melissa loved Siamese from a child. A few years ago she went looking for a companion for her 17 year old applehead Siamese, Kasha.

While picking up a sealpoint kitten at the breeder's home, Melissa saw her first red point and fell in love with Colorpoints too. Although not "top" show, Melissa began showing her first kitties and from this humble beginning PharaohsGems was born... and a childhood dream came true.

Showing As A Hobby

My cats are my peace. They are my heart, my quiet place when the world is all wrong. Raising six kids can be very difficult and being a nurse can be very stressful, but when I come home and see my cats and play with them, everything is easier.

Showing cats is a wonderful hobby. Each weekend (despite telling ourselves otherwise all week) we start out Friday or early Saturday morning to a new show. Showing is also my break from stress and it is wonderful to have friends all over the country. Seeing new places is an added benefit and sometimes we take a 3-4 day mini-vacation while we are at a show.

The cat show is a place I can be with my family. It’s a safe place to bring my kids. I can alternate which child I take, so I have a weekend with one or two children that gives them a time to have your extra attention.

Most people think we’re insane (crazy cat people). Have you ever been asked by a friend, “So, how much money do you get when you win?” and when you say, “Oh we don’t get money, we get rosettes and titles for our beautiful cats!”

You know as well as I do the look you get. For me and for most of us, this is not about money. It’s about our precious cats and how much we love them.

Of course, part of the fun is also seeing our friends. Hopefully, we are there to encourage each other and to win when we can.

We Are Siamese...

I am frequently reminded by a friend that my beautiful Siamese and Colorpoints look like rats! Or people sing that little Disney song for me and those nearby...

We are Siamese if you please….
We are Siamese if you don’t please…

I guess that’s OK as long as it’s not the nasty nature of the cats in that Disney film they are attempting to associate :-). I just think, “You poor soul, you have no idea what it is to be loved by one of my gorgeous babies. What unconditional love they show me. For me, there is nothing as beautiful and elegant as a Siamese, they are so royal looking. I have never seen anything as beautiful in my life. I’m sure each of you feel the same way I do about your own breed... and we should if we are going to preserve and protect the breed we love.

And for fun, let’s consider Robert De Niro in the film, "Meet the Parents". While that was a comedy (and of course a bit over the top), I have had people look at me like that! Look at me the way his family and of course Ben Stiller’s character looked at him.

So, despite the "crazy cat lady" stigma I occasionally have to bear, let me tell you about the joy I have experienced this year in the show ring...

A Late Start

The 2006-2007 show season started later for me as I had nothing to show in May 2006. In fact, I didn’t have anything to show until late November of 2006. I had acquired two new kittens and I needed to help them adjust to our home before introducing then to the showhall.

I started showing my two new “babies” GC Gimsin BlackDiamond of PharoahsGems(seal point Siamese male) and GC Gimsin Sapphire of PharoahsGems (blue point Siamese female) in mid January as kittens. They split rings but did very well overall. I was in the showhall again and was thrilled!

After a short run with them as kittens (because they were older kittens when I brought them out), we went out and got our winners ribbons and then it was off to grand!

BlackDiamond

I took both "kids" to Cat’n on the Fox but only put Sapphire in one ring and held her the rest of the show so that she and BlackDiamond didn’t split rings. Seal points shade and of course males jowl and I didn’t want anything to delay BlackDiamond granding.

His first grand show was in Kansas City March 10th 2007 at the Mo-Kan Cat show. His second show was March 17th,2007 at the Cat’n on the Fox show in Schaumburg, IL. When I realized that BlackDiamond had granded, I couldn’t help but tear up.

Here I stood in the showhall surrounded by my friends holding my beloved BlackDiamond who was a new grand champion and more importantly my first Siamese grand champion. I will never forget this feeling. A lifelong dream come true! BlackDiamond was a two show grand!

Had I been Cinderella at the ball, I wouldn’t have been more happy or more complete at that moment.

Sapphire

Now it was Sapphire’s turn. So her first "real" grand show was in April, 2007 at the Grater St. Louis Cat show in St. Louis, MO.

A week later at the Sign of the Cat show in Philadelphia, PA... she granded!

What a joy she was to show! Thankfully, her breeder Ruth Taylor of Gimsin Siamese was at the Philadelphia show where she granded. What a wonderful time I had with Ruth and with Sapphire. I was no less thrilled when Sapphire granded then I was when BlackDiamond granded. I also must admit that I tear up and am overwhelmed when I get a Best Cat or Best Kitten too.

Well, needless to say, if I wasn’t hooked on showing before, I sure am now! As a child, I drooled over the gorgeous Siamese I saw at shows near my home and remember dreaming of having one of these lovely cats for myself. BlackDiamond and Sapphire are my dream come true

The Camaraderie vs Competitiveness

I’d like to say that although some people allow their competitive nature to cause them to be nasty to other exhibitors, (especially newbies who are doing well or maybe don’t have a “show cat” but are out supporting CFA), there are a lot of folks showing that are wonderful to new people and offer knowledge and support when they can.

I was very lucky to have some of the more experienced breeders and exhibitors help me along the way. I’d like to say thank you to everyone who was supportive and encouraging to me each and every time I was in the showhall. The cat fancy needs new exhibitors and members. Our future of depends on people who come to and enter their cats in our shows.

Showing is a hobby/ Let's make sure it is fun. We can all be good sports and say something nice to a fellow exhibitor who has just taken a ring or received a final. Encouraging and congratulating fellow exhibitors makes the cat show a richer experience for everyone involved - and especially for the newcomer.

Please keep my story in mind and welcome the next "newbie" you see at the show...

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