My First Cat Show

The House of Meow

Published March 2013

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Well, I did it. I attended and exhibited at my first cat show. So what did I think? Let's just say this will not be my last one!

The first day began cold and snowy. I packed up Angelina, my spayed dilute calico British Shorthair girl, and headed downtown to the Utah State Fairgrounds to go to our first CFA cat show.

We arrived early and checked in. I was directed to a row of tables where she would be "benched" (temporary home) for the weekend. I erected up her "tent", unpacked her food and water and set up her litter box. I even brought her favorite curve scratcher from home.

Angelina's benching cage set-up including her tent, grooming tools and, of course, my camera

Our benching row housed all the British Shorthairs. Most of the Brits entered at the show shared the same father, GC, NW, BW, Castlkatz Harry Potter, DM!

Our benching row

Once we were settled in, I looked at the show schedule written in the catalogue. I'm not sure it was in English, but with help, I deciphered it.

The show judging began at 8:30am. Angelina was in the Shorthair Premiership category. This was the first time she was showing as an alter (That's what they call a cat that has been desexed). We would be "up" in Ring 3 first right after the Longhair Premiers were finished being judged. Soon enough, our category and Angelina's number was announced. I combed through her coat one last time and up to the ring we went. I placed her in the cage that had her number on top.

GP Castlkatz Gringot, GC Potterkatz Limelight (Angelina), GP Castlkatz Luna Lovegood, GP Castlkatz Rita Skeeter

After the first Brit was judged, it was Angelina's turn. The judged pulled her out of the cage and brought her to the table. The judge felt over Angelina's coat and body, examined her face, and tried to entice her to play with a toy. Hmmm, let's just say Angelina wasn't in the most playful mood. She didn't hiss at this first judge of the day. Other judges weren't so lucky.

CFA judge Pam Moser begins examining Angelina in the first ring

After all four of the Premiership (spayed/neutered) Brits were judged, colored ribbons were placed on their cages. I'm still not sure what they all mean, but here is what Angelina was awarded in her first ring.

Angelina with her ribbons

I can't complain too much since she was awarded Second Best of Breed to a cat who was the current #3 Premier in the nation!

Once the results were recorded by the ring clerk, the number on Angelina's cage was turned down. That is the signal that I was free to take her back to her temporary home with the other Brits. We then waited to see if we got called back for the finals in that ring. Sure enough, we were!

Our number was announced and back we went. I again put her in the cage with her number. This time, she was up against all the other breeds, not just British Shorthairs. As the results were read, I'm sure the expression on my face was priceless — in my very first ring, at my very first show, my cat was awarded Best Shorthair Premier, as well as Best Premier! We were on our way to earning points toward Angelina's Grand Premier (GP) title.

Now the above routine was repeated 5 more times on the first day, for a total of 6 rings in which she was judged, each by a different judge. It was kind of like attending 6 different mini shows. By the end of the day, Angelina had been called back for a final 4 times! In each ring, she earned points according to the number of cats defeated. She ended the day just 8 points shy of the 75 points required to obtain her Grand Premier title. Yes, I was shocked!

The next day, we were greeted again by snow, but we loaded the car and back to the show hall we went. This day, there were only 4 rings. The first 2 rings Angelina wasn't called back to the finals, but on the third, she was! I then knew that she would have enough total points to earn her new title. Sure enough, she was awarded Best Shorthair Premier, and Second Best Premier!

Angelina earns the final few points that make her a new Grand Premier

Her final ring only added to the smile on my face. This was a specialty ring, meaning she was only judged against other shorthair breeds. In the first round of judging, she was awarded Best of Breed. This enabled her to be placed with the Grand Premiers in the finals (even though she had earned her points, she won't be judged as a Grand until her next show.) In the end, she was named Best Premier, and 5th Best Cat. Go Angelina!

By the end of the show, she was back to her smug self, resting in her beloved curve scratcher.

GC, GP Potterkatz Limelight

I walked in to the show hall with my Angelina, and left with GC, GP Potterkatz Limelight.

My first show was a great experience, one that I will definitely repeat. It was made so much easier by having great mentors who answered my many questions and helping clueless me take my first steps into the cat show world. A huge thank you to Starbeam Cats, Potterkatz Cattery, and Castlkatz British Shorthairs.


In Memory Of Our Beloved Angelina


Despite our successful first show, Angelina will sadly never return to the show ring.

She unexpectedly passed away while under anesthesia during minor surgery just three days after the show.

She was a beautiful cat in body and spirit and is still greatly missed. She will remain in our hearts forever.

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