Fancy Meeting You Here...

by Adia Kilpatrick
LoyalroyaL British Shorthairs

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The myriad pivotal points from which we cat fanciers converged onto common ground fascinates me. Some exhibitors started as spectators who fell in love with a breed they discovered at a cat show. Some acquired or were begifted with their first pedigreed cat and thought it beautiful enough to show. Some carried forward a tradition passed down from family members. Others had watched their children grow and go before devoting themselves to cats.

Many cat fanciers walk decades before me, and many walk weeks behind me, but each personal account of "how I got started" adds biographical pages to my journal of experience. The Introduction to that journal is an autobiography ...

On the full-mooned night of Nov. 22, 2002, I was an old bride of two months returning from a hand-held walk around a new neighborhood with a loving husband who'd BBQ'd a savory dinner served by candlelight in our lovely new house. Ten minutes later I was a widow.

In the dead of winter I resurfaced from the icy shock into an empty existence that advertised itself as opportunity. Rejection was my knee-jerk reaction to all ideas that volunteered: grad school, church missions, oil painting, travel, sports, liposuction and dance lessons, ad infinauseum. Nothing loosened my white-knuckled grip on darkness ... until a suggestion I get a cat lit a candle.

YESSS! that's IT!! THAT'S what I'll do! I'll search for the purrfect cat and never be alone again!

But wait! No, I can't! I must work now and the cat would get lonely.

But look! room after room after room now occupied only by dust and ghosts - I'll get TWO cats! What fun it will be watching them zoom-zoom-zooooom after each other!

Hey! why not a FAMILY?? I could create
my own! My kids are grown and gone ... no hubby to resent time devoted to cats - ohhh, BABIES!! Precious puffs to again fill this house, this heart, this life ... with life!!

Oh, oh, oh - I know what! I could enter cat shows!! Would get me out once in a while! Would help me find a mentor! Maybe I'll meet people! Maybe ... maybe ...

As happy images excitedly projected themselves onto my imagination's screen, I finally felt a pulse in my wrist and a key in my hand. It purrfectly fit into the cell door of my isolation. I stepped out into the wonderful world of CFA and onto this pawprinted path of felines and friends.

Am I imagining things, or do you, too, hear a Bible passage echoing,"and a little cat shall lead her?" And fancy meeting YOU here!


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