Newbie Lessons Learned

by Jodell Raymond

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Jodell and her Himalayan kitten, "Bear", have shared with you the stories of their first forays into the world of cat showing:

Now Jodell tells you what she has learned from all her experiences...

Well, Bear and I have survived out first dip into the waters of the cat show world. We have graduated from the kitten class and will soon start Bear's show career in Premiership.

We have learned a lot in the past few months.

Here are a few thoughts from my experiences so far...

  • I am either persistent, crazy, or both!
  • The key to enjoying each cat show is to still find something to be amused with when you are losing - or find something more that you can learn, or some way to positively keep yourself occupied. (Note to self: I am almost there with that one.)
  • I still have a silver bowl from my one cat I showed in HHP, Felicia, when I was 9 years old. One show I watched the Household Pet class. This one little girl's cat got Best HHP. Watching her face after every number was called, having her cat win Best HHP, was literally the most precious thing I have ever seen. I almost had myself convinced that I was going to switch to that class. I know I will often remember that little girl's face throughout my future showing experience if I ever need a reminder of why I show.
  • "Compete Friendly." It is O.K. to be competitive, and to admit competition exists.
  • Handle defeat and winning with the same grace and you will never have to worry.
  • No pouting when losing. Frowning counts. (Note to Self: Not quite there yet.)
  • If you cannot say something nice - keep mouth shut as it will come out wrong. I have said a few things that came out the wrong way.
  • If it is not fun, it is not worth doing. Keep it fun.
  • Make sure cat has fun. It is his or her health and well-being first and foremost.
  • It is not a matter of life and death.
  • Keep a healthy perspective.
  • If you see someone who is not happy and all-around disappointed, try to say something nice to them to encourage them as others did with me when I was in Kitten Siberia. There has to be a higher purpose for what we do in how we treat one another, otherwise it is not worth it.
  • Bear is my Bear, no matter what. I was just about to ask my hubby, Ed, to go and get Bear out of his cage when he did not get a ribbon in one ring. Oh, my. That scared me into reality. I had a big talk with myself after that.
  • I hope I never get so complacent so as to take anything for granted.
  • If worse comes to worse, order your own hu-u-u-uge rosette that says "Best Kitten in This House!" Stick that on your front door. Really, in the end, that is what counts!

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