Felines grace stages of Sports Blast

Published 9:48 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bengals, Bermese, Toygers, oh my!

Felines appearing at the cat show sponsored by Alabama Paws and Claws at Sports Blast March 21–22 were more fun than Winnie the Pooh’s Tigger on a sunny day.

Event manager Honey Gilmore took me on a tour of caged cats, cats on laps, demure cats and those with attitude. In the background, a few screeched or mildly roared.

Felines from across America took over the indoor soccer field, and stages along one side held final judging. Prizes were given within several classes, including pedigreed kittens and championship cats. The household cat is another class.

The show was one of The International Cat Association (TICA) events held around the country and world. Adriana Kajon, a geneticist from Albuquerque, N. M., judged household cats, and explained the various features, which helped determine her final decisions. She considered a cat’s health, attitude and responsiveness. Then a ribbon went on the cage.

Gilmore’s cat Ruby won second place in Best of Breed for Household Pet Adult Cats. Ruby stretched and purred, as if to say, “Enough already … let’s split the scene for brighter prospects, a sunny window and peace.”

TICA is a growing organization that spans the globe. It recognizes 55 breeds for championship competition, including regal Siamese, exotic Bengal and exquisite Persians. Savannahs are a new breed.

TICA believe the shows should be fun for exhibitors and spectators alike, and have the motto, “Fabulous Felines, Fun, Friendships.” Noting tailgate partying and groupie conversations, I feel sure the goal was met with this event.

Another sponsor of the show was The Emergency Animal Rescue Service (TEARS), a non-profit Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which is dedicated to the rescue of injured animals and the fight to end negligence and abuse. Their ultimate goal is finding safe, loving homes for rescued animals. The real answer to pet overpopulation is spaying and neutering, which the Society encourages. They are open for adopting pets Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Call 492-0718 for directions or see their Web site www.tearstown.com.

I arrived at the show with a narrow view, thinking the most purr–fect feline is a good mouser, but left a little more educated on various qualities and beauty of this animal. The show was definitely the cat event of the season.