Hi all, well we finally got our first crack at a cat show with Cosmo, and it was a little disappointing, but it was also a pleasure at the same time.
The show itself is very nice, and the people we met were wonderful, but Cosmo was not the Maine Coon Premier the judges were looking for this past weekend.
Our "neighbor" in the benching area shown with her little Himalayan girl. She did VERY well at the show.
I am now aware that politics raises its ugly head even at cat shows, and to be clear I am not so blind that I see no faults in my cat (though from what the breed standard states he had VERY few if any). But it "seemed" like the "fix" may have been in for a local breeder. I really want to avoid sounding like I am full of "sour grapes" because I am not, nor does the term apply to Cosmo as show success is definitely NOT unattainable for him. So I'll leave it at that, lesson learned....
Cosmo was stressed in the car on the way out and back (it's about a 45min. drive from our home to Erie, PA) but once at the show and "benched" he was fine. He loved watching all of the activity going on around him, and was alert and responsive to all of his admirers, and he had many!
He behaved relatively well in the show ring itself, or so I am told since I couldn't bear to watch and stayed behind in the benching area :-) He only hissed a couple of times, and from what I understand this is normal for a cat as young as he is. (just under 1 year) Thank God no blood was shed :-)
Cat shows are interesting, and somewhat confusing if you have never been to one. They are unlike dog shows in many respects. Firstly, "neuters" or "premiers" are not shown in the dog world, but may compete in cat shows. And there is no central ring where everyone can see the competitors, but rather (at least at this show) there are 4 smaller rings where each of the 4 judges "sees" all of the cats at a show during the day. There are many breeds and categories to be seen. Cosmo was judged with the other long haired premiers, most of which were Maine Coons.
This is the guy who beat Cosmo in the "color category". Cosmo is a brown mac tabby with white, this kitty is a brown classic tabby with "high white".
As a spectator it's fun to go from ring to ring and watch the action. As a exhibitor it's a lot of "hurry up and waiting!!"
Cosmo came away with exactly the same result in each ring, two second places. One for color, and one other for, well something I am still trying to figure out.
The bottom line is that I feel I may have rushed into this show a little too soon. He was by far the youngest Premier there and needs to mature a bit physically before his next show. We have decided to give him 6 months to gain some coat and weight (he weighs 15 lbs, the winning MC Premier weighed around 20 lbs)
This past weekend we got our feet wet, and we liked the show experience very much. Now it's onward and upward!
We are now planning on going to the Columbus, OH show on December 5-6 where we can show him with his breeder Michele Cole. She'll be showing her own cats, but it will be nice for us to have her support there. I am really looking forward to it.
I've posted some of Mark's picture as you can see. He shot them on his digital Diana camera which gives the pics an interesting look, I hope you enjoy them!!