DemoCat and RepubliCat Politicize Cat Show
The CFA-Iam's annual Cat Championship drew more than 12,000 spectators over two days at Madison Square Garden. (Pet Pulse Photo by Jose Alvarez)
NEW YORK -- The CFA-Iams Cat Championship brought out the candidates.
A Bombay cat, named Barack Obama (D-Ill.), represented the DemoCats at Madison Square Garden the weekend of Oct. 17.
A four-and-a-half year-old British Shorthair cat, named Renegade, stood in for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the leader of the RepubliCats.
"They wanted cats that physically represented the candidates. This is supposed to be fun," Robin Beckett, Renegade's owner, said.
Barack Obama's owner, Sharon Hauck, said his namesake accurately represents the cat's personality.
"He's very considerate and very, very aware of the little guy. He nannies our kittens," she said.
Spectators cast their ballots. After a final tally, the DemoCat won 204 to 112, but the competition didn't stop there.
Six judges also reviewed more than 250 pedigreed felines on their stamina, agility, alertness, grace and beauty.
The Cat Fanciers' Association recognizes only 41 breeds. Its annual competition is nothing like a dog show, CFA president Pam Delabar says.
"If one judge doesn't particularly like your cat you've got five more chances to see if a judge is going to like your cat. With a dog show it's one judging and you're out," she said.
Some feline contestants jumped through hoops, climbed ladders and pushed grocery carts to show off their "purrfect" skills. Other felines, both pedigrees and non-purebreds, including a rescued alley cat named Hightail, tried their luck at the very popular agility challenge.
Hightail didn't fare too well because it was his first time. However last year's agility champ, Dreamweaver, a Japanese Bobtail, showed everyone how it's done.
"She's very, very active. She's two-years-old. And she loves doing agility," said Dreamweaver's owner and breeder, Jill Archibald, of East Windsor, N.J.
At the end of the competition, it comes down to the number of ribbons owners, breeders and their competitive cats score.
Delinda Pearson's Persian cat, Fire, took home five.
"He's had a great weekend. We're very proud of him," Pearson said.
The CFA hosts more than 400 cat shows around the world each year. Here in the U.S. though, one cat reigns supreme. His name is Blade Runner, a Russian Blue, from North Carolina.
"Frankly, I think that he's a pretty good example of the breed," said Blade Runner's owner, Teresa Keiger.
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