Best of Show

Yesterday, AEJ and I spent the day at the Santa Monica Cat Show. It was a beautiful day for a cat show…

Once inside, it was cat carriers as far as the eye could see.

We had only been there a few minutes when somebody walked by with an adorable Tonkinese kitten — for sale, of course. The owner let AEJ hold him. He seemed to want to come home with us. If not for Loki… And there would be many more temptations before the day was through.

Like this one…

… and this one…

… and this Tonkinese…

Stop looking at me! I thought cats were supposed to sleep all day! Where are the sleepy kitties? Oh, here’s one.

These guys seem pretty sleepy, too — but they don’t get a fancy homemade pink bed to sleep in. They only have each other. (Tear.)

Here’s a Maine Coon. These suckers look huge. This, believe it or not, is a kitten.

I told you guys to stop looking at me! I can’t resist the cuteness!

No, seriously. Stop looking at me.

If you’re trying to sell kittens at the cat show, you need a little extra something to get attention. I think this sign, complete with tiny Hello, Kitty stickers, totally does the job. (My favorite thing about the sign, which you can barely read unless you click for the larger version, is the handwritten text below “For Sale – Siamese Kittens,” reading, “yes, but not at this show.” I suppose that’s true. I mean, there are definitely Siamese kittens for sale somewhere.)

Some people went all-out decorating their cat’s cage. It went from the subtle…

… to the Tiki-themed. I should explain. The “theme” of this year’s show was the Tiki-theme, but almost nobody embraced it — except this guy. But seriously, if you’re going to get on board with the vibrancy that is tiki, you need to bring a facial expression to match. Dude, you have to sell it.

The people at the cat show were almost as entertaining as the cats. This woman has a definite “cat show” thing about her.

So does this woman…

… and this… wo.. er, man… er… person.

Some people went all out with their clothes, too. This is a sweet shirt, and I think the guy she’s talking to might be the Jeff Lynne from ELO.

This guy was kind of out of place. He, coincidentally, was taking pictures with the exact same lens (Canon 24-105mm f/4 L) I was using. The difference was that his lens was on a $3000 body, and he had a fancy flash. I’m guessing he was from Cat Fancy magazine or something. Or maybe National Geographic. Spotting each other’s lenses later, we shared a knowing nod.

But back to the cats. Some cats had huge ears.

Some had no ears at all.

Some cats were crouchy.

Some stood up tall. (I’m pretty sure this is a meerkat, not a house cat.)

Some cats were a little aloof towards their owners…

… and some really couldn’t have been sweeter.

I told you guys — stop looking at me. Must… resist… buying…

Then there was the judging itself. This was fascinating. This woman took every cat out of its cage, poked and petted every one, telling us in the audience what she was looking for with each breed. Some cats were totally engaged in the process, and the judge clearly appreciated it.

She was a bit more skeptical of others.

Some of the cats really seemed to love the judging.

Others, less so.

Only one cat could be judged at a time, and the others in each class waited in their cages. (We really wanted to take both of these cats home with us. The one on the left had the sweetest eyes, and the one on the right was loud as hell.)

Some cats found the cage-waiting a bit stressful.

Some used their cage time to look out the window and reflect on cat shows gone by.

Others seemed to think they could use their magical powers to will themselves out. It looks like it almost worked for this guy.

They were (almost) all winners to us, but in the end, only one kitten could be judged Best in Show. It was this guy, an Abyssinian.

The Abyssinian is admittedly a damn cute cat, and maybe the only breed we saw that could keep up with Loki. Still, we were strong. For now.

There are, believe it or not, many more pictures than I posted here. I tend to go a little overboard with cats, if you haven’t noticed.


Cathy says

My cats are both Maine Coons...but small ones. They're 21 pounds each at full size.

Travis Taylor says

Man, Ruffles (and now Sqoot, Ruffles is the dad to Sqoot) would annihilate those kittens. But I'm a little bit biased.


Melissa says

Cat shows make me feel like Sophie and Izzy would be the big-haired chicks smoking in the parking lot as those cats got in their Saabs in frosted pink lipstick!

Lorraine Shelton says

Someone just sent me a link to your blog with this amazing piece of photojournalism about the Santa Monica Cat Club annual show. What amazing photography! You've really captured the spirit, fun, and beauty of our hobby. THANK YOU... and hope to see you again next year!

Penni says

I have had the pleasure of attending this show, as an exhibitor, for the last 5-6 years. It is one of my favorites....all of the fantastic and tough competition from all over the world, good friends from afar to visit with, great vendors with every cat "thing" imaginable, great people goodies too...!! Wonderful visitors to the cat show, like you, who truly enjoy all of the cats, some we see back again each and every year!!! Always a movie star or two!!! Your pictures are fantastic and really capture the essence of our beautiful animals!!! I hope we see you back again and thanks for sharing.

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