Cats from across U.S. show off at MCCC

Best Russian Blue Tylonas Diamond-Lily rests between exams.
Richard Kish and Andromeda have won over 3 ribbons.
Judge Jeri Zottoli rates and examines cats.
Ontario resident Dianne Lukas and her cat Bella Maiye.
Fran Volkman named Justify after a race horse she had raised previously.

A flood of fancy felines found their way to MCCC when the Cat Fanciers’ Association hosted a cat show on campus, their first being back in December of last year.

The Cat Fanciers’ Association was founded in 1906 and continues to promote the welfare of cats, and their breeders, licensing approximately 400 shows each season.

Jan. 25 and 26, cats and catteries from across the country gathered inside the gymnasium of the Health Education Building to show off their best purebred cats.

Ranging from the best Russian Blue in the country, named Tylonas Diamond Lily; the premiere Maine Coon all the way from Ontario, Bella Maiye; or the unique Ocicat, Justify, who was the only of his breed at the show, there was a variety to be seen.

Each participating cat is assigned a number.

As their number is called, cats are brought up to one of the many judges’ stands, waiting in another cage behind the stand before being examined one by one.

Cats are rated by their physical features, such as eye color, head shape, fur softness and temperament, said Richard Kish from Ricela Cattery.

The rating they are given is divided into 100 points with emphasis on features that varying based on breed, age and whether they have been spayed or neutered status.

Judge Jerri Zottoli said cats are judged on regulated aspects of their breed.

Zottoli explained another important rule of the show.

“The CFA has a strong stance on declawing,” Zottoli said.

As such, declawed cats cannot enter the show.

Judge panel ratings are not shared with one another, meaning each judge is essentially running their own miniature, very subjective show, Zottoli said.

While waiting for their turn, cats are kept with their handlers in large carriers.

Most carriers are equipped with beds, toys and other enrichment to keep the cats busy.

Some of the attendees had advice for future cat owners.

Volkman said an important aspect is choosing the kind of cat you want.

“Do your research. Check the pros and cons of each breed to find the one that suits your lifestyle,” said Fran Volkman from Calumet Cats.
To some, the individual is just as important as the breed.

“Handle the cat to see if you bond,” said owner of Tylona Cattery, Barbara Schreck.

However, purebred cats aren’t the only felines that were in attendance.

There were plenty of shelter pets in search of homes.

The organization, Friends of Companion Animals, were present as vendors.

Friends of Companion Animals is a committed volunteer organization where volunteers can help care for sheltered cats.

“We have a passion for making a difference,” said Penny Bly, director and founder of the organization.

Monroe County Animal Control was also present at the show and brought some shelter cats along with them.

After paying a $10 fee and filling out an application, visitors were able to bring home their very own furry friend right from the show.

Anyone interested in shelter cats like those at the cat show can find them at the Monroe County Animal Control at 911 Raisinville Road.