Nicknames: The Great Destroyer. If it can be broken, he will break it. Computers, walls, vacuum cleaners...
Coloration: Red Tabby
Likes: Getting into everything and anything. Playing.
Pet-Peeves: Being punched by Harvey, who is jealous and resents the fact that Harvard isn't afraid of him.
Favorite Toy: Teaser toys with feathers.
Favorite Nap Spot: On Mommy's desk, next to the computer.
Favorite Food: Dried squid strips.
Skills: Destroying things. Especially expensive things that can't be fixed. Getting in the way.
Arrival Story: Harvard was a kitten from Chibi's first litter; his father is Umesaburo. It was a difficult birth that took three days to complete, and out of seven kittens, two were born dead, and one died three days later. The four who survived--the "Gang of Four"--are all lovely, intelligent, and personable cats, and for various reasons have become a permanent part of my cat family.
Bio: Harvard became a Grand Premier (altered cat) with the CFA on October 3, 2010. It only took him four shows to become a GP, whereas it took Harvey four months. This had something to do with timing: Premiers compete with other Premiers, and Harvard was competing in a season when there were more Premiers than when Harvey competed, so he racked up those points more quickly. Harvard may not look like everyone's idea of a Maine Coon; for one thing, his fur is on the short side, but that's not uncommon in MC show cats, and he'll probably get fluffier as he matures. His ear set, eye shape, and sturdy build are typical of the MC breed. His coloration is red classic tabby (swirls rather than stripes), and he has beautiful, silky fur. His other strong points are his weight (he looks smaller than Harvey, but weighs more--all the judges are surprised at how heavy he is when they pick him up), his eyes (a bit round for a MC, but very alert and, well, cute), his strong muzzle, nicely curved profile, and beautiful markings. His defects (no show cat is perfect) are that his ears are a bit splayed and unevenly placed, that he doesn't have a particularly long torso, and that his tail is not as long and fluffy as one would like (in these last two traits, he takes after his mother Chibi). But he loves cat shows and loves playing with the judges. They are relieved to see me showing a cat who doesn't want to rip their faces off, as Harvey did. Show cats have to be a good representative of the breed, but more than anything, they should be alert, friendly, and playful. Harvard has become my official greeter when a stranger comes to the door--he doesn't want to escape, he just wants to scope out the new human. He's an affectionate boy and probably the most intelligent of my cats, if curiosity is an indicator of intelligence. Curiosity killed the cat, as they say, but in Harvard's case, it just makes him destructive. He has destroyed two laptops, one vacuum cleaner, and punched a hole in the wall--all in the interests of fun. The fact that he's not a fraidy cat is all very well and good, but he's a bit cocky--although I think he'll grow out of that eventually. Update: along with his brother Lowell, Harvard just became a Regional Winner in Japan, #18 in the Premiership (altered) class (the top 25 in each class become regional winners). Considering that he wasn't in very many shows due to cancelations on account of the earthquake, #18 isn't bad. Now he's officially retired from Show Biz. I think he'll miss it--he liked the shows and all the attention he got.
First of all, I want to get something straight here. Chibi is my biological mother and Umesaburo is my father. "Mommy" is the human in this household--and we greatly outnumber her. To avoid confusion between Chibi and Mommy, I will henceforth refer to Chibi as Chibi, and Mommy as "The Human." Glad to get that out of the way.
Even before the cat carrier came out, we all sensed that a cat show was in the offing. I would have been happy to go, but it was Lowell's turn, and for some reason it seems that he knew it, because he made himself scarce when it was time for his show bath. He's been looking sort of greasy of late, and after he came out of the bathroom--wow! Gorgeous ears, gorgeous eyes, great muzzle, and once his fur was thoroughly washed (forty minutes!), you could see how silky it really is and the bull's eye classic tabby pattern became more distinct. Lowell is a pretty easy-going guy, but I have to say (even if he is my own brother) that he's not quite as bright as I am. Well, nobody is. Probably not even The Human. He apparently was not really sure what the show bath was all about, and you could hear him yowling now and then in the bathroom as he went through at least eight different treatments, shampoos, and rinses. He won't stand for the hair dryer (well, neither will I), and so The Human put him in a carrier and pointed a futon dryer in his direction. I dry pretty quickly this way, but he's bigger and fluffier than I am, and was still wet when he left the apartment.
Yes, it's a big name to live up to, but I'm fully confident that I'm worthy of my name. I've never had a doubt or fear in my whole life (although I must admit that I would prefer it if Harvey would quit hissing and swatting at me every time he gets a chance). My mother, Chibi, still hopes to go to Harvard College on the Open Admissions for Qualified Non-Humans plan, and thence to Harvard Medical School, where she will be trained as a psychiatrist. (You can tell where I get my intelligence from! Not Uncle Harvey, that's for sure!). Anyway, Chibi's take on this Harvey-Harvard thing is that Harvey is nothing but a big bully, and bullies are all cowards, only picking on those who they feel threatened by or those who they feel are smaller or weaker than they are themselves. I guess I fall into the former category: I'd say that my perpetual self-confidence irritates Harvey, and that since he remembers me from when I was a kitten, he still thinks he has the right to beat me up. Well, I have news for you, Uncle Harvey--I weigh more than you do, got my Grand Premiership in a shorter time than you did, and probably could go on to make Regional Winner as well. Why? Because of my sterling personality, that's why. I've heard about how you used to try to jump out of the holding cage at shows and claw out judges' eyes. Nasty, nasty. I enjoy cat shows--I get all of Mommy's attention for two days, get to nap or play with wand toys between rings, get snacks if I want them, and in the ring I get to play with some more toys and am praised by the judges (as is proper, considering my muscular build, lovely fur, and beautiful eyes). I have the "X Factor,"--something that YOU, Harvey, apparently lacked in the show ring. If Simon Cowell were a cat judge, he would have made short shrift of YOU.
After three shows as a Premier, I've racked up 145 points, which makes me the #14 cat in the Premiership Class in Japan. Granted, it seems that competition this season isn't as keen as it was when you were competing. If Mommy wanted to, she could probably make me a Regional Winner, but she's going to start showing Lowell now. She may try to make one or both of us Grands in the future. Grand Champions should be in the first bloom of youth, but Grand Premiers benefit from the gravitas that age confers. So, it's not so-long to Show Biz for me just yet. Meanwhile, I'll be commenting on Lowell's show career, which starts this weekend. He's my brother and my buddy, and I wish him well.