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The Art of Being Clueless

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Show biz redux...

March 8th 2009 10:29 am
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Oh, it was a stressful weekend. More for Meowmy than me. I'm pretty cool with benching cages, and this time didn't attack judges as much as I usually do. For some reason, the point of this show wash having a sisal fiber vertical cat scratcher, which the judges made the cats try to climb. I did it once, but after that, it got stale. Yeah, I am a master sisal fiber post climber at home, but in front of all those people? Yawn. I got only one ribbon. My chances of making Regional Winner are looking bleaker. Mind you, the other Maine Coon people are telling me that I'm sure to make RW and no longer need to go to shows. But I suspect that their motivations for saying so may not be on the up and up.

But the show had the usual effect of making me very lovey-dovey with Meowmy. Oh, those tummy rubs! This time, no drugs were involved, by the way.

Next week is Meowmy's cat club show, which is held once a year every March. This is supposed to be a secret, but after your third cat, you only have to pay $10 per cat. So, I'm going to go (of course), and Chibi (because there will be American judges, who are the only ones who like torties), and three of the Weird Sisters (actually, in Macbeth, there are only three, right?) will also be going--Byerly, because she has good facial configuration, Currier because she is a gorgeous tortie (without white) with a looong torso and looong tail, and Cabot because she is the biggest--size counts for Maine Coons. Hilles didn't get chosen because her eyes are too small, although she does have the best personality. We do not expect ribbons for any of them, but are hoping to jolt the audience with their weird looks. Goodness knows how Meowmy can get us all to our rings on time.

There was some discussion with another breeder about Breeder Daddy and his intentions. But as for him--he opined that the show hall was too far to go to, and so didn't show up. More to follow on that one. We suspect he mostly wants to make Meowmy's apartment his retirement home.

Oh, and Meowmy made another stupid mistake (if you ask me, her brain is even smaller than mine). Since extra cats are cheap in this show (shh!!!), she put in three of the Weird Sisters, but realized later that Leverett, who has still to find an owner (candidates, but no one Meowmy likes) would have been a better choice than Cabot. Too late! Har har, that means that next time Meowmy has to spend $150 to put Leverett into a show (if he's not sold yet). She's now reduced to borrowing off her credit card.

The only really good part of the show was that I got praised for my muzzle. Muzzle and nose line are everything for a Maine Coon. I am now two and half years old, and my muzzle has definitely become more pronounced. I am following the MC pattern of developing slowly.

Oh, we just wish this show season would end...Meowmy's show friends tell her it's "Just for fun," but when you spend thousands of dollars to make your cat a Regional Winner, it is NOT fun if they don't make it. Mind you--Meowmy hopes to die soon after retirement since she doesn't have much in the way of savings.

And Meowmy is getting better and better at judging Maine Coons. I have my assets: beautiful color, long torso, sturdy legs, gorgeous eyes. But my ears are far too apart, my nose line is iffy, and I simply am not fat enough for a Maine Coon. Not to mention that I attack judges in the ring. Show biz is not easy for us cats, or for our humans. Hey, I just go because I have to, but Meowmy is choosing this of her own will. However, as far as I can see, most cat show exhibitors are totally nuts.

And Meowmy, who is now reduced to eating cup raamen, actually put dibs on new show curtains. She has more show curtains than anybody on the circuit. However, this is one of the main reasons she likes cat shows--the various accessories that go along with it. She is showing her manic side. And she is close to emotional collapse.



March 3rd 2009 9:19 pm
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Well, I was shocked find that I am now the #16 Premier in Japan (alas, I was number one in August and September), which means MORE Cat Show time--all I have to do is be within the top 25 by the end of April. Each cat show costs around $200. Why is Meowmy doing this? Because she's obsessive. We are now living VERY simply and sparely now--she really can't afford this. Cat show addicts are usually independently rich or chronically poor (as in, a single set of clothes). And mostly since we've spent at least ten times my selling price (I was a relatively cheap cat) on putting me in these stupid shows, to back off now...or to just give up and let Fate take its course...well, we're between a rock and a hard place.

On the other hand, I am the #14 Maine Coon internationally with the CFA. That's pretty cool, right?

This year of cat shows has been so educational and rewarding...but SOO tiring. Still, it's brought me closer to Meowmy. On the other hand, having to lug cat(s) and cat show stuff to the show hall every single Saturday and Sunday has had a bad influence on her job performance. She needs more time to just...relax. Oh, April 30, come soon, please!!!

On another note...our favorite judge comes from Osaka. The difference between Tokyoites and Osakans is sort of like the difference between New Yorkers and Southerners. Osakans are warm and have a great sense of humor. Also, they speak a different dialect. Tokyoites are tense and want nothing more than to leave you alone. For a person like Meowmy, who his half autistic and half sloppily affectionate, it's a close one. She thinks she might have been happier living in Osaka, but, well, that didn't happen.

Anyway, at the last cat show, when our favorite judge was giving Chibi the once over, she said, "Has this cat had kittens recently?" There's no rule forbidding this, by the way. But she could tell that Chibi's nipples and mammary glands were enlarged. So Meowmy told her that it was the cat in the next cage who was the mother, and that Chibi (who has yet to get pregnant--ooh, we need the money for breeding rights and the stud fee) was nursing the kittens. The judge just took this as one of the weird things that cats do.

By the way, at the last show, neither Chibi (who is simply gorgeous now--even I can see that) nor Leila got any awards at all. All they needed were those little purple "Third Best" ribbons. But it was a big show, and nobody likes torties.

Ah, we went mostly to get Chanan photos for our website. Meowmy's been told to make a blog first (in Japanese, but with English also) and then get the software to make a website. You can't be a cattery without a website. PR is everything.


Yeah, another cat show...

March 3rd 2009 8:39 am
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Since it's already March, and the cat show season ends at the end of April, and since I'm ranked #14 among the Premiers of Japan, it looks like I'll be a Regional Winner. But keep your paws crossed. In any event, Meowmy wants me to go to more shows to get those extra points--and I will be retired after this year. But this whole cat show thing has brought Meowmy and me closer--even though I hate the judges. Right now, I'm sitting in back of her laptop, trying to look like a statue. Maybe because it's warm back there, maybe because I love Meowmy--oh, don't ask me questions that challenge my pencil eraser sized brain.

At the last show, I only got two ribbons--even though I was being Nice (yes, drugs were involved). Better cats have come on the scene, and I'm just cruising.

As I wrote before, Meowmy made a mistake thinking for the last show more than one cat would cost only twenty dollars. We are seriously financially challenged at this point. However, we did need Chanan photos for our cattery. That was the only reason that Leila went.

As for Chibi and Leila? Meowmy always wanted to put them in a show together, simply for amusement. Since they are of the same color class, and not too many people put in torties, they were judged against each other. Out of eight rings, Leila got first place against Chibi twice. One was in a ring with an American judge. It's a close call--Leila is a beautiful cat with a long torso and perfect tortie and white coloration (black dominating the torso), but Chibi is fatter (meaning better in the Maine Coon world) and has a better muzzle. Also, she is furrier than Leila. Maine Coons can actually be short haired, but shaggy is better. And she IS gorgeous. Check out the Larry Johnson photos on her page. (Yes, she does look crazed in one of the photos, but believe me...oh, the effort of getting those shots!)

Alas, all of us suffer from the defect of not having the correct dip in our profiles. This means that when Meowmy breeds Leila and Chibi, they are likely to have bad nose lines. Out of Leila's litter, only half (okay, you can't half seven) had better nose lines, thanks to Umesaburo. This does not necessarily mean "pet quality"--I've gotten pretty far just by having a LOOONG torso, long tail, beautiful color, and gorgeous eyes. But for a Maine Coon, the muzzle and the profile are It.

Still, we're a cattery now, and have to deal with what we've got. Leila's perfect body configuration, and Chibi's muzzle--and Umesaburo, of course (Gross! Same stud cat for both of my sisters, and I was deprived of my you know whats--well, too late for that).

Anyway, another cat show this weekend. Yawn.


Redux on the latest cat show...

March 1st 2009 8:19 am
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Yeah, that drugging thing was not a good topic. But apparently I REALLY like cat shows, because I've been totally hooked to Mewomy since then. Rub my tummy...let me eat your shows make us closer. Okay, this is not a simple problem. First, you've got the fact that I LOVE benching time with Meowmy, but HATE judges. Then there is the issue that there are only two more months in the cat show season, and that, as I'm #14 nationally, Meowmy doesn't want to just give up on me. I may not be very intellectually advanced for a cat, but I am COMPLEX!!! As much as I try to be negative about the whole thing, I LOVE the grooming! I love being with Meowmy! Right now, I'm lying next to her computer, and I look totally blissed out (Meowmy says). Not blissed out because today wasn't cat show day, but because we had that cat show intimacy last weekend! Har.


The latest cat show...

February 23rd 2009 5:35 pm
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Well, we've returned to show business for the time being, but unpleasant elements have started to emerge. Meowmy's cat show cronies now have something against her, which seems to be a mix of her still communicating with the ousted member, and suddenly canceling shows when she doesn't have the time or energy. Mind you, she pays the show fees as stipulated per show rules, and contacts the show hall to tell people that she is unable to come...but somehow this appears to be a problem with her cat show club. Unfortunately, in the cat show world, people can be very immature and catty.

That part of the show wasn't so pleasant, but I sure enjoyed my time with Meowmy. Yeah, she had to make nice to Leila and Chibi, too, but she spent most of her benching time with me.

O O O O that Shakespearean Rag—
It's so elegant
So intelligent
"What shall I do now? What shall I do?"

Sorry, off topic, but when Meowmy grooms me, that's how I feel.

This show was hosted by a couple who are both judges and recognized cat experts. Both are devoted to guiding "novice" showers and breeders, and have been very kind to Meowmy. I guess they've gotten over the competitive stage and just want to see people breed good cats and make them and their clients happy.

Having said that...the husband has said on numerous occasions that he is "supporting" Meowmy. (The Japanese is a bit different, but that's the idea.) Well...long pause...he knows that I tend to try to kill judges at cat shows. Doping!!! He said he had a good drug for me, and gave it to Meowmy on Saturday and Sunday. Hallejujah! I was cool! He said it was "herbal" and harmless, but Meowmy suspects that there were benzodiazepines involved. Whatever it was, though, I was totally cool--benching, judging, what the heck. To be perfectly honest, Meowmy is not always playing with a full deck. She herself has taken both Valium and Xanax, although they mostly make her sleepy. When cats are treated with tranquilizers, it's usually Valium or Xanax. I've had both, and neither made me more mellow. Meowmy suspects that the drug she got was a benzodiazepine, but nothing she's gotten from her own vet. My eyes got kinda red and I started vocalizing more than usual, but at least I was well-mannered in the show ring.

Well, you may ask why to show cats who are obviously unhappy with the whole affair. It's not clear-cut: I'm not happy in the judging ring, but I just love those benching cages. Leila is totally unsuited to be shown, but we needed those photos by Chanan to make a website, so she had to come to this show (no show, no photos). Chibi is old enough to get nervous at shows (personally, I think it's the Intact male pheromones that are exciting her--shameless!) but she's not exactly unhappy. (Does that make sense???) Anyway, if a major figure in the cat world says "I've got something that will make you feel better...", it makes you think that this doping thing goes on more than you might think. There are no rules against it; in fact, other exhibitors appreciate it if your cat isn't going haywire in the next cage. Hey, I'm cool; anything that makes me feel mellow is a plus. I don't drink or smoke (Meowmy's orders); but that 1/4 of a something or other pill made me pretty happy. Now, at Chibi's urging, I'm reading "Confessions of an Opium Eater." That DeQuincey--what a card.


Return to show biz!

February 18th 2009 9:24 pm
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No, I haven't been in rehab or holing up in an ashram. Meowmy and I just went kerplunk after the last cat show, in January, and have been taking a break. I still seem to be around #12 or so, so my chances for becoming a Regional Winner (I know, I know, it's totally meaningless, but it makes Meowmy happy, okay?) are still probably good.

Actually, I kinda miss the shows. Oh, I hate those judging rings--how would YOU like to be pulled out of a tiny holding cage by your hind legs and then have your whole body felt up in front of a bunch of strangers? And the ultimate shame is being made to play with WAND TOYS! I do that at home, sure, but not in front of strangers. Hey, a guy's gotta have some dignity, right? But I like it when Meowmy has just me, me, me to pay attention to, and is always combing out my GORGEOUS red fur. Ooo...

Anyway, the next cat show is The Biggie. A very popular cat club hosts it; the cat club directors are famous cat judges/experts, and lovely people (who have taken a special interest in both Meowmy and me). There will be 90-something cats in the Premiership Class, so, considering my, er, charming personality on the judging table, I'd say I have no chance of getting any points. But, who knows?

Chibi and Leila are going, too. Meowmy's given up on the idea of making Chibi a Grand Champion for the time being; Chibi really needs to get pregnant, if you ask me. (No, I hate those kitten things like the Black Death, but after Leila decided her motherly duties were over, Chibi started NURSING them--with real milk. Har har har, forget about Harvard, Chibi. Nyah, nyah, nyah. Once I'm retired, I may go on to graduate school and study Buddhist philosophy, but then, I'm not Intact.)

The only reason that Leila is going is that Chanan, that wonderful photographer, is going to be there, and we need a good photo of Leila for the website Meowmy is building for our cattery. Chanan photographed Leila last year, but despite all his photographic skills and rapport with cats, there wasn't a single good PR shot--in all of them, she looked as if she thought she was facing a firing squad. Not good PR for a cattery, right?

Meowmy's also looking forward to putting Leila and Chibi in the same ring. They'll be next to each other, and since they look like photographic negatives of each other, we predict that everyone will be highly amused. Leila is prettier than Chibi, and has a longer torso and tail, but Chibi has that all-important muzzle, and is built like a truck. Also, Leila hates cat shows and just collapses on the judging table (maybe she'll have more self-confidence now that she's a mother?), while Chibi just gets a bit nervous. We're not expecting any ribbons for them, either, but are interested in who the various judges will consider superior. It's a close call.

Meanwhile, Meowmy's been spending so much money feeding those bratty kittens that all I've been getting is Science Diet Hairball Control. True, I enjoy producing ENORMOUS, firm Tootsie-Rolls in place of those ENORMOUS cow patties, but she's taken away my daily dose of Hill's c/d ($4.00 a can--she can't afford it right now), which was putting the weight on me. I'm now 6.15 kilos; at my heaviest, I'm 6.2 to 6.3 kilos, which makes a big difference in a cat--the judges who see you every week can sense the difference.

On the other hand...Chibi is getting enormous, and even Leila is over 5 kilos (post-partum weight gain?). I'm the only one who continues to look like a ferret. They say that it takes a long time for Maine Coons to mature, but while my stool problem (why am I discussing this here? It's not like I'm on Oprah or anything) is stabilized on this Hairball stuff, it's not putting any weight on me. Chibi, I suspect, has gained weight because (and mind you, this is the "genius" who has mastered 137 languages and wants to go to Harvard Medical School to become a pdoc) she's NURSING Leila's children, and is now eating for seven. Honey, I think you're letting your hormones get the best of your reasoning capacities, but hey, what do I know?

And...har har har, Meowmy made another big mistake! She's gotten pretty spaced out recently. When she signed up for this show, she THOUGHT she was told that if you put in more than one cat, any other cats could be exhibited for $20. Well, she jumped at the chance, and decided to put in all three of us. Well, uh, no... It turns out that you get a $20 discount from the regular price--and believe me, there's a big difference there. Wake up, Meowmy!

Chanan isn't cheap, either--considering what a fine photographer he is, he's well worth his weight in gold, but photos for three cats...har har har, Meowmy's gonna have to dip into her retirement savings again! (She says she hopes she dies the day after she retires so she doesn't have to worry about these things.) Actually, she already has gorgeous photos of Chibi, so doesn't really need more. But, as I wrote above, we need some good shots of Leila, and there was only a single shot in Chanan's last photo shoot in which I didn't look either openly hostile or stoned (I swear, there was NO doping involved...). Will I cooperate this time? Hmm...IF I'm in the right mood, maybe. We'll see...


Is Meowmy having a nervous breakdown or what?

February 15th 2009 7:57 pm
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No one ever uses the term nervous breakdown anymore ("clinical depression" is so, so comme il faux a term nowadays), but Meowmy had a few rough moments during January and early February. Having a month-long cold with interestingly-colored sputum, muscle and joint aches, and a constant, mild fever, didn't do much for her mental condition. And then there were certain commitments at work that come only during January that always make Meowmy go boomerang. Really, Meowmy, lighten up. You're too fat to sit on the cat tower, but just look out the window and zone out. You'll be the better for it.

Finally, though, her lungs are clearing, and she is feeling energetic again. Sigh...we all know what THAT means...CAT SHOWS. However, there are a few things that come before that: the main one meaning placing those bratty kittens. She found lovely owners for Winthrop, but while she's had offers for Eliot, Leverett, and Hilles, hasn't pursued them too aggressively (read: bad breeder, bad businesswoman). True, there have been extenuating circumstances--bad health, pressing work concerns, and the fact that a lot of the offers came from people who just wanted their cat shipped to them, sight unseen. Not only is Meowmy as yet unfamiliar with shipping cats, she is actually required by law to sit down with clients while making a transaction, and even if that weren't so (most people ignore this law, by the way), she wants to check out her clients, first to make sure that they aren't serial killers, and second, because shipping a cat sight unseen can lead to a dissatisfied client. Anyway, from today, since Meowmy's official work duties are now sporadic until April, she's going to concentrate on finding homes for those brats, whether it means making money or not (she DID make money on Winthrop).

Until last week though, we all thought she was going a bit gonzo, and while all of us here are a bit on the lunatic side, if Meowmy collapses, who's going to give us our kibble, and clean our litter boxes? That's the bottom line.

Regarding my ranking...I probably still have a chance of making Regional Winner, especially if I go to a few more shows and actually behave myself (don't hold your breath on that one...), but Meowmy is trying to see the bigger picture, and admit that, sometimes, you just don't have the emotional and/or physical strength to win. Hey, my theme song is "Rocky," and while he tried really hard, he didn't win, either, did he?

Meanwhile, Meowmy asked Breeder Daddy if he'd be interested in selling her his stud cat, Umesaburo, when he retires from breeding, and in turn, Breeder Daddy asked Meowmy if she'd like HIM to come live with her when he retires. Say what??? Sometimes, we really can't figure out these Humans. For the nonce, Meowmy just laughed and said she didn't think it would work out. But from our point of view, someone who's a bit better organized than Meowmy (Breeder Daddy's good with changing litter boxes) might be a nice addition to the household, although in this tiny Tokyo apartment, we're not sure how he could fit in. Do we need to cage him? Gotta ask the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Animal Welfare Office about that one. Don't think it's going to happen, but it did give Meowmy a good laugh, and did make here feel a bit less lonely. Recently, she sometimes thinks she likes cats better than humans, but, sigh, the truth is that humans sometimes just need other humans. And I guess that we cats need humans, too.

Oh, too much abstract thinking for my lentil-sized brain. Time to zone out and contemplate the lovely winter sky of Tokyo--blue, blue, blue (not that we cats can really see colors very well, mind you), cloudless, sunny, and warm...


What's going on now.

February 5th 2009 6:04 am
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Frankly speaking, Meowmy and I have simply fizzled out regarding the show world. Meowmy still likes it, but having every Saturday and Sunday taken up sitting around waiting for my number to be called has taken its toll on us. Not to mention the fact that we go to these show halls by train, and Meowmy has two artificial hips. Meowmy is competitive, but not ridiculously so; in the past half year, I've progressed from being unfriendly on the judging table to actually lunging at judges' jugulars. Aside from the fact that this is obviously a sign of stress on my part (say "duh" after me), it has actually sent Meowmy herself into a state of neurosis. So, we are resting from the show ring for a time. I'm currently #12 in the Premier Class in Japan; the season ends in April, and if I can stay within the top 25, I will be a Regional Winner. Whoopie-doo, you may say, but the amount of money, effort, and time that has gone into taking me to shows every weekend for the past year is not to be sneezed at (think: a year at a community college). At the same time, Meowmy cannot afford to have a nervous breakdown (or physical breakdown) either. We are currently contemplating what to do.

Meowmy has always been a strange combination of competiveness and passiveness. She purposely chose her major in college because it was the least popular (well, the second least popular; Sanskrit and Indian Studies had zero students) and so she was guaranteed to do well. (She wasn't competing against anyone else.)

Right now, the Premier Class in Japan is very competitive. Meowmy has a job that MUST come before cat shows, and her biggest competitor is a woman who does not have an outside job. Meowmy is just tired, tired, tired.

At the last show, which was a major one, I didn't get a single ribbon. This is mostly due to my nasty attitude on the judging stand, but there are also new Maine Coons out there who are obviously my superiors. I am only coasting on the points I got at the beginning of the season, before the competition became so keen. At the beginning of the show season, I got a ribbon in every ring, so this was quite a shock. I may add that my bratty sister Chibi got around 20 points from an American judge; she's now got a quarter of the points needed to be a Grand Champion, rare for a female, and only possible if you are, er, intact. I am NOT intact.

We are still trying to figure out if Meowmy wants to take me out of show biz because of wounded pride, or because the stress is too much for both of us. I think both are reasons.

The problem is that cat shows, like E-Bay, can be terribly addictive. Chibi may have a quarter of the points she needs to become a Grand Champion, but the chances of her actually becoming a Grand Champion are small. As the judge said: This is a good cat. Breed her before you obsess about making her a Grand Champion.

As for me...well, I don't have my breeding equipment anymore, so that's not an option. I've gotten used to those stupid kitten brats (one went away today to a new home, yay!), and my main interests in life are lying next to Meowmy's computer (when she's using it), looking out the window, and checking the food bowl. This is the Zen life of a simple cat. However, Meowmy seems to have some need for me to become a Regional Winner...we shall see where this leads.


My current ranking...

January 6th 2009 2:02 am
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I doubt that there's any gambling going on regarding my weekly ranking in the cat world, but just to keep everyone up to date, I continue to be the #9 Premier in Japan, and the #13 Maine Coon Premier internationally, even after getting 40 points in my last show. I'd love to keep those rankings, but they're sure to go down as judges get less and less enthusiastic about judging me, to the point where Meowmy finally pulls me from the ring.

By the way, "nine" is considered an unlucky number in Japan, just as "thirteen" is unlucky in western countries. That's because 9 can be pronounced "ku," which is also how the word for "hardship" is pronounced. 4 is also unlucky because it can be pronounced "shi," which means death.

There's a big show coming up over the weekend, with lots of American judges. Miss Chibi's put on some false-pregnancy weight (she's eating for eight now) and is looking pretty good, so if she's lucky, she might score some points toward her Grand Championship. Even if she doesn't, Meowmy hopes that continued exposure to cat shows will make her the relaxed, playful show-off she was in the ring as a kitten.

I've sort of given up being weirded out by those kittens. This afternoon I was sleeping on the bed just inches away from at least five of them. I don't like it when they try to horn in my food, however. Let them eat their own stuff. I still growl at them occasionally, but it's rather pointless, since they're so brainless that they don't seem to recognize hostility when they see it. I guess that's why humans think they're cute. Well, at least they've finally mastered the fine art of using the litter box.

Having said that, for some reason, I decided to do a doo-doo in the bathtub today, even though the litter boxes (seven of them!) had just been cleaned. Just a little reminder that I am still The King.


Japan Cat Fanciers Cat Show December 20, 2008

December 30th 2008 2:05 am
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I'm laying my big Maine Coon paws on the keyboard as Meowmy types this for me (I'm too lazy to do my own typing). Let's see, what's my current ranking...the tallies for the last show aren't in yet, so it's hard to say, but as of the show before last, I was #9, with 827 points. Yup, only got 27 points in Osaka--a waste of time and money as far as Meowmy was concerned. I did better at this last show, perhaps because we went by cab and I didn't have to be bounced around on a wheeled cart. As usual, every time a judge put me back in my cage after judging me, I wheeled around just as the door was being closed as if to rip open the judge's jugular, but one judge stopped me cold simply by raising a warning finger, and that surprised me so much that I stopped in mid-attack.

Strange that I feel compelled to do this in shows. Yesterday I went to the vet regarding my bowel problems (yet again...boring), and I just sat patiently on the examing table, even though he stuck something into that place where the sun don't shine in order to get a fresh fecal sample. I don't mind vets, cars, trains, strangers, baths (well, not too much), having my nails clipped--what is it that I have against cat shows?

The problem is that this year's Premiership contenders all have very competitive owners, and while my current point count would have given me a rank of around 15 by the end of the season last year, this year the stakes are higher. Sigh. I have to go through with this for at least a few more shows.

Actually, shows don't make me nervous anymore, at least not when I'm in my benching cage. I just chill out and watch the scene, or take a nap. This time, Chibi came too, since there was supposed to be an American judge, and American judges are the only ones who like torties. Unfortunately, the American judge's flight got canceled due to weather conditions, so another judge--one who doesn't like me OR torties--took her place. So, Miss Chibi had to go home with no points and no ribbons, ha ha ha. Not only that, but now that she's no longer a kitten, cat shows make her a bit nervous--her pupils were dilated and she was breathing quickly, even in her benching cage. But she's basically a cheerful and fearless cat, so she'll get used to the routine soon enough. At least she won't be attacking judges. By the way, Meowmy found a Japanese website selling Feliway, so she's going to try it and see if it calms me down in the judging ring. Fat chance of that.

The only good thing that happened was that one judge praised my muzzle. Hallelujah! I've finally developed a manly jawline! Now I dont have to be ashamed in front of all the other guys.

The photos from the last photo shoot by Chanan arrived. As usual, I look goofy and/or stoned in almost all of them, although there was one good shot that shows off my beautiful markings and tail. If I make Regional Winner, that is the photo that will appear on the CFA Japan Internet site. Chibi also had her photo taken, and as she is extremely photogenic, there were around 15 absolutely stunning photos--including ones in which she has a paw raised as if to reach for a wand toy, photos in which she is standing on her hind legs in order to reach the wand toy, and one photo in which she looks stupid (har har har) with her tongue sticking out. Don't know how that one happened.

Eventually Meowmy must make a web site for our cattery, and she needs good photos of her breeding cats. She'll put up my photo as well, although I'm obviously in no position to be part of her breeding program (not unless a miracle occurs...). Next, she needs a good photo of Leila, but Leila is even more difficult to photograph than I am, because she gets so scared by the noises of the show hall that she always tries to run away. Maybe motherhood has mellowed her out, however.

The stupid kittens are still here, all seven of them, but Meowmy is now making preparations to find them homes, thank goodness. Whenever one walks by me, I bop it on the head to show it who's boss. Unfortunately, kittens are pretty brainless and eternally cheerful, so being bopped on the head doesn't seem to bother them. And now that they're toilet trained, they more often than not sleep in Meowmy's bed. When they do that, I usually sleep in the study. If the kittens stay in their playpen at night, Spike, Chibi, and I sleep on the bed, and Leila beneath it. Oddly, Chibi has taken a liking to them that extends to her nursing them in place of Leila. I think all this coddling is going to lead to psychological distress in the future, but Chibi is the budding pdoc, so maybe she knows best.

Recently we had an inspection by people from the office of the Tokyo Metropolitan government that deals with animal protection (of course we passed with flying colors!). There must be one cage per breeding cat, and in theory, the cats should be kept in the cages, although Leila and Chibi go free (shh!). The cages are big--taller than Meowmy, and with three levels--and basically take up an entire wall of the "living room." Meowmy would like to get a tv, but can't figure out where to put it. The living room now looks like Leavenworth. Cages are useful, though, when you want to quarantine a sick cat or such. Well, when you've got a cattery, ya gotta have cages. But that doesn't mean keeping the cats in them all the time. What I don't understand is why there have to be cages for Leila and Chibi, but not for Spike and me--the official reason is that we're just "pets." Odd.

It's almost New Year's, which is a big holiday in Japan. A lot of people leave Tokyo, and things become very hushed and expectant on New Year's Eve. Meowmy may or may not make a temple visit on New Year's Eve. Personally, I think she should stay at home and entertain us with Da Bird or at least the laser thing.

I'm purring right now, for some reason. I have a very small purr for such a big cat. When the kittens are gathered around Leila or Chibi, everyone is purring up a storm, and it sounds like a bee hive.

Yawn. Think I'll go and check out the food dish to see if its contents have magically changed to something I like.

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