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The Art of Being Clueless

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Nishi Nihon Cat Club Show, December 13-14 2008

December 19th 2008 3:29 am
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What a bust this show was. I was in a great mood on the Shinkansen, in the hotel, in my benching cage, and even looked cool in my judging cage. But once the judges tried to get me out of the cage, or put me back in, I hissed and jumped at them (one judged hissed and jumped back at ME). Meowmy's cat show friends are divided regarding whether she should take me out of competition or not--just giving me a rest is probably not going to be enough. Leaving me in competition the way I am now is not only cruel to me (are you listening, Meowmy?), but also reflects badly on Meowmy and the cattery she's trying to get off the ground.

I already have over 800 points; I'm #8 again in Japan, and still the #13 Maine Coon internationally. Meowmy hates the idea of lots of other cats pushing me below #25 by April, the end of the show season. This is not just ego (well, mostly ego), but also in consideration of how much time, effort, and money has gone into my campaign so far. Cat shows have ceased to be particularly fun for either of us, and they really exhaust Meowmy, because they involve so much heavy labor (mind you, this is a woman whose favorite hobby is sleeping). All in all, in this show I only got 30 points or less--hardly worth going to Osaka for. I enjoyed the hotel with Meowmy, though--none of those stinky kittens around, for one thing--and I ate a dinner of my favorite stinky El Cheapo tuna and used my porta-john again. What a good boy I am! Then, when Meowmy was sleeping, I kept curling up next to her (something I never do at home) and not just sniffing her eyelids, but licking them. Then I got hold of the tv remote control, and watched a special channel where they had humans with no clothes on. Why not? At cat shows, I have to parade around naked in front of a bunch of gawking humans. Meowmy was surprised to see the extra charge on her bill the next morning, but didn't say anything to me. Too bad I couldn't get into her wallet and buy some beer from the vending machine in the hall. Ah, that would have been the life!

Tomorrow is a one-day show, and since there's going to be an American judge, Chibi is going too (Americans like torties better than Japanese judges do). She's gotten quite solidly built, and although her fur is only medium length for a Maine Coon, she has developed a ruff--not as fluffy as mine (I'm a guy--or at least used to be), something which Leila doesn't have. Chibi has a very well-defined muzzle, but sort of weird looking eyes. Still, she's always bright and friendly and loves to play, so Meowmy's hoping she'll get one of those cherished purple Champion ribbons (get 200 points and you become a Grand Champion). Also, she appears to be in heat right now, which makes her almost obnoxiously friendly. Why are little sisters such a pain? And when is Meowmy going to get rid of those KITTENS? They're starting to get on my nerves, big time.


Yokohama Bay Cat Fanciers, Dec. 6-7, 2008

December 10th 2008 6:40 pm
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Not the best of shows, although I did rack up quite a few points. I would have racked up a lot more if my habit of hissing at the judges hadn't gotten even worse. I'm bad enough when they try to extract me from the holding cage in the judging ring, but when they put me back after examining me, I turn and lunge. By then, the door is always already closed, so I haven't caused anybody any physical injury (yet), but the judges are not only scared of me, but pretty disgusted. Some put me in the finals anyway, but one judge, who has always been a fan of mine, made a point of saying that she gave me first place (not to be confused with Best of Breed--it's basically meaningless) rather than to the other two red tabby and whites because I was their senior, although she didn't think a cat with my attitude deserved it. Well, excuuuse me! The horrible thing was that she really wanted to give the ribbon to Mercutio, my OWN BROTHER, who has grown up to be a massive, furry boy. Well, Breeder Daddy told Meowmy that Mercutio had better bone structure, but Meowmy chose me for my lovely red fur and gorgeous face. However, Mercutio and I have similar personalities (he was pretty nervous, and kept licking his lips the way I do when nervous; also, his pupils were dilated), so I suspect that if Mercutio were put in a cat show practically every week for a year, he'd start getting hostile, too.

I now have around 800 points, which almost assures that I'll make Regional Winner. Meowmy thinks it would be stupid to quit now after all the time and money she's spent on this project. However, she realizes that she's going to have to give up on the idea of showing me until the end of the season in April. Her goal is to get me up to 1000 points, which pretty much guarantees that I'll get a place in the top 25. Unlike her friend, Mack the Truck's Meowmy, she isn't so competitive that she wants me to make the top three or top ten. I suppose that after I'm retired, she'll start showing Chibi, even though she knows that those precious purple Best Champion ribbons (if you accumulate enough of them you become a Grand Champion) are hard to come by, especially if you're a female. But at least Chibi doesn't dislike being shown.

Actually, nothing really bothers me except being taken out of the holding cage by the judge and then put back in. I don't mind it too much when Meowmy does it, and when I'm in my benching cage, alone with Meowmy, I purr and rub my face against her finger and show her my belly. I'm perfectly relaxed. In any event, what I have is known as "shozukare"--being totally tired out by show biz. Once you've gotten to this point, there's no going back.

Meowmy has consulted with other breeders and exhibitors, and many use herbal concoctions like Bach's Rescue Remedy to calm down their cats. (I should make it clear, however, that the majority of cats do NOT need to be calmed down; show cats are bred from other show cats, and generally are pretty good-natured about the whole thing). But the herbal stuff doesn't work for ME, and when Meowmy got a prescription for Valium from her vet, it just made me woozy, and I started walking like a drunk. So much for Valium. Meowmy is considering asking her old vet if there's any Chinese medicine for calming down cats--in Japan, Chinese medicine (kanpoyaku) is subjected to the same governmental standards as regular prescription medicines, and Meowmy has in the past found that kanpoyaku has worked for her when alleopathic medicines failed. Personally, I think she should just take me out of competition NOW, but she's stubborn. And although I lash out at the judges, it seems to be more of a habit than anything born of real fear or dislike. I think I learned this habit from Lee Trevino, the cat who was always in the cage next to me last season.

Not to mention the toll that this is taking on Meowmy...a lot of exhibitors come by car, but she has to lug me and my show baggage through the complex public transportation system, which is not good for her hips or her lower back, and which tires her out so much that she's totally useless when she comes back after a show. She's caught two colds in two weeks, so the continued fatigue is compromising her immune system as well. She probably has to face the fact that she simply doesn't have as much physical stamina as the other exhibitors; even when healthy, she needs lots and lots of sleep (which we cats love, because we love to accompany her during her naps).

Anyway, I got two Best of Breeds, one Second Best of Breed, and made four finals out of eight. My two main rivals, Huckster and Mack the Truck, did NOT take a rest during September, a crucial month, and both have over 1000 points. But in this show, we all made about the same number of points--around 60, although the final results won't be known until the CFA Almanac prints them, sometime this weekend.

You may wonder why Meowmy is doing this. It's pretty simple. She is lonely, and during the years she spent in bed with her bad hips, she lost most of the friends she had. The habit of staying in bed whenever possible stuck with her even after she had her operation. Cat shows provide her with human interaction, give her a reason to get out of the house, and provide much-needed exercise. In fact, her leg muscles have gotten much stronger since she started in the cat world, and thus her hip pain has almost entirely disappeared. Sooo...I forgive her for this cat show business. And I have also gotten used to those kittens--more or less. Occasionally I sleep on Meowmy's bed now, next to Spike, and sometimes some of the little critters crawl up and fall asleep nearby. I just ignore them. I haven't done a "here I am, and I'm NOT PLEASED!" doo-doo for at least a month now. It's too much of an effort to be in a snit all the time, although I still do bop the head of any kitten that wanders by. So does Chibi, which only goes to show that cats, like humans, who have experienced abuse (by me!) in their childhoods end up being abusers themselves.

Oh, and to get back to the world of the CFA. I've dropped to 9th place in the Premiership Class in Japan, and am the #13 Maine Coon internationally. The reason my position dropped was that the last show was sponsored by the club formed by a judge who is a Persian breeder, so all the Persians were out in full force, making it harder for other longhaired breeds to score. In the Yokohama show, however, there were fewer Persians to compete against, so we Maine Coons got more points. Oh, those Persians!


Liberty Cat Show November 29-30

November 29th 2008 4:19 am
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Currently, I'm the #8 Premier in Japan and the #13 Maine Coon in the CFA internationally, with 700.60 points. I'm really getting sick of this cat show business. Judges are starting to get AFRAID of me, which suits me just fine, because I want to get out my aggressive feelings towards those stupid kittens.

On November 29, the two judges who like me a lot put me in the finals, but gave me mediocre ribbons (6th and 9th place respectively) because I was nasty to them. This makes Meowmy feel bad, because the judges are actually very nice people, and she doesn't like to see me look like I hate being shown. But when I'm back in my own cage, I let her groom me and I purr, purr, purr. I just hate being taken out of the judging cages and being put back in. I'm very well mannered on the judging stand (aside from the occasional hiss). But I did get two best of breed ribbons out of the four rings, so Meowmy feels it is worthwhile to persevere. If this season's Premiership Points go the same way as last season, I'm already sure to be a Regional (National) Winner. If I'm lucky, Meowmy will retire me soon and start trying to make that stupid stuck-up Miss Chibi a Grand Champion, which is almost, but not entirely, impossible. At least Chibi doesn't mind the shows--she likes those stupid wand toys and interacting with the judge. Show-off.

To be honest, though, we're both physically and psychologically exhausted. Getting to the cat show involves carrying me and all the show equipment in Meowmy's bicycle baskets, and then getting on a subway, a train, another train, and then walking for five minutes. Not to mention all that running around the show hall. Mind you, Meowmy has two fake hips. Also, she is starting to get bored with cat shows--there's a lot of sitting around waiting for your turn to come, the hall is overheated, and there are people she's not supposed to associate with because they are disapproved of by the cat club she belongs to. Ho hum, humans can be so catty.

She got lots of conflicting advice about what to do about my diarrhea problem and Leila's--one person suggested special food, one person advised bifidus powder in Leila's food, one person suggested eating hairball control dry food because it has fiber that binds up loose bowels, and one rather hysterical person told Meowmy to take me to a university hospital right away. That's going to have to wait, because Meowmy is extremely busy with work right now. Personally, I LIKE my smelly bowel movements. They make a real statement, and when I do it on my bed or Meowmy's clothes, I get quite a reaction from her, and I'm sure she realizes that I'm using my excrement as a metaphor for how I feel about those stupid kittens.

On the second day of the show, I got 10th in the long hair ring, but that's it. Since I didn't go to any shows in September, I'm way behind my main rivals. My nasty attitude is getting worse, too. Right now I have the same number of points that the #17 cat had last year, so Meowmy could retire me at this point and I'd probably still make Regional Winner. But we're both looking forward to the show the week after next in Osaka, since we will be staying in a hotel and I can sniff Meomy's eyelids all night. I was a very good boy in the judging ring the last time we went to Osaka. Maybe I will be this time, too. Or maybe not. I have my own secret agenda.


Current ranking as of November 6, 2008

November 6th 2008 3:26 am
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We were a bit derailed in September. Work started again for Meowmy, who just got too stressed out by that AND Leila's impending birth to take me to cat shows, even though she'd paid the entry fees. Meowmy is not so skilled with managing money, in my opinion. Personally, I'm into mutual funds.

Anyway, that missed month was crucial, because there were still so many Premiers appearing, and Grand Premiers always get the Best of Breed and Second Best of Breed ribbons, and then go on to the Finals (well, not always, but it's basically the way it goes). Now all the contenders, not just in the Maine Coon division, are Grand Premiers, and the competition is really heating up. I went from being the #1 cat in the Premiership Class in Japan in August and September to being #7. Meowmy doesn't care, as long as I get into the top 25 by year's end, and become a Regional Winner. I could give two hoots about the whole thing, but it seems to make Meowmy happy. Whatever. Still, I've about had enough of being put in one cage, taken out, put into another cage, taken out...My new skill is trying to gouge out the eyes of the judges as they close the cage door after judging me (I'm always the model of decorum on the judging table, however). This often causes me to lose points, but not always. Anyway, I'm not only the #7 Premiership Class cat in Japan, but as of this week, the #13 Maine Coon internationally. Does this mean I'm REALLY the 13th best MC in the world? Of course not. It just means that Meowmy is putting me in a lot of shows, and the world of the CFA, that's where I stand. However, I do think I'm a pretty handsome dude, and except for the judges who I try to kill, everyone loves me--my color, my spaciness, whatever.

As Meowmy wrote on the Forums, surprisingly Chibi got three Best of Breed ribbons in her latest show--surprising because she is a Champion (intact) and not a Premier (easier to get ribbons), a female, and competing against cats from very famous catteries. Personally, I've grown a more manly muzzle, and my profile has improved (this happens when a cat matures and the forehead becomes more prominent), but that little squirt Chibi has this big square muzzle, a relatively good noseline, an ear set to die for, and is not as small for a female as Meowmy had thought. Well, I was pretty put out. The whole time I was competing as a Premier (the neutered equivalent of Champion), no one EVER gave me any Best of Breed or Second Best of Breed ribbons, even when I was a kitten, but Chibi has gotten them enough times to make it obvious that she's a contender. Grrr. However, Meowmy doesn't have enough money to make me a Regional Winner and push Chibi into making Grand Champion at the same time. Unfortunately, Premiers are usually "mature" cats (over two years); Champions usually compete between the ages of one and two. And there's that stupid pregnancy thing. Leila just went and dumped seven brats under the bed one day, and apparently Chibi's supposed to do the same, ideally before she's two years old. Har har, a show biz career looks dim for Ms. Chibi. However, even I have to admire the fact that she is totally at ease in the holding cages and on the judging stand--this is particularly rare among females, as males tend to be self-centered, and females are instinctively attuned to possible dangers in the environment. Well, we'll just have to see. Ahh...whatever makes Meowmy happy makes me happy, but really, all I want out of life is: endless nappy time, stinky El Cheapo fishy canned food, and being able to look out the window when it rains or snows. I'm a simple boy at heart.


Current ranking 9/1/08

August 31st 2008 8:07 pm
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Japan Premiership Class--still #1, with 431.40 points (out of finals in 40 rings).

Internationally--#10 in the Maine Coon Division.


Cat Show 8/24/08 Japan Shaded Fanciers

August 26th 2008 7:16 am
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Boy, it was hard getting up the nerve to go to this show. Up until now I've always been an underdog, so was happy to get any prize at all, but this time I was the defending champion, the number one cat in the premiership! Meowmy thought I was going to be ornery because she's been ignoring us in favor of the little orange boy, and she was right. I hissed at most of the judges...although a lot of the other cats did too. On the other hand, Meowmy was also worried that I would be losing out to all the Tokyo cats, after my successes in Osaka, but that wasn't the case. If not for the hissing, I would have gotten a really stellar score. As it was, I am still the #1 Maine Coon, although there's a Persian who's winning a lot of the finals, so I may no longer be the #1 Premier. The official results won't be out for a while yet, but I probably got around 60 points in this show, which means I have a total of around 430. Remember that last year's 25th best cat in the Premiership Class had some 550 points, so I am almost guaranteed a place in the top 25--BUT there's going to be some new, strong competition, and this hissing thing is causing me to lose points.

Two 2nds (Nagayama--loves my jawline and sleek body; Hayata would have given me Best Cat (against 16 others) if I had been the sweet boy I was two weeks ago...).
Two 4ths (Ueda, Takano)
One 10th (in the longhair specialty ring, out of 10 cats--the judge likes me, but gave me 10th place because I hissed when she put me back in the holding cage. Hey, it was the last ring, and I was hot and tired...)
I didn't place in Akiyama's ring because hissed at her too--and she was going to give me Second Best of Breed, too.

I did get 4 Best of Breeds out of six rings, which was pretty good. The judges are starting to see my good points. Also, my muzzle seems to be filling out a bit, and Meowmy used a new shampoo on me that really made me look FURRY, despite the fact that I've shed a lot during the summer. So if only we can figure out a way to get me to stop hissing, things should go smoothly...

Anyway, I miss Meowmy. She won't let me in the computer room because there's another cat, that little orange boy, in there. I take out my frustrations about this at home by hissing and growling at Chibi and bopping her in the face whenever possible. They say that redhaired cats are highstrung like this. Usually I'm pretty mellow, but when I'm mean, I'm mean. Once I get used to the orange boy, Meowmy figures I'll be back to my old mellow self.


Current Show Statistics/Ranking (as of 8/3/08)

August 11th 2008 8:26 pm
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The data for the week ending 8/3/08 has finally come out. My rankings for this week:

#1 Cat in Premiership, Japan Region, with 368.85 points. (Note: the 25th Best Cat in Premiership for the last show season had around 550 points, and there are still 8 months left in the show season this year, so I'm pretty much guaranteed to make the top 25 this year, although I'm never going to be #1 for the year.)

#9 Maine Coon in Premiership Internationally.

Not too shabby for a cat sold as "Pet Quality," heh heh heh.

I should add that Chibi is still the #14 kitten in Japan, although her score will not hold her up in the top 25 much longer. She's also the #48 Maine Coon kitten internationally. Showing kittens is tricky--they have only four months to compete, and it's best to show them during peak months when there are lots of shows and lots of kittens to win against. She competed during a period when there weren't many kittens being shown--but on the other hand, that made it easier for her to score points...


Nishi Nihon Cat Show 8/2-3, 2008

August 4th 2008 6:07 pm
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I've decided to keep score of my show life in my diary, not to brag about how cool I am, but because otherwise Meowmy forgets what I got in which show.

So, for the 8/2-3 show in Osaka, I got:
2 Seconds (Yamashita, Hayata)
4 Thirds (Takano Kenji, Takano Yaeko, Maeda, Ueda)
1 Fifth (Akiyama)
1 Seventh (Arai)

(Heh heh, guess which of the above judges doesn't like me too much.)

My regional (Japan Region) ranking as of last week (not including this show): # 2 Cat in Premiership.

With this show, I may currently be #1 (the official results don't come out until later this week), but there were a lot of very good cats I was competing against, and while I became the #1 Maine Coon in Japan with this show, there are some fabulous cats who will, no doubt, overtake me in time.

It is important to keep in mind that this is the beginning of the show season, so Grand Premiers like myself are almost automatically given preference when it comes to making the Finals rings and getting ribbons. Right now, I'm mostly only competing against Premiers. Once the Premiers become Grand Premiers (and this year's crop of Premiers is superb), my ranking is sure to sink. That's why it's important for me to appear in all the shows NOW while I still have that advantage.

Since there are so many Maine Coons to compete against (MCs and American Shorthairs are the most popular breeds), unless I get a Best of Breed or Second Best of Breed in the primary ring, I won't make the Finals. At this show, I had no real competition (my friend and rival Mack the Truck left midway because he was in a bad mood and scratched up his Daddy pretty fierce), and got Best in Breed in almost every ring, so that's why I did so well. Also, my strongest competitor at this moment, a female, will not travel to shows outside the Tokyo region, so I have a much better chance of getting points when she's not there. I love traveling to shows out of Tokyo, but Meowmy is worried about the expense...

Meowmy wants me to become a Regional Winner this season, which means being one of the top 25 cats in my class (Premiership). There's a good chance that I can stay in the top 25, but if it starts looking impossible once the competition gets fiercer, Meowmy will probably pull me out of competition. However, I've made a good start, and with the points I'll be making with out of town shows and before the really good Premiers become Grand Premiers, I think I have a chance. I can't possibly become #1, but we'll both be satisfied with even 25, so keep your fingers crossed for us.

Fortunately, as I get more used to cat shows, I get more relaxed, and at this show, I was praised by several judges for being so easy to work with. (Put me on the judging table and I just stay, without moving, in any position I'm put in. Apparently this is unusual, and everyone thinks it's kind of funny--there's a lot of laughter in cat shows, by the way, even though there's a lot of competition as well.) I still do hiss, though, although mostly only in the afternoon, which is nappy time for me.

Also, I have to be honest and say that some of the judges are giving me a bit of leeway because Meowmy is a newbie and they can see that she's trying really hard (she's gotten really good at grooming me). They want to encourage new people, I think, and certain judges will give a few extra points just to encourage us. I'm certain that two of the judges this time did that. However, such judges are balanced out by judges who, for some reason, simply don't like my "type"--or, for all I know, just don't like Meowmy, although generally EVERYBODY in the cat show has been really, really nice to us, despite the fact that Meowmy is the only non-Japanese there.

And judges all have different interpretations of breed standards; my two biggest demerits are that I am not a BIG Maine Coon, and that I don't have enough of a concavity in my profile or a prominent enough muzzle. Some judges consider these points to be the most important criteria when judging. On the other hand, other judges go by balance and proportion--the overall look. This discrepancy in judging is standard in cat shows; there are only a very, very few Supercats who score in the top three in every ring they appear in.

Anyway, it was an exhausting but valuable weekend. And I got Meowmy all to myself in the hotel room, which was stupid Chibi chirping around. And I even ate something and learned to use my kitty Porta-jon! I'm a good boy!

I did lose 200 g during the ordeal, though (hey, it was one of those 90 degree plus humid days we get during the Japanese summers). Next show in two weeks--have to get my condition in tip-top shape, because it will be a Tokyo show with all my usual competitors, and there will be a number of the judges are ones who don't quite "get" me and generally give me a low rating.


I've Been Tagged!

May 20th 2008 10:52 am
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I have been tagged by the handsome cat show star Linus, a European Burmese. I am supposed to give four answers to a few questions and then tag 4 others to do the same...

1. Looking gorgeous.
2. Watching Meowmy shower (although I don't do this as much ever since she started giving me those show baths...).
3. Being a show cat (special skills: hissing at judges, doing Zen meditation in my benching cage between rings, ignoring all wand toys).
4. Showing stupid Chibi her place.

1. My breeder's home where I was born in Yokohama.
2. Meowmy's old apartment (MESSY!).
3. Meowmy's new apartment (not quite as messy, but getting there).
4. Countless cages at countless cat shows.

1. Watching it rain outside while I'm on the cat tower.
2. Eating mercury-tainted El Cheapo canned food in the kitchen.
3. Sleeping on the baby scale.
4. Lying by Meowmy as she taps away at the computer keyboard.

Did I do good, huh, Meowmy? Can I have some more tuna now, please, Meowmy???


Yet Another Rilly Small Show...

May 18th 2008 4:40 am
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I really want to write about the last show in more detail (like about the yakuza funeral that held up the minibus going to the cat show hall), but for those of you who are sitting around chewing your cuticles with anxiety over when my next diary entry will appear, I will summarize today's show, and flesh it out later.

First of all, Meowmy did STOOOOOPID thing. It was a one day show, and since one day shows are usually on Saturdays, she took us yesterday. She was running late, so took a cab, the cab driver was inexperienced and chose all the crowded routes, and we ended up getting there just at show time. But...silence. No people carrying cats in carriers, no noise from the show hall. The show hall door was locked. Meowmy looked at the flyer again. It said "Sunday." Duh! And she says I'M the dumb one.

So we all went back--quite a feat by train: two cats in plastic airline carriers on top of each other, and the suitcase with our show equipment on top of that, all strapped to a metal pullcart with wheels. Pulling it takes strength to begin with (especially because Meowmy's a cyborg and has two fake hips), but picking the whole thing up to put it on the train when boarding takes tremendous upper-arm strength, which Meowmy has because she was on crutches for several years.

Anyhoo, the only good news was that we got our show shampoos yesterday, so this morning we could sleep in. Last night I slept with Meowmy, at the foot of the bed next to Spot. Sometimes I do that. Recently I've been a real love bug--I'm always lying next to Meowmy's computer while she's doing this Catster thing, and I LOVE it when she runs her fingers through my luxuriant bright red Maine Coon fur. OOOOOOO.

Last week, Meowmy shampooed Chibi and me in too much of a rush, and while Chibi was okay, I didn't get enough of a rinse, and my fur was sort of rough and coarse-feeling. This time Meowmy was very careful to rinse well, even with a final finishing rinse of white vinegar, and my fur was nice and soft and silky. Shorthaired cats don't require much grooming, but with longhaired cats, mastering the art of grooming YOUR cat is part of learning to be a good exhibitor. Meowmy was complimented TWICE today on her shampoo job, both times by bigwig judges--one was kind enough to say, "You always do such a good grooming job!", and one, a very kind and important lady, told Meowmy that she'd come a long way from when she was first exhibiting me at the beginning of the year and still didn't know how to shampoo properly. Meowmy was so proud! And, of course, I love being called handsome, too.

As for the results...

This was a one-day show, with only six rings. As always with cat shows, each ring is conducted independently of the others, and there is no single, final "Best of Breed" ring at the very end of the day. Instead, each ring has a final for the top ten cats after the initial ring has been held. Since each ring is independent of the others, unless you have an absolute Miracle Cat, there can be big discrepancies in the way cats are judged. I'm obviously "show quality," despite what my breeder originally said, but I'm a bit on the small side, my ears tend to splay out, and my muzzle could be more pronounced and my profile a bit more curved, although generally speaking, my jawline is good. I definitely win points for my fur: not only is it an unusually dark red, with clearly-defined blotched tabby markings, but it's soft and shaggy, I have a nice ruff, and I'm always immaculately groomed. But in the Premier Class, an appearance of youthful vigor is not prized as highly as the gravitas of a full-grown, neutered male.

Anyway, not to keep you in suspense any longer:

The final results for Harvey were: 1 Best in Premiership rosette, 1 Second Best in Premiership rosette, and the rest I will fill in later. I got two Best of Breeds (oh, those coveted brown ribbons), but I'm not sure how many Second Best of Breed (orange) ribbons I got--there was at least one ring where I didn't get either, but there were one or two more, I think. Usually Meomy keeps score in the catalogue, but this time she was just too tired to do so. There were only 11 cats in the Premiership Class, so I made every final; my lowest mark was Eighth Place (oh, well, at least that's better than Tenth). It was only a one day show, and I managed to get through the whole show without hissing, although I wasn't terribly playful or responsive to the judges. Actually, all the Maine Coons were pretty laid-back, although Huckster hissed once on the judging stand. Judging was a bit tough for the Maine Coons, since there were FOUR of us Grand Premiers competing, and no Premiers.

The final results for Chibi were: She got Second Best of Breed in all rings but one, but no Best of Breed this time. There were 13 kittens competing, so she made the finals five times. She was competing against only three other Maine Coons, all female; Best of Breed was taken every time by a superb all white odd-eyed girl who even Meowmy would have given first place. Oddly, Chibi wasn't quite as personable and playful this time as she was at the last show.

More later...

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