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Thank goodness judges see things differently

WITH regard to S. Taylor’s letter (OUR CATS, 29 December 06) wanting more consistancy from judges. Well I for one thank goodness that all of them see things through different eyes. What would be the point of showing if the same cats won week after week. Has S. Taylor never had a difference of opinion over which was the best kitten in a litter?

Norma Farnsworth (the judge at the Siamese show) says in her critique that there was very little to choose between the first three, and it came down to personal choice (page 33, same edition).
The result being that Ms Knowlson’s Best in Show Kitten at the Supreme was a lowly third.
But here lies the real reason for my letter. The inconsistancy lies not with the judges, but with the exhibitors. Neither of the first two kittens at the Siamese show were entered at the Supreme, and as anyone who plays the lottery knows, YOU’VE GOT TO BE IN IT TO WIN IT!

J. Kemp

To Tick or not to Tick

That is the question and those who think I am having a brief visit back to my days of treading the boards will need to read on.

One of my enduring habits, albeit a pleasure, is that when visiting a cat show I always try to look at all the other cats on display, household pets. I love them, having a couple of my own; the long hairs, the short hairs and the ones in between, the semi-longhairs. I have a few of those also and during the stroll I do a little bit of ‘judging’, purely speculative but always a pleasure, then later in the day when the rosettes are displayed I compare mental notes.

At a recent show my companion and I were wandering down an aisle prior to judging when we espied a white cat, a beautiful specimen of the Persian breed if ever there was one. It was immaculate and looked like it had just dived through a snow drift. We both admired it then asked each other, what is a white cat doing there in amongst other varieties? So, having a look in the schedule we found it to be exhibited as a Chinchilla. Being of the curious type we had another look and lo and behold it was and there begs the question.

My companion, a breeder of quality Chinchillas, has always been lead to believe that Chinchillas should be adorned with and display the characteristic markings i.e. ticking. My late and truly great friend Royston said just that when he assessed some of my companion’s kittens before he sadly passed, and he stressed the point that without the tipping they are not the real deal.
Another trusted friend and judge of many years standing also stressed this very point in a recent report in Our Cats and had the courage to say so. These are a brief summary of his words.
“The markings that are normal and characteristic of this breed were missing, I did not award a certificate as I was of the opinion this exhibit did not warrant one”.

Surely there is a clear message to all involved with this lovely type of cat, whether they are being manipulated to ‘follow the trend’ or to pamper to ‘whims’ is their business not mine. `I am and always have been an advocate of ‘what nature does best’ and when we exhibit our cats and kittens they are as they were deemed to be, ‘the real deal’.

Having had the opportunity to look at the Chinchilla cats presented on the show bench recently, the question has to be asked whether some of ‘these cats’ are the ‘real deal’ and I suspect that they are not what they appear to be.

The question is really about the way these cats are presented, with hardly a tipped tuft between them, and the only way this desired look is achieved is by stripping the natural shaded hairs back to the silver undercoat, a method which I believe is unacceptable but apparently tolerated by some judges.

The standard of points for this cat clearly states that it should be lightly and evenly tipped and not the almost all-white varieties that are currently being displayed. Some it seems may beg to differ.

Strangely enough this ‘whim’ has never applied to the Golden Persian, a genetically close relative with the identical characteristics of the silver Chinchilla, and who are allowed to display their natural tipping on the show bench.

It has to be argued why this should be deemed correct in one case and not the other.

David Akdamar

The few spoil it for the majority - as usual!

AT the second Championship Show of the West Country Cat Club held on 13 January, I was very upset to find out, later in the day, that a few of our exhibitors and a judge had been very rude and abusive to our Sea Cadets whilst they were trying to help out in our very busy car park. We did manage to get everyone parked, including those persons just there for the leisure centre facilities - all it took was a little patience!

Our Sea Cadets have helped us at every show from first Exemption, and have been very much appreciated by all, helping exhibitors in with their bags and cats and just generally helping through the day where they could - until now!

No-one should have to put up with bad behaviour and abuse, and especially not young teenagers who are just there to help!!! Our Sea Cadets give up their time to come to our show, and it really angers me to find out that they have been treated in this manner by a few people who should know better!

These young teenagers are all very smart, polite and a credit to their Corps and their generation, which is more than can be said for the few sad persons who may well have lost us their support for future shows!

You know who you are, and you are most definitely NOT WELCOME at the West Country show in future.

On talking to other show managers, abuse and bad behaviour from people attending cat shows seems to be increasingly more widespread, which is a very sad comment on todays society.

Elaine Robinson, Show Manager

My apologies to exhibitors

MAY I take this opportunity to apologise to exhibitors who had entered under me at the Capital Longhair show on 6th January for having to withdraw, owing to circumstances beyond my control.

Whilst our rail network could whisk me to Stevenage without a hitch on the Friday, returning me home to Gloucester on the Saturday was virtually impossible, owing to the cancellation of all trains between Birmingham New Street and Gloucester, as a result of engineering works!
So sorry, folks. Hope you all had a super Christmas and that 2007 will be happy, healthy and successful for you.

Dorothy Stone