I am very, very sorry that I didn't post last night as I said i would. i tried, I really did, but what with all of the preparations, I just didn't have time. The human spent ages trying to transfer pictures that Hoover Lady took from the mobile phone to the computer so that we could put them up, but it just wouldn't work. By the time she was done with that, we only had five hours of sleep left before we had to get up, so we thought we'd better get snoring!
This is going to be a joint effort between me and the human tonight, mostly because she wants to rant about things I don't find important. I'm also swatting the human until she puts up some of the pictures we had taken today. I don't know what they'll be like, nor where they'll appear, so all comments are welcome! I've also decided to start a bit of a running trend. We had 27 pictures taken today, and of course, the human doesn't know what most of them are. I thought I'd make a game out of it, firstly so that you could join in, and secondly so that the human can get an idea of how photogenic I am. So, here's the challenge. Each time we put up pictures in this show series, if you're up for it, see how good you are at describing them. I hear peoples say that I'm pretty all the time, but I want to know what the more intelligent species thinks.
Anyway, enough of this. I promised to tell you about the experience of showing, and I'm a cat of my word!
We show under the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in the UK, and today we were at the North West Cat Club show just outside Manchester. The day starts very, very early, too early if you ask me. The alarmm went off at 5 AM, and when i say the alarm, I actually mean Bug. He called my human, but I tell you something, if he'd have been here, I'd have boxed his ears for him! It's all very well me waking up the human, but that does not work the other way round. I need my beauty sleep (I'm a celebrity after all), but this morning, I didn't get enough! I thought things would be Ok though. The human made sleepy talk noise with Bug, then got up to go in the horrible shower. Meanwhile, I curled up for a second sleep. But this was not to be.
As soon as she was dressed, she came and got me "for final grooming, Tia". Final grooming? I'm beautiful enough already, woman! The brushing didn't take long. you should always prepare mostly the night before, and we had. It only took a few minutes to fluff me, and then it was into the horrible, nasty, stupid carrier. I was grumpy already, having been so rudely awakened (tell Bug to watch out, Babycat, for my temper is still big!), and i found the carrier absolutely intolerable. I did what I always do when I'm dissatisfied about something. I shouted at the human. And I shouted and shouted and shouted. She didn't listen though. I swear sometimes that she doesn't understand decent language.
She checked that she had everything she needed in my show bag, and then it was off. Hoover lady arrived and we got into her car. Now this is where the human redeemed herself, although only slightly. Because I'm good and lie down in the car, if we're going on a long journey, she lets me sit on her knee instead of in the carrier. This morning I did this, and I even let her clean my eyes a final time on the way to the show. I've mentioned already that I was grumpy. Now that Hoover lady was here too, I decided to shout at her. The trip took over an hour, but that was Ok. My voice didn't get tired.
When you get to the hall, you have to join a long line of peoples who all have their owners in carriers or baskets. They take us to see the horrible vet peoples before we can go in our pens. This is to make sure that none of us are carrying nasty infections that could spread to other cats. I don't think I should be vetted in. No infection would dare come near me. Our vet people was a lady people and she was quite nice. She noticed my three scabs on my neck, but when the human explained that I liked to try and scratch my collar off and that I had to wear one so that she would know by the noise of the stupid, stupid bell where I was, the vet lady said it was Ok. She also said she'd had me tested for ring worm and cleared of the possibility of bacterial infections just in case it was queried at the show, and this put the vet lady's mind at ease.
once the vet lady had signed our papers, we got to go into the hall with all the pens in them. The pens are quite big, and they're solid at the back and sides so that we can't see any other cats who are next to us. I'm kind of glad. Some of them have awful language, and hiss and swear all day long. Others spray, well, the stupid mancats spray. What's the point in marking the pen? Anyone with intelligence knows that it's only yours for a day, so why waste the effort. They'll only clean it anyway. They are in rows, and each pen backs onto another one. The top and front are caged, so we can see out. We can even get our paws out to smack people or pull them in for scratchings and chin rubs if we're careful about it. We were pen number 11.
When we'd found our place, the human started unpacking her bag. She'd brought me a small litter tray with litter in it, a really thick, snuggly blanket, and food and water dishes. She brought some water from home for my bowl so that I wouldn't get a tummy upset from strange water, and she even gave me food when I got there. I wasn't interested though. There were too many strange cats and peoples who had to be studied. I was really busting for a pee-pee too. I usually go first thing in the morning, but because I'd been wakened so early (I'm coming for you, Bug), I didn't get a chance. I didn't want to go in my tray with so many people watching. I knew it would get quieter later, so I just waited.
My human went away for a little while then. She said something about signing a form, whatever that is, but she was soon back with her brushes and combs, making me extra super fluffy now that I was in my pen and wouldn't be moving any more.
I mentioned that we'd be having some friends at the show. You remember my man friend from a little while back? The first one I went to see? He was there, and only two pens away, too. Oh, my heart was all a-flutter! His daddy was there too, and boy was he noisy. You think my voice is loud. Every time someone walked past him he'd chat to them, and there were a lot of people! My human talked to him for a while, until I got jealous and called her back.
Once I was settled, the lady people who managed the show said in a very loud voice (human note, she used a microphone) that it was time for judging to start. After a quick chin tickle, the human left me. She's not allowed to stay with me when the judge peoples are looking at me. She stayed close enough to watch the first judge man take a look. He is the important one, and he liked me! He was saying all sorts of nice things, so much so in fact that I showed him my yummy tummy, and even blew him kisses when he put me up near his face and looked deeply into my eyes. I wonder if he loves me?
At this point, the human and Hoover Lady went out of the place I was in. They couldn't talk to me until three hours had gone by, so they went for food. When they came back, I'd been given a shiny rosette, but the card telling my breed and pen number had been turned around. The human was not happy when Hoover lady read her what had been written on it. It said, "Do not judge. Owner to contact duty vet immediately". She seemed quite worried and went away for a long, long time.
Human paragraph: Ok, she warned you. I'm going to rant, and I make no apology for doing so. As mentioned before, Tia has three scabs under her chin from doing her "get this collar off me now, now, now" routine with the claws. I'd explained at vetting in why they were there, but after the first judge had looked at her, another had come along and noticed them. She called the duty vet, who put the do not judge sign on Tia's pen after examination. When I spoke to her, the first thing she said to us was, "Oh, you're the scabby one." "Pardon?" was my first response. Scabs? I didn't have any. "You're the scabby one," to which my PA replied, "No, not me personally." The nice vet then clarified that she meant "pen 11, not you". "I didn't know my pen had scabs," I thought to myself, but decided not to let loose. One of us on the attack was enough at this stage. She went on to say that Tia had been rejected because of the scabs. I told her the same thing that I'd told the vet earlier that morning. Yes, she did have scabs but it was from scratching at a collar which needed to be there so that I could tell where she was, and be sure that she hadn't run out the door as I was coming in. It was a necessity. The vet disagreed. Apparently the scabs were not due to collar scratching.
Show cats don't usually wear collars for the reason that it flattens the fur. On a Persian, this band of flat hair is more than evident. When I pointed this out and stated that you could see the scabs followed the line of the banding, she disagreed. She then said that Tia probably had acne because of a dark patch on her chin. Newsflash, all torties have dark patches on their chins. That's part of being a (insert swear word here) tortie, you idiot. I gave her the verbal equivalent of the polite version though. She then said she could slap me with a ring worm injunction for scabs like that, which would mean I couldn't show until I'd had expensive tests to prove otherwise. I don't like threats like that. I told her, still politely I am very proud to say, that she couldn't, thank you very much. I am a responsible exhibiter and had already ruled out the risk before considering bringing her to the show. I'd also put her on antibiotics to minimise the chance of any spread of possible bacteria to other cats.
If a vet says a cat is not to be judged, it's either because that cat is aggressive, in evident distress or infectious. Tia was quite obviously none of the above. The vet didn't ask for a clearance certificate to be completed by me in order to show again, and this is standard procedure for an infectious cat. I went to a few other breeders and exhibitors and asked them for their opinions. Not one of them, on seeing the scabs, was worried about holding my cat, cuddling her and potentially spreading disease back to their own furries, and that means a lot given that they're usually so protective of infection risk that you can't often even touch their cats if you don't sanitise your hands first. I told them the circumstances, and they all agreed it was ridiculous. In essence, I was being penalised because I had a disability which required my cat to wear a collar for her own safety. I took my complaint to the show manager. After following her for ages and numerous promises of "I'll be with you in just a minute," I managed to pin her down for a total of two. I explained my case and got, as a response, "well, it's a beauty contest, you know." Oh I did know, but pointed out, very slightly less politely at this point, that it was a contest where cats had to conform to an agreed standard of points to win awards, which mine did. She said she'd have a word with the duty vet, but somehow didn't manage to find the time either to do that, or to tell me she couldn't until I cornered her again at the end of the show. I made mention of the fact that I'd like this to be sorted soon, for if I wasn't happy with the outcome I'd take it to the chairman. I told her I was meeting him soon, hopefully, and that I'd like to finalise this particular issue with him then. "Oh, it's not that I'm ignoring you. Please don't think that. It's just that I'm so busy. Here, have my email address. I promise I'll have a word with the vet, but could you just email me to remind me? I don't want to forget, and I receive so many instructions on these days that it's possible. I don't want you thinking that I'm ignoring you, and we'll get this resolved." With rather a lot of cynicism in my heart about what motivates people, I took the email address. I trust you to know where I'm coming from here. Anyway, that's the end of my bit. I wil keep you posted about what the outcome is, but I intend to take this all the way to the top if I need to.
The human came back a couple of times over the next hour or so. She seemed angry, but when she came, she brought very nice peoples with her. All of them got me out of the pen and gave me extra good cuddles. They even rubbed my chin and commented what a pretty girl I was! Well, duh. I know this already. My human seemed to like them a lot.
Towards the end of the day, she fluffed me a little again, then took me over to another pen. This one had a man by it, and he had a big flash box. he said he was a professional, whatever that is. He put me in the nice pen, but after that, it wasn't nice any more. His flash was so bright. Apart from that, I had fun. He would tap the sides to get me to look different ways. He even tickled me with a feather, which, of course, I tried to catch. I like posing for photos, or, I did today. It was my celebrity day, so I thought I'd better work it good for the camera. You can tell me what you think of the results if the pictures load.
All the way through the afternoon, there were even more people there. My human called these members of the public. They'd come to see all of us cats. My human stood by my pen, because it's her job to talk for me at these times and tell everyone all about me and how pretty I am. Not many peoples understand cat as good as her, you see. Lots of little sticky peoples wanted to touch me, but my human knows I have a limit when it comes to scratching. I like peoples who cuddle, not peoples who pull fur. She let some of the older ones cuddle me, but only until I told her I'd had enough. Then it didn't matter how much they asked. They couldn't see me any more. She's a good person, my human.
After a little more time in the pen, it was time to go home. It was back in the carrier for me. I must say, I wish more judge peoples had come to look at me. I like what I won, and can't understand why the human's so upset about the fact that the others didn't look. I know it was because they didn't need to. They know I'm the best. They know I know it too, which is why I didn't need visible evidence that I'd won. Even though we all know I'm the best, it still would have been nice to have more head rubs and scratches.
All of my competition things are white. They have to be because everyone else's are. Mine was the nicest white though, and I didn't even dirty my blanket with litter mess like the rest did. Some of them even sat in their litter trays, and one of them climbed underneath his. I furred up my blanket real good. Do I get a prize for that?
I got to sit out of the carrier on the way back in the car, but I must say, I was glad to get home. When we arrived, the human fed me lots and lots of fish and cuddled me even more than the fish she fed me. She showed me all the new toys she'd bought for me, but that will take a whole nother post there's so many! For now, I like my own space. She knows not to come looking for me after shows. I've been touched all day, and as much as I love her, there's a limit to my touching tolerance. I've sat with her a few times, but not as much as normal. I'm cuddling with her now, but on the other cushion of the sofa. I have to keep my mind on what I'm telling her to write, and her scratching distracts me because it's so good.
I'll sleep well tonight, and so will the human. We are both very, very tired (did I mention I'm coming for you, Bug?). We're going to put up three pictures out of the 27 that we had taken. The human says she thinks there's one where you can see my super cute tongue. I was practicing the bored, famous person yawn. I think I pulled it off.
Humate: Ok, t sachingealms ofculus ht.icappctus.W? BGols'accessible for me. I've tried everything i can think of short of just posting them on the web and linking to them. I don't really want to do that. i don't want anyone being able to tdownload them at will. ineed help here. Is there any way of anyone else being able to put them p for me? I have loads of them to share, and now that 've got them, want you all to see them! If any of you can tell me a way of overcoming this, I'll put them up straight away. I think people can guest blog with each other, can't they? If so, and one of you would like to voluneer to do the pictures in my posts, I'll set you up... if you tell me how. I'm desperate at this point!