International cat show a treat for cat lovers
Feline lovers almost purred with excitement last weekend during DBKU-Smartheart CFA International Cat Show 2015 at Sarawak Youth and Sport Complex Hall.
CFA stands for Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats established in the United States of America in 1906.
There were two categories, pedigree and household cat, further divided into non-championship, championship and premiership categories.
This year saw 93 cats (34 from Peninsular Malaysia, 42 from Sarawak, 5 from Sabah and 12 from Thailand) of 45 owners fighting for the best.
It was the sixth year this show was held and this year attracted quite a crowd.
The emcee reminded the crowd to clear the way for cat owners carrying their furry ‘participants’ from the cages and judging tables, to keep an eye on their children, not to touch the well-groomed cats or use flash photography.
Most stars of the show looked unimpressed with their surroundings, a couple were meowing for attention, some were too responsive for their own good paying attention to anything that moved around them and the rest were oblivious to people as they napped adorably in their cages.
Equally fun to watch during the cat show were the owners or cat handlers.
Some owners were understandably protective over their feline children; not allowing the public to take photos or touch their cats without permission.
Some were more comfortable sticking next to their cats prepping them for judgement while others were seen mingling around with other cat owners as they watched the judging session.
The competition had nine foreign jury members judging including Etsuko Hamayasu (Japan), Yuko Nozuki (Japan), Nicholas Pun (Hong Kong), Carla Bizzell (USA), Kathy Black (USA), Irina Karchenko (Russia), Irina Tokmakova(Russia), Karen Godwin (USA) and Chloe Chung (USA).
In this year’s show, exotic cat breeds like the Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat, Persians, Abyssinians, British Short Hair, Bengal, Sphynx might steal many a feline lovers’ heart but for Sarawakians, many still had soft spots for our own Domestic Short Hair (DSH).
One of them was Salhah Mazlan, a 65-year-old cat lover who has been joining cat shows in and around Kuching since 1982.
“I have 15 to 16 cats at home. This year I only managed to enter one cat as a participant since the registration is a bit pricey. Usually I would have five to six cats joining a show at a time.”
For DBKU-Smartheart CFA International Cat Show, Salhah put 2 year-old DSH named Comel in the ring.
“I would make sure my cats are clean before they enter any shows. My winning records after all these years were varies; sometimes I won first or fifth place, sometimes I don’t.”
The Borneo Post SEEDS caught another pet owner holding a black and white Angora cat.
Fu Siow Hui came all the way from Tawau to participate in this year DBKU-Smartheart CFA International Cat Show. Her Angora cat is four-year-old Handsome, and this was his first cat show.
Siow Hui has been working as cat breeder and pet groomer for more than ten years.
“I have more than ten cats at home. Joining all these cat shows is just hobby for me.”
Wearing a cute feline printed white T-shirt, Kuching pet shop owner Fu Lee Hua had ten cats entering the competition but not all were hers.
“Some of these cats are my customer’s cats. I helped groom them for the competition,” Lee Hua said.
For Lee Hua whose first cat was a Siamese, she has always loved animals from young and her love was not limited to cats as she loved dogs equally.
Kuching North City Commission DBKU held its first cat show on Dec 20, 2008 at Kuching Civic Centre in which they collaborated with Sarawak Cat Club.
Organised by DBKU in collaboration with Hong Kong and Macau Cat Club, the international cat show not only encourages citizens and cat lovers to enter their cats at the competition but also promotes Kuching as a tourist attraction.
The two-day event was launched by Kuching City North Datuk Bandar Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai.