Breaking news for cat lovers: the Greater Baton Rouge Cat Club will be exhibiting two rare breeds at its 41st annual show on Saturday.
Then again, true cat lovers know breeds really don’t matter in the end, because their house cats are most special. But, hey, there’s a category for that, too.
“Yes, we have a category for household pets,” Larry Johnson says. “These cats are usually judged on how happy they are, how they enjoy attention and how they interact with their people.”
Johnson is the president of the Baton Rouge Cat Club. Notice how he refers to cat owners as the cats’ people. All cat households know that people don’t own cats; it’s the other way around. And this is most likely the case of the owners of the rare Burmilla and Chinese Li Hau cats to be exhibited at the show.
“These cats will not be judged,” Johnson says. “They can be brought to the judges, and the judges can look at them, but they won’t be in the competition.”
The Burmilla is a Siamese varietal. The Cat Fanciers Association has approved it for competition in 2015.
“The Li Hau has a tabby coat, but their markings are different,” Johnson says.
According to Cattime.com, the Chinese Li Hua, also known as the Dragon Li, is large and sturdy with “a striking brown mackerel tabby coat that is short and thick ... The lower belly is a brownish yellow with two vertical and four horizontal leopard spots. Black rings encircle the legs and tail, and the tip of the tail is black. On the face, a small black mark at the upper corner of the mouth gives the Li Hua the appearance of a smile.”
To date, only four Li Haus have come to America, and the Cat Fanciers Association’s youngest kitten in the country will be on display at the Cat Show.
“We’re excited to exhibit these breeds,” Johnson says. “And we’re looking forward to the competition among other breeds in the show.”
The Cat Club has received more than 150 entries for this year’s competition representing the 41 Cat Fancier Association recognized breeds from throughout the country.
“Our limit is 225 entries, but we’re not going to reach that number this year,” Johnson says.
Some of the more popular breeds will include Russian Blue, Abyssinian, Siamese, Persian and Maine Coon. Judging will take place at seven different stations during the competition; the Best In Show ribbon will be awarded at the end of the day.
Cats are divided into categories of long hair and short hair, which are broken down into divisions of kittens, whole cats that aren’t spayed or neutered, cats that are spayed or neutered and breed.
“The breeds begin alphabetically,” Johnson says. “There’s a written standard that goes with judging, and that standard comprises 100 points. We’ll have five all-breed judges and two specialty judges for the top 10 long hair and the top 10 short hair.”
All judging will conclude at 6 p.m., when the Best in Show will be announced.
“We’ll also have a vendor coming in to sell cat toys and other cat products, a jewelry vendor and Cat Haven will come in with cats for adoption,” Johnson says. “We’ll donate a portion of the proceeds from the show to Cat Haven.”
So, cat lovers, get ready to see some special cats, which may almost be as special as your own.