This is a photo of a young cat or older kitten taken at the CFA (Cat Fanciers' Association) National Capital Cat Show held in Chantilly, Virginia, USA on 9/11/2011 and 9/12/2011. Unfortunately I was very busy helping a girl friend sell product at the show and did not get back to the owner(s) to get the information on this cat/kitten. In the CFA a kitten can be shown from the day it turns four months old until the day before it turns eight months old. At eight months it becomes a cat and is shown in either Championship, a whole male or female or in Premiership if the cat has been neutered or spayed. I do not know how old this cat/kitten is. He/she is not full grown, that I know for sure. The Maine Coon is the largest breed of cat in the CFA. It is the oldest naturally occurring breed within the United States and is the state cat of Maine. They are a very gentle and loving cat and just love to flop all over you. Be prepared to spend some time grooming this cat, although not nearly as much as a Persian, as they do have long hair. They come in a wide variety of colors and color patterns. I'm afraid I do not have the information on this specific Maine Coon.
The National Capital Cat Show is the second largest show in the US and there were a number of cats from Europe in attendance. I think there were cats from Japan there, but I'm not positive. There are usually Asian based cats at the show. I know there was one breeder from New Zealand there. I'm not sure of the exact count at this show, but between kittens, Champions, Premiers and Household Pets, there were 400+ cats in attendance. If you love cats and have a chance, I highly recommend that you attend a cat show. The information on US CFA cat shows can be found on the Web at www.catshows.us. If you go to a cat show, come prepared with good walking shoes, your camera (no flash allowed so photos can be difficult but worth the effort). Many exhibitors will allow you to pet their cat, but not everyone. The "rule" is to always ask first and never to try to touch a cat while it is one its way to or from a show ring. Some cats don't mind being petted by lots of people and others do. A Persian owner will probably not let you pet their cat because of all the work required to groom the cat prior to it being taken to the ring (I explained the Persian showing process in an earlier photo taken at another cat show). It is also the polite thing to do to ask before you take a photo of the cat, they are very aware of the shutter noise, and to tell the exhibitor that you are not using flash. If the cat is being groomed right then for its next ring or it just got back from a ring, the exhibitor may say, "not right now". So, you say thank you and go look for another cat and come back at a different time. You will see that most cats when they are not in the ring or being groomed for their next ring are in the cage/shelter and many times they are sleeping. Just look, do not try to reach into the cage or tap on the shelter. I am telling you all of the above from the point of view of someone who has shown cats and from the stories that go around the show hall. the cats are judged by breed first and they are judged against the breed standard and not against each other. When the judge has judged all of the cats in that class (each judge does this and it is like each judge has their own show) then they will announce of the speakers that a particular judge is doing his "final" and the cat numbers of the top cats (against breed standards) is called up to get their ribbons. The judge will then talk about each of the cats and will usually, but not always, take the cat out of the showing ring cage and hold it up and explain why he/she liked the cat. There are multiple rings and judges. The show can be for one day or two. The biggest shows are two day shows and have 8-10 rings of judging going on at the same time. There is always something to see, so plan on coming early and staying the day. Don't just come at the end of the day because when a cat is finished with its schedule for the day, the exhibitor will take it home/hotel so there are fewer cats in the hall at the end of the day, especially on Sunday at the end of a two day show as many of the exhibitors have to catch planes home. There is no money involved in winning any of the awards. If you have a really good cat, Championship or Premier, and want to "run it" for a National Win, then you will be flying or driving to a cat show as many weekends as possible throughout the year (May 1st to April 30th). At National Capital there were cats from all over the US, Canada and a number from Europe and I think Japan and Hong Kong and at least one from New Zealand. Even for a US exhibitor, showing a cat for a National Win will cost $10,000 and up. You have show entry fees, a lot of airline flights with the cat, who has to pay even though it is under the seat in front of you, hotels and meals. It is not an inexpensive hobby. If you are a breeder, having national winners in your blood line is helpful in selling kittens, either show quality or pet quality (which they will insist be neutered or spayed because it is not of the quality to being shown and should not produce offspring. I hope I have not bored you with all of the cat show information.
I do not know the number of cat shows in the UK, CFA is an Intertational group and cats and judges do attend shows in many countries if they are going for a tops spot.
Camera information: Nikon D200 with 18.0-70.0 mm lens, 1/8, ISO 250, focal length 62 mm, lighting source set to cool white fluorescent, taken in raw, no flash, hand held
Tags: Photo journalism
Pets and captive animals
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