If you've got a family member (like I do) who's always texting pictures and videos of their cat, then you might want to point them to the Evangeline Country Cat Fanciers Cat Show. This international cat exposition has all of the usual fancy-schmancy cats — long-haired, short-haired and all-breeds — but it also allows household pets (they call them HHPs) to compete for fame, glory and points.
It's too late to register your cat for this year's event, but it's fun to see Tiger, Max and Fluffy go up against the big guys. "Our shows are all about opening it up, or anybody who's obsessed with cats," says Rhian Morris, public relations and events executive for LondonCats Communication & Events.
She says the show is purr-fect for those doing research on breeds. "A lot of people come along to have an understanding of what it’s like to have a cat. Who’ve never had a cat before. People who are there for a surprise; we have so many different breeds. We have about 50 different breeds: Benghals, Lykoi — basically a werewolf cat, it looks like a werewolf — it’s crazy. Cats you don’t just see in the street; they’re incredible, so beautiful. We’re going to have a lot of Sphynxes; the one with no hair. We’ve got judges from the U.K. and around Europe coming to judge; we’ve got 18 different judges. It’s a three-day show which is unusual [compared to other cat shows]."
Morris says it's an exciting time of year, because they're coming to the end of the year-long season for TICA (The International Cat Association). "People are gaining points each time they come to cat shows. At the end of just before May we change over to start again.
"The most points you win you eventually win International Kitten of the Year, International Cat of the Year, and that's TICA-recognized. I work in an office in London and we have two or three trophies; one of the cats was TICA’s best Cat of the Year. He’s come in second, which is good, so far he’s done quite well," says Morris, adding that the cat's name is Stonehenge.
We're cat-proud on this side of the pond and Morris admits that the American shorthair tends to win a lot, which is pretty amaze-balls for an international cat show.
Morris will be flying in for the show, and she's looking forward to all things Texan. "My boss was telling me, 'You have to try some barbecue,'" says Morris, who's adding to her bucket list with one of the cat-centric novelties that vendors sell at the show. "I’m waving one at the one moment; one of these fluffy cat pens. It's quite distracting."
Topping the list for Morris is a trip to NASA ("I really, really think it’s extraordinary that man can go to the moon. It’s insane really.") and a search for just the right pair of cowboy boots.
"I’m Carrie Bradshaw. I’m a shoe girl; I wear shoes that have blue pom-poms on them. They look like speckled shoes but not so much. I actually will put my foot in a pair of cowboy boots," says Morris.
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Just don't expect any cat fashion or cat clothing at the Evangeline Country Cat Fanciers Cat Show; it's common knowledge that most felines won't tolerate getting dressed up in clothing. Although there are always exceptions.
"My cat loves his bow tie. Ed, my cat — literally — when I put him in the bow tie he becomes Kate Moss or Naomi Campbell," says Morris.
And if you run into Morris at the show, give her a big old, Texas-style "Howdy." You'll recognize her by the bags of souvenirs she intends to purchase. "Anything from the Houston Texans, Reese’s, pajamas, T-shirts and a foam finger. I love the stuff. It's weird. Cowboy stuff," says Morris.
The 2018 Evangeline Country Cat Fanciers Show runs 4 to 8 p.m. March 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 3-4, Houston Marriott North, 255 North Sam Houston Parkway East, londoncats.org.uk/evangeline-country-cat-fanciers-mar-2018 or ticketsource.us/evangeline-country-cat-fanciers, $3 to $15.