If someone told me that buying a Persian kitten for a pet, way back when, would have turned into traveling the world and writing books, I would have laughed my head off.
It all started with a Red Tabby Persian named Pojo’s Moving Target of Bara. I bought Target and was invited to a cat show one state away. It was there that I learned, within seconds, that I knew absolutely NOTHING about grooming cats. But then why would I know anything about cat grooming up until that point? I’d never groomed any animal before setting foot in a show hall.
When I took Target home with me, he came with a couple of lovely, silk rosettes. I figured he MUST be a great show cat if, at the age of four months, he’d already earned some of those lovely rosettes.
Target, as nice as he was, was not a super stud in the show ring. But one thing he did do was give me an education!
blow dryer, combs, pin brushes, shampoos, more shampoos, cage curtains, powders, nail trimmers and various other assorted tools = $2138.92
travel and entry fees for one year = $6337.27
piles of beautiful, silk rosettes = $0.00
an education in show grooming a cat = $priceless!
Along the way, I had the wonderful opportunity to show many beautiful Persians. Some of them went on to win Regional and/or National Awards. The highlight of my career was during the 2004-2005 show season when I ran two cats simultaneously for Regional and National Wins. The unspoken show rule was “one cookie per customer” but that didn’t deter me. I had two really nice cats, and I fully intended to show them!
That year I showed a Brown Mac Tabby GC, GP Man-Atzakat’s Call Me Crazy of Bara and a Blue & White Van GC, GP, NW Chantilylace Groucho Marks of Bara, DM at the same time. Mark was a better cat than Crazy and, most of the time, would place higher in the top 10 finals. But hardly a final went by where I didn’t have two cats to carry up and two cats with two rosettes to carry back. At one point, I showed GP Cotn Hill’s Monica of Bara to get her grand points and ended up with three cats in the final! Considering a judge only pulled up 10 cats for a final, I had 1/3 of the reigning cats in show! I admit I rather enjoyed showing that year.
The show season ends in April and begins afresh each May. For most of 2004, Mark sat at #1 in the nation as well as in the Southern Region, where I live. Crazy ranked 11th in the Southern Region. Things were looking good. Out of the top 25 in the biggest and most competitive region on the planet, I would have two of the winning cats. And the #1 cat in the world!
By early spring 2005 the campaigners were out in full force. The competition was hot. At nearly every show I went to, Mark had to duke it out with two other fantastic bicolor Persians. It was head-t0-head, and it was tough! Especially since the #2 cat, riding our tail, was bred and owned by one of the Southern Region judges who was actively judging shows. And the #4 cat was bred by another judge and being shown by yet another. We were doomed and we knew it, but we forged ahead anyway, ever hopeful to keep our top spot.
But then a surprise came along. In March of that year, we were blessed, rather unexpectedly, with another child. Katie, our youngest, joined our family at the age of 3 1/2 years old. She was such a surprise and such a blessing to our family. And she needed, more than anything, a momma. Mark, Crazy, and I let go of our silk ribbons and took hold of a little girl.
The boys slipped in their rankings. Mark fell to 3rd and earned both a National and Regional award. Later that year he achieved his Distinguished Merit award. Crazy slipped to 28th in the region. Only the top 25 get a spot of recognition. No matter. We know how great he is, with or without an extra title. Instead of a trophy sitting on the mantle, getting dusty with time, Crazy has a little girl to snuggle with each night as we read bedtime stories, say our prayers, and drift off into dreamland, at the end of another day.
Posted on 01/27/2011 at 08:30:00 PM
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