T and I renew our love of All Things Cat each January as we mingle with like-minded folks at the the Saintly City Cat Club Cat Show in St. Paul. Just when we think perhaps we are going overboard with our unabashed love of Olive, Oskar, and Orson we meet some people who are just a tiny bit more cat crazy than we are, and we return home to our kitty kids feeling ever so slightly less odd (and yes occasionally slightly superior to our fellow cat people).
"That lady with the tattoos of her cats who have passed away, now she is really making a statement about her life," I say to T, and he nods his head in agreement. We would never go that far in our declarations of cat passion. (I wonder how convincing I sound ... those tats are pretty neat.)
Cats and their owners are perched together in rows of tables that take up most of the auditorium. Cages are plastic or mesh, and I make my annual joke about the Cat in the Plastic Bubble. A pretty little cat sits in a cage behind an adoption sign. I giggle and start singing the Sarah McLachlan song that plays whenever the ASPCA commercials air. No one else laughs.
Long haired cats patiently sit on folding tables while their owners brush and fluff them into perfection. Cats are carried to the judging areas which sets within the interior of the auditorium. Small white boxes with wire fronts line the back of the judges table, and a few dozen chairs are arranged in front so that the public can watch judging. Unless you sit in the first row it is impossible to hear what the judge has to say about each cat. After each session the judge places tags and ribbons on the cages which owners collect along with their cats once judging is complete.
"I feel like I am cheating on our cats," I admit to our friend K as we wander from cage to cage, admiring the Persians and Maine Coons, pausing long enough to watch the judges award ribbons to the best Rex. She just smiles and asks a Ragdoll owner about a litter of kittens for sale. K, like T and me, already has three cats at home but she isn't opposed to adding another meow to her collective.
We've all got it bad, and none of us is very far from adding another feline to our clowder or cat tattoos to our limbs.