Residents packed the Ellis County Youth Expo Center on Saturday to view domestic cats of all breeds during the Turkish Van Cat Club’s annual show.
This is the eighth year for the Waxahachie show, allowing exhibitors to earn show points.
“The cats at this show are in competition with cats all over the world for top cat show points. We have had show people from Russia and European countries at past shows. This year we had two entries from Mexico,” club president Kerry Dolan said.
Besides an international entry group, the Waxahachie show had two cats currently high in the international ranking.
Reeve Dolan, a youth exhibitor at age 12, was showing Zoom Purr in the household class.
“Zoom Purr was a rescue cat that my mother found in Kansas at a show. We all liked him and he came home with us,” Reeve said.
Presently Zoom Purr is ranked 35 internationally and won the first round of the show on Saturday morning.
“We encourage the youth to be active and show. It’s a lot like 4-H and FFA and some of these kids, their cat is their project,” Kerry said.
The purebred cats are shown by breed and whether they are a short or long hair animal according to the International Cat Association (TICA), who sets the rules for showing.
“Pure bred must have their claws, but they must be trimmed. We do show purebreds in an altered class meaning they have been spayed or neutered. For some cats, it’s best to spay or neuter them,” Kerry said. “For the purebred cats, it’s a beauty pageant.”
Show judge D’ann Kovic traveled for Plano to be one of the 14 show judges. Kovic, who is in her 18th year of judging, wore a Snoopy Christmas sweat shirt because it is her favorite Christmas shirt and to be a bit different.
“When judging, I look for overall balance of the cat with respect to the breed. I look for coat texture, thickness and how well the cat related to me. There is no aggressiveness allowed. This is a disqualifier,” Kovic said.
The Turkish Van is the pure breed of cat and where the club gets it’s name, Kerry said. Several cub members own Turkish cats.
“The Turkish Van breed is considered a pure breed that has not been crossbred. The breed began in Turkey and is shown in the purebred class,” Kerry said.
Several of the exhibitors came with their household breed pet otherwise known as a HHP. These have recently been allowed by the TICA.
“Many people start showing with HHP cats before advancing to the purebreds. HHO cats are recognized internationally and have their own points system,” Kerry said.
During the morning, the exhibitors were bust grooming and preparing their cats for the show ring. Many of the cats played with the brushes their handlers were using for grooming. Other were using their paws to push away the wipes for cleaning eyes, ears and mouths.
“If you plan to show a cat, you start out with them very early a kitten. Sometimes you have to use a toy to distract them but usually they learn to cooperate,” said Breanna Bergquist who lives in Austin. Her entry named, Dragon was busy pawing a feather while Bergquist was doing her final grooming touches.
An after their appearance in the ring there is the reward. For international supreme grand champion cat Jovan Tony Stark-Iron man, his reward is a baby food desert spoon fed by his owner, Francis Harshaw.