Last weekend, fellow Cat Writer’s Association member Ramona Marek and I shared a table at the TICA International Cat Show here in Portland. Ramona and I have done several cat shows together, and they never cease to amaze me with their friendliness and diversity.We were the only book vendors, Ramona with her definitive cat “owner’s manual” Cats For The Genius and me with my Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series. Among the cat toys, food, art, beds, and jewelry, we were well received.
I don’t think people expect to but books at a cat show, but those who didn’t make a purchase (and receive the added perk of the author’s signature and personalization) took postcards and bookmarks. Some people prefer ebooks, and will look them up online.
My biggest problem at the cat shows is staying at my table. With the beautiful cats in their gorgeous little kennels, the ongoing judging rings, the cool stuff the vendors’ booths, and the cake, I am constantly distracted.
Yes, cake. A tradition at TICA shows are the many sponsored cakes, cut and served with coffee and tea all day long. If you need another reason to go to a cat show, cake is one.
Like the hero of my series, I personally am into rescue cats as opposed to breeds, but cat shows have come a long way since early days. Two local shelters had booths at the show, and one adopted out several cats while there. The most notable was to a man who had never had a cat before. He loaded up with cat stuff from the vendors so he’d be all set when they got home, and spent time talking to Ramona about what to do. (Needless to say he bought her book)
The show also has categories for household pets which definitely expands the fan base. Some of those “mutts” are amazing. A few years, a kitty from a shelter booth won the People’s Choice award!And the breed cats are outstanding. Wow, giant Maine Coons, Sphinxes, Persians, Siamese, everything!
I’m glad to say breeders are beginning to turn away from breed attributes that are harmful to the cat, and embracing health and well-being for their wards. Most are raised “underfoot” and not in kennels. TICA helps finance many studies on improving cat health for all cats.
This is the last show I have planned for a while, and it was a good one. I’ll let you know when one comes around again and hopefully you can drop by.
These are not your grandmother’s cat shows, and as a grandma, I should know.