Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Kitty Con Carnage

The sign above is what started it all. If we hadn't driven by this after going to see the sled dogs, well, perhaps this post would have been on the gastrointestinal tracts of weasels. But, we did, and it isn't.

Perhaps I should clarify. The Mrs. saw the sign, and wanted to go. The thing that intrigued me about the show was that it was free. I can barely see myself going to a cat show. I cannot at all see paying to go to a cat show. The Mrs. wanted to go.

So, we went. As advertised, the show was at Pioneer Park. Pioneer Park, from the outside, looks like a fort, so if we're attacked by the Chinese up here, I imagine Pioneer Park will be the last redoubt. Or, maybe the army base. Probably the army base. Nevermind.

But, there is a nice auditorium, and when The Mrs., The Boy and I got there, we were confronted by this sign:

Now, I've seen signs before, but it was quite obvious that someone had spent time on this sign. A lot of time, indicative of a lot of passion, so, hey, that's a good sign. But, it's still a cat show.

The Mrs. and The Boy went out and about, looking at cats in cages. As a person who has been a cat quasi-owner, the idea of a cat in a cage makes me chortle a bit. Dogs are big fluffy bags of id, wanting human companionship. Cats are interested if food or petting is involved. Dogs want to make you happy. Cats want you to make them happy. So, I smiled as I saw the lines of gleaming steel cages. This was an event designed to make people happy, so the cats would definitely be pissed, I thought. This might be fun after all.

I was not disappointed. I took this picture of a cat so discombobulated by the show that it hid under the pillow. This was my favorite cat. Rather than just looking stressed, like many of the other cats, this one threw out the kitty equivalent of "the hell with this" and retreated to the safety of hiding under it's pillow, looking for all the world like a big furry orb. My last cat had this sort of behavior, but all of the time. It was like not having a cat, except for the feeding and the changing of the litter box. Sort of like having a benign intestinal parasite that left black hair on your favorite khaki pants.

Anyway, there were about fifty folks there. Of the fifty, six were adult men. Two (4%) were obviously reporter/photographers for the local papers. This would be equate to having 1670 reporters in the city of Fairbanks, population 32,000, if the ratio holds true. That is a lot of news coverage.

Three men (me included) were with wives and children. One had a big, fluffy cat. That left approximately 44 women and children. Mainly, women. Women who love cats. Really, really, really love cats.

The first cat up for judging was a very strange cat. Most cats are strange, but this one (I am not making this up) was thought to be some sort of cross-bred cat. It had extra cat toes, and really short, thick fore-legs, so that it's method of movement was not a cat-slink, but a bunny-hop. The cat weighed in (I'd estimate) at thirty pounds. It looked like a cat that a Neanderthal would have around the cave. Like all cats at the show, it won a prize. There were actually fewer cats than prizes, so I'd guess that most of the felines won multiple prizes. Not that they cared. As they were being judged, the one thing that was obvious was each cat was thinking, "get me the hell out of here. Now!"

The owner of this cat got up and told her story about the cat - it was obvious that the cat meant a lot to her, and she got very emotional. She looked very normal, and not at all Neanderthal-like. But, she really liked her bunny-hopping, thick-limbed, extra-toed, huge cave-cat.

At intermission, while they were preparing the next batch of victims, er, cats, we wandered over and looked at a display of art and stories from local 3rd-4th graders. My favorite is below:

This particular picture put me in mind of a giant Satanic cat, (the anticat?) who would really like to steal your soul. This is not unlike a real cat. A story (by a different youngster) nearby referenced a cat who, when taken in as a pet, took over an entire alien species. This is more ambition than I have personally witnessed in any cat, or in any group of cats. Soul stealing: plausible. World domination: too much work.

Anyway, the attention span of The Boy was depleted by this point, and we left. I thanked the nice head-cat-lady, and we went out into the snow.

So, they have cat shows in Fairbanks, on Sunday, when it's 20 above in April. This still seems a bit surreal, but, hey, this is Alaska. And, the cat show was free.


Blogger Woofwoof said...

It's nice to see that the proper animal order is restored in Alaska: Dogs sitting on a sled waiting to be pulled, cats hiding under a pillow in a cage. That's the way things should be.

6:36 PM  

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