is decorated with fabric that looks like piano keys. When they aren’t being shown to the judges in the U-shaped arena, the cats lie around, either inside their houses or nearby on a table or chair. A few deign to bat at toys offered by adoring owners, but for the most part they sleep or lounge and look around.
None of the cats seem at all perturbed. I don’t even want to think about what would happen if I shoved my cat into a container (even one as nice as these), drove him in the car, and then carried him over to a stranger who held him by the tail while running his hand backwards up his backside. Before that judge got halfway done he’d have only a shred of arm left, and Dr. Snuggs would shoot underneath something, hissing furiously, with saucer-sized eyes.
But these are show cats. They take in all of the handling—and the primping and coddling—with an air of feline entitlement.
A teenage boy, maybe sixteen, is holding a completely hairless cat upside down on his lap like a baby. His mother takes another cat from its cage and wipes it down with what appears to be baby wipes. “How do you keep him from running around?” I ask (without hair, it’s easy to tell this cat is a male). “Oh, you just hold him. But he’s not going anywhere—he’s getting his foot rubbed.” The cat looks at me, upside down. “Yeah,” the boy says to him. “You’re my baby.”