For the finals, people crowd around the little judging areas. Each specimen is brought to the judges’ table and felt up like there’s no tomorrow. After each manhandling, the judge takes a wand with wiggly things on the end and offers it to the cat, who politely obliges by batting at it. It’s as if he knows he’s the cutest thing on earth.
“I just love his big, bold rectangular body and darling little nose,” one judge says while hanging a ribbon on a cage. “And he is our tenth best cat!” The onlookers respond with polite golf claps, but by the time we’ve reached the Best In Show (“Look at this nicely balanced body and warm cream coat, it’s like vanilla ice cream!”) the owners are shrieking and hugging each other. “It’s OK,” one woman croons to her Siamese as she carries it back to their little haven. “We’re all done now.”
The Anthony Wayne Cat Fanciers Show returns to the U-M Coliseum on Saturday, May 9.
[Originally published in May, 2009.]