This past weekend, New York City played host to the CFA-IAMS Cat Championship, where felines from all four corners of the country were judged on aesthetics and athletics. We sent FourFour's Rich Juzwiak - Pot Psychologist, beloved pop culture chronicler and father to the feline internet sensation named Winston - to capture the craziness on videotape.
From what I can tell, cat shows and dog shows couldn't be more different. It's like comparing apples to oranges... or cats to dogs, for that matter. Or so it would seem, as I roamed the floor of Madison Square Garden's Expo Center at this weekend's CFA-IAMS Cat Championship.Whereas a dog show has a pageant-like, almost sterile vibe wrapped up in etiquette and handler-glamor, a cat show is more like a flea market (no parasitic pun intended). Sure, it involves formal competing (a Russian Blue named Blade Runner took this year's top prize), but the slow-moving, quiet judging is usually off in the periphery. It's the owners and their cats (often kept in gaudy gift-basket-like encasements) waiting in the middle who command center stage (so to speak). And damn it, that's where they belong. As I talked to people who've devoted their lives to their felines (and have the sweatshirts and Crocs to prove it!), I encountered none of the aloofness their pet of choice supposedly exhibits. In fact, all I had to do was point a camera at them to get them to talk all about their animals and the cat-show scene (it isn't catty, one woman assured me). No one even so much as hissed at me when I asked about the "crazy cat person" stereotype and whether it applied to them. Some of the friendliness no doubt stems from the fact that most of them are breeders and therefore salespeople, but I felt no pressure to buy after they'd given me some of their time and good humor. They're virtually dog-like! Which, bizarrely enough, is how many describe their cats. Video below.
Related: 'Barack' Beats 'McCain' For Purrfect Presidency [MSNBC] Cats Being Cathletes: An Afternoon At The CFA-IAMS Cat Championship [Deadspin]