I used to go to the Cat Show every year when I was fostering cats for TVAR (Tri-Valley Animal Rescue) and later Safe Cat, which spun off from TVAR. Cat fosters felt that TVAR was too dog-centric and wanted to form a cat-centric rescue group.
I stopped fostering three years ago and kept three cats that were not adoptable and one that came back from adoption. I gave up my other foster cats to fosters who were better at getting them adopted. The last Cat Show I attended with Safe Cat was in November 2010. I bought a Christmas-themed T-Shirt and Sweat Shirt at that show, but I wear them all year round.
I finished up my weekend teaching responsibilities for University of Phoenix on Sunday morning and drove down to the Alameda County Fairgrounds a little past noon. I expected to see the Safe Cat booth near the entrance of the building, which is where we were when I took foster cats to the shows. The ticket taker at the entrance told me the adoption booths were moved to the back.
I walked all the way to the other end of the large exhibit hall to the Cat Rescue booths in the back. I didn't recognize the person at the Safe Cat table. She had four cats, including a 7 month old Siamese. I was surprised he was still available. Email Safe Cat at [email protected] if you are interested in adopting him or any of our other adoptable cats.
The Safe-Cat booth was next to Maddie's Fund booth. Maddie's Fund was founded by PeopleSoft founder, Dave Duffield, in honor of his dog, Maddie. I didn't know they added cats to their rescue efforts.
The volunteer for Maddie's Fund noticed my TVAR shirt and said they were allied with TVAR to provide cat rescue. With the addition of the Maddie's Fund cat group, TVAR should become more cat-oriented again.
I walked back through the breeders' area to look at the different cat breeds. Some, like the hairless Sphynx, are strange looking, but the big, fluffy Maine Coons and cats with funny ears, like the curls and folds, are cute.
Cat shows are not like dog shows. Dogs trot around a ring and stand at attention like little soldiers. Dogs love to perform, but cats are "examined" by the judges for conformance to the standard. The judge handles the cat on a table and picks up the cat like a floppy toy. The cat just has to go along with it. My cats wouldn't.
My cats also wouldn't run an obstacle course like the Agility course at the front of the building. Dogs jump over barriers and run through hoop tunnels and weave in and out of fence poles, but CATS! How do you train a cat to do that?
I saw a crowd gathering around the Agility cage just before 2 pm. A woman was trying to entice her cat with a string toy to go over a jump. The cat was not interested. He preferred jumping on the fishnet sides of the enclosure to look at the spectators.
A Japanese Bobtail, Zoom, was next up. Zoom was the star of the Agility course. I don't know if Japanese Bobtail cats can "look into your soul," as the card from the breeder, Megan Antijunti at Hoofnpaws claims, but Zoom was very quick, very smart, very cute, and very friendly. He really did zoom around the track and accomplished all of the stunts with only a little coaxing from Megan.
I like looking at the different breeds of cats to see all the varieties, but with so many cats available for adoption at local shelters, even purebreds, unless you really want a specific breed and can't find one from a shelter or rescue group, please consider adopting a needy cat first.