Kittens inspired for glory

Saintly City Cat Club hosts annual show in St. Paul

Griffin Fillipitch

What: 36th Annual Championship and Household Pet Cat Show

Where: Exhibition Hall at the River Centre, 75 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul

When: Jan. 28-29

Cost: $4 for adults, $3 for children and seniors

YouTube, if you are doing YouTube right, is basically a giant cat show. But any cat can be cute while wearing mittens and sitting in teacups from the comfort of its own home.

This weekend, the Saintly City Cat Club will bring a much-needed competitive edge to the world of cat cuteness with the 36th Annual Championship and Household Pet Cat Show. It is time to put up or shut up, cats.

OK, that may be overstating it a little bit. Anxiety may be high for exhibitors who tour the country, entering cat shows along the way and collecting national points throughout the year. But show manager Linda Mae Baker said, “I think this year it will be fairly laid-back. We’re going to have a good time.”

Baker expects the show, which will bring ”&undefined;3 cats from across the country to Exhibition Hall at River Centre in St. Paul, to have a community feel. It is held in conjunction with the St. Paul Winter Carnival.

“I did a survey of spectators and found that it’s repeat people that come year after year,” Baker said. “You have young and old people, single people and people with families. People from all walks of life. It’s a big mixture. A lot of these people come year after year, so we get to know them very well.”

Humans, while somewhat important, will not be the focus of the event.

Cats will be evaluated by six different judges over the course of the weekend.

“There’s a written standard for each breed, so we look for that first,” said Beverly Wood, returning as a judge of the show. “There are times where it can come between two cats and you have to go with what you think is most important as a judge.”

Most things that judges look for are physical, though personality does play a part.

“If they’re going to attack the judges, they’re not going to do well,” said Baker. “Judges don’t like to get bit.”

Attendees will get to do some of the judging as well. A Spectator’s Choice award will be given to the cat that the fans choose. The highest honor of the weekend, however, will go to another cat.

“Winners in the household pet category are made king and queen and get special crowns and capes,” Baker said. “They put on a great show. It usually draws a crowd.”

Exhibitors and spectators travel from as far away as Texas and California to be involved with the Saintly City Cat Show, but they are not the only ones.

“Vendors come from several states to sell all kinds of things,” said Baker. “Cat food and vacuums for cat hair. This year we’ll have someone selling cat jewelry.”

It may sound too cat-centric for a casual fan, but the cats themselves will not be complaining.

“You can tell that many of the cats like the attention,” said Baker. “They’re kind of hams.”