Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Notes From a Cat Show in Madrid

- The show is held on the second floor of a hotel whose ambiance is basically "the kind of place you think would host a minor cat show." Admission is €4. If you get hungry, you can buy a piece of homemade empanada or cake to eat off a napkin. You can also buy cat beds, cat brushes, cat clippers, cat carriers, and cat eye-goo-removal products. The vendors have surprisingly elaborate set-ups. You might wonder if these vendors make their living this way, traveling the world working the cat-show circuit, a cottage industry for a cottage industry. You wonder if anyone has bought anything today.

- The Feline Club of Spain has a coat of arms.

- Languages heard include Spanish, Italian, French, English, and Russian. The level of camaraderie is high. One woman takes photos on her iPad, which has more than 5,000 photos on it. Something tells you a high percentage of these photos feature cats.

- Pedigree cats are apparently even more elaborately named than racehorses. Actual names from the program: Sweet Spices Ego, Toy Tricksy Magic Moment, Wallhala It's My Life, Jet Stone Tornado of Gragamelcat, Songgwangsa White Is the New Bunny, Kikapoo 2 Nude 4 U of Kuorii.

- The cats are slung by their owners from judging ring to judging ring, where they're placed in cages to await their turn. The judge removes one cat at a time, stretches him out, and runs her fingers along his contours. Only occasionally is verbal judgment passed: "Nice coat." "Short legs on this one." Once, a cat's color is questioned: "Could you show me the golden on him, please? I just don't see the golden."

- Part of the judging involves waving a cat toy at the cat. It is unclear whether friskiness is rewarded or punished. You are never not surprised by which cats get ribbons.


Previously by this author: The Best Renditions of "American Gothic" by Spanish Teenagers

Gillian Brassil teaches English in Madrid.

43 Comments / Post A Comment


GILLIAN, WHERE IS MY SPECIAL FRIEND, the depressed little guy in the corner?! is that him splaying his claws in terror?


Lot of great potential commenter names there, guys. "Kikapoo 2 Nude 4 U of Kuorii"? Yes, please.


Googling Kuorii expands my vocabulary to include the word "cattery."


@Rock and Roll Ken Doll
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?

Of names of this kind I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum --
Names that never belong to more than one cat.


One of my favorites ^_^@j


Oh no this article was way too short, I need to know so much more about this.


@Rock and Roll Ken Doll

Consider me haunted.



I think we're under attack by an aggressive spam filter!

What if I add some spaces to the URL? I don't want ANYONE to miss this!

http:// www.scrimshaw- kuo rii.co m/


I think there's a spam filter at work here! Put Kuorii on your Googles and pick from the top results.


@Rock and Roll Ken Doll Yeah, also everyone should know that this website will help you earn so much money per week sitting at home on your macbook! As long as you have a very loose concept of what "money" is.


@Rock and Roll Ken Doll

All the eyes, the unblinking eyes...

up cubed

@frigwiggin: Thought process upon seeing Google images "HAHAhahaaah..oh my god..all the eyes, all the unblinking eyes... those eyes are following me...


@upupandaway I'm impressed by how they got the cat to sit still for all those photos. With his flat little face!!!


"YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!" - Me the entire time I was reading this.


Racehorses have nothing on purebred dog and cat names - I say this as someone who grew up accompanying my dad to dog shows across the Pacific Northwest in a van full of German Shepherds.

(There are naming conventions - they'll generally include one or more kennel/cattery name plus a given name that is usually themed to a litter. For example, my parents' corgi is "[Sire's kennel]'s Bob Dylan of [Dam's Kennel]" from a rock star themed litter. We just call him "Bobby.")


The catshow I went to here in OKC was one of my favorite things. Also, did you guys know that there are HOUSEHOLD PETS divisions in cat shows, where you can enter your no-breed, fixed friend in competition? If my cats weren't scared of other cats and people, they'd be winners, I tell you. WINNERS.


@lovelettersinhell Your cats sound like my cats. But they're all (shedding, overweight, lazy, skittish) winners in [our] hearts!


@lovelettersinhell OMG I want to take my cats to a show now! They get compliments at the vet office, that means they're champions, right!?
This is how stage motherism starts...

sarah girl

@lovelettersinhell Oh man, I want to do this! The vet always compliments my one cat about the color of his coat...


Also, how cute is that little Bombay beauty in the poster? <3 you, black cats!

Jenny Cons

So, I might be the only one who has done this, but I've noticed that animals in foreign countries respond better to their home language. It was more than just the tone of voice, because I swear that the stray cats in Rome responded better when addressed in Italian.


@Jenny Cons I know only a little Spanish and no Italian, but I hope the stray cats in those countries recognize (and welcome) a universal squeal of delight followed by that tch tch tch "come here" noise that cat owners make, because that is what will happen if I see a cat when I am in those countries this summer.

ETA: And then my husband will stand around looking impatient and embarrassed while I sit on the ground petting the cat as long for as it will let me.


@olivebee I do this too!


@editrickster I totally did it with the stray dogs in Athens - it was great walking home alone late at night, you'd get an escort.


Ahhhhhhhh. Oh my god, I love this. I LOVE THIS. Remind me to drag my boyfriend to the next cat show that comes to the Cow Palace. (I went to a dog show there with my family when I was ~11, but I don't remember much about it except that we didn't have very good seats.)





OMG Chicago people we should totally go to this.

There is a felinepomorphized (is that a word?) cartoon of the state of Illinois on the web page!


@Rock and Roll Ken Doll Annnd there is a cat show in my town next month! Thank you!


@Rock and Roll Ken Doll how did you know I was frantically searching for the next one near Chicago? Let's rent a bus.


@Rock and Roll Ken Doll Boooo, the only shows in California are five hours down south. I wonder if I can trick Mike into it by making him think we're going to Disneyland...


@wallsdonotfall Let us go to the cat show! (Points both arms dramatically toward the exit). Onward!


Here is a $1/off coupon!

If my car hasn't completely exploded by then, I can drive!

Jenny Cons

New England peeps, there is one in May in New Hampshire and the tag line is "meow free or die" http://catshows.us/seacoast/


@Jenny Cons I might just have to go.


@Rock and Roll Ken Doll Holy crap yes! This will totally make up for missing the state fair.

tardi to the party

@frigwiggin Look! There's going to be something in Pleasanton April 6th: http://fliers.cfanorthwest.org/CrowCanyon/


@tardi to the party Oh my god yessssssss


ah great minds... i definitely went to a dog show while i was in paris. they had beer on tap, and alongside every trophy was a bottle of champagne. also, someone did the dog dancing thing to the amelie soundtrack. needless to say, it was perfect.


I went to a mardi-gras themed cat show a while back! There were beads and jester hats, and ribbons for "best nose." One man was passing out business cards that were just pictures of his cat and a phone number, like a purebred escort service. Many cat-themed earrings, denim vests, and tiny velvet cat-sofas for sale. There was a gun show happening on the other side of the exhibition hall. I snuck into the gun show but I was carrying a cat toy so they sleuthed that I was not one of them and I was escorted back to cat-land.


I went to a cat show in my town and it was pretty much exactly like this. If there is ever a cat fanciers event in your area, GO.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

I went to a cat show once! It was back when I made jewelry, and my friend and I set up a booth to sell jewelry we made. It was pretty awful. People thought that my cat jewelry was human jewelry and vice versa. (One lady who brought her little kitty with her and asked me to help pick out a bracelet for it to wear as a collar. That was okay.) One of the organizers asked me to hold one of my nicest pieces for her, and she never came back to buy it.

On the bright side, there were so many cats! I surreptitiously pet some of them.


In cat news, just now I had to break up a cat tryst in the walkway beside my house because it was distracting me from watching 'Walking Dead.' Orange cat gave me a perfect "fuck off, cockblocker," look.


Precious Pets, in Madrid you can carry them with something like this: http://es.puntcentric.com/madrid-1/c/mascotas/

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