September 30, 2014

Costumed cats, show come to fairgrounds

Judges awardedthe costume title to King Cornish Rex last year. The Frontier Feline Fanciers will host a cat show, including a cat costume contest, at the Johnson County Fairgrounds this weekend. Submitted photo

Judges awarded the costume title to King Cornish Rex last year. The Frontier Feline Fanciers will host a cat show, including a cat costume contest, at the Johnson County Fairgrounds this weekend. Submitted photo

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
Witches, Harley riders and four-legged cereal killers will compete in Gardner this weekend.
Frontier Felines Fanciers will host its annual cat costume and cat show this weekend at the Johnson County Fairgrounds.
Joyce Kempf, event organizer, expects between 120 and 150 cats, competing in several different categories, will show this weekend. The event is similar to a dog show in some respects. Different breeds of cats will compete for top honors. Unlike a dog show, however, the cats won’t be on leashes and paraded around a ring. Instead, owners will bring the cats to the judges in cages.
“(Judges) call them up by their number and by their breed,” Kempf explained. “The exhibitors, some of them really decorate their cages. It might be Christmas decorations or something else. Some of them get really fancy with their cages.”
Kempf has been a cat fancier for years. She and her husband live in Olathe with five cats. Four are show-quality Sacred Cats of Burma.
“Everyone thinks it’s a long-haired Siamese,” Kempf said.
However, she said the breed differs greatly from the Siamese, especially in personality.

Submitted photo

Submitted photo

“The Sacred Cat of Burma is a lap cat,” she said. “They love to be on your lap.”
In order to be show quality, all four of their paws must be white.
With as many as 150 cats expected at the show, guests may see a wide variety of cat breeds. Kempf anticipates Persian cats, American Short Hair cats, Siamese cats, and of course, the Sacred Cat of Burma.
“Maine Coons are a really popular breed right now,” Kempf said.
Larger than a small dog, Kempf estimates they’re three times the size of a Chihuahua.
“The breeders are usually pretty good about talking with people at shows about their breeds,” she said.
The categories include Championship, which features pure-bred cats; Premiership, which features altered cats; kittens; and household pets. The household pets do not have to be purebreds and are judged for their personalities and how well they’re behaved.
Finally, the show will include a costumed cat category. Competing cats do not have to be purebreds. Kempf said she’s seen some memorable feline costumes in the past.
“One was a dragon. There were witches and princesses. There was one dressed up as a cereal killer. The cat had all these little boxes of cereal with knives through them,” Kempf said.
For the past several years, Kempf said the Frontier Felines Fanciers hosted the annual closer to Halloween. The location has differed. They’ve hosted it in Lawrence and in Kansas City, Kan.
“You kind of go where you can get your show hall,” Kempf said.
This year’s event will be at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in the 4-H building. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 30. Judging will occur throughout the day. Costume cat judging will be at noon.
Tickets will be available at the door.

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