Show is just the cat's whiskers

Feline fans flock to national cat show

CHELSEA ARMITAGE
Last updated 12:42 30/06/2014
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MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ
FEELING FELINES: Judge Rod U’Ren of Australia cuddles a longhair during the National Cat Show in the Saxton Stadium yesterday.
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MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ
HOT CHOC: Judge Chris Merritt of Australia with Exotic Chocolate Tabby Dandari Tiger Lily.

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More than 150 preened cats were put through their paces in Nelson at the 40th New Zealand Cat Fancy national show.

The pageant cats sat patiently in their cages until they were examined carefully by international judges, some having judged for more than 45 years.

With comments about the winners ranging from "angular face, long body and proportionate tail" to "groomed to perfection, lovely expression, strong chest and solid build", the tension was palpable and self-esteem was running high for the winning cats.

Winners of each category returned to their blinged-out cages - most covered in glitter, sparkles and lace - boasting burgundy ribbons, medals and a raft of prizes.

With cats ranging from four months to 12 years old, including one hairless sphynx that provoked comments about a likeness to ET from visitors, there was plenty of competition.

But it wasn't just perfectly bred pedigrees shown at the Saxton Field Pavilion yesterday; companion and domestic cats also had their own category.

Local Joan Davidsen has been entering companion cats in national competitions for 19 years and loves it, she said.

"My 7-year-old scottish fold came first in the companion category and it's only her second national show," she said.

A new breed dubbed the cashmere was also on display by Cambridge breeder Maxine Jorgenson.

The male cat is the first long-haired bengal of its kind to be registered in New Zealand, she said.

Breeders and owners travelled from around New Zealand for the show.

Judges came from as far as South Africa, China and Australia, with South African judge Lynel Du Toit saying "how fantastic it's been to be able to handle such beautiful cats".

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- The Nelson Mail

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