Wayne Park held up the ridged cat for the onlookers.
“This cat has a beautiful long body, long legs, a beautiful profile,” he said. Then, thrusting the animal toward the crowd with a dramatic flare, Park declared, “This is your champion!”
Lady Rissa didn’t seem to care. As long as she didn’t have to take another bath for a while, she couldn’t be happier, said her owner Pat Decano.
The Spokane Cat Club’s annual show came to a close Sunday at the Spokane Convention Center. Park was one of six judges who examined more than 200 cats, before bestowing Lady Rissa with the top honors.
Like most of the entries, Lady Rissa then headed home to a life where she is “pampered but not spoiled.”
Decano, of Redmond, Wash., said she has big plans for her 8-month-old Oriental shorthair. It’s important Lady Rissa keeps a good disposition, Decano said.
At cat shows, the animals are picked up and picked over by the judges. A creature with an attitude rarely does well at such shows.
“If a cat doesn’t show himself off well, the judge doesn’t look good,” Decano said. “And judges like to look good.”
Most of the owners at the show denied lavishing their pets with extraordinary amounts of attention. “It’s nothing every cat owner shouldn’t do,” Decano said of her cats’ lifestyle.
But in the next breath, she explained how Lady Rissa gets a bath before every show and baby food as a special treat.
A breeder, Decano estimates that Lady Rissa is worth about $1,200. She expects the cat to do well in regional shows for the next couple of years. After that, she will breed Lady Rissa with hopes of duplicating her championship physique.
In addition to watching the owners primp and preen and the judges poke and prod, visitors to the cat show got a chance to see every type of cat product imaginable.
There was, of course, cat food and grooming products. But there also was cat pottery, cat quilts, cat jewelry, cat toys and cat shirts and sweat shirts (for humans, not cats.)
“Cat people like cat products,” one vendor said. “It’s hard to tell what cats like, other than themselves.”
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo