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Published April 04 2010

Minn-Kota show: A cat-lover’s paradise

With every breed on display, from the average to the exotic, it’s a cat-lover’s paradise at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds this weekend.

The 113 cats featured in this year’s Minn-Kota Feline Club Cat Show are under heavy scrutiny as they vie to be named one of the best, but throughout the weekend, it’s fun for cat and owner alike.

“It helps if you have a cat that’s relaxed, more outgoing, and doesn’t mind all the sights, the sounds, the smells,” show manager Lisa Ferguson said.

“No. 1: It’s about spending time with your pet,” Ferguson added. “But we also have people from all over the United States come, and we have a common bond for doing this, so you make friends with people from all over.”

Patti Day, of Carver, Minn., travels to cat shows frequently across the central United States to place her cats in competition, including a Selkirk Rex shorthair named Wyatt.

“Some of them just absolutely love it,” Day said. “They’re in their element. He just has a grand old time.”

Among the perks of being a show cat is all the extra attention paid from owners and spectators, Day said.

“He’s one of a group at home, and he has to share Mom then,” Day said of nearly 4-year-old Wyatt. “But when he goes out on the road to the show, he gets Mom pretty much all to himself.”

The cats are judged once by each of the eight judges, and points are awarded on everything from the length of their tails to the texture of their fur.

Awards are given within four classes, but for many, the awards confirm what each cat owner already believes to be true.

“We all know that we have the best cat,” Ferguson said.

The annual cat show continues from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for 6- to 12-year-olds and free for children younger than 6 years old.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541