This is an excellent cat picture by AARON LAVINSKY of the STAR TRIBUNE of Marsha Tjeerdsma, of Springfield, South Dakota, grooming her Himalayan, “Hott Toddy,” before showing him at the 43rd Annual Saintly City Cat Championship Cat Show.
The picture caught my eye. It’s a very good photo. Initially I noticed the white powder lying around the cat. It’s quite visible. I have seen this before when accompanying Helmi Flick at a cat show in Oklahoma. She was photographing a white LaPerm (a curly haired cat). Tons of, what appeared to be, talcum powder (it may be something else like a grooming powder) fell out of the cat’s coat while she photographed him.
I’m sure it is normal behavior at cat shows for breeders to dust a white cat’s coat with a white powder to improve her appearance. Forgive my naiveté in these matters but how is this allowed? Surely the judge will notice this when handling the cat? I don’t know but I’d have thought the objective at cat shows is to judge the cat’s quality and therefore it should be unenhanced by artificial means. Clearly this is not considered to be cheating but it looks like it to me. It’s the cat world equivalent of drug cheating in athletics or am I being too harsh or have I missed something?
The cat looks uncomfortable but show cats must learn to accept the type of attention they receive at shows together with the noise and crowds. However, this brings to mind a conversation I had with the breeder/owner of a beautiful tuxedo Maine Coon I met another cat show in the USA. The breeder said her cat had grown tired of attending cat shows and it was time to retire him. I didn’t probe further and presumed that he had become a little fractious and irritated at being at cat shows and therefore was not on his best behavior. This probably went against him when being judged.
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