Apr. 7, 2008
Chauncey the cat has a 'big' showing at Feline Follies '08
When I awoke the morning of April 5, I found, as usual, an orange furball tucked between my feet.
"So, this is the big day," I said. "Can you handle the pressure?"
The furball opened one eye and closed it again. I took that as a "yes."
So Chauncey, my ex-stray tabby cat, accompanied me to Feline Follies 2008, an annual charity cat show hosted by Cornell's Feline Club. Run mostly by veterinary students, the free event featured contests that pitted cat against cat in such categories as Shortest Fur, Longest Tail, Most Unusual Behavior and Most Stripes. Interspersed throughout the judging were lectures on kitten care, obesity and other topics.
When Chauncey and I arrived, the Veterinary College atrium was filled with kids, adults and veterinary school staff, swarming the raffle table, bake sale, face painting and other activities, all of which benefited the Cortland County SPCA. Tables full of educational material on cats were also available for perusal.
Feline Follies is now in its 17th year, according to Feline Club President Missy Turner '10. She thinks it's the unusual nature of the show that attracts people every year.
"There are not many places where people can bring their cats and show them off," Turner said. "People usually just keep them at home and don't get to bring them out."
Though he wasn't showing it, Chauncey was as determined as I was to come away with a prize ribbon. Competing against 15 other cats, he was shot down in category after category. For instance, he was edged out in Longest Tail by multiple-winner Marty, whose owner, Sarah Hammock, brought him to the event in a cat stroller.
It all came down to our last entry.
Now, I'm constantly reminding people that Chauncey is "not fat -- he's just big boned." Well, we proved it. I watched as judges Carolyn McDaniel and Kathy Earnest-Koons, instructors at the Vet College, palpated his wide rib cage and felt for his generous waistline. I placed him on the scale, and he topped out at 6.8 kilograms (15 pounds).
He came away the winner of the Healthiest Weight category -- in the Large Cat division, of course.