International Cat Association Show Set March 11-12 At Space Coast Convention Center in Cocoa
By Maria Sonnenberg // February 3, 2017
big deal for purebred cats and their humans
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Miss Swan, the cinnamon Abyssinian, wowed the judges last year at the International Cat Association cat show in Cocoa.
“The judges were just going crazy about her,” said her proud cat mama, Diana Knapp of Pt. St. John.
Knapp’s comely cinnamon Abyssinian purred her way to Best in Show in her ring, even though at age six, Miss Swan is considered “mature” among show cats and she had been out of the show circuit for a couple of years, busy raising families of equally handsome kitties.
The Cocoa cat show is a big deal for purebred cats and their humans, so you would expect Miss Swan, named for Pirates of the Caribbean character Elizabeth Swan, to attend this year’s cat show, scheduled for March 11 and 12 at the Space Coast Convention Center in Cocoa.
Her owner will not miss it for the world and Knapp will be there, in addition to show Miss Swan, to also sell cat-themed jewelry to the 1,000 visitors expected to attend.
“For me, it’s an awesome show right in my backyard,” said Knapp.
For anyone remotely interested in cats, the show, hosted by the Mystical Moon Cat Club, is an opportunity to see some cool cats.
Potter, for example, plans to be there. One of the top eight cats in the world, Potter, whose impressive official name and title is International Winner Supreme Grand Champion Altered Calicoon Stormy Weather, wins just about any show he enters, so expect him to walk off with some serious awards in Cocoa this year.
Potter’s regal personage will appear at the show primarily because his owner, Guy Allis, is one of the event organizers.
This is the third year for the show, and exhibitor turnout has been so great the club has had to turn some cats away in previous years.
“We’ve expanded the show this year in light of the interest,” said Allis.
Approximately 250 show cats are expected to compete.
Attendees will be able to see rare breeds of cats they may never see again, breeds such as the Napoleon, the the Scottish Fold and the Sphinx.
“Spectators will be able to walk through the show hall, pet cats of virtually every breed, ask questions of exhibitors and breeders and observe the judging,” said Allis.
For serious cat fanciers such as Knapp, the show is big time indeed, attracting some of the top show cats in the world. Only three other shows of this caliber – two on the west coast and one in St. Augustine – are held in Florida.
Folks familiar with dog shows might be surprised by the laidback ambiance of a cat show, but they shouldn’t, if they know cats at all, for this is a show where the cats are in command and any cat person will tell you never to expect a cat, no matter how well-bred, to prance around a show ring with the wet eagerness of a golden retriever.
During the judging, cats do their thing, playing with this and that while judges inconspicuously examine them. Any show dog would be amazed at how much those show cats get away with during a show.
Unlike dog shows, cat shows use the cages that hold the kitties before judging as part of the event. Because felines expect privacy, show curtains are integral to the cage’s setup.
Exhibitors usually go all out in decorating the show curtains cages according to a specific theme. Since the show’s theme this year is “Renaissance Cats,” expect cages worthy of a feline Medici prince.
Beyond the cats, the vendor village offers visitors plenty of unique gift opportunities.
Proceeds from the show will benefit the SPCA of Brevard, which took a significant hit from Hurricane Matthew last year.
“They can use all the help they can get,” said Allis.
In addition to a lump sum donation, plus donating a dollar to the SPCA from each spectator fee, the Cat Club is also holding a cat food and kitty litter donation drive to help the SPCA with the kitties under their wing.
The SPCA will also have an informational booth available to educate the community on their work and they will have cats available for adoption during the show.
The show is run according to set by the International Cat Association, the world’s largest registry of pedigreed felines.
Admission to the International Cat Association Cat Show at the Space Coast Convention Center, 301 Tucker Lane, Cocoa, is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and military and $4 for children under 12. Show hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, March 11 and 12.
For additional information, visit Facebook/MysticalMoonCatShows
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