Colorpoint Shorthair among dozens of breeds at cat show

Cat Fanciers' Association Inc. held a show Feb. 24-25 in Lawrence Township

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Mad King George and General George Washington met head to head – and this time, King George won.

Mad King George the cat, that is.

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Also known as “Legs,” the Colorpoint Shorthair cat won the cat costume contest at the Cat Fanciers’ Association Inc. show, held Feb. 24-25 at the New Jersey Army National Guard Armory in Lawrence Township.

Gen. Washington, portrayed by Lawrence Township resident William Agress, was the guest judge for the cat costume contest. He chose Mad King George because the cat sported a costume that featured a crown and an ermine-collared robe, most likely similar to what King George III wore.

The Cat Fanciers’ Association’s two-day show drew more than 100 cats that represented dozens of breeds – yes, there is more to the cat world than the household kitty.

The show was a busy, bustling place. Four rings were set up for the cats to be judged. There was a steady flow of cats from cages to rings and back to their cages.

Pedigreed cats have a written standard that describes the ideal example of the breed, according to the Cat Fanciers’ Association. The organization recognizes 45 breeds of cats.

Kittens are entered in the kitten class. They are between four months and eight months old.

Once a kitten reaches eight months old, it is entered in the championship class if it has not been neutered or spayed. If the cat has been neutered or spayed, it is entered in the premiership class.

There is a household pet competition for cats that do not have a pedigree, and for pedigreed cats that do not meet the breed’s standards. Household pets are judged on appearance, grooming, health and condition, and temperament and personality, according to the cat show guide.

There is also a special agility competition for owners who chose to enter their cats. It is an obstacle course in an enclosed area. The cat’s run is timed as it climbs small sets of steps, jumps down and scoots through a tunnel and around the course. A “good” time is about seven seconds.

Charlotte Kooistra, who owns Legs, said the Colorpoint Shorthair breed is the result of breeding the Siamese cat with the red tabby American Shorthair cat. It resembles a Siamese cat, but with varying coat colors, she said.

Kooistra, who lives in New York City, said she has been showing cats for about 12 years. The family has had cats for years, including a Siamese cat. She attended a cat show at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and fell in love with the Colorpoint Shorthair breed.

Kooistra found a breeder and purchased Legs, whose registered name is Grand National Premier of Distinction Penelane Legolas Woodland Prince.

“The breed is people-oriented. They are like perpetual toddlers. They follow you around the house. They stay kitten-like. We had dogs and cats and hamsters. I like pets that are interactive,” she said.

While she enjoys cats – “I like all animals” – the social aspect of cat shows is appealing to Kooistra. “Cat owners make friends with other cat owners at the show, and they often socialize after it is over,” she said.

“It’s fun.”

For more information about cats and cat shows, visit www.cfa.org.

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