Cat show provides paws-itively fun time for feline fans

Feb 10, 2024

MIDDLEBORO — Cats are known to be curious.

Sometimes the same can be said for their fans.

When a cat show visited the Middleboro Elks Saturday, Feb. 10, residents Sherry and Stephanie Cowan, a mother and daughter, decided to attend and learn more about the cats on display. The show, which continued Sunday, Feb. 11, is hosted by the Cat Fanciers’ Federation and the Himalayan Cat Fanciers.

“We had never been to a cat show and we live in town and we are both cat lovers,’’ Sherry Cowan said.

They had already learned long ago that cats have unique personalities. “You have to win their affection,’’ Stephanie Cowan said.

Her cat Leo “follows her around the house like a dog,’’ Sherry said of Stephanie’s cat.

The show served as catnip to feline fans like the Cowans, who could observe a variety of cats and learn about them from their owners.

Providing education on specific breeds is an important part of the event, said show manager Debbie Isidorio. People often attend to learn more which type of cat would best fit their lifestyle.

Bengal cats, for example, have an exotic look but are not for everyone, Irina Zharkova and her son Daniel Ross said. Although they have an “extremely nice personality,’’ and are very smart, they prefer to be around their owners a lot, which make them better choices for people who are home much of the time, mother and son said. And Ross warned, “they put their nose everywhere.’’

Maine Coons are large cats with thick coats and friendly personalities that appeal to Kerry Ellen Avery, who lives, appropriately enough, in Maine. “They know their owners,’’ she said. “They comfort people in the way we need to be comforted.’’

The show also featured ongoing judging of cats in specific categories. They are judged on a lengthy list of standards specific to each breed and can include factors such as head shape, body size and quality of fur.

A popular category, household pets, is open to all cats, “whether they come from a shelter or just showed up on your doorstop,’’ said Isidorio.

The organization promotes keeping cats clean — any feline with fleas is automatically taken out of the show area, Isidorio said — and well cared for.  “We’re sticklers about the health of cats,’’ she said.

And, she noted, “we promote everything.’’ Although some cats have pedigrees, all have a place in the show.

And in people’s hearts.

“A cat,’’ she said, “is a friend for life.’’