I am going to do it, make a real foray into the strange and mysterious Cat World. The cat culture has been tugging at me for some time (see R#x quest, Flickers, finches, purrs and hugs, and Pedigree) as I corresponded with breeders, tried to master the art of cat conversation, and wondered if I should get those cat-motif checks. But now, as an official cat owner, I am able to delve in in earnest. With the breeder’s encouragement, I have registered Pearl for the upcoming "Devon Heaven" cat show in Denver. But that was just the first step. I knew I was really committed when I also asked about and then ordered grooming products for her. Yes, I have bought various shampoos and conditioners for a cat that range from $4-$10 a bottle. I rarely do this for myself so what am I thinking? Who knew there was a market for such things?
She'll be entered in the kitten category and I don't know what to expect at a show or what categories they are judged on. But I do know that I want her to win something. I find I really care. Isn't that weird? I really want for her to look her best. (I think most cats do get ribbons, though, it keeps people coming to the shows.) And hey, who knows, she might meet her future mate there. Hence the fancy shampoo.
The main shampoo is a dark purple color, called Snowburst, that is really for white cats. According to the breeder, though, it works great on darker cats as well. The idea, I think, is that it takes the yellow color out of their coat, so her grey will be greyer and darker (a white cat would be less yellow too, and more white). Stunning. I can't wait to see how it works. Here are some “before” pictures, and I’ll try arrange some “after” pictures so you can all see and let me know if the cat spa treatments really do make a difference. She seems to enjoy being pampered, coming as she does from a long line of champions, but am I not sure she will be looking forward to this shampoo as much as I am. It will be like Princess Diaries for cats.
To put her looks in perspective, a neighbor boy came over the other day. He is a great kid, about six years old, who is wonderfully transparent, with no ability at artifice. When he first saw Pearl, his face dropped, he made a disgusted face and asked, "Uh, is that what cats are supposed to look like?" Really, I can't blame him for thinking something was wrong with her. These cats do look odd. Ah well, what is a mother to do???
And then there is the cage-decorating contest with the theme of "Mid-September Night's Dream." What do you think, should I do a sparkly fantasy paper maché oyster design with my Pearl inside? Should I go with the watered taffeta the tabby was named for? Or just a lot of dreamy greenery? Fairy wings maybe?
In the end, though, there are a lot of other things going on right now, so think I'll just treat this one as a reconnaissance mission, lie low, quietly observe, take notes, and report back at the end of September. I would like to reassure you all that I have not gone off the deep end, but I can’t. I'm not so sure myself.