Monday, September 8, 2014

National Capital Cat Show 2014 by Harry Shubin

As my readers know, I do a lot of work with my local cat rescue - Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation. This weekend I attended the National Capital Cat Show with my family. To those of you who wonder why a person who is strongly for rescuing animals, went to a cat show...well, read no further than this guest blog post, by Harry Shubin, as to why!

Lost Dog logo
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Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation at the Cat Show?

 Cat Show Logo

This past Saturday and Sunday, LDCRF had a small presence at the National Capital Cat Show, sharing space graciously donated by one of our partner vets, Loudoun Cat Care.


If you've received an email from me directly, you've seen my signature - "Don't Shop - Adopt!" and you might wonder why LDCRF is not boycotting a "cat show" where cats and kittens will be sold.  There are several reasons, the most important of which is the opportunity to do more than "preach to the choir," in other words, to spread our message about the plight of homeless animals to people who might otherwise not think twice about purchasing a kitten. 
Many people who want a purebred cat have their minds made up, and for many reasons believe that a breed is the only cat for them.  Some of those people will not change their minds.  Others have just not yet heard the message.  Still others "know" about homeless cats, but want a Siamese, or a Persian... When I talk to potential adopters at our events, I usually work into the conversation the story of where our cats come from - the euthanasia lists of  various animal "shelters."  I am continually surprised that others are surprised that the cat they are holding would be dead, if not for LDCRF.  Many people who "have" to have a purebred don't realize that many apparent purebreds are available in the local rescues, and in breed-specific rescues.  This is our chance to teach them. 

LDCRF's Agnes - an apparent Siamese, recently adopted into a forever home

 Even for rescue folk, there's a lot of reason to attend a cat show.  Not only are there rows upon rows of toys, cat furniture, and fun cat-themed items, there is a lot of information available - information on nutrition and on behavior.  Many times responding to adopters with questions, we refer to the Conscious Cat, a website with a wealth of information on introductions, food, litter and behavior.

Author Ingrid King, the face behind the Conscious Cat and a sponsor of the show, with a display of Jackson Galaxy's Spirit Essences remedies for behavioral issues

Besides... where else can you see a cat powdered, and then taken by his paws, turned upside down, and shaken to remove loose powder - or observe someone touch up a cat's fur with paint.  Well, maybe it was make-up...

LDCRF's Agnes and Dr. Nefario 
Littermates Gru and Margo have already been adopted at the show!
The LDCRF booth at the show, in addition to finding a few cats forever homes, also gives us the opportunity to teach the very important message of spay/neuter.  What could happen if that message went silent?  What kind of cat show would there be in the future?
We're going to see cats, Emily. Real cats!" Rose's teeth chattered with excitement. She so well remembered the same visit she had taken as a child, when the Cat Show had come to the United States. "Ooooh, you mean cats like Tigger?" Emily's eyes widened at the thought of a bunch of Tiggers on display. "Nope. Real cats. Living, breathing, purring cats." "Hah! Everybody knows that cats are only in story books. Like unicorns and -- what's 'purring', Mommy?" Rose's smile widened. "You'll see, Pumpkin. You'll soon see. 

 Click this link to read the full story 

Harry Shubin 
Cat Volunteer Coordinator
Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation

Weekly volunteer email used with permission from Harry Shubin.

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