It will be possible to take care of some Christmas shopping at the Festival of Pets today and Sunday at the Pasadena Convention Center, but the real lure is probably the unusualness of the event.
Yes, there will be about 150 cats, foreign and domestic breeds. And yes, a huge array of hamsters in all the newest colors, not to mention pet rats and mice. No dogs--that is, with the exception of one of the mascots of the show, Manalito, a Tibetan terrier. The other mascot is Stevie, a chinchilla Persian cat.
Dogs were admitted to a trial run of this show in San Bernardino last month and, according to organizer Byron Tassler, the result was chaos. Not only did the barking upset the cats, but the rabbits got very nervous and the llamas turned sulky.
Tony and Fernando
That's right, llamas. Tony and Fernando, by name. Along with Seva, an African wildcat with the coloring of a leopard and humongous ears; Twyla, a yellow-backed tarantula seven inches wide and five inches high; a four-foot-long iguana, a python, a pet skunk and a number of hedgehogs.
If you're only into cats, however, you may want to hold out for the Christmas Cat show being presented by the combined Los Angeles County chapters of the American Cat Assn. Sunday at the Glendale Armory.
There will be some exotica there too: Scottish fold cats, a new breed with ears that are folded down; tailless Manx cats; Somali, which is a long-haired Abyssian; and hairless Persians. Domestic cats should be in abundance. This is one cat show where it doesn't take a pedigree to compete and where competition is not just on appearance, but also on personality, health, temperament and grooming.
The Festival of Pets is expecting about 1,000 animals, a figure that includes 150 fish, 100 crabs and 50 turtles. It is being organized by Universal Registry in association with Wildlife on Wheels, a refuge for abandoned exotic animals and wildlife; Beach Cities Bunny and Cavy Club; the Pasadena Humane Society and a number of other nonprofit animal-oriented organizations. All will be plugging the need to spay and neuter pets.
In addition, this show has been designed to accommodate the visually and hearing impaired. Every animal will be labeled as to type and coloration and many will be available for patting. Don't bring your own pet to either show, organizers warn. Competition is closed. At the Festival of Pets, visitors will be voting on their favorite show entry, plus their favorite of each breed. The American Cat Assn. show will offer visitors a chance to enter their cats in future competitions.
Now, about that Christmas shopping. At the Christmas Cat Show, breeders will be offering a nice variety of fancy and domestic cats for sale and adoption. There will even be some cat movie veterans available, said ACA spokesman Phil Morini. Or "Purr-sonalities," as he called them.
The Festival of Pets will offer a special animal boutique. But for the pet who has everything, there's also the services of the sponsor itself, Animal Registry. This is a Long Beach-based organization that for $2.50 to $5, depending on the size of the animal--apparently anything from a fish to a horse qualifies--can be registered. Registration means a parchment certificate plus the establishment of files keeping track of the animal's progeny.
The ACA show will benefit the California State Humane Officers Inc., a private organization that offers support to humane societies throughout the state.
Festival of Pets: Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Pasadena Convention Center, 300 East Green St., Pasadena. Admission $4 for adults, $4, and $2 for children 12 and under.
The American Cat Assn.'s Christmas Cat Show: Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Glendale Armory, 220 E. Colorado Blvd., Glendale. Admission $2 for adults, $1 for children 12 and under and senior citizens over age 55.