For those who want to get in touch with their felines, the International Cat Show will return to the Anaheim Convention Center this weekend.
This marks the sixth Southern California visit--five stops in Anaheim and one in Los Angeles--for the show, which a spokesperson said draws more spectators and cats than any other in the country. About 30,000 people are expected to attend the Anaheim affair.
This year's edition will feature more than 800 pussycats, ranging from pampered prizewinning purebreds to household pets (some of them former pound inmates). Some 42 breeds will be represented, among them the Sphinx, Bengal, Scottish fold, Japanese bobtail and the Maine coon.
A new variety--one that has yet to be designated a breed--will be putting in a special appearance. The Munchkin, as it's known, is catdom's version of the dachshund. Dr. Solveig Pflueger, a geneticist overseeing studies of this cat, said that about five Munchkins are expected to be on view in what will be the second such display of the cats. They were formally introduced at the New York show in March.
According to Pflueger, there were reports of Munchkin sightings in England during the 1930s and in the Soviet Union during the 1950s but that it wasn't until 1983, when a short-legged cat was found in Louisiana, that the breeding program began. Like dachshunds, these cats' short are the result of natural--not man-made mutations.
Pflueger--who travels with the show's Munchkins--believes the cats will eventually be accepted as an official breed. "But these things take a while," she said, explaining that a number of generations must first be observed and studied.
The show will, of course, have the requisite spate of competitions, which will culminate beginning at 4:30 p.m. Sunday with 90 minutes of presentations for best of breed and, as the purr-fect grand finale, best of show. Other competitions will include the Cinderella Award for shelter-adopted and other rescued cats whose lives took fairy-tale turns, and a Jonny Cat look-alike contest for cats resembling the black-and-white "tuxedo" kitty on the Jonny Cat cat sand bags. (Owners of would-be contestants for any of the competitions should call the information number for the show listed below.)
Also featured will be a feline emporium, with goodies for both kitties and their doting humans. Among the items available for the furry ones: bejeweled collars, special exercise toys, kitty "condos" and even videos that have action scenes of birds, fish and squirrels. At the recent New York show, the emporium also was selling little galoshes. But a show spokeswoman doubts that those'll be on view in Anaheim: "Southern California cats don't have to worry that much about the rain."
What: The International Cat Show.
When: Friday, June 28, from 3 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, June 29, and Sunday, June 30, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: The Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim.
Whereabouts: Take the Santa Ana (5) Freeway, exit at Katella Avenue, turn right (west); center is across from Disneyland.
Wherewithal: $6 for adults on Friday; $8 for adults Saturday and Sunday; $4 for senior citizens; children 12 and under admitted free if accompanied by an adult.
Where to Call: (818) 896-3875.