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NEIGHBORS : The Royal Treatment : Fans of the giant chair in front of Furniture King in Ventura should be happy to know it's been reupholstered.


Answer: About 8 feet.

Question: How tall is that giant chair in front of the Furniture King shop on Main Street in Ventura?

Admit it, you've been dying to know.

And here's some good news for those who view the chair as a symbol of the city, if not the county: It's been reupholstered. According to Mel Levine, co-owner of the store and builder of the chair, it was recently wrapped in 12 yards of 100% nylon in preparation for its starring role in a new television commercial, which should air locally in a couple of weeks.

Not only does the seat look more attractive, but, said Levine, the nylon will likely last longer than did the previous vinyl covering.

"It took a beating, when kids would come and put gang slogans on it and cut it up with a knife," said Levine. He doesn't think they'll bother with the nylon.

Have you noticed the signs in the Ventura County Museum of History and Art asking visitors to keep the noise to a minimum? They say, simply, "Quieter."

We can take a hint.

Levine manufactured the chair 14 years ago and used to cart it around to furniture shows. The chair, he said, has visited San Francisco, Las Vegas and Arizona. Both Levine and the chair have been in Ventura since the store opened in 1983.

And yes, Levine said, people do stop by to sit in the chair.

You probably don't want to walk your dogs--or your mice for that matter--near Cal Lutheran University on Sunday. That's where the American Cat Assn. is kicking off its cat show season, and there will be upward of 100 cats on hand for the occasion.

For those of you unfamiliar with the feline competition, judges group the cats by breed and then, basically, choose the best-looking of them.

"They judge each cat against a standard of excellence, what the dream cat of that breed would be," said Bill Brackenridge, vice president of the Kats Meow Club of Simi Valley. "Points are allotted to different portions of the cat." The most important parts: normally the head and body, he said.

But let's cut to the chase. With so many competitors under one roof, is there any tension? Are there any cat fights? "They get along real well," Brackenridge said.

Well, then how about the owners? "It's very competitive," said Brackenridge. "Generally, it's friendly, but like any other group of people constantly in competition, we have minor squabbles and petty bickerings."

Hey, it's to be expected. It's a dog-eat-dog world.

Sure, it's an advertising ploy, but we'll play along.

Last week, the Supercuts Inc. hair salon chain came out with a list of the top Olympic athlete hairdos. They said they gave free haircuts to 400 American athletes at the Olympic Processing Center in Tampa, Fla., the last stop for the competitors before they headed for Barcelona.

The folks at Supercuts picked their six favorite styles out of those 400 cuts and the list included none other than soccer player Cobi Jones of Westlake Village.

Jones' haircut, said a Supercuts press release, "is a sporting cut with a 'pineapple' effect." His hair, it said, is "long enough to 'spiral,' fanning out similar to the top of a pineapple."

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