Home Team Favored at Annual Fur Bowl


About 150 cat lovers from throughout the Valley pulled themselves away from their television sets on Super Bowl Sunday to attend the Winter Festival cat show.

“Since it’s Super Bowl Sunday, gentlemen tend to stay home, so it’s a lot smaller than it was last year,” said Jean Mejia, show manager and coordinator. “What we have here today is a small but friendly show, and people are enjoying it.”

Last year, when it didn’t have to compete with the most-watched sports event of the year, the event drew more than 200, Mejia said.


Those who did attend the sixth annual show, sanctioned by the American Cat Assn. and held at the Granada Pavilion, saw cats of all imaginable varieties, such as hairless, bobtails, Persian, Siamese, tabbies, calicos and Maine coons. There were big cats, small cats, old cats and kittens of virtually every breed.

In all, 63 entries in five categories--short hair, long hair, spayed or neutered, household pets and kittens--were examined, stroked and coddled by six judges.

Despite the presence of exotic and rare breeds, the cats that garnered the most interest from judges, participants and cat fanciers were those entered in the household pet division for mixed breeds.

“Although we have a wide variety, the household pet exhibition is the most interesting because of the beautiful coloring and patterns . . . it’s what nature created,” said judge Debbi Okoniewski.

A three-year judge, Okoniewski said she got started in cat shows after learning about the household pet division.

“People don’t realize that those cats can be shown, and as it turns out, those are some of our best cats,” she said.