WISKAS 2nd INTERNATIONAL CAT SHOW OF INDIA
|"SHOW RING" table and venue of the cat show in Mumbai|
The first cat show in India was held in Bangalore on Saturday April 27th and Sunday April 28th 2013 at the "Chancery Pavillion". It was a success and now Mumbai was awaiting its first cat show and the same was held at the "Stallion Banquets" in Prabhadevi.President Mr Shree.Nair of "I.C.F(Indian cat federation)" had informed me about the show in a e-mail letter but since i was on a tour of Indonesia in August/September 2014 couldn't keep in touch with the organization of this show
On arrival in Mumbai read the advertisement of the cat show in Mumbai and did speak to Mr Shree.Nair over the phone happy that at last Mumbai would be exhibiting a International cat show.Was also sad that although the owner of two cats with the venue walking distance from my house in Old Prabhadevi just wouldn't be able to exhibit them at the cat show.Tomcat "Matata" was shy of strangers and violent with other cats, a miniature leopard in character. As for cat "Matahari", she was recovering from a abscess wound and hence not in "show condition".
Saturday(27-9-2014) :- Walked to the venue from my house and on entering "Stallion Banquets" at approximately 1000 hrs was surprised to find a almost empty hall with a few cat exhibitors. Visitor timings for the show were from 1300 hrs to 1900 hrs while the cat exhibitors were allowed entry at 0900 hrs and hence surprised to find most of the exhibit cages empty, something rarely seen in any dog show in India.Met Mr Ganesh.Srinivasan(Vice-President of Indian Cat federation) from Bangalore with whom i had a brief conversation and finally did have a face to face talk with Mr Shree.Nair.
The "Internet World" is basically anonymous and people can be strangers for life although buddy friends or acquaintances over the "Internet" ! Hence it was excellent meeting Mr Shree.Nair in person and had a brief discussion on the show and reasons for lack of participants.Had a discussion with Mrs Anneliza.Hackmann and was not surprised to learn that Germany had a cat club in almost every town with numerous cat show around the Country. Photo(L) :- Students of the Bombay veterinary college whose services were utilized for conducting the cat show.
Later strolled around the small a/c venue and came across facebook members of "Mumbai cat club" and "Persian cats, breeding and upbringing". Meehnaaz.Khan had brought five of her cats to the show, all Persians while Mr Shahab.Ali had flown from Hyderabad with his cat "Snowy" proving that cat fancy in India is not nascent.I thought that it was only in U.S.A and first World country's that pet owners travelled by air across city's for pet shows.All the volunteers at the show were students from the "Bombay veterinary college" in Parel wearing "Whiska's shirts". Went home for lunch and later at approximately 1500 hrs returned back to the venue.The cat show was in full progress with each individual cat being examined on the "Traditional judges table" , being judged by South African Dr Johan.Lamprecht( WCF All breeds judge). He is shown examining feline "Christina" owned by Mrs Meher.Ansari. she had dressed her cat in clothes, humanising the pet.Had a discussion with Dr Johan.Lamprecht and was surprised to know that in South africa it was mostly the minority white population that kept cats as most of the majority negro Africans associated cats with witchcraft ! Seems even in the 21st century superstitious beliefs about cats is still prevalent in certain societies.
Yet surprisingly South Africa has numerous "Cat Shows" in every city. Strolled around the venue busy scribbling notes, the unofficial chronicler of this event , something i hoped to witness in my life-time.Came across beautiful and well bred Persian cats ,all bred in normal Mumbai climatic conditions. Their coats were in excellent condition.Had a talk with German Petra.Muller(President of Middle East cat association[MECATS]) and was amazed to learn that she lived with 325 cats in her villa in Dubai.She was responsible for getting the natural street cat of U.A.E/Dubai as a recognized breed by the " World Cat Federation" in 2008 after conducting 5 years of research and breeding..This cat was named the "Arabian Mau" cat. Took a photograph with Petra.Muller for a been there, seen that and having met a lady responsible for discovering and creating a new "Cat Breed".
She has also published a book on this cat breed and "National Geographic" did a documentary on this new cat breed finally giving it International recognition.Met Mr Dev.Purbiya who sported the best looking moustache akin to his cute and rare Longhaired Persian cat "Bella".This show had been sponsored by "Mars India International Pvt Ltd" a leading pet food manufacturer in India, selling the famous "Pedigree" and "Whiskas" brands for dogs and cats.Dr K.G.Umesh of "Whiskas" explained the life cycle and behaviour of a cat to the audience over the internet screen projection, very informative to the average cat owner.Later in the evening the final judging of the show cats was done on the main show ring.Judge Mrs Anneliza.Hackmann examined each competitor for various traits. The winners were declared in each category akin to a dog show, based on age, sex and breed. All the cats were of the "Persian breed" and hence no variety in the competition as in a "Dog Show". In Mumbai every cat owner seems to prefer the "PERSIAN BREED" and i was surprised at not seeing a single Siamese cat, once a very popular pet cat. My first cat as a child in the 1960's was a Siamese cat. Mr Dev.Purbiya's cat "Bella" won the best of best in the show.The show culminated at approx 1900 hrs, a sparse crowd and a entertaining and educative day of cat beauty and cat fancy.As usual went home and quickly updated the photographs and my personal opinion of the show, encouraging cat owners to participate in this unique first cat show in Mumbai city.
Sunday(29-9-2014) :- My internet advertisement review of the cat show proved effective and did receive queries about the venue and method of reaching the same. Went to the cat show in the afternoon at around 1430 hrs and was happy to see the auditorium full of cat competitors as well as spectators. Saw a few new cat breeds, one being a exotic tabby coloured short-haired Persian cat with "Overshot upper teeth", a major defect in cats.This cat would be a excellent pet cat but definitely not a show cat.The tragedy of selective cat breeding by breeders is that many inferior specimens that have defects are usually euthanized at birth, a negative aspect of the World of cat fancy and cat shows.
If a breeders cat wins at a show then its breeding value increases and hence many cat breeders do their utmost to win at shows.In Country's where cat shows are common the competition is fierce and the jealousy among breeders intense, a total cloaks and daggers game of one upmanship.Saw this breed of cat for the first time in my life and although a poor specimen of the breed type it added variety to the show .A Spanish lady living in Mumbai and a friend of Meehnaaz .Khan had brought her "Street cats", the typical common stray cat of Mumbai for the show.These cats and the exotic short haired Persian were the only two different breeds in the total "Persian breeds" on display. The Bombay veterinary college along with "Indian cat Association" will be doing research work on the "Mumbai street cat(Stray)" and hope to create a recognized street cat breed called "BILLI(Cat in Hindi language)" in a few years akin to the "Arabian Mau" created by Petra .Muller..Met Mr Arnab.Chakrabarti, a "Facebook" acquaintance who was a regular on the internet, very active in internet discussions and opinions."Whiska's" were conducting a "Cat Quiz" and on participation won a prize, a cat mug and pet food for cats.
Gave me ideas of participating in "Kaun Banega Crorepati" ! Met various cat owners and their cat exhibits. A few people congratulated me on the article written about the cat show where thanks to the "INTERNET" anyone can become a "Citizen journalist", something unthinkable and not practicable just two decades ago.Met Mrs Juwairiah.Majid who had come to the show after seeing my article on the "Internet".She had arrived with three cats out of which two were traditional Persian kittens worth Rs 80,000 ! This was the costliest pair of local bred cats that i had come across in Mumbai although in dogs such fancy prices are not uncommon.I have seen German Shepherd dogs worth lakhs of rupees at a dog show in Mumbai.Later Dr Umesh conducted a quiz on cats and i won a prize, a cat mug.After being a active cat owner , blogger and member of various cat sites for years , most importantly "P.O.C(Pictures of cats)" this "Cat Quiz" was simple .Having been for numerous dog shows during my lifetime realized that "Cat Shows" were conducted in a similar manner as dog shows as far as categorisation of class ,breed and sex were concerned.
Dr Ashish.M.Paturkar the Associate dean of the "Bombay Veterinary college" was a honoured guest and he gave a short talk on the future of getting the Indian street cat recognized as a new cat breed "Billi(Cat in Hindi language)". Later as the evening progressed there was the presentation of cats of various ages into the show ring for judging the best cat in that class.There was the "Kitten Class", "Elder Cats Class ", "Persian Cat Class" and a few other prizes. The most coveted prize, the best of best cat in the show went to 6 months old "Bella" , owned by Mr Devendra.Purbiya and bred by Mr Sudhakaran.Aaskar in Bangalore. Met a local cat enthusiast Mr Bakhtiar.Khan from Breach Candy who had more than 30 cats in his house and well known among cat fanciers in India. Ultimately at the end of the cat show every cat owner did go back home with some consolation prize.At the end of the show Mr Shree.Nair made a announcement that the next "Indian Cat Federation" show would be held in Bangalore in February 2015 and another show in Delhi in the same year. The idea is to popularize cat shows in every city in India and a beginning was made in Mumbai, India's commercial capital; Mumbai should now host a cat show annually as there are numerous cat enthusiasts.As for me hope to enter cat "Matahari" in the senior cat group in the next cat show and awaiting the same as would other cat fanciers wanting to showcase their pampered cats.