TICA brings the Cap­i­tal Cat Clas­sic to Wal­dorf

The Enquire-Gazette - - News - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @Tif­fIndyNews

The In­ter­na­tional Cat As­so­ci­a­tion (TICA) brought the Cap­i­tal Cat Clas­sic to Wal­dorf for the first time and fe­line lovers from all over flocked to the event.

The Cap­i­tal Cat Clas­sic was held on April 2 and April 3 at the Cap­i­tal Club­house in Wal­dorf fea­tur­ing ex­pe­ri­enced guest judges who chose their fa­vorite cats in each com­pe­ti­tion. Vis­i­tors saw more than 100 cats from var­i­ous breeds, in­clud­ing cats from the Tri-County An­i­mal Shel­ter, and heard the judges de­scribe the breeds’ colors and char­ac­ter­is­tics, while each cat com­peted for awards and re­ceived recog­ni­tion of their breed.

“This is the first time ever that TICA has done a cat show in Wal­dorf. We’ve done one in La Plata in 2005 and a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity pre­sented it­self to have it at the Cap­i­tal Club­house,” said An­thony Hutch­er­son, author of TICA World of Cats: “All Kinds of Purr­fect” col­or­ing book.

The Cap­i­tal Cat Clas­sic had 104 ex­hibitors and 130 cats shown some from all over the world, in­clud­ing Hutch­er­son’s Ben­gal cat, which ac­cord­ing to TICA is cur­rently the No. 7 cat in the world. Spon­sors for Cap­i­tal Cat Club’s TICA show in­clude Dr. Elsey’s Pre­cious Cat Prod­ucts and Vi­aGen Pets, a global leader in an­i­mal ge­netic preser­va­tion and cloning ser­vices.

On the side lines of the com­pe­ti­tion, vis­i­tors saw lots of cat toys, cat trees and cat re­lated gifts, so that each cat didn’t leave with an empty paw. Ev­ery per­son who came to the Cap­i­tal Clas­sic with a can of food to do­nate to the South­ern Mary­land Food Bank re­ceived a dis­count off of their en­try fee. Also, $1 for ev­ery adult who came to the cat show went to sup­port the 99Lives Fe­line Genome Project.

“Dr. Les­lie Lyons, [cat ge­neti­cist in part­ner­ship with the 99Lives Fe­line Genome Project], used one of my Ben­gal cats to de­ter­mine the re­ces­sive gene for glit­ter fre­quently seen in Ben­gals but orig­i­nat­ing from a ‘street cat’ in New Delhi, In­dia. The value isn’t a new gene that makes a cat shine, the value is point­ing out a trait on cats that live in the streets that no one thinks are spe­cial. That gene will cre­ate an­other fan­tas­tic con­ver­sa­tion about the beauty of cats and how each is lovely and a truly shin­ing ex­am­ple of ‘spe­cial’ learned from the col­lab­o­ra­tion of sci­ence and ap­pre­ci­a­tion,” Hutch­er­son said.

The In­ter­na­tional Cat As­so­ci­a­tion (TICA) ad­min­is­ters the rules for the li­cens­ing and man­age­ment of hun­dreds of cat shows in 104 coun­tries and work to­gether to pro­mote the preser­va­tion of pedi­greed cats and the health and wel­fare of all do­mes­tic cats through ed­u­ca­tion, re­spon­si­ble cat own­er­ship and proper care to the own­ers of mil­lions of cats world­wide.

“With TICA, the lives of cats can be saved. TICA and our clubs are pas­sion­ate about sup­port­ing shel­ters and res­cues to pro­mote the in­di­vid­ual unique­ness and beauty of ev­ery cat. By part­ner­ing with the Tri-County An­i­mal Shel­ter, TICA can reach other breed en­thu­si­asts who de­sire in­for­ma­tion and re­search about en­vi­ron­men­tal en­rich­ment for the daily lives of our cats,” said Roeann Fulkerson, TICA di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment.

Kim Stephens, Tri-County An­i­mal Shel­ter su­per­vi­sor, and the an­i­mal shel­ter staff were ex­cited to see some of the shel­ter’s adopt­able cats win a few of the cat com­pe­ti­tions and were honored to be able to part­ner with an or­ga­ni­za­tion such as TICA, which also pro­motes res­cue, neuter/spay for pets and place­ment in for­ever homes.

Rick Hoskin­son, TICA judge at the Cap­i­tal Cat Clas­sic, said a fe­male cat can give birth to more than three lit­ters of kit­tens in one life­time and that can con­trib­ute to the cat over­pop­u­la­tion right now in lo­cal shel­ters.

In ad­di­tion to help­ing con­trol the over­pop­u­la­tion of cats in shel­ters, TICA wants to con­tinue to raise funds to iden­tify in­her­ited dis­ease and genes that cause health prob­lems for both cats and hu­mans. Ac­cord­ing to TICA, some cat species are im­mune to retro­viruses and lenti viruses such as HIV. TICA feels it is im­por­tant to un­der­stand why cats are im­mune to those viruses and pass on that im­mu­nity gen­er­a­tion af­ter gen­er­a­tion. At the Cap­i­tal Cat Clas­sic, cat own­ers were able to learn more about cat health is­sues through a ba­sic fe­line ge­netic sem­i­nar at noon on Satur­day and Sun­day, pre­sented by vet­eri­nar­ian Heather E. Lorimer.

“Cats in gen­eral are also prone to kid­ney dis­ease. We know this be­cause, a lot of peo­ple’s pets died of kid­ney dis­ease and there has been some types of kid­ney dis­ease with a ge­netic com­po­nent, so we’re con­tribut­ing and try­ing to find out the genes that cause that. So far we’ve found at least one of the genes that causes kid­ney dis­ease in fe­lines and we can test the cats to see if they have that one type of gene,” said Lorimer, pro­fes­sor of ge­net­ics at Youngstown State Univer­sity in Ohio and chair of the TICA Ge­net­ics Com­mit­tee.

Ac­cord­ing to TICA, a cat show mod­els a unique con­nec­tion and re­la­tion­ship be­tween cats and peo­ple that few peo­ple had any knowl­edge could ex­ist and with the funds raised at the Cap­i­tal Cat Clas­sic, TICA will con­tinue to sup­port re­search to save the lives of furry, fe­line pets.

STAFF PHOTO BY TIF­FANY WAT­SON

The Cap­i­tal Cat Clas­sic took place at the Cap­i­tal Club­house in Wal­dorf on April 2-3 for many cat lov­ing en­thu­si­asts to come learn more about cat breeds and their ge­net­ics.

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