A week before the expo, the lifestyle photoshoot was scheduled with me, and Pet Express chose pictures to display on the big screen onstage during the judging.
For our photoshoot, we were given only ten minutes each cat to ham it up. And if you have taken pictures of your pets, you know how challenging that could be! Some were shy while others breezed through the shoot.
What challenged me to do my best was the dedication of these furbabies’ parents. Each came armed with a bag filled with essentials: treats, toys, crinkly things to attract attention, styling products – the works! It was also quite a family affair for some as family members cheered on for their cat. It had a totally different energy compared to the usual pageants which were more focused on the best in costume or which lasted for only a day. It was more like Survivor – and all the cat parents wanted to win.
In some ways, the contest provided a sense of pride and showcased a different level of human-to-animal connection. It promoted good health because a healthy pet was a beautiful pet, and a happy and loved pet was always a treat to the eyes. You just knew that the finalists were living their best lives and the pageant was done in the spirit of good fun.
What I found admirable was the bond that formed among the pet parents, who ended up supporting even the dog finalists. It was still a competition with their efforts evident in their social media campaigns, but since cats were involved, there was an air of unpredictability while the friendly atmosphere was still maintained throughout. Joanna Gamotia, digital marketing manager of Toy Kingdom and Pet Express, shared that the Dog and
Kitty Purry enjoys a calming hug from her mom while waiting for their turn to strut before the judges.
Yujin’s mom is a happy camper and really makes their first time in this contest count.