Well, I'm back from The National Cat Club Show 2007 at London Olympia. This is an old venue for exhibiting and it looks it but is a nice space. I think it is just the right size for this show. I found the GCCF show at the NEC a little to "extended" as the venue may have been a tiny bit too spacious.
I'm a little surprised at how fast the judging takes place. Also at this show there were no rings. "Rings" are areas to which cats are moved from "holding cages" to be judged.
At this show the judges go around with a steward (to help handle the cat) and a table on wheels where the cat is judged. They go to the cat in her holding cage as opposed to the cat being taken to the judge.
I changed my mind about Sphynx cats. I had thought them a little unnatural and frankly not that attractive, but I meet a really nice little fella called Casper, a 16 week old Sphynx who was just at an age when he could be shown and get some merit points.
He had an elder brother who was 16 months old. Touching a Sphynx is a new experience. They are covered in fine light brown downy hair and feel quite warm. They look a bit neurotic because they are thin but both these boys were great. The elder brother was really laid back and the kitten jumped around his cage looking for attention (see photo).
As you can see, Casper was eager to get out of his cage and be part of the action. As I photographed him quite a large crowd formed around his human companion, a nice helpful lady who let me photograph without interruption. I used a fairly cheap non SLR camera. The big problem with these is that there is a slight delay between pushing the shutter release and the shutter firing so if you are photographing a fast moving object like Casper it is hard to capture the moment.
I missed some shots for that reason. In this picture opposite he is trying to catch the attention of his Mom (bless), without success I can add.
I also bumped into the Blue Peter production team who were at the show recording for a programme which will go out in the very near future. For overseas visitors to this site (fine chance), and in case you don't know, Blue Peter is a TV programme that goes out in the afternoon for children. They were interviewing children with their cats.
Here's some more photographs and captions:
Blue Peter presenter Andy Akinwolere with Himmie and children. They had a great time with both.
Cat owner (I prefer companion) and a steward enjoying the company of this beautifully behaved white cat.
The National Cat Club Show 2007 show hall at Olympia. The line of white "boxes" in the foreground are the cages for the cats. The place looks a bit like a railway station. The show is a bit like being at a railway station in some respects. A lot of people but not much actual "show". Sorry but I'd like to see a bit more from the organizers. This is more than just a place to judge cats, it is also a show event for the public to visit at a price (£12).
Don't get me wrong, the show is good but I think it could be better with more input such as an announcer explaining where things are and what is going on. Or perhaps some sort of input to the public from the judges as they judge. It all seems so very private as if we were looking in on a private club going on about their busines.
More on the show in the next post.......
Photographs by copyright Michael Broad