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FFGW... At the Cat Show?

Posted by Harry Shubin on

Saturday, October 29, FFGW will be staffing a booth at the Cat Fanciers of Washington Show.

 

 

Why would a rescue show up at a show of purebred cats, a place where kittens are bought and sold? Besides the obvious reasons – the chance to have some cats and kittens adopted, to raise money by selling items from our booth...

 

 

...there is one very big, very important reason. No, it’s not the opportunity to shop the rows upon rows of cat toys, cat furniture, cat gifts…

... though that’s a pretty good reason! Imagine an entire exhibition hall full of cat admirers, in addition to admired cats. An entire exhibition hall of people who are eager and willing to learn about cats, and to hear information that may be new to them – information about rescue, about spay/neuter, and about TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return). Besides... where else are you going to see cats in strollers??

While it’s true that the mantra of rescue groups is “adopt, don’t shop”, there is a perhaps surprising amount of common ground between rescues and responsible breeders. Responsible breeders – besides taking back their cats if ever a purchaser is unable to care for them – also would like to live in a world where shelters were empty, free-roaming cats few, and nearly every cat born was bred because someone *already* wanted that particular cat. Rescues would like nothing better than to be out of business – because there were only wanted cats, and no cats needing rescue.

Many people who want a purebred cat have their minds made up, and for many reasons believe that a particular breed is the only cat from them. Some of those people will not change their minds, but for others, it comes as a surprise that, for example, there are no truly “hypoallergenic” cats (see here) and for still others it may come as a surprise that many rescues such as FFGW often have apparent purebred cats (several Siamese just in the past two months) – and a surprise that there are breed-specific rescues. For some, the simple knowledge that there are cats in need of rescue – can be life changing, causing them to look beyond cats for sale and instead to rescue – or even to volunteer. For others, the cat show provides an opportunity for an introduction to TNR – Trap, Neuter, Return – the most effective way to manage a population of unowned, free roaming cats. The audience of cat aficionados at a cat show is the perfect audience for the message of rescue and TNR. What would happen if that message went silent? Perhaps, a very different kind of cat show:

“We’re going to see cats, Emily. Real Cats!” Rose’s teeth chattered with excitement. She so well remembered the same visit she had taken as a child, when the Cat Show had come to the Unites States. “Ooooh, you mean cats like Tigger?” Emily’s eyes widened at the thought of a bunch of Tiggers on display. “Nope, Real cats. Living, breathing, purring cats.” “Hah! Everybody knows that cats are only in story books. Like unicorns and – what’s ‘purring’, Mommy?” Rose’s smile widened. “You’ll see, Pumpkin. You’ll soon see.”

Click Here to Read the Story: http://cats.about.com/cs/advocacy/a/thecatshow.htm


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