The sport of exhibiting cats is more than just making finals. In fact, that is probably one of the least important aspects of exhibiting.

The show hall is where you will make lifelong friends, and establish relationships with folks working with your chosen breed. These are people you will learn from, establish connections with, and turn to for advice. You’ll cheer each other on, and console each other on disappointments. Eventually, they may be the person whose shoulders you cry on when you lose a beloved cat, because no one else will understand the pain you are going through.

This is where you will meet people who love cats just as much as you do. But only if you realize that it’s the people and the hobby, and not the rosettes, which are the true prize.