The First Day of School

(or: The First Day at the Cat Show)

Will my teacher like me?
Will I make new friends?
Will I miss the bus?
When is lunch?
Will I wet my pants?
Will I like this school as much as my last one?
What will I wear?
Will I have homework?

Will the judges like my cat as much as I do?
Will I make new friends?
Will I make my plane?
When is lunch?
Will my cat do anything funny and/or embarrassing?
Will I like this class (premiership) as well as my last one (championship)?
Will the new cage curtains do?
Will I need to go home and plan more shows?

(courtesy of Maureen Kramanak and used with her permission)

To a new exhibitor, entering a showhall with your new cat really can be like the first day of school and fraught with the same sort of anxieties. The good news is that almost every exhibitor has had these feelings. Not just at their first show, but sometimes at the start of a new season, the first show with a new cat or new breed, the first show in a new region/locale.

The good news is that like that kind classmate who was there to show you the ropes (and where the bathroom was!) there is always a kind seasoned exhibitor to lend you a hand and fill you in on the details – and perhaps tell you when lunch is! If you find yourself feeling lost and confused, just ask one of the exhibitors benched near you. You will soon find that most exhibitors are very happy to help you.

You will also soon discover that the same skills that you used to help you figure school out work in the showhall. Be courteous to the judges and other exhibitors. Plan your travel time well. It may take a while to figure the new routine out, but you will. Accidents happen.

And the best lunches are those showhall spreads that folks bring to share. They’re even better when you can share something as well. It’s the adult version of swapping lunches!

No exhibitor is born knowing how to show a cat. It takes time to learn all the intricacies of showing (and grooming, and understanding just what IS going on at a cat show). And there is no ONE answer as to how to do everything.

Best advice: watch, listen, ask questions….and listen.