Sunday, November 19, 2006

These Cats Need a Pool!


Hell, they’ve got everything else here at the San Mateo Cat Show. Little pink hammocks to relax in. Matching purple bowls to eat delicately out of. Fancy Feathered Toys always waving for them. It’s Cat Heaven.


PLEASE DO NOT USE BATHROOM SINKS FOR EMERGENCY CAT WASHING. THERE ARE EMERGENCY CAT WASHING SINKS LOCATED IN PROMANADE 8A FOR THIS PURPOSE.

I stare at the sign and think, hell these cats need a pool, no matter how great the Promenade is. Emergency bathing for so many cats? Only an Olympic sized pool would do the trick. Or at least it would seem. Even though cats hate the water, I bet one of these special breeds is a Water Cat.

“Are you from Europe?”
I glance over at the Insane Cat Woman who’s just plopped down in the seat next to me to watch the judging for the Maine Coon cats.
What do I say to the Europe question? Something in German? “Nein, Ich bin auf California, bist du?” But I resist this temptation just in case she is German.
“No, I’m from California, not Europe.”
Insane Europe Woman glances at me skeptically, “Me too. I thought you were from Europe because of your shoes.”
I glance down at my odiously ugly clogs that I got free from the Chandler Apts that my sister hates. See, Snart! I look like I’m from Europe cuz of these shoes.

Well, at least at the Cat Show I do.

Are You From Europe Woman gets bored with me and my shoes, and turns to her breeder friends sitting behind her. “Did I tell you about Blue Cat?”
“No, darling do tell.”
”Well I emailed him about one of his kittens. He was asking $3400 for it which I thought was a bit steep so I forwarded the pic of the kitten to a friend of mine and he said, no way don’t you even think of buying that kitten. Look at its ears. They’re huge!” And so I wrote Blue Cat back and said, thanks so much for your time and your email but I am really looking for a kitten with smaller ears. And you know what he wrote me back?”
Gay Breeder leans closer, “Do tell!”
“He said, ‘I am sooo sorry that I was not able to meet your needs with such Special Circumstances!”
“ The Nerve!”
“Can you believe it?”
“Oh I believe it, honey. I believe it! You know what you shoulda written him back and said?”
“No, what?”
“You shoulda written him back and said you don’t want any kittens that could be dubbed ‘Dumbo’!
AYFE Woman guffaws. “Yeah! That’d woulda cooked his goose!”

“I have an Abyssinian and they’re a kick!”
I nod at a seemingly normal young woman, dark brunette hair framing her pale face. But I shoulda seen it. That crazed look in the eye. She had it.
“My Abyssinian has so much energy! He’s like a dog.
“Really? Like does he come when you whistle?
”Oh yeah! And he dances too.”
”My! That’s impressive.”
”Yes it is. I put a little cowboy hat on him and he does the doesseee doe.”
She grins and starts to do a little skip to demonstrate.
“Wow! That’s amazing.”
”Yeah, and can you believe that he does it on top of the refrigerator?”
“No.”

“This music is actually me singing. All songs about cats. It does include What’s New Pussycat, but it also has original cat songs by me. “
I nod. Pick up the pink CD and glance at the list as Cat Singer eyes me hopefully, her smile ready to crack her face open.

My Cat Belongs to ME
Pussy Cat Pussy Cat
I Left my Cat in San Francisco
The way you wear your Cat

I put the CD back on the table, and give her an encouraging smile. “Looks like a nice selection.”
“Yes, it is. But I have to tell everyone that’s it’s me cuz they just think it’s background music.”

“Look at this Big Guy! Wow aren’t you a handsome Big Boy!
JL coos at the bored giant Maine coon cat lolling about in his princely blue situation.
“What’s his name?”
“Willie.” Can’t Be Bothered Breeder kinda pays attention to us, but really she’d rather talk to her friend. Undaunted, JL presses on. “How much does he weigh?”
“17. I don’t let my cats get over 20. Once they hit 20 then it’s no more food for them!”
“Were you the one that the judge had a hard time lifting?” JL asks Willie who stares at her, completely in love.
”Oh, NO!” CBB Breeder now wants to clarify things for us. “That wasn’t Willie! That was that other Maine Coon. I think he’s 25 lbs.”
“I have a cat that’s at least 20 lbs,” I volunteer.
CBB Breeder looks down her nose at me. “Is he a Maine Coon?”
”No, he’s no show cat.” (SEE PHOTO!)
”Oh.”


“Marvin, can you just speak into the mike and tell us how important it is that the cats stay on the table? That they don’t jump down and chase the toy.”
Impatient dyed blonde interviewer shoves the microphone into Marvin’s face. Her assistant bearing down with the video camera.
“Why sure, Cynthia. I’d be glad to.” Marvin tosses a toy on the ground as the large tabby… Whoops! Of course it’s not a tabby. No Cat here is just a tabby. The large Somali glances down after chartreuse feather toy as Marvin looks directly at Cynthia to answer her question. “You see, if we had the cats jumping offa the tables when the judges are….”
”Can you please look at the camera!” Cynthia’s getting pissed. Time is money.
“Sure…..” Marvin drawls as he picks up the cat toy. The Somali paws for it lazily. “It is VERY IMPORTANT that the cats don’t jump offa the table…..”
The Somali eyes widen at the toy. Stretches his big paws toward it as he begins to roll off the counter. “NO, Tiny! Stay!”
“C’mon Dan, let’s try another one.”

”Are you guys ready to go already?” R asks, crestfallen.
DL and I nod. We’re tired and hungry and catted out. “Yeah,” DL sighs, “but we can stay a little longer if you want.”
R grins. ”Just 15 more minutes. I wanna go through the Meow Mall one more time.”
DL rises offa the grass outside to follow her girlfriend back inside. They link arms. “Do you want your picture taken?” Aggressive CAT Camera Woman blocks them on the way back in.
“No, no….I don’t want my picture taken,” DL protests.
“Oh, c’mon, D, it’ll be fun!” R exclaims as she leads her over to the International Space Station Cat backdrop and they pose cutely for ACC Woman.

“That’s a beautiful cat! What kind is it?”
Harried Balding Overweight Gent, (Is everyone at the Cat Show overweight? ) sighs, shifts a purrfect fluffy white feline to his other shoulder. “They’re Ragdolls.”
“OH, they’re so cute! Do they have a nice purrsonality?”
HROG grunts. I think how he doesn’t have such a nice purrsonality himself.
“Do you have any kittens for sale?” Curious Woman is undaunted. She wants information! That’s why she paid her 10 bucks to get into the goddamn cat show!
Sighing, he shifts the cat onto his lap as another one crawls up on his shoulder. “She might have some for sale. I dunno.”
“Do you have a card? Maybe I can give a call?”
Shaking his head, he glances around the counter full of cat toys, designer kibble and glasses of bad pink wine. “No.”
RQ glances over at me, mutters not too softly under her breath. “Some people aren’t very good salesmen round here!”

“OHMYGOD!!! Did I tell you R’s Adventure at the Cat Show last year?” DL exclaims breathlessly as we pull out of the San Mateo fairgrounds.

I glance around. Plenty of room for a pool! I really need to contact the Cat Show Higher-Ups and get that going for next year’s Emergency Baths.

“No,” JL answers, “What happened?”
”Well, now that you guys have witnessed the Cat Show, you’ll really get this story.” DL takes a deep breath before plunging in. “You know how when the judges are judging the cats and everyone is all quiet and serious and all?”
“Yeah, of course,” JL nods, leaning forward, intensely interested.
“Well, last year, we were at one of those judging moments when it’s really at that point when the Judge is giving the cats that one last close lookover and everyone is just sitting there rapt and R notices that one of the cats behind the judge has somehow gotten a piece of ribbon and is proceeding to chew it down as cats will. And we’re sitting there watching as this beautiful Persian cat is chewing this ribbon and thinking hell, it’s gonna kill itself. So R just gets up and walks right in front of the judge and all the snooty cat breeders and goes up to the cage and starts to yank the ribbon outta the cat’s mouth as everyone just stares in astonishment!”

”Wow! That’s really good she did that!” I exclaim in admiration for R’s amazing Cat Chutzpah.

“Yeah, it was. But the funny, or I guess, not surprising thing is that no one said anything. They all just glared at her as she was pulling the ribbon outta the cat’s mouth and finally when she was done, she came back and sat down and….”
”Didn’t the Judge or the Owner thank her?” JL asks.
“No, no one said anything except when R did sit back down the lady next to us said, “Thank you.”
”Whew. At least someone took the stick outta their kitty ass!” I cry.

7:15, we’re all back home after the day at the cat show and a quick bite burrito at Jose’s in downtown San Mateo. Exhausted we plop down on the couch, with the regular non pampered cats milling about asking for kibble.

“What do you wanna do now?” Dashingly Handsome Boyfriend asks.
I shrug, reach for the remote. It’s Gene Kelley and Debbie Reynolds. Singing in the Rain. Purrfect! Settling in, we start humming along as the MGM Musical Marathon thankfully saves us from Kitty Show Overload.

I grin in tired happiness as Gene and Donald O’Connor sing about Moses to the enunciation teacher. Sure there’s not a pool, but there is rain. And afterwards, it’s That’s Entertainment and wait, yes there is a pool. A clip of Grace Kelly setting that Toy Boat in the High Society’s pool, wistfully watching as it drifts across the blue water to pick up the waiting Tabby on the other side!

Okay, I made that part up. But it makes for a good ending, to a purrfect day!

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