Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Tails from the Cat Show

The Cat Fancier's Association really outdid themselves this year with the "Cat!Show" (the way it is spelled in their Pam!phlets). Lots to report.

My friend Atara and I rolled up to Madison Square Garden, and were instantly gratified. There were people protesting Iams Cat Food, holding signs proclaiming that "10 Out of 10 Cats Prefer Not To Be Tortured." I don't know about that... this little guy looks pretty stoked:

Back to the protest. Next to the picketers was a woman sitting in a cage, wearing a striped jail uniform and a paper cat mask. The thing was... these guys were hilarious! No one was taking these "angry protestors" seriously, evident in this pic, where a complete stranger began laughing his ass off. (Click on pics to enlarge)

And all of a sudden, here we were! The place we had dreamed of all week! A huuuuuuuuuge line full of fucking maniacs!

Within 15 minutes, my entire neck broke out into fever blisters. Fever blisters of anticipation! After about 30 minutes of mullet-watching, we made it past the guards. Not sure if you were aware, but the Cat!Show has a very tight door policy. First, you gotta show a little skin in order to get past the intimidating, no nonsense bouncers.

One trend immediately noticeable about these Cat Show people was that they LOVE their Bedazzlers. You would think, in a metropolitan city like New York, the Cat Show would be full of fairly sophisticated cat lovers who find these kinds of shows so novel, so quaintly country. Sadly, this was not the case. The majority of people there were wild old single women who cradled their cats like Elijah the Profit with your first born.

Although that's unfair. There were men there too.

So! We enter the Garden and I am completely flabbergasted. There must have been a million people there! All the cats were in their cages, lined up in aisles like at the supermarket, which theoretically you were supposed to walk down and view the cats. But this was impossible with the amount of people there. We walked down one aisle, and were so overwhelmed by the over-the-top outfits and stench of cat urine, we nearly booted all over a prize-winning persian. But alas, I did manage to snap this adorable picture of three white cats all sleeping on top of one another.

But wait a minute... what's this? There, in the back? Could it be...

THE DEVIL? Right here at the NYC Cat!Show! Who knew!!

The perimeter of the room was where the judging was taking place. It was a very cold atmosphere, made all the colder by this group of people who were, no joke, staring at a ROW OF EMPTY CAGES! It was magical.

We made our way to the back of the room... and... could it be! There he is! Mr. Lou Hawthorne, CEO of Genetic Savings & Clone! He was on stage, giving a speech to about 30 drooling corpses, discussing the benefits of his corporation. Let me say, simply, the buzz wore off quick. My joy soon turned into sympathy. This poor guy! Here he is, breaking all kinds of scientific barriers and CLONING HOUSE PETS! And where is he! At the f.u.c.k.i.n.g. c.a.t.!.s.h.o.w. talking to people who were very likely mentally ill (and yes, the neon sign of a huge flashing arrow is pointing to me as I write this). Here is a crappy picture of Lou speaking. It was at least as depressing as it looks.

After 10 minutes or so, we HAD to peace out, I couldn't take it anymore. And what a good move that was! Because, ladies and gentlemen, I met the Meow Mix Mascot!! Take a look at this picture, and (as Chelsea generously pointed out) try to figure out which one is made of plastic:

Note: The manic-panic in both of our faces.

I tried to sympathize with the poor man/woman inside the costume, saying "Oh, you poor thing. You poor poor thing!", which I think is charming, but he/she probably didn't like to hear. It didn't help when I draped my arm around this gigantic cat, only to feel that the head of this mascot was PURRING. So, not only did this poor soul have to be in a hot, huge cat costume, it was also a vibrating cat costume. Which, on second thought, is probably not so bad.

But we were still on a mission. We had seen the CEO of Savings & Clone, but now, to the cloned kittens! Seriously, we had only been in that main room for like 20 minutes until the two of us were like "We have to go. Right now."

Now is the point in the story when we hit what I like to call THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY. The Highlight of the Day was right by the front entrance. There was a huge poster of Colin Powell holding this black cat with yellow eyes. My first instinct was "Huh! That's funny! Colin Powell is showing a cat here! I never would have guessed."

On further inspection, we realized that this was not Colin Powell's cat, rather a CAT NAMED COLIN POWELL. Fascinating. I was then handed a postcard and a certificate proclaiming me an honest to god viewer of some black cat named Colin Powell.

I had to learn more. So I find this article about Colin Powell (the cat) and it turns out he was cat of the year in 2003 (sorry I just couldn't bring myself to give that last phrase Initial Caps). And he met Colin Powell (the man). Nice. Then I hit this paragraph:

Hauck, explaining later how Colin the cat got his name, said, “We name all of our black cats after prominent African-Americans.” The cat’s parents were named after musician Isaac Hayes and author Jamaica Kincaid, his grandmother after Rosa Parks, the integrationist.

LOUD COUGHING. WHAT! Is it just me and my hyper-sensitivity, or is that like, really insulting? Then I do a little MORE research (and yes, I'm wearing a visor), and I come across this picture of another one of their cats.


Yes, it had to be done, and side note, I'm Jewish so Eff Off.

Long relieved sigh. We were out of there, leaving to go see the cloned cats Tabouli and Baba Ganoush. But not before we got our hands stamped.

Our last stop: Clones. We made our way into a separate area of the Garden, where a young woman was speaking to a group of about 50 people about the clones and how they "work". And then she pulled the little kitten Baba Ganough out of his cage... Yoy! Only 4 months old, and so. cute! Only one problem. He had been awake all day doing these presentations, and could not stop meowing. Little kitten meows. And the girl couldn't get 2 words out without the kitten looking up at her ("Meow!") and the audience, in unison, going "Awww!" It was a vicious Meow-Awwing cycle that no one, not even this twenty-something in a Savings and Clone t-shirt, could stop.

AND THAT WAS IT! Rest of day recap: Went to Macy's, had an epileptic seizure in their Junior's Department, saw "I Heart Huckabees" (loved!), and then had nightmares about...

Finally, I'll leave you with this ad for an automatic litter box in the Cat!Show brochure.

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