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Article updated: 2/17/2013 7:19 PM

Cats rule, as usual, at Palatine show 1,000 people visit

By Steve Zalusky

Cat fanciers were able to indulge their interests at "Purr-a-Pawlooza," the Feline Expo and 53rd annual Cat Fanciers' Association Allbreed Cat Show this weekend at Harper College in Palatine.

The two-day expo, sponsored by the Lincoln State Cat Club, provided education about cats and raised funds for several cat-related charities.

"We do more than just show cats here," said show manager Marci Baturin.

The show featured 42 vendors, a benefit raffle, an all-breed judging competition, and even a performance by the Center for Ballroom and Dance in Deer Park. On Saturday, about 1,000 people attended, Baturin said. There was a good turnout Sunday as well.

Some of the raffle proceeds went to help diabetic cats, while other profits were donated to pet sitting agencies and cat shelters, some of which were vendors. Speakers at the show helped raise awareness about cat adoption and health issues.

Dayle Marsh, coordinator of the event's "education ring," said some money will be donated to a project that evaluates the use of stem cells to cure chronic kidney disease in cats. Fat cells are taken from healthy cats are injected into the blood of diseased cats.

"It's really progressing well," she said. "Cats are tolerating the therapy well and they have improved blood work in the first portion of this test."

The event had something to interest every cat lover.

Susan Ponte, of Lake Villa, said she particularly enjoyed seeing the Maine Coon cats.

"It's just interesting looking at all the breeds, and it's interesting seeing the people that own the cats," she said.

Pat Riley, of Schaumburg, brought her grandson Cooper Toler, 9, of Wheaton, who insisted, "We're getting a cat."

Vendors peddled products that included odor-attackers, cat furniture, and a "cat tree" lined with soft carpeting.

"It has a great selection of vendors, and more cats than I've ever seen," said attendee Connie Loebeck, of Hoffman Estates.

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