Meet cats of all kinds and learn about them at Lincoln State Cat Show
"One cat just leads to another." -- Ernest Hemingway
A clowder of cats -- house cats, show cats, agile cats, cats that win ribbons, cats that fly in for the occasion and rescue cats looking for a permanent home -- will gather at the 59th annual Lincoln State Cat Club Cat Show this weekend in St. Charles.
"We'll have up to 225 pedigreed and household cats, kittens and adults," said Cary Plummer, manager of the show being staged Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 22 and 23, at the Kane County Fairgrounds' Prairie Center. "There's approximately up to 42 different breeds of cats that will be there. They drive and fly (in) from all over the place."
Plummer said the show features judging in multiple rings, demonstrations, seminars and cat-related shopping opportunities, along with more altruistic pursuits, namely the chance to benefit feline rescue and welfare organizations including the Morris Animal Foundation and the Winn Feline Foundation, nonprofits that support research into cat health issues.
Winn Foundation board member Steve Dale, WGN radio personality and certified animal behavior consultant, is scheduled to make an appearance.
"He'll be doing a speaking engagement at our show on Sunday at 1 p.m.," Plummer said.
Breeds recognized by the Cat Fanciers' Association will be on exhibit. Visitors will have the chance to ask questions and learn about each breed's qualities, he said. CFA registered cats and kittens will compete in the pedigreed cat competitions, judged by licensed CFA judges, Plummer said, to get points toward championship, grand championship, regional and national titles.
And household pet cats will get their turn in the limelight with competitions that rate their condition, grooming and personality.
"It's amazing. Until you get there, you have no idea how many kinds there are," said Lana Keroson Oksnee, Lincoln State Cat Club member and veteran cat show participant.
Oksnee, of Park City, will be bringing her show cat, AngelForest Gabriella, an award-winning Norwegian Forest cat.
Competing for judges' recognition is just part of the fun, she said.
"It's educational as well," she said.
Fifteen-minute workshop seminars impart valuable tips about feline behavior, health and care throughout the weekend, she said.
She said her past favorites include a veterinarian's presentation about basic cat care safety and another speaker's advice on how to protect pets when natural disasters threaten.
For those who doubt that cats can or will be trained to do anything, Plummer said he recommends taking in the cat agility competitions, where obstacle courses challenge their ability to remain dignified, graceful and light on their four feet.
Cat owners looking for cat-related accessories, supplies and trinkets, will find 30 to 40 vendors in the Meow Mall adjacent to the exhibit hall, Plummer said.
"It's always fun. They have some specialty items you can't just buy in a store," said Oksnee.
The Meow Mall will host a cat costume contest Sunday, Plummer said, and representatives of rescue groups with adoptable animals, he said.
At least one example of a new breed, the lykoi, will be on display in the Meow Mall.
"It's a natural mutation breed. It kind of looks like a werewolf," Plummer said.
A costumed Garfield the cat character will be on hand from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
"He'll do meet and greets with the kids and they can take pictures," he said.
Free coloring books about kitten care will be given away while supplies last, he said.
"On Saturday, we are having a stuffed animal contest for kids. Kids who come to the show can bring their own stuffed animals and the judges will pick their favorites. Every kid gets a little prize," he said. "It's 110 percent a family event."
Visitors who bring a can of poultry-based cat food for donation to a shelter will receive a $1 discount off their ticket price, he said. Admission is $10, $8 for seniors and children 6-12, and free for children younger than 6.
Lincoln State Cat Club Cat ShowWhen: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 22-23
Where: Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 Randall Road, St. Charles.
What you'll see: Up to 225 purebred and household pet cats on display, educational seminars, rescue groups, cats and kittens for adoption, vendors of cat products, and 10 separate rings of competition.
Admission: $10; $8 for kids 6-12 and seniors. Receive $1 off admission with a donation of a can of poultry-based cat food.