By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Sponsored by the ThunderKatz Cat Club, the 20th Annual All Breed and Household Pet Cat show will be held Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1, at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City.
The event themed “Meowy May Day!” will be held both days from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Centennial Building, 608 Kiamichi Place.
During the show the public can see nearly 200 cats compete for titles awarded by The International Cat Association (TICA).
“Both days there will be seven rings running simultaneously. Each cat will show in each ring during the course of the day.” said ThunderKatz President, Deborah Keith. “When not in the ring, cats can be viewed in their benching area with their owners, who will be more than happy to answer questions regarding their specific breed.”
Cats are judged against a standard written for each breed. The cat that best fits that standard, as determined by each judge, is awarded the coveted “Best Of Breed,” in each ring.
TICA is the world’s largest genetic registry of pedigreed and household pet cats in the world. Household cats of unknown ancestry are allowed to compete for titles and awards alongside the pedigreed cats, whose ancestry can be traced as far back as the very origin of their breed.
For more information on TICA, and registration of cats, visit www.tica.org.
“While ThunderKatz members put a lot of effort into putting on this show, it’s not all about showing cats and winning ribbons,” Keith said.” The club takes proceeds from the show and donates to several rescues.”
One of the show’s main beneficiaries is Bald and Bully Inc. Its co-founders, Sami Mieir and Jason Whitaker are dedicated advocates of screening cats prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which is a primary disease of the heart.
Bald and Bully focuses on rescuing Sphynx cats and other hairless breeds, as well as canine bully breeds.
HCM causes a portion of the heart to thicken, resulting in functional impairment. It is a leading cause of sudden cardiac death and is hereditary, making it imperative that breeders scan all breeding cats prone to this disease to prohibit introducing HCM into their lines.
Feline breeds most likely affected are American Shorthairs, Bengals, Birmans, British Shorthairs, Maine Coons, Norwegian Forest Cats, Persians, Ragdolls and especially Sphynx.
During the show, Mieir will coordinate an HCM clinic where Dr. Ryan Dale Baumwart of Oklahoma State University will perform heart scans of cats attending the show for breeders who may not have regular access to a certified cardiologist.
According to Keith, providing this service helps breeders, as well as the pet buying public, to insure they will receive a healthy kitten that will live a long, active life.
“The ThunderKatz show is a great opportunity for the whole family to spend a few hours viewing a wide variety of cats, some of which they would not normally have the opportunity to see, such as the Lykoi, sometimes referred to as ‘The Werewolf Cat,’ Keith said.
Other breeds to be featured at the show will include the Bengal, bred to look like a leopard; Toyger, bred to look like a Tiger; the Sphynx, the hairless cat; and the LaPerm, the curly haired cat.
The show will offer “all things cat” including vendors, a raffle table, and the popular floor game, where exhibitors and spectators can participate for prizes.
ThunderKatz Cat Club members meet once a month throughout the year. The group’s main focus is putting on the annual cat show. Their goal is to bring in cats from all over the region to help educate the public about the different breeds as well as the health of all cats.
Admission to the ThunderKatz show is $5 for adults. Children age 12 and under are free.
For more information or to become at member of the ThunderKatz Cat Club, visit www.ThunderKatz.org.