CFA wrote another page in their history book on March 6-7, 2004, when the first CFA-sanctioned cat show in mainland China took place in Beijing.
The China Cat Fanciers Cat Club
The show was held by the China Cat Fanciers (CCF). CCF is the first CFA cat club established in mainland China.
Since their formation as a club in 2002, CCF has been working tirelessly towards producing their first show.
The routine arrangements necessary for a CFA-format show were a huge challenge to the young group of cat fanciers - especially as their first language is not English.
The normal demands that go with holding any cat show were made even more complex due to the need to address concerns about bird flu and Sars in the country. However, the club members were able to overcome all the problems and made their dream come true.
The show was not supported by the government and a sponsor was not confirmed until just a couple weeks before the show when Whiskas Cat Food came on board.
Promoting CFA in China
The judges for the special event were Pam Delabar and Don Williams.
Besides the task of judging the cats, Pam and Don wanted to provide information about CFA and guidance to the local cat fancy.
With this in mind, they headed several discussion sessions with groups of cat fanciers from other provinces in China with an eye to helping them establish more CFA clubs in the very near future.
The show hall was located in the Guodo Pet Park in Beijing. Although not in the urban center of Beijing city, it was a very attractive venue with incredible natural lighting - a real plus for most fanciers.
Whiskas, the sole sponsor, provided their full support to the event, including signage and prizes for the participants.
CFA has recently set up a new program called Ancestral Tracking Services. For countries of the world who are new to CFA, this program was established to help their cat fanciers show and register their cats in CFA.
The program allows for a special "Novice" class at an International CFA-sponsored show for cats that are not yet registered in CFA. Most of the cats entered at the CCF show fell into this class in championship. There were 120 cats present at the show, representing 20 breeds. For most of the people present, this was the first CFA show they had ever attended, and their support and interest was enthusiastic.
The exhibitors appreciated and treasured every award - with some of them even asking the judges to sign their flat ribbons.
Besides the usual ribbons, two special awards were sponsored and donated by the Alamo City Cat Club of Texas.
The club donated rosettes for the Best Longhair In Show and the Best Shorthair in Show respectively.
Best Longhair In Show
The Best Longhair in Show went to a black Persian named GC, RW Boberan's Dark Night of Xiang.
Dark Night was a regional winner in the USA last year before coming to China. The cat was in full coat and beautifully presented, a testament to the grooming skills of his new owner, Minnie Yang.
Best Shorthair in Show
The Best Shorthair in Show was a British Shorthair kitten named Annamee's Lanlan Alice.
Alice is owned by Xiaoming Yan.
The kitten is from the first litter bred by her owner, combining bloodlines mainly from the USA and Australia.
The British Shorthair is a breed which has gained popularity in Asia in the past several years and this win bodes well for the breed's future in the country.
To commemorate its inaugural show in mainland China, CCF designed a full color show catalogue which included pictures of most of the cats being exhibited.
It is a beautiful keepsake of a memorable event.
This show is only the beginning...
Over time, more cat fanciers of mainland China will be able to successfully register their beautiful cats with CFA.
Through the efforts of these dedicated cat fanciers, CFA continues to meet the challenge of expanding into new countries.
Perhaps one day, it may be possible for a national winning cat to be born and shown in mainland China.
As advisor for the show, I was honored to be able to witness this historical moment for China and for CFA.