Cat’s Meow in Monaco

They were not impressed, excited, nor interested. Stretched out in their large cages, they did what cats do best: Sleep. The 145 cats entered in the first international cat show of Monaco were quite content to catnap through their two days of glory. That’s how cats spend some 15 hours per day, even as many as 20 hours – snoozing. No need to let a cat show interrupt your beauty slumber.

When it was their turn to be in the spotlight, on the stage to be examined from tail to ears, they were tolerant, seemingly bored. No doubt many of these champions and would-be champions had been down this road before.

Such is the life of fancy cats. I love cats. I have three, but mine are your basic alley-cat variety – all rescues. Nonetheless when I learned of the cat show in nearby Monaco, I convinced hubby (not as enamored of felines as I am) to join me to check out the cats.

Enormous cats. Hairless cats. Long-haired cats. Cats of all colors. Thirty-nine different breeds to admire. I had no idea there were so many kinds of kitties, but I learned that The International Cat Association (TICA) recognizes 71 standardized breeds.

The favorite, most popular breed is the Maine Coon. These cats are big – huge. I was smitten with Pegase de Nikko Coon, a big boy who weighs in at 10 kilos (22 pounds). His proud owner, Christiane Phily, touted that he was still growing. His grandfather weighed 14 kilos (30 pounds), she told me. She has 20 of these giant felines known for their pleasant personality. “They are very impressive. They look wild, but they have an adorable character,” she said. Her starting price for a Maine Coon, about 1,000 euros ($1,170).

Pegase de Nikko Coon, a 22 pound, Black Silver Blackened Tabby Maine Coon.

Years ago, when seeking a replacement for my beloved Buddy, a large and affectionate black cat, I decided after all my years of owning rescue cats, I was entitled to upgrade to a genuine pedigreed pet. I wanted a Maine Coon. Husband Bob, who is more than indulgent of my passion for cats, agreed to drive to a breeder some 3 hours away. I had wanted a male, but there was only one young male for sale. He was pretty, but he cowered in the back of the cage, not exhibiting the extrovert personality of the breed. Price tag was 600 euros.

I thought long and hard. I pictured all those pitiful, homeless cats in shelters. I could rescue one for a small donation. Did I really want to spend 600 euros on a cat? This one did not convince me. We drove home catless. The next day I went to the local shelter and came home with not one, but two tiny kittens – my girls Simba and Oprah. Sisters (twins), they almost look like mini Maine Coons.

No pedigree, but adorable and cute: Kittens Simba and Oprah.

In addition to cats coming from all over France for a chance at fame, the cat show included exhibits of haute gamme cat food, “adapted to the carnivorous diet of cats” (I came home with some free samples), cat toys, trees, beds. One exhibitor offered information on animal communication by telepathy. She claims to communicate with pets and transmit their messages to owners. She also offers courses in “animal communication and magnetism.” If you wanted a portrait of your cat, another offered animal aquarelles.

A flyer for a new breed. Pictured is a female now in heat who was not at the show, but should be having kittens next year. I want one..

I had hoped to take some quality cat photos, but this was beyond my skills. The viewing wall of the cat cages was a sheet of reflective vinyl. The lighting was tricky. The backgrounds were dreadful. When not sleeping (boring photos), the cats were in motion.

It was easy to see the cats behind the vinyl wall of the cage, but not ideal for photos.

I tried. Below are some classy cats, plus my not-so-classy cats.

Pharron of Chanel’s Land, a Scottish Straight.
Simba, one of mine
My boy Filippo
Oprah, sister of Simba.
Bob more than indulges my passion for cats.

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17 thoughts on “Cat’s Meow in Monaco”

  1. The question I’ve been asking myself (and my wife has been asking) is whether our cat is becoming more like me or I’m becoming more like him. I now wake up 10 minutes before 5 every morning anticipating the sound of his automatic feeder that goes off at 5 AM.

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  2. Wow-didn’t know Monaco was such a jungle! I can imagine a movie scene in which someone frees all of them at the same time and chaos ensues. Most entertaining to see all the variety of cats.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Leah: Martha had a pair of cats, much like Simba and Oprah in your post. Now I have only a dog, a copper colored standard poodle. I am so pleased to connect with you after perhaps 35 years. And, to see K Pitner’s message draws me back in time. Please share her email address and I will connect with her. I, too, am in Denver. I was introduced to your blog by Judy Klinkam when she visited Denver a while back. Many, many fond memories. Thanks, Michael

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  4. Living with cats all my life and as I have aged finding I’m living more a cats life.
    Enjoy my afternoon nap and times it’s wonderful to be left alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Leah,
    A voice from you past. . .
    I so enjoyed your cat story with all the pictures, especially of your own and Bob. As you know, I’ve always been a cat person. As i write this, Nike, our 14-year-ld sable Burmese, sits on my lap sleeping. She has been a wonderful companion. I always enjoy your posts and feel incredibly guilty for not keeping in touch. Your posts give us a wonderful glimpse into your lives and travels. Bob and I have so many wonderful memories of our times and travels with you and Bob. Wishing you good health and spirits.
    Love, Kathy and Bob
    Denver and Aspen, CO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is soo good to hear from you Kathy. I will answer your email soon. We have been looking at old photo albums, full of photos of many good times we shared with you and Bob. Yes, we need our cats. My girls, previously outdoor cats, have become very affectionate lap cats now that we live in an apartment. They have adjusted. All the best and love to you and Bob … and more soon.

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  6. Leah I love your description of the cat show. I also love your photos. I too am a cat lover and our cat is now 12 yrs old and sleeps all night plus most of the day. I’m glad to hear this is normal. My daughter in Netherlands also has cats and has been caring for the neighbors 2 beautiful coon cats. Glad to hear you are still taking in rescue cats. Take care. Sandra Eddy.

    Liked by 1 person

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