Mich. cat show features servals, savannahs, bengals

Friday, March 30, 2007
By Dave Hager
Special to the Gazette

Blues Brother Caspurr and his pal Nuts ‘Bout Peanuts are getting ready to strut their stuff Saturday and Sunday at the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites.

The blue lynx point exotic shorthair and the brown-patch spotted tabby, both owned by Mark and Marilyn Domlovil, of Texas Township, will participate in “Cats Steppin’ Out in the Zoo,” a cat show sponsored by the International Cat Association and the Great Lakes Area Cat Enthusiasts.

The show, now in its fourth year, has been named TICA Great Lakes show of the year, according to Susan Lee, president of Great Lakes Area Cat Enthusiasts.

Elegant purebred cats such as Nuts ‘Bout Peanuts (who goes by Gidget at home) and Blues Brother Caspurr (who goes by Caspurr) will compete in five divisions for regional, national and international awards. The show also will feature an agility tournament in which cats run through tunnels, jump hurdles, weave through poles and do other stunts.

Points earned by exhibitors at the show go toward the selection of this year’s top international show cat.

More than 200 cats from across the United States, Canada and possibly Mexico are expected at the show. They range from purebreds to “the cat next door.” Special displays include the wild African serval, the serval look-alike savannah and many unusual breeds such as little-tailed pixie-bobs, hairless sphynx, peterbald and singapuras, the world’s smallest cat. A major participant in the show will be a new breed, the spotted-and-marbled bengal.

A special show ring will feature the new Great Lakes Area Cat Enthusiasts Junior Achiever program. There, young exhibitors will show their own cats and tell spectators about the breeds of cats they are presenting and what they are learning about cat care, welfare and showing.

A just-for-fun cat dress-up contest is set for noon Saturday.

Vendors will be on hand at the show to display and sell cat-related equipment and gift items ranging from toothbrushes for cats to cat sculptures.

Part of the show’s proceeds will go toward helping support the cheetahs and snow leopards on display at Binder Park Zoo, near Battle Creek, and to make contributions to local animal-rescue groups. Several rescue units will be at the show to display kittens available for adoption to good homes.

The show gives visitors a chance to see exotic and unusual cats close-up and chat with breeders and exhibitors who are there for the competition. As they groom and work to get their cats ready for the show ring, they are happy to show off their exotic animals.

“We just sit there and answer questions,” Mark Domlovil said.

He said he and his wife got interested in showing cats about four years ago when they attended a cat show at the Kalamazoo County fairgrounds. “It was just something to do on a Sunday afternoon,” he said.

They bought two cats then but now own a total of seven (which have all been spayed or neutered, Marilyn Domlovil said), and they are active members of the Great Lakes Area Cat Enthusiasts.

“These cats, they’re sociable,” Mark Domlovil said.

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