Cat Scratch Fever

Back in college, I took a hardcore sociology course with a focus on gender. One day the teacher (with barely veiled feminazi leanings) asked the class: "Cats or dogs? Who here is a cat person, who a dog person?" and she tallied the vote. For the most part, the chicks dug the cats, the guys dug the dogs. Then Feminazi went on to dissect this statistically dubious sampling by proposing that men like the obedient, loyal, consistent personalities of dogs, while women appreciate the fickle ease and ambient company of cats. The instructor was trying to make a point about guys being basically insecure, needing constant affirmation from their pets (and girlfriends), but I was zoning out by this time, glad that I hadn't raised my hand to vote at all. I like some dogs and avoid others, coddle some cats and ignore others. These animals have personalities as varied and distinct as most humans, so why limit yourself to species?

Male or female, true "cat people" are hard-line feline lovers who defend their stance against scornful dog lovers with the hiss and claws of their mascot. Doubtless, countless of these aficionados will descend on the Fort Worth Convention Center this weekend to revel in the fuzzy onslaught at the Fort Worth Cat Club's All-Breed Cat Show, a massive sampling of breeds, vendors, and cat-edged entertainment surrounding the display of more than 300 cats.

In a decade of proliferating breeder societies and a burgeoning pet-show culture, you likely get the picture: rows and rows of the furry beasts hanging out with their trainers and owners, preening for the sniffy judges and dozing through half the proceedings. Among them you'll see Siamese, Abyssinian, Burmese, Maine coon, Persian, and the show specialty, the shy and mild-mannered Birman. If you're in the market for a cat, this is the place to case the personalities of the different breeds and hook up with breeders.

Unlike show dogs, these cats don't exactly parade around a ring. Nope, they just kinda lounge outside their cages and let the admiring crowds sift by. Bored? Then wander over to the vendor section, teeming with every imaginable cat toy and product. Proceeds and part of your $5 admission go to the Dallas/Fort Worth Purebred Rescue Fund, the Winn Feline Foundation, and other cat welfare and health groups.

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Christina Rees

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