Best friends Rachel Strickland, 66, and Brenda Mallory, 60, hit the road on a recent Saturday morning for a girls’ getaway. Clad in rhinestone cowgirl boots and denim jackets, they left Liberal, Kan., for Oklahoma City’s Cat Club Show.
Their male companion, a 22-pound, 3-year-old Maine coon named Agustus McCray, comfortably enjoyed the ride in his carpeted carrier.
Agustus, or “Gus” as the family refers to him, was one of about 120 cats who participated in the show at the Bricktown Hotel and Convention Center.
Cats were taken inside in carriers, on pillows and in the arms of loved ones wanting to show off the felines’ lush manes, impressive physiques and array of talents.
Oklahoma City Cat Club President Lena Voerster has several cats and co-owns Aristocats, a feline hotel and spa in Oklahoma City.
The Oklahoma City Cat Club began in the mid 1960s and has been hosting cat shows ever since, Voerster said. The show brings felines of every breed from across the nation.
“The most popular breeds are Maine coons and Persians,” she said. “There are several categories for judging, and each cat is judged based on the standards set for their category. Physical attributes and agility are judged.”
A cat’s agility refers to how quickly and effectively a cat can change the direction of its body. The skill requires balance and coordination. Voerster said cats are as easily trained as dogs, and their potential is seen in abundance each year at the show.
“The only big difference between a dog show and a cat show is that in a cat show, there is no leash,” she said. “Cats are probably smarter than dogs because they can be trained just as well but can choose whether or not they want to participate.”