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Annual Minn-Kota Cat Show set for April 2-3 at Fairgrounds

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The Minn-Kota Feline Club will be presenting its 63rd and 64th annual Purebred and Household Pet Cat Show Saturday, April 2, and Sunday, April 3, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds Agricultural Building in West Fargo.

Promoters this year are anticipating 100-plus cats/kittens in approximately 35 different breeds and household pets. Lil Borg of Valley City is serving as show manager.

Linda Ferguson, a nine-year member of the club who has both served as a past show manager and featured her own cats, will be back to do the latter for the upcoming event with her grand champion Cmdr Worf entered.

In fact, she is encouraging everyone who has an affection for cats and kittens to stop out and enjoy and learn a little bit more about the various breeds by asking lots of questions. "Don't be shy, be sure to ask what is going on. We're a friendly group and are happy to help anyone new."

Ferguson said judging for the shows will be conducted the same as in past years, with all the ACFA shows judged according to the rules and regulations of the association.

On that note, Ferguson said she is frequently asked by people what it takes to show their cat.

"Everyone needs to know they are welcome to bring their pet out to participate," she stated. "Household pets are a very large part of our show community.  If you own a purebred and would like to show, make sure that he/she is registered ahead of time with the ACFA. Contact your cat's breeder for information on this. Show entries are finalized a week to ten days prior to the show, so you need to be prepared ahead of time."

  She said the remainder of the preparation includes:

*Socializing your kitten/cat.  They must be comfortable going to strange places, having a variety of people handle them, not get too upset about strange smells and sounds, and be used to being in a cage for short periods of time.

*Conditioning. Your kitten/cat needs to be in great shape; good muscle tone, not too fat or too thin; and the coat should be smooth, silky and shiny.

*Grooming.  A bath before the show is a must. The coat must be clean and completely combed out - no mats allowed.  Ears, eyes, nose must all be clean; and nails must be trimmed (purebred cats may not be shown declawed).

*Gathering your show materials. Your cat will need cage curtains (towels or sheets can be draped over); food and water, don't forget the bowls; a mat or bed for the bottom of the cage; toys, brushes, combs, paper towels, etc.; a litter box; and a carrier to get them in/out of the show hall. You will need a jacket in case the show hall is chilly; a couple of pens for recording the rings; a book or something to fill time in case a ring is delayed; a camera for getting pictures of the judges looking at your cat; and most importantly, comfortable shoes.

Ferguson said the shows always turn out to be a lot of fun and an excellent learning experience. "If you love cats, you'll find this is the place for you.  If you've ever been to a dog, horse or 4-H show, this is a great venue to come and see the similarities and differences. There will also be many vendors there with all sorts of cat and pet related items for sale."

Admission will be $5 for adults, $3 for children age six through 12, and children five and under will be admitted free. Onsite concessions will be available throughout the show.