Well, my dream of becoming a cat show judge is finally starting to feel “real”. This week, one of TICA’s founding members and most respected allbreed judges let me know that she was willing to sponsor me for the TICA judging program. That means only one hurdle left to complete the basic requirements: a regional win (Top 20 Allbreed) with a whole cat. Wish Vivi (the Japanese Bobtail) and/or Sunshine (the Somali) luck this show season! Then onward to that scary written test I’ve heard so much about.

Last night I had my first (of what will probably be many to come) anxiety dreams about judging. I was training, but was left on my own to handle 20-30 Turkish Angoras. That many Turkeys in one place would certainly qualify as a nightmare! There weren’t any judging cages, they were stuffed into fabric carriers or small, dark stacked wire cages or bookshelves. I handled one white TA (#55, no idea why I remember the number so clearly), hung color and division, and announced the cat as Best of Breed… only to realize that I had dozens more left to judge. One had half an ear, more looked like bad Persians, others were strange colors (not the GOOD kind of strange colors, either)… and all the while I was desperately trying to find their numbers in my judge’s book and couldn’t. I kept muttering “The silver tabby… I have to mark the silver tabby as my Best or I can’t use him in my final…”

Finally Kathryn Amann (KatsNjazz Turkish Angoras and Burmese, another TICA judging program hopeful) took over to save the day. I must have more confidence in her future as a judge than mine!

Last weekend, Anne Ritzinger asked the owners of her top two kittens to present them to the audience. I’d never done that before. Excellent chance to “play judge”, right? So, did I dazzle the crowd with brilliant oration on the finer points of the Norwegian Forest Cat standard? Nope. I played with my kitty, Carondelet, and told everyone how much we love him and how well he purrs.

Oh well. That’s what the training process is for, right?