By Lindsay Doty
Kim McDaniel and her 6-month-old Siberian kitten named Star have their side-by-side morning routine from wake up to coffee.
“She is a normal pet that runs the house. She brings her Rosie the Rat fur toy and drops it at the bed and expects us to throw it,” Kim McDaniel, a Hendricks County cat owner and breeder, said.
Star, who got her name because of a little star shape on her nose, may seem like an ordinary fluffy feline who spends her days batting things around the house, but McDaniel knew she was show-cat material from day one.
“Basically when they are born, you know. You look at the head shape and the body and how they compare to the breed standard,” explained McDaniel, who has been breeding Siberian cats for 12 years.
The longtime Hendricks County resident and interior designer (her cats know not to climb the drapes) travels across the world to compete with her Siberian cats. She does around 20 shows a year. So far, Star has been making a splash on the kitten circuit, winning Best in Show Kitten in Canada in September.
This month, the kitten will compete closer to home in the 48th annual Indianapolis Cat Show being held for the first time at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds in Danville.
The competition, sponsored by the Indy Cat Club and the Cat Fanciers’Association (CFA) –the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats, will feature more than 100 cats from breeds ranging from a fluffy Persian to a sleek, wild Bengal.
“There will be judges in each different ring who are trained according to the breed,” explained McDaniel. “Basically, the judges are comparing your 6-month old kitten to the most perfect cat in the breed.”
The two-day event has a Halloween theme (yes, cats can wear costumes) and includes food, a raffle, cat vendors, and a new feline agility course. Rescue and shelter groups will also have cats available for adoption.
During the pedigreed competition, spectators can observe the cats and vote for their favorites.
“If you come and love cats you will love seeing them. They are beautifully shampooed and they love doing what they do,” Indy Cat Club President Sarah Earles, who will be bringing her Maine Coon cat dressed as a flying monkey, said.
Promoters say the show isn’t just for pedigreed cats anymore. For the first time, the Indy Cat Club will include a competition for household cats, where owners with vaccinated, spayed and neutered cats that are at least 4-months-old can compete.
While breeders like Kim McDaniel are aiming for ribbons, there also going to mingle and compare notes and cat causes with other enthusiasts.
“It’s as much about the camaraderie and the passion for what is often thought of as an odd hobby,” McDaniel said.
For her, it’s the purrfect way to spend the weekend.
What: Indy Cat Club
48th annual CFA Cat Show
Where: Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds
1900 E Main St. Danville
Power Exposition Hall
When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Adults $8
Children under 10 $3
Cat food shelter donations $1 off adult entry
For more information
People food will be available.
Buy tickets online at catshowsonline.ticketleap.com/indy-cat-show/