CATS in a Dog Show?

Dear Davi,

Is it true that a non-dog will be competing at Westminster this year?

Buckley the Borzoi
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Buckley,

It’s true. For the first time in 140 years, the world-famous dog show will be adding a particularly rare breed to the mix — a cat.

One Bengal cat has already caught the eye of onlookers. Don’t be fooled by her name: Jungletrax Abiding Ovation. Sounds like an electronic ska band with spots, but she’s kind of cute and looks like a leopard.

Now — don’t raise your hackles yet. These cats won’t compete in the actual show. Some might try their paw at agility — I can’t even — but most will be featured in the ‘Meet the Breeds’ portion. This event gives animal lovers the opportunity to meet different breeds of dogs and cats in decorated booths representing each breed’s country of origin, historical purpose and qualities as a pet. What’s more, people have a chance to chat with volunteers about responsible pet ownership and which breeds may be right for them.

These felines will be sharing the spotlight with three new canine entries: American hairless terrier, Hungarian pumi and North African sloughi.

While these rookies are new to competition, they are far from new breeds.

American Hairless Terrier This completely hairless dog — though some sport eyebrows and whiskers — is a spunky, intelligent and friendly companion, often the perfect pal for folks with allergies. What it lacks in fur, it makes up for in curiosity. Kin to breeds that hunt rats, these dogs love digging and chasing critters. Like most terriers, American hairless are affectionate and alert, which makes them loyal and ready to bark at unfamiliar sounds.

Pumi One word to describe the Pumi — furtastic. It rocks a short, fluffy coat, curly tail and big ears. This high-energy herding dog, bred to gather cattle and sheep, has Eastern European roots. Always alert and ready to work, the Pumi will warn when strangers are approaching and eagerly take on an agility or obedience class.

Sloughi This rare breed of sighthound, also known as an Arabian Greyhound, radiates sheer elegance with every step. Bred to hunt wild game in Africa, they are speedy, agile and energetic. These dogs are intelligent and will chase any moving target on command. They tend to be aloof around strangers, but are loyal pets. Though quiet and clean, their stubborn hound nature can sometimes be a handful.

More than 2,800 dogs will be vying for a spot in the winner’s circle this year. Along with traditional breed judging, there will be agility and obedience competitions — and, yes, there will be cats.

We live in uncertain times. Politics are tearing people apart, facts are fake, and milk bones are bad for dogs. Maybe, just maybe, inviting a few felines to join the pack at Westminster is the first step toward finding peace. If dogs and cats can unite, why can’t humans?

The Westminster Dog Show is held in New York City on Feb. 13 and 14. All the details at westminsterkennelclub.org.

Meow for now!
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Davi isn’t showing at Westminster this year, but he’ll be rooting for his faves from the comfort of his couch.

About EU Jacksonville

october, 2021

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