Feline stars to shine at fall cat show

Cloverdale kitten lost by airline for a month to join competition at the semi annual cat show and northwest regional awards banquet.

Chester

From Egyptian royalty to remote Russian rarities, this year’s northwest regional awards cat show promises to be exactly what it’s called – a Star Studded Affair.

There will even be a genuine feline celebrity on deck – Chester, the grey Scottish Fold kitten who spent a month at Montreal’s airport after being lost by an airline.

Cloverdale’s Amanda Stewart bought the registered kitten from a breeder in Quebec, but he vanished in May after being boarded onto an Air Canada flight headed for his new West Coast home.

Stewart, who has wanted a Scottish Fold since she was a girl, was about to head to the airport to pick up her new cat when the phone rang.

It was the airline telling her they’d lost her cat.

At first, “I thought it was my husband pulling a joke,” she said, explaining how she’d been reluctant to put the cat in cargo, fearing he wouldn’t be safe.

As the situation sank in, she felt terrible – particularly when it didn’t seem Air Canada was doing all it could to find the missing pet. Stewart turned to Facebook, and before long, news of the family’s missing cat spread, earning news headlines across the country. A month later, on June 17, an airport employee found Chester roaming around the landing strip. He dehydrated, but otherwise OK. He was soon home in Cloverdale, seemingly no worse for wear.

More than two months later, he’s thriving, says Stewart.

“He’s doing great,” Stewart told The Reporter last week. “You wouldn’t even know he was in such a situation. [He’s a] very easy-going guy.”

Chester’s Facebook page has attracted 3,200 followers, who continue to receive updates on his progress.

Stewart describes Chester as “Very laid back. Very easy going, and he’s super lazy.” It’s anyone’s guess how he survived on his own at the airport.

“We’re still surprised because he doesn’t really do much, so we’re like, how in the heck did this cat manage a whole month by himself?”

This will be Chester’s first appearance at the northwest regional awards cat show, presented by the Cat Fanciers of B.C. club Sept. 5 to 7 at the Pacific Inn in South Surrey.

The public is welcome to attend, says cat fancier Shirley Byington, another Cloverdale resident who will have several cats of her own entered in competition.

“They will be able to see a lot of different breeds of cats, such as the Sphinx, Russian Kurilian Bobtail, Japanese Bobtail, and one of our newest breeds, the Chausie,” Byington said.

The Chausie is an active, playful breed related to jungle cats while the Kurilian Bobtail, meanwhile, is native to Russia’s Kuril Islands, located between the Kamchatka peninsula and Japan.

Spectators will be able to learn about the different feline breeds, and breeders will be on hand for chats.

They can also watch the various competitions. The cat competitors in a range of categories face a panel of judges, with points awarded for body, ear and head shape, as well as fur pattern.

The event is presented by the Cat Fanciers of B.C. club. The show hours are Friday, Sept. 5 from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Sept. 5 and 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and free for kids 12 and under. To enter, email entryclerk@cfofbc.org, and for more details, email showmanager@cfofbc.org or visit www.cfofbc.org.

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