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Easter weekend doesn't stop cat-loving crusade at West Fargo feline show

WEST FARGO - More than 15 years ago, Pete and Sheila Dewey drove through here when a sign advertising a cat show changed their lives. "It was just a fluke," Sheila said. "We didn't know Fargo had a [cat] show. "We were coming into town, we were g...

MINN-KOTA_CAT_SHOW.JPG
Lil Borg's American Shorthair kitten plays with a feather at the Minn-Kota Feline Club Cat Show Saturday at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds in West Fargo. The show continues Sunday. Borg, of Valley City, is also the show manager. Dave Wallis / The Forum

WEST FARGO – More than 15 years ago, Pete and Sheila Dewey drove through here when a sign advertising a cat show changed their lives.

“It was just a fluke,” Sheila said. “We didn’t know Fargo had a [cat] show.

“We were coming into town, we were going shopping … and there was this sign on the road that said ‘cat show.’ I said, ‘Pete, turn!’”

The Jamestown couple went in and later decided to take their love of cats to the next level. They are now exotic and Persian cat breeders.

“I used to bring strays home when I was a little girl,” Sheila said. “I’ve always loved cats.”

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The Minn-Kota Feline Club Cat Show has had cat enthusiasts saying “Meowzers!” since it began 41 years ago.

Show cat owners compete at multiple shows throughout the region and the country to gain points, trying to prove their cat is the best cat.

The Minn-Kota Cat Show, which started on Saturday and runs through Sunday, is one of the final cat shows of the season, which ends on April 30, so many show cat owners are eager to pick up some final points, said show secretary Lisa Ferguson.

“We kind of get the crème de la crème,” Ferguson said.

The show ran into a bit of a scheduling conflict with Easter weekend this year, but organizers say attendance doesn’t dip too drastically.

The show features several breeds from the lightly-haired Sphynx cats to the furrier ragdoll or Maine Coon breeds.

There are different categories for judging the cats, including, kittens, altered, household pet and breeding cats.

 The cats don’t seem to mind the attention, either.

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Burt Reynolds, a Maine Coon and a previous grand champion cat, was more concerned with playing with his toys than he was with the dozens of people stopping by to admire his long fur and bobcat-like muzzle.

“Burt likes everything,” said Burt’s owner, Wendy Meyer of Austin, Minn. “He’s very easy to show in that way. He’s very amiable.”

Burt was a little more playful than some of the cats who preferred to nap.

The show isn’t just for cat lovers to show off their cats. It’s an opportunity for breeders to sell cats and for people who just want to learn more about the different cat breeds.

“A lot of people just want to come and see a Maine Coon or a rag doll or a Sphynx and see what they’re really like close up,” Ferguson said.

The competition component of the show is most important for many of the showgoers, but not for all.

 “I always take my cat home and no matter what the judge said, I know I’m taking home the best cat,” Ferguson said. “We all leave with the best cats.”

If you go

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What: Minn-Kota Feline Club Cat Show

When: Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: The Hartl Ag Building at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds, 1805 Main Ave. W., West Fargo.

Info: Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children ages 6-12 and free for children ages 5 and younger.

Related Topics: WEST FARGO
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