Middle-schooler teaches Cat Show 101 seminar

Sarah D. Bunting

MacKenna Goldsbary of Rose Valley, WA is a cat-fancying, community-service dynamo. Not only did she raise $200 for the Kelso School district's outdoor school last fall, hold a pet-food drive for the local humane society at Coweeman Middle School in March, and make a presentation at an adoption event at a nearby mall – Goldsbary also sewed comfy pads for cats to raise money for the humane society, AND showed her cat, Gracie, at a cat show last year. And she's only 11 years old.

And she's not done.

Goldsbary has another presentation ready to go – this one a primer on showing cats, scheduled for this coming Saturday at Three Rivers Mall. Called "Cat Show 101," it's a seminar on getting started showing your cat, and it's open to kids and adults. 

How did Goldsbary get started with cat shows? Her mom and grandma, Angela King and Maureen Clark, work the shows as vendors, so Goldsbary and her younger sister, Hailey, have spent a lot of time around championship felines. But what really inspires Goldsbary is Gracie, found by the Goldsbary girls and their cousin, Cody, as a lost kitten last summer. Grace had chewed her way out of a box containing her other tiny littermates, and headed for the road; the kids found Grace there, then went back later and discovered the rest of the family, and Goldsbary says the black mackerel tabby is a hero for going to get help.

Yahoo! Screen: Trained cat shows off

Goldsbary joined the Youth Feline Education Project – the Cat Fanciers' Association's youth division – when Grace was a year old, and started showing her rescued cat in the household pets category. She's entered Grace in a local show on April 14-15, and Goldsbary is hoping she can convince other kids to join her – cats don't have to do tricks or perform to the degree that show dogs do, so it's not as daunting. Plus, Goldsbary says, learning more about grooming and showing your cat "helps you bond with your cat," and lets you meet new people. It's also made the previously shy Goldsbary more outgoing, and her YFEP activities could qualify her for scholarship money in the future.

Attending Goldsbary's seminar this weekend comes with prizes, too – goodie bags crafted by Goldsbary, and reduced entry fees for cat shows. The class is $10, but the money goes to the Humane Society. If you decide to check it out, let us know what you find -- and if you have any good cat-show stories of your own, please share them in the comments!

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