Feline variety on display at City Meeting Center

Feb. 5—The Garfields, Toms and Sylvesters of the pet world have been getting their due this weekend as Alabama Paws and Claws holds its annual cat show at the Anniston City Meeting Center. Breeders and cat lovers from all over the country are showing off their animals under judges' careful gaze.

Held Friday for the press and Saturday and Sunday for a public audience, the competition boasts of more than 60 cat breeds — more than a hundred cats — being shown in 20 rings.

Lyssa Paull and her 10-month-old "Devon Rex" short-haired kitty were among those competing Saturday. Paull said the one blue, one green, "odd eyed" cat had already won a title of Supreme Grand Champion at another regional show.

"She's in the regional win and I'm seeing if she can get up high enough to be in the international win," Paull said.

The meeting center's main hall was filled with spectators and contestants with their furry friends.

All around the room, one could see covered crates, each with a different unique cat inside. Some housed exotic-looking sphinx cats, while others housed huge Maine coon cats.

Kyra Hagan, of Chelsea, is the owner of multiple Maine coons that were being shown Saturday and Sunday. Her friend Amy Randolf made the trip down from Kalamazoo, Mich., to help her show some of the cats, one of which is a polydactyl Maine coon — or a cat that is born with an unusual number of toes.

Hagan said that this was her first time competing in the Anniston show, though she had been a visitor at the competition for years prior to the pandemic. While the show was on hiatus, she got her first show cat, Oscar.

"Oscar is a crowd favorite. Everybody likes the high-white. But he has done really well. At his last show, which was his third show as an adult he earned his supreme grand champion title," Hagan said.

"Now we're out here for the fun of it, since we're not competing for a title anymore. Just because he loves to travel. He loves the show, and he always plays a lot on the judges' table," she continued.

Hagan explained that when Oscar does that, he isn't the same as other cats. He's only 9 months old but already very big. At that age, he is still considered a kitten and when he plays, he jumps with all fours and shakes the whole table.

Spectators are encouraged to interact with the contestants, as they get a chance to vote for their favorites.

Staff Writer Ashley Morrison: 256-236-1551. On Twitter: @AshMorrison1105.