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The top UK cat show for the UK's top cats. National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham.

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      10.01.2002 05:42



      The Supreme Cat Show is the top UK cat show and is held every year at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. 2001 was it’s 25th Supreme Show and it took place on Saturday, 24th November 2001 in halls 18, 19 and 20 of the NEC. The halls are in the newest part of the NEC complex and are all on one level. The NEC has a huge amount of car parking and there are free shuttle buses from the car parks to the various halls. The parking is not free there is a charge of £5.00. For rail travellers there is a covered walkway connecting Birmingham International Rail Station to the NEC. The show is open to the public between 10.30am and 4.30pm. Admission costs £6.00 for adults and £4.00 for children and O.A.P’s. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets do not have to be booked in advance, as there are ticket booths in the atrium Outside Hall 19. If you arrive before the start of the show there are cafes in the atrium. However, I have found most of the cafes at the NEC to be quite expensive. When you enter the show there is a Catalogue and a Show Guides available to buy. The Catalogue is expensive, but the show guide is £1. This is very useful as it details all the Cats on show, all the trade stands and all the Cat Clubs in attendance. It also gives the timetable for the judging and what will be happening on the stage. The Supreme Cat show is run by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy. The GCCF is the feline equivalent of the Kennel Club in the UK. It was established in the 1910 as an independent body and was formed from three or four cat clubs who were registering cats at that time. The GCCF are based in Bridgwater, have 139 affiliated cat clubs, licence about 125 cat shows and register an average of 32,000 pedigree cats per year. Our Cats is the official Journal of the GCCF, it is published every 2 weeks and contains official notices, judges reports from the GCCF licensed cat shows as
      well as other cat related items and features. The Supreme Cat show is divided into the following classes: - Longhair Section Semi-Longhair Section British Section Foreign Section Burmese Section Oriental Section Siamese Section Best Of Variety Non-Pedigree Section The cats are kept in large pens whilst waiting to be judged. Visitors to the show can walk round and look at all the cats. The owners can decorate the pens, each year has a different theme, and this year the theme was A Space Odyssey. This part of the show is sponsored by Whiskas. When the cats are being judged they are placed in plain pens in the judging rings. You can watch the cats being given the once over by the judges and see the rosettes awarded to the winners. I went to the show with my 2 children, aged 14 and 3. We arrived about 10.30am, I would recommend you use the shuttle bus from the car park to the hall as there is enough walking around the show without having to walk from the car park as well. We had to queue for tickets and this did not seem very organised as they ran out of children’s tickets. I only had to pay for my eldest child so it cost £10 in total. We took our own food and drinks, as these are too expensive from the various cafes. A bottle of coke that would normally cost 79p in the shops cost £1.30 there and an ice cream cost £1.50. There are also plenty of toilets around the halls. Using the show guide it is easy to find the location of all the different breeds of cat on show and the various trade stands. There are numerous stands ranging from cat charities, veterinary practices, cat pens, cat food, pet health, information and advice on taking your cat abroad, cat accessories and gifts, cat portraits, clothing, teddies and beanies, books, photography, pottery, ceramics, craft work and lots more. Anything you could possibly want related to cats can be found at the show. We lo
      oked at the cats in their pens, I had to watch my youngest daughter didn’t get too excited as she loves cats. You are not allowed to put your fingers through the bars as not only could this frighten the cats but also it could pass on disease. Flash photography is also not permitted. Most of the cats seemed quite content, they were either fast asleep or posing for the crowds. A few were very vocal and there were some announcements for the owner’s to return to their cats as they were getting distressed. I don’t particularly go to the show to watch the judging because there are lot more interesting things to see apart from that. The Cats Protection has stands there from different branches across the country. We made sure we went to all their stands to give support to them. They had an assortment of products such as mugs, stickers, pens, pencils, and tea towels, all with the Cat Protection logo on them. The kids had a great time on the various raffles and lucky dips and came away with bags of cuddly toys, sweets and other prizes they had won. There were plenty of freebies too, if you bought certain cat food or magazines you were given a bag of goodies for free, containing different cat products, some of these were not just samples but full size products. If you like cats then you will like the Supreme Cat Show, it is definitely worth a visit. The 26th Supreme Cat show will be held on 30th November 2002, for more information visit www.supremecatshow.co.uk


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