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Cats to fill market this weekend
Competition runs through Sunday
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Forsyth County News

If you're going:
* What: Atlanta Phoenix Cat Society cat show
* When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
* Where: Lakewood 400 Antiques Market, 1321 Atlanta Hwy.
* Admission: $5 adults; $4 children and seniors
* Online: www.atlantacatshows.org/AtlantaPhoenix

At home, Toby is your typical beloved pet cat.

On show day, he's known as Red Moon Rising, and the Turkish Angora is No. 1 in his breed.

About 250 to 300 show cats will strut their stuff Saturday and Sunday at the Atlanta Phoenix Cat Society cat show.

The annual event, usually held in Roswell, will be in Forsyth County for the first time this year, at the Lakewood 400 Antiques Market.

Plenty of vendors will be on hand selling cat-related items and cat owners will be available for questions, show organizer Charlene Munro said.

Proceeds from spectator ticket sales will go toward local rescue organizations or humane societies.

Cat shows aren't often as well known or understood as those of their canine counterparts, Munro said.

"Unlike dog shows, they don't run around a little ring," she said. "Most of the excitement happens when they have finals, meaning the judge has picked your cat to bring it back up and give it an award."

The purebred cats are shown in three divisions: kittens up to 8 months old, premiership for spayed and neutered cats and championship.

Munro, who lives in Acworth, will be entering one grand champion cat and two kittens who are first-timers.

Like a dog show, she said, each breed has standards the judges inspect, as well as "how well a cat shows themselves off."

In the Cat Fanciers' Association, the national group of which the sanctioned show is a part, points from competitions add up to determine whether a cat receives a regional title or more.

With the end of the season nearing, "people are looking for points," said Andrea Cobb, whose Ocicat named Blitz is up for a regional win.

Cobb, who lives in Cartersville, will enter six cats from four different breeds at this weekend's show.

In her sixth year showing cats, Cobb said the atmosphere is relatively laid back, social and friendly. Most people enjoy visiting with others about their cats.

For Joan Scholle, owner of Toby, that's her favorite part.

"To have people come up to you in a show and tell you how beautiful your cats are, that's better than winning a ribbon for the cat," Scholle said.

Scholle, a Roswell resident, will enter four cats in this show.

She began showing them six years ago after her daughter brought one home.

Scholle admitted that watching a cat show can be confusing for a first-timer because there's so many ribbons.

It can also be exciting, she added, since "some people have never seen or heard of these cats before."

It's easy to tell when a cat wants to win the title of beauty queen or king, the owners agreed.

"If they're trying to hide within themselves or they're hissing and growling, that cat does not want to be there," Cobb said.

"If the cat has its head up and its tail up and is looking at the crowd going, 'Look at me. Look at me.' You know they're loving it."