What do community organizer and radio talk show host Ron Bell and Boston Globe travel writer and columnist Christopher Muther have in common? On Sunday, August 27, the answer will be CATS!Both men are guest judges for an event that’s always the highlight of New England Meow Outfit, Inc’s (NEMO) annual cat show – the Cat and Owner Costume Contest! The contest celebrates the human-animal bond in a most a-mewsing way: Participants and their cats in coordinated (or otherwise related) outfits will slowly parade past the two judges, each of whom will select a different winning pair to receive a $40 Petsmart gift card. Russell Webb, allbreed judge and Vice President of the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the event. It’s all part of a two-day cat show being held at The VERVE Hotel Boston, 1360 Worcester Street, in Natick, August 26 and 27. (Costume contest participants must be entered in the cat show in order to compete.)
Bell is a prominent community organizer and activist from Boston’s Mission Hill neighborhood. He is also a tireless advocate for social justice, best known as the founder of the Dunk the Vote organization, which focuses on increasing participation and voter turnout. He is affiliated with Boston Black News and co-hosts the Morning Crew radio show on WBPG-LP 102.9 FM Radio.Muther is a travel writer and columnist for the Globe, a part-time DJ and a full-time feline enthusiast. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he formerly covered fashion and style for the G section of the Globe and served as an Adjunct Professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
The contest is just one small part of the cat show, which is expected to bring together over 100 cats and over 30 pedigreed breeds, as well as a clowder of household pets. Eight professional judges affiliated with the Cat Fanciers’ Association (the world’s oldest and largest registry of pedigreed cats) will present and evaluate the cats for awards. Pedigreed cats will be judged based on their breed standard, which details the “perfect” example of each breed – for example, head shape, body length, coat quality, and color. Household pets are judged on an individual level – their looks, personality, and grooming come heavily into play. Any cat may be entered in this class – it is very inclusive and fun to watch.Breeders will be on hand to meet spectators and help them learn about the different breeds. Vendors of cat-related articles will also be on hand for your shopping pleasure, and a raffle will offer visitors a chance to win everything from cat trees to jewelry to wine.
For kids, there’s even a stuffed animal contest with prizes, held on Saturday afternoon. Also on Saturday afternoon, Show Manager Iris Zinck (who is a CFA affiliated judge) will conduct the Kitty Playoffs, a contest to determine the most playful cat or kitten entered in the show.Area cat lovers are welcome to enter their own cats (by August 21) so they can participate in the show, too. Kittens and Household Pets can be entered without a registration number, but all others must obtain a number from CFA. (More info at https://cfa.org/blog/events/new-england-meow-outfit-aug23/ )
Spectators are welcome throughout the event, which runs from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for children under 12, and those under 5 are FREE!!Advance tickets are highly recommended due to limited capacity! Tickets are available via: https://nemocatshow.ticketleap.com/dont-miss-bostons-only-cfa-cat-show.