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International stars, adoptable pets at August cat show

Tailor Swiff, a former stray adopted from the Front Street Animal Shelter, is winning international awards.
Tailor Swiff, a former stray adopted from the Front Street Animal Shelter, is winning international awards.
Photo provided by Ken Kershaw

An abandoned kitten from the Front Street Animal Shelter is winning awards – and hearts – all over the world. The diminutive feline has become a popular competitor on the cat show circuit since her adoption in Sacramento in January.

Ken Kershaw met the chocolate, fawn and cream-colored kitten at an internationally sanctioned cat show to which Animal Outreach of the Mother Lode and the City of Sacramento's Front Street Shelter had brought adoptable felines.

Shelter cats and kittens competed against professional show cats at the event, put on by the Jazzy Cats chapter of The International Cat Association (TICA).

TICA shows include categories for Household Pets (HHP) as well as for pedigreed cats, and the competition is just as serious as it is with the purebreds.

The association is involved in 103 countries around the world, according to Roeann Fulkerson of TICA, and it continues to grow. In addition to the pedigreed animals, the registry of HHP cats will hit 50,000 by the end of this year.

Several of Kershaw’s HHP cats were competing in the January show, and he was immediately drawn to the charm and personality of the kitten, then called Fleur de Lis. He adopted her on the first morning of the show and visited her constantly throughout the two-day event.

Kershaw, known for the whimsical names he gives his animals, dubbed the kitten “Tailor Swiff”.

Kershaw definitely has an eye for feline talent. At a Jazzy Cats show in 2011, he adopted a Front Street kitten whom he later named “Feral Faucet”. She went on to become the number one HHP kitten in the world for 2012.

The following year, Feral earned the 2013 title as the best adult household pet on earth.

Now Tailor Swiff is working her way up in the cat show rankings. She is currently the number one kitten in TICA’s Mid-Pacific region and is in 6th place internationally.

Kershaw says that Tailor has a wonderful, goofy personality that has earned her the nickname “Wild Child” at home. The kitten follows him around as a dog would, and plops down on his chest at every opportunity.

He says Tailor is not always allowed on the bed at night.

“She likes to grab the hair in your armpit and knead it,” he notes, “making it almost impossible to get any sleep.”

Tailor will be competing in the next Sacramento TICA show, held at the McClellan Conference Center on Aug. 16 and 17. The show, titled "Feline Like A Celebration!", is being put on by the Wine Country Cats chapter of TICA.

Front Street staff and volunteers will also be at the show with many adoptable cats and kittens, ten of which will be competing.

At the invitation of Gloria Mahan of Jazzy Cats, hundreds of Sacramento-area shelter pets have found new homes through TICA cat shows since 2011.

  • Feline Like A Celebration! Cat Show
  • Sat. August 16 – Sun. Aug 17, 2014
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • McClellan Conference Center
  • 5411 Luce Ave.
  • Sacramento, CA 95652
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