Maine Coon Won Best Cat At First US Cat Show

At the time of the first American cat show held in the Madison Square Garden, New York on May 8th, 1895,  the now famous and popular Maine Coon was called a "Maine cat". The word "coon" was not a twinkle in anyone's eye.

Perhaps the Maine Coon should still be called the "Maine cat" because I don't think the word "coon" does this breed any favours.

Of course the first cat show, in what is now the country with the biggest cat fancy in the world, was held in the State of Maine. That makes sense.

The winner was a Maine cat, which makes me think of bias but perhaps that is just me being cynical.

The winning cat was a brown tabby Maine cat. The brown tabby coat is nice on the Maine Coon to this day because it is a natural coat type, the sort of coat that would have been typical for Maine cats.

The winning cat was of course native to Maine.

Apparently he was a good cat so was probably a deserving winner. He was a gelding. As the show took place in May, we are told that he:

...was much ahead of the breeding cats as to plumage..."

A "gelding" is a castrated male cat -- a neutered male cat. People appear to have accepted that he was the best at the show. His coat was in better condition than the breeding cats.

There were eight English cats at the show. Astonishingly, several died shortly after the show. That makes me think, "why?". Was it the arduous travelling? Or perhaps the conditions at the show?

The temperature at the show was 96 degrees Fahrenheit.  It was very hard on the cats. This may have had an effect on the English cats.

Nonetheless, the show was a great success and the beginning of the cat fancy in America.


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