ON THIS DAY in 1871, the first official Cat Show took place in London. Let’s get into that, shall we?
A gentleman named Harrison Weir is mostly responsible for the concept of a Cat Show, although people had been looking adoringly at cats (rightfully so) for ages before 1871. Harrison had written a book named ‘Our Cats and All About Them.” He also founded the UK National Cat Club. This dude was way the fuck into cats.
After all this, he devised a method by which to judge cats, not like, if they were cool or not, but professionally. You know at dog shows when people are all like, “Look at my entire dog!” It was like that, but with cats.
NOW, no man is an island, or whatever, and it takes a village to make a cat show, so Harrison had help in the form of Fred Wilson, who was the superintendent of the natural history department at the Crystal Palace. Fred also had a serious thirst for adorable kitties.
The two gentlemen combined their high-level cat-fancying abilities and gave birth to the first official Cat Show in a place called the Crystal Palace. There were roughly 150 – 211 cats shown. These included Siamese cats, Manx cats, A Scottish Wildcat, an Algerian Cat, a polydactyl cat with 26 claws, a pterodactyl cat that soared high above the event catching small birds, an alcoholic cat yelling about reality being predestined, and my own cat, Watson.
200,000 PEOPLE ATTENDED. I did not make that part up, 200,000 people showed up to look at kitties!
Remember earlier when I said he devised a method by which to judge cats? Here’s where that bit comes into play, as prizes were awarded. Categories included:
Least amount of fur
Most Likely to Succeed
Most competent sous chef
And finally, a category simply called “Awwwww!” the criteria of which was unknown to everyone but Harrison, who would go around going “Awwwwwww!” at all the cats until he gave one an award.
The event was such a success that they heald another one just months later. The world was then gripped with a Cat Fancy unheard of since the ancient Egyptians, who technically held cat shows all the time. The only difference being that they called it church.
(Pictured Below: Cats doing some serious cat shit.)