Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Calendar Girl!

Here's a news item I never expected to be sharing with you . . . we've a Calendar Girl in the family!
Let me explain . . .

Jackie, my cousin, kindly gave me a Bengal Cat Club Calendar last Christmas. Knowing nothing about the Bengal Cat Club, far less its calendar, I was very impressed.

Throughout 2011, as each new month has arrived, so a different, and equally beautiful, Bengal Cat has been revealed. But (and I fully admit to prejudice in the matter) to my preferential eye, none have been more beautiful than Chloe.
I had no wish to enter her into competition at a Cat Show (woe betide any judge who found fault with her!) but, on thinking about it, entering her photo for a calendar seemed a little different . . . and far less stressful for Chloe.

Through making enquiries, I discovered that up to three photos of any one cat could be submitted for the calendar. The winners were selected by popular vote at the Bengal Cat Club Show.

I studied the calendar again. The January cat was splendid . . . the February and March cats equally fine examples of the breed . . . Chloe might well have oodles of charm and big blue eyes, but, when it came to the finer points of the Bengal Cat, was she really as beautiful as I (and all her admirers) thought she was?

It was mid-June, the Cat Show was to be held at the end of July. After careful thought, I selected three photos (what had I got to lose?) and sent them off. Chloe would never know if she was rejected, and that was all that mattered.

"She won't get anywhere," I said to a friend, "she's wearing her harness in all the photos. They won't choose a cat with a harness."
And my friend agreed.

The phone call came late in the evening on the final day of the show. Having overlooked the date, I was taken completely by surprise. Additional surprises came thick and fast. Not only had Chloe won a place in the 2012 Calendar, but her chosen photo had come top with the voters!

"The one with the bluebells?" I asked.
"No," said the representative of the Bengal Cat Club, "the one with the bluebells was popular, but it was the entry with the white flowers that won."
It was Chloe, as a kitten, amongst the syringa blossoms that had swept the board.

I was asked to provide more details . . . Chloe's pedigree name . . . the name of her breeder . . . this was beginning to feel serious.
She was registered as 'Arcatia Chloe', I told them, and she'd been bred by Joolz Scarlett in Reading.

Was Chloe listening to all this? Had she been absorbing the import of my discussion? It's the only explanation I can give for her behaviour the following morning.
Wild with exuberance, she charged around the flat like a cat possessed . . . dropping her long-suffering toy monkey from the cat tree, balancing precariously atop the bookshelf and, finally, with paw raised, threatening to send a collection of fragile glass ornaments crashing to the floor!

There was only one thing to do, Calendar Girl or no Calendar Girl, she was banished to the bedroom to reflect on the folly of an over-inflated ego!

I wonder . . . are the Women's Institute planning another calendar in the near future? If so, I have an enthusiastic volunteer who would be more than willing to bare all (less some tasteful syringa blossom) on their behalf . . . and burn off some surplus energy in the process!