The Cat Essay Research Paper Cat Domestic — страница 4
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cats at cat shows. Judges at cat shows must be trained and certified. Purebred cats are judged on health, temperament, and how well they fit the official standard for their breed. Mixed-breed cats are judged on health, temperament, and general appearance. All cats are expected to be amenable to handling; a cat may be disqualified if it bites or otherwise injures a judge. ACat Associations A cat association is an organization that registers cats and kittens, selects cat show judges, and schedules cat shows. There are various cat associations in the United States, including the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), The International Cat Association (TICA), and the American Cat Fanciers’ Association (ACFA). The largest of these groups, the CFA, registers more than 80,000 cats and kittens annually. All of the cat associations operate independently; cat clubs, breeders, and exhibitors choose which associations they wish to join and whose breed standards and rules they wish to follow. BCat Shows An increasing number of local, regional, and national cat shows are held throughout the year in the United States, with hundreds of cats competing for awards. Owners show their cats for fun and to gain a reputation among other exhibitors and breeders. Cat shows do not award monetary prizes, and the entry fees and travel expenses can be expensive. Although exact show rules and procedures vary from association to association, the general format is the same. There are four categories of competition: purebred kittens, purebred adults, purebred alters (cats that have been neutered or spayed), and household pets (mixed-breed cats or kittens). A single cat show may have 8 to 20 different judges; usually, a cat is judged by every judge in the show. At cat shows in the United States, each judge has his or her own ring-an area consisting of 10 to 15 numbered cages and a judging table. Cats wait in cages in another area of the show hall, called the benching area. The owners bring the cats to the ring when called and place them in the judging cages. The judge takes each cat out of its cage in turn, places it on the judging table, and examines the cat carefully to make sure that it is healthy and meets the standard for that breed. After judging each cat within a particular class or breed, the judge gives out preliminary awards, such as Best of Color or Best of Breed. After judging all the cats in a category, the judge gives top awards to the ten best cats in that category. Each judge works independently, and judges’ opinions sometimes differ markedly. VICAT LORE Cats have figured in the history of many nations, are the subject of much superstition and legend, and are a favorite subject of artists and writers. AHistory and Legend Cats became objects of worship in Egypt because of their ability to keep down the rodent population in Egypt’s economically important grain fields along the Nile. The Egyptian cat goddess Bast, or Bastet, depicted as having the body of a woman and the head of a cat, was the goddess of love and fertility as well. Egyptian cats were also used for sport by their owners. Attached to leashes, these animals hunted birds for the family table; a boomerang flung by the master brought the birds down and the cats, unleashed, would retrieve them. Because they were economically useful and were believed to ensure many children for a family, cats were so revered that they were mummified and buried either with their owners or in specially designated cemeteries. Despite Egyptian laws that forbade the removal of the sacred cats, Phoenician sailors smuggled them out of the country. Cats were traded along with other treasures from the Middle East and in antiquity could be found throughout the Mediterranean area. Archaeological evidence indicates that the Romans were the first to bring cats to the British Isles. Throughout much of the Middle Ages, cats were feared and hated. Because of their nocturnal habits, they were believed to consort with the devil. This association with witchcraft has been responsible for many acts of cruelty toward cats through the centuries. The Renaissance, in contrast, was the golden age for cats. Almost everyone had one, from members of royal families and their staffs to the peasantry. The first domestic cats in North America arrived with the colonists and were employed to keep the rodent population under control in the settlers’ fields, barns, and homes. Cats are said to have played an important part in keeping rats out of the California gold mines. In India cats often played an important part in religious or occult ceremonies. In South America the Inca revered sacred cats; cats are represented in pre-Columbian Peruvian artifacts.