Miami Cat Fanciers' Association Show: Here's your opportunity to learn the difference between a Himalayan and a Siamese, between an Abyssinian and a Somali. Featuring 450 or so cats and kittens from more than 26 different breeds, this annual show hosts dozens of exhibitors who will happily wax poetic for hours on the superiority of their particular breeds. In addition to competitions, the show includes a "Meet the Vet" forum, tips on grooming and care of your little Fluffy, and a selection of felines available for adoption. The show runs today and tomorrow from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Dade County Fair Exhibition Hall (10901 Coral Way). Admission is six dollars for adults, three for kids. Call 223-7060 for more information. (JO)

Miami International Home and Garden Show: Born near the end of World War II (like so many of its attendees), the 53rd annual Home and Garden Show is a dreamland of products and services that could make your house into the home of tomorrow (ooh, ahh). The show fills the Miami Beach Convention Center (1901 Convention Center Way, Miami Beach) with a wide variety of home appliances, electronics, services, a pet expo, learning centers, decorating and design demonstrations, and a pet look-alike contest with Coach's Jerry Van Dyke on May 30. In addition, Florida Power and Light will build a half-million-dollar, 3700-square-foot, fully decorated dream house right there in the convention center, in a round-the-clock marathon during the course of the show. Admission is seven dollars. The show runs today through Monday and on May 31 from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Tuesday through May 30 from 5:00 to 11:00 p.m., and June 1 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Call 666-5944. (GC)

Subtropics 9: See Thursday.
Funny Money: See Friday.

sunday
may 25
Poetry Palooza '97: Free expression has free rein today at Wild Oats Market (2501 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) as the first Poetry Palooza kicks off at noon. This ten-hour poetry/spoken-word extravaganza features a mix of creative folks -- from street poets to published writers -- hailing from West Palm Beach to Miami Beach, and all points in between. Among the 25 people performing are acclaimed author John Dufresne (Louisiana Power & Light, Love Warps the Mind a Little), Afro-Cuban wordmeister Adrian Castro, Big 106 (WBGG-FM 105.9) radio host Diane Ray, spoken word/percussion group the Weeds (fronted by event founder Adam Matza), members of the Mary Street Dance Theatre, and spoken-word artists Lebo, Dominic Traverzo, and Jeanne Sutton. The event will also devote a quarter of each hour to open-mike readings by the audience. In the Wild Oats cafe, Borders Books & Music will host "What's My Rhyme?" the ultimate poetry trivia "game show," featuring host Percy Quillfeather, at 2:00 p.m. Admission is two dollars; proceeds benefit Kids in Distress, a nonprofit organization that treats and assists victims of child abuse and their families. Call 954-566-9333. (GC)

Tour of World Figure Skating Champions: It's not likely there will be any bench-clearing today at the Miami Arena (721 NW First Ave.) when the Tour of World Figure Skating Champions hits the ice at 1:00 p.m. Oksana Baiul, Surya Bonaly, Brian Boitano, Michelle Kwan, Viktor Petrenko, Elvis Stojko, Marina Klimova, and Sergei Ponomarenko are among the bevy of Olympic and World gold, silver, and bronze medalists set to perform their award-winning routines. Tickets cost $31 and $46. Call 530-4400. (GC)

Subtropics 9: See Thursday.
Funny Money: See Friday.
Great Sunrise Balloon Race: See Saturday.
Miami Cat Fanciers' Association Show: See Saturday.
Miami International Home and Garden Show: See Saturday.

monday
may 26
Paulo Coelho: Now that Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho has moved into the big leagues of literature (his current novel, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, has sold more than 3.3 million copies worldwide; his previous work, The Alchemist, was a number-one best seller in sixteen countries and is Madonna's favorite book), he's being compared to everybody from Nobel Prize-winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez to Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Coelho, who is also a playwright, theater director, and songwriter, informs his books with the spirituality and symbolism of Latin American magic realism. Tonight Coelho reads from By the River Piedra at 8:00 p.m. at Books & Books (296 Aragon Ave.). Admission is free. Call 442-4408 for more information. (JO)

Subtropics 9: See Thursday.
Miami International Home and Garden Show: See Saturday.

tuesday
may 27
Adolf Benca: The works of Czechoslovakian-born painter Adolf Benca reach back into the dark mysteries of mythology for a muse. A Fulbright grant winner whose works hang in New York's Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C., Benca creates haunting canvases inhabited by blurred, almost evaporating figures. Earlier drawings feature frightening charcoal creatures covered with bloody red trails. Benca's works are on view at Inkubus (3197 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove) through June 1. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. Admission is free. Call 688-4684. (GC)

Subtropics 9: See Thursday.
Miami International Home and Garden Show: See Saturday.

wednesday
may 28
Barbara Ehrenreich: Best-selling author and Time essayist Barbara Ehrenreich (The Worst Years of Our Lives) explores one of the most disturbing aspects of human existence in her latest book, Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War. Ehrenreich attempts to explain the human attraction to violence, proposing that it is not rooted in the male "killer instinct" or in ancient hunting traditions but in the early human experience of being pursued by carnivorous predators. Tonight at 8:00 p.m. Ehrenreich discusses Blood Rites at Books & Books (296 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables). Admission is free. Call 442-4408. (GC)

Subtropics 9: See Thursday.
Funny Money: See Friday.
Miami International Home and Garden Show: See Saturday.
Adolf Benca: See Tuesday.

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