Calling all cat ladies, Redditors, and other friends of felines: We're pleased to announce the chance of a lifetime to see the craziest cat show in the world for one weekend only.
The World Cat Congress is coming to downtown Miami's Double Tree for a totally-unique engagement featuring an advertised 50 breeds of cats new and old, the world's second-largest cat, a cat fashion show, every manner of cat-related merchandise you can imagine, and more
This show travels the world, appearing in different countries annually, and it will never come to Miami again. With all the furry fun they've got planned, even if you only like cats just a little, you'd be out of your mind to miss this op-purr-tunity.
"It's one of a kind, and I tell people who are exhibiting it's a chance of a lifetime," said Cat Congress co-manager Rene Knapp, who's more than excited to bring the event to South Florida for the first time. "You've got Miami and you've got the World's Cat Congress. It's the best of two worlds."
But what exactly is the World Cat Congress?
Knapp explained that it's an international meeting between all cat associations from around the globe, spanning and representing all six continents (because cats don't live in Antarctica). They gather once a year in a different location to celebrate cats, educate the general public, discuss relevant issues of the feline persuasion, and host an international cat competition with awards and prizes.
A panel of 14 judges, representing U.S. regions and every participating continent, will be on hand to call the winners. Cats compete in five categories; purebred cats, purebred kittens, altered purebreds (meaning spayed and neutered), as well as household cats, and household kittens.
"(The domestic breeds) get the same titles and same international awards, and the same wonderful prizes that the purebreds get," she said, "because every cat is important and unique."
Spectators can also vote on their favorite cat with a winner being called at the end of Sunday's festivities.
"We also have an agility ring, just like dog agility. It's scored and there's international wins, and there's trophies and prizes just like the dogs have," Knapp said. "If you've never seen a cat do agility, you need to come."
The Cat Congress is also a non-profit organization, so all proceeds from the door go to five local cat rescue shelters and organizations, all of whom will be on hand with pretty kitties available for adoption.
"The more people we get, the more money we'll be able to donate, and that's kind of what we're looking at," she said.
This is only the third time the Cat Congress has come to the United States, and being that we're in Miami, it's the first officially bi-lingual event in Cat Congress history. Spectator guides, pamphlets and educational opportunities will be offered in both Spanish and English so no one feels left out.
"We wanted to really target everybody," Knapp said. "We want everybody to come."
Come bear witness to brand new, rare and exotic breeds the likes of which you've never seen - and may never see again. Just make sure you get there early, because the cat fashion show kicks off at noon, and you don't want to miss the parade of breeds. (But please, leave your own cats at home. These cats went through a health-mandated selection process to be here).
A cat lover and parent herself, Knapp will have cats of her own competing in multiple categories. For her, it's a real family affair, a her husband will serve as a judge on the panel. They're not particular only to cats. Their household comes with dogs as well, but Knapp admits there's just something extra special about felines that puts the whole world in a frenzy.
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"I think they're a lot like women," she joked. "We're mysterious, we get to change our minds whenever we want, and we can be very nice but we like to know that there's something at the end of our niceness that we're going to get for it. That's how cats are."
World Cat Congress, featuring 500 cats and 50 breeds. Saturday and Sunday at the DoubleTree Miami Airport Convention Center, 711 NW 72nd Ave., Miami. Tickets are $12 for adults; $10 for seniors, military and kids 5-12; and $40 for families with two adults and five kids (or $35 with military ID). Bring cat food as a donation and get $1 regular adult admission. Visit worldcatcongress.org.
Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.