cat show Nowadays, “Cruft’s” is synonymous with dog shows, but back in 1894 entrepreneur Charles Cruft also staged cat shows. Cruft was a showmen and he tried to introduce American marketing and presentation tactics into the rather sedate world of the Victorian animal fancy. Cruft was born in Bloomsbury, London in 1852, the son of a goldsmith. In 1866, the 14-year-old Cruft decided not to follow the family trade and instead he became an office boy for James Spratt, manufacturers of dog biscuits. Through hard work, he rose to travelling salesman; this acquainted him with the growing dog fancy. By 1878, 26 year old Cruft was manager of Spratts. That same year, he organised the dog section at the Paris Exhibition. In 1891 he staged the first Crufts dog show in London; this was an immediate success. In 1894 members of the cat fancy approached him with an idea for a cat show, hoping he could raise the profile of cat shows as he had done with dog shows. Cruft rose to the challenge. The first Cruft’s Cat Conformation Show - "Cruft's Great International Cat Show" - was held on March 7 and 8, 1894, at St Stephen's Hall, Royal Aquarium in London. Charles Cruft hoped to repeat the commercial success of his newly-established dog shows. Despite the "international" moniker, the most distant exhibitor came from County Down in Ireland. In typical showman style, his guest list included aristocrats and public figures (although it must be admitted that many cat fanciers were aristocrats anyway). Patrons included the Duchess of Newcastle, the Countess de Sefton and Lady de Trafford; in total there were two Duchesses, two Countesses and plenty of titled Ladies, many of whom attended the opening day.

The four judges included Harrison Weir, who staged the first-ever cat show in 1871, and his brother John Jenner Weir. At that time, it seemed there was hardly a show at which one or other of the Weir brothers did not officiate. The third judge invited by Cruft was Mr J Jennings, a rising authority at the time. The fourth judge was a Miss Gresham, and this appears to be the only show at which she judged (unless she later judged under a married name). Except for a mention in 1895, her later history as judge and fancier is unknown.

This first Crufts Cat Show attracted 567 exhibits in 74 classes. The "Brace" class had 30 entries i.e. 60 cats to be removed from, and returned to, their pens. The exhibits represented the few recognised breeds of the time and some categories received no entries at all (these no doubt included the tortoiseshell male cat category!). Cruft entered his own tabby cat “Tiddley”. Blue Longhairs were extremely popular, and in the two open classes there were 38 cats. There was no "Best in Show," but had there been, a contender would have been Wooloomooloo, a Blue male owned by Mrs. Hawkins. Wooloomooloo appeared to be an exceptional specimen, but his parentage and age were unknown - what we might now consider a "foundation cat." Smokes were also plentiful, and the two open classes had 8 males and 12 females. By comparison, there the Shorthairs appear to have been unremarkable, many being exhibited as pedigree unknown. They wee very much eclipsed by the Persians and there is little doubt that Shorthairs were still very variable at that time: "pet quality" compared to modern Shorthairs. Siamese were represented in the form of 5 males and a single female. First prize went to seven month old male, Siamese Mew; this young upstart beat well-known Siamese as King of Siam and Kitza Kara, whose points were said to be almost black. The Manx or Any Variety Foreign class included George Billett's two "wild tiger cats," And Lord Lilford exhibited an " imported wild cat." There is no definitive description of species involved. Wild exhibits must surely have been judged from a safe distance, and must have been a hazard to transport and pen

The exhibition cats had far longer times than their modern counterparts. Not only was Cruft's show a two-day show, it was also open to the public until ten o'clock at night. For the owners of winners there may have been some compensation for this effort of endurance in the form of the "handsome illustrated Prize Card" awarded to each prize-winner. The prizes were very generous. In most classes there were three prizes: First Prize being 30 shillings; Second Prize being one Pound and Third being 10 shillings. The Specials were numerous enough to satisfy even the most exacting exhibitor. Some cups worth up to 25 guineas could be won outright and there was a gold medal for the best "Team". One lucky exhibitor's cat was awarded three Pounds, two cups, a silver cigarette case, a silver whistle/matchbox combined, and a medal.

The show hall was decorated with “masses of red drapery, Japanese lanterns, umbrellas, flags and magnificent palms” and the show catalogue was embossed. Poor weather kept the general public away and the press also took little notice. The show made a loss of £100, however, cat fanciers were enthusiastic. The show was featured in London's "Black and White: A Weekly Illustrated Record and Review" on Saturday March 17th, 1894. Sensing a opportunity, the railways went out of their way to be helpful to exhibitors. Both the Great Northern and the Midland ran full-page advertisements and provided a through van all the way from Inverness and even sent a representative to the show for the sole purpose of helping exhibitors. The railways would have been hoping the show drew visitors from out of town. The catalogue carried an advertisement offering through vans for exhibits to St. Pancras from many important towns on the Midland Line. Mr. Mugliston, thc Superintendent of the Line appeared prepared to go the extra mile to ensure the comfort the cats and their owners.

The newspaper of the animal fancy was “Fur and Feather” and this stated in its editorial “Mr Cruft has succeeded in getting together a collection of cats as we have never seen before... Cruft’s Cat Show has come and it has come to stay... henceforth we shall look forward to the Cruftonian event as one of the great features in the cat exhibition world.” The financial loss incurred by the first Crufts Cat Show made him reluctant to stage a second one. However influential, and probably aristocratic, cat fanciers persuaded him to stage a Second Crufts Cat Show in 1895. By comparison to the first show, this was a half-hearted affair. It was poorly advertised, the show hall was not grandly decorated and Cruft didn’t bother to enter Tiddley into the show. The prize money dropped to between 30 shillings and 5 pounds, compared to a prize of 25 guineas the previous year. Although Fur and Feather predicted it would be a great success, and later gave it glowing reviews, it was again poorly attended due to poor weather. The Fur and Feather reviews praised him for the innovation of “ring judging”. It should also be noted that Cruft allowed exhibitors to sell their cats to the attending public.

Cruft was a businessman and did not hold a third cat show. Fur and Feather announced in March 1896 that the cat show had been postponed due to Cruft's other business commitments, but he never went on to run such a show again. Cruft's two cat shows had both made losses and despite the enthusiasm of exhibitors and Fur and Feather, he wanted to concentrate on events that made, rather than lost, money. Perhaps if the British weather had been kinder to him in 1894 and 1895, Britain might now have a Crufts Cat Show as well as a Crufts Dog Show.

A number of readers have written to me during the past few weeks to ask when I am going to say something about the shows of 1892. This is a question which I should like to be able to answer, but even the most diligent search has failed to locate a single catalogue for either 1892 or 1893. This is a pity, for I am sure that tucked away somewhere catalogues for these years do exist. Can you find them ? So the best I can do is to go on to 1894 and conjure up a name — Crufts — which is still a household word in the dog world, but which long since seems to have dissociated itself from cats.

“Cruft’s Great International Cat Show ” was held at St. Stephen’s Hall, Royal Aquarium, London, on 7th and 8th March. Why it was called an international show I cannot imagine, for there was not a single exhibitor from outside the British Isles, although it is true that one came from County Down in Ireland. The only international flavour was provided by the cats of Siam and other strange creatures to be mentioned later. The exhibition cats of those days had a far harder time at shows than their descendants to-day, for not only was this a two-day show, but it was also open to the public until ten o’clock at night. For the owners of winners there may have been some compensation for this effort of endurance, as the promoters sent “a handsome illustrated Prize Card” to each winner of a prize. The cats’ thoughts on such overtime are not recorded.

There was no doubt about it, the promoters had obtained their patrons from the very top drawer, and in a long list of those who gave this show their support Were two Duchesses, two Countesses and Ladies galore. Many of them also visited the show on the opening day. There were four judges, who must indeed have had their time well filled, for there were no fewer than 567 exhibits. Although there were not the same number of classes that we find at all the big shows to-day, seventy-four was quite a formidable number, and a brace class with thirty entries, in which there were sixty cats to be taken from their pens, must have given the judge plenty to think about. The Weir brothers, Harrison and John Jenner, were two of the judges. At this time there was hardly a show at which either one or other of these brothers did not officiate, and Mr. J. Jennings, now on his way to the front as a judge, was asked by Charles Cruft to help. To me the fourth judge is of interest, for she is only the second woman to appear on the catalogues I possess. The lady was a Miss Gresham, and this, as far as I can discover, was the only show at which she judged, unless later she performed the same function under a married name. Except for 1895, her later history as judge and fancier is wrapped in mystery.

Surely these were the days for exhibitors, as the railways went out of their way to be helpful. Both the Great Northern and the Midland indulged in full-page advertisements. They provided a through van all the way from Inverness and even went so far as to have a representative at the show for the sole purpose of giving help to exhibitors. What “good old days” when the return fare from Wolverhampton was only three half-crowns! In most classes there were three prizes: a first of thirty shillings, a second of a pound, with ten shillings for the third. Specials, too, were numerous enough to satisfy even the most exacting exhibitor. Some cups worth anything up to twenty- five guineas could be won outright and there was a gold medal for the best team. One cat walked off with three pounds, two cups, a silver cigarette case, a silver whistle and matchbox combined and a medal. Quite a day out!

There was nothing very remarkable about the Shorthairs except for the fact that few of them seemed to be anything other than mere chance varieties with pedigree unknown. There can have been little attempt at standardisation, and to-day such cats could only find a place among the domestic pets. Siamese were there, but only five males and a solitary female. Here the first prize went to a young male, Siamese Mew, only seven months old, who had the effrontery to oust from first place such well-known Siamese as King of Siam and Kitza Kara, whose points were said to be almost black. How I should have hated to judge the Manx or Any Variety Foreign class if the description bore any relation to reality. Mr. George Billett had the audacity to show two “wild tiger cats”. Did the judge have to take such cats from their cages or did he judge them from a safe distance? Lord Lilford was not quite so precise in his description, but for most judges the fact that the noble lord was showing an “imported wild cat” must have produced some sobering thought.

Blue Longhairs had by now become really popular, and in the two open classes there were 38 cats, a number which would be considered a good entry even to-day. What was undoubtedly the Best in Show, although no such award was made, must have been a Blue male owned by Mrs. Hawkins. This cat bore the formidable name of Wooloomooloo. The gentleman was a fine cat, no doubt, but his parentage was unknown and, even worse, his owner had no idea how old he was. These were the days, too, when the Smoke was a power in Catland, for the two open classes had eight males and twelve females. That total is higher than all the Smokes I have seen in the last twenty years. When since, I wonder, were twelve female Smokes to be found in a single class? If you know the answer to this question, I shall be pleased to have it.


CRUFTS CAT SHOW Hendon & Finchley Times, 2nd March 1894
Everything points to the success of Mr. Charles Cruft’s next cat show March 7th and 8th. No better place than the Aquarium for the purposes of an exhibition could be found in any part of the country, the prize list Is by far the most liberal and the schedule the most extensive ever known, the judges are all thoroughly competent authorities, every possible precaution that can be desired will be taken to ensure the safety and comfort of the cats, and lastly, Hr. Charles Cruft’s lengthy experience will assure both exhibitors and the public receiving every possible courtesy and attention at the hands of the director who has well gained for himself the soubriquet of the “Prince Showmen."

CRUFT’S INTERNATIONAL CAT SHOW. Sporting Life, 8th March 1894
The interest taken in our domestic animals was again demonstrated yesterday (Wednesday), when Mr. C. Cruft opened his cat show in the St. Stephen’s Hall, Royal Aquarium, Westminster, there being large attendance visitors throughout the day, ladies, as usual, being in the preponderance. In an entry of close on six hundred, every species of cat and every shade of colour and marking was represented, some of the “pussies” being beautiful creatures to look upon, whilst others were of savage aspect, and one in particular, a large wild cat - ”Lord Lilford,” to wit - had his pen wisely marked dangerous. Among the exhibitors were Her Grace the Duchess of Wellington, Lord Lilford, Hon. Cecil M. Howard, and the Hon. K. Montague. As the list awards in the seventy-five classes and specials are so numerous, suffice it to record the winners of first and second prices in the more important ones so far as judged when our representative left:-

Short-haired Cats (male) (open classes). - Class 3. - Mrs. C. Heslop’s Xenophon, first; Mr. W. Barson’s Bob, second.
Class 4. - Mrs. Herring’s Jimmy, first; Mr. S. Wooliwiss’s Sedgemere Tommy, second.
Class 5. - Mr. R. Naylor’s Sam, first; Messrs. Pound Brothers’ Sandy Sam. second.
Class 6. - Miss A. H. McCrae’s Vic. first; Mr. T. Weightman’s Captain, second.
Class 7. - Mr. F. W. G. Walker's Kitzewee, first; Mr. F. W. G. Walker’s Mimi, second.
Class 9. - Mrs. Herring’s King Canute, second. First not taken.

Short-haired Cats (female), - Class 10. - - Mrs. C. Heslop’s Faith, first; Mr. Thomas Welsby’s Nell of Southport, second.
Class 11. - Mr. C. Graves’s Maria, first; Mr, F. Wood’s Mimicry, second.
Class 12. - Mrs. Herring’s Queen Bess, first.
Class 13. - Mr. H. W. Bullock's ch. Shelly, first; Mr. S. Woodiwiss Daisy, second.
Class 14. - Mr. H. T. Babb’s May Queen, first.
Class 15. - Miss M. B. Plummer’s Bayswater Blackie. first; Mrs. McLaren- Morrison's Pekin, second.
Class16. - Mr. H. W. Bullock’s Betsy of Kingswood, first; Mr. H. D. Bullock’s Frolick of Kingswood, second.
Class 17. - Miss A. Brunten’s Tipps, second. No first given.
Class 18. - Miss L. W. Hawkin’s Neptis, third. No first or second given.

Short-haired (open classes). - Class 19 (dark blue or silver-spotted tabbies). - Mr. B. T. Babb’s Jem, first: Mr. W. G. Cloke’s Silver King, second.
Class 20. - Mr. Powell’s Boy Blue, first; Mrs. E. Edward’s Masher, second.

Siamese Cats (open classes, male). - Mrs. E Hill’s Siamese Mew, first; Mrs. E. Hill's Siamese Beauty, second.
Female Class. - Mrs. Herring’s Queen Rhea, first.

Short-haired Male Cats (special classes). - Class 25. - Mr. C. H. Lane’s Leonidas, first: Miss S.E. Stuart's Toby, second.
Class 28. - Mr. C. Morden’s Tim, first.
Class 27. - Mr. K. T. Sharratt's Tiger, first; Mrs. H1. W. Pounce's Sandy, second.
Class 28. - Mr. V. Aberdeen's Monsor. first.
Class 29. - Mrs. K. Smith’s Fritz, first.
Class 30. - Mr. S. Woodiwiss’s Sedgemere Toff, first; Mr. L. T. Simmon’s Midget, second.

Short-haired (novice classes). Class 32. - Mrs. C. Heslop’s Golden July, first; Mrs. C. Heslop’s Faith, second.
Kittens. - Class 33. - - Mrs. H. Lugard's Kara, first; Mr. T. Weightman’s Milkmaid, second.

Long-haired Cats (male). - Class 33. - Mrs. Pearce's Lara, first.
Class 40. - Mrs. Lee’s The Masher, first.
Class 41. - Mr. R. C. Stephen's Nebuchadnezzar, second. No first.
Class 42. - Mrs. W. I R. Hawkin’s Woolloomooloo, first.
Class 43 - Mrs. Foote's Bogie, first.
Class 44. - Mrs. K Smyth’s Silver Laddie, first.
Class 45. - Mrs. Pearce’s Good Friday, first.
Class 48. - Mr. B. Hooton’s Jummy of Fillwood, first.
Class 48. - Miss Jay’s Skittles, first.
Long-haired Cats (female). - Class 49. - Mrs. Buller’s Betty, first.
Class 51. - Mrs. Mc’Laren-Morrison's True Blue, first.
Class 52. - Miss M. A. Manley’s Mascotte, first.
Class 55. - Mrs. M. P. Robinson's Fluffie. first.
Class 56. - Mrs. Pearce's Juliet, first.
Class 57. – Mr. R. T. Babb's Queenie first.
Class 59.- Mr. W. R. Hawkin’s Sweet Lavender, first.
Class 60. - Miss M. B. Norman’s Bassanio, first.

Long-haired Cats (special classes). - Class 67. - Miss Kitty Lister’s Wonka, first.
Class 68. - Mrs. A. Cos’s Tiger, first.
Class 70 (novices). - Mrs. Buller's Belle, first.
Class 71 (kittens). - Mr. G.H. Harrison’s Thomas Todd, first.
Class 72. - Miss Jay's Silver Daisy, first; Mrs. Foote’s Cinderella, second.

CAT SHOW AT WESTMINSTER Morning Post, 8th March 1894
Under the presidency of Lord Marcus Beresford and the patronage of the Duchess of Wellington, the Duchess of Newcastle, and others, a cat show of unusual proportions, organised by Mr. Charles Cruft, was opened yesterday, in the St. Stephen's Hall, Royal Aquarium.. The exhibition is divided into no fewer than 75 classes, and close upon 500 cats are exhibited. With such an enormous number of entries it goes without saying that practically every variety of cat known in this country, including some very rare specimens, is to he found in the Show. A long list of short-haired cats includes some extremely pretty red tabbies, besides a very fine brown tabby named Xnephon, shown by Mrs. C. Heslop, and a beautiful silver-grey tabby, Sedgemere Daisy, exhibited by Mr. S. Woodiwiss. A very attractive class is that of the "dark blue or grey or silver self-coloured" cats, the first prize in which was carried off by Mrs. Pownall's Boy Blue. The Siamese class, in which there were six entries, was yesterday the object of considerable attention, as much on account of the rarity of Siamese cats in this country as of the peculiarity of their appearance. All the cats shown in the class are of a delicate fawn colour, shading into a deep brown or chocolate hue in the faces and the feet. No fewer than three out of six take first prizes, two of these being exhibited by Mrs. E. Hill and one by Mrs. Herring. Another particularly interesting class is that for Manx and foreign varieties of cats. Here there are 10i exhibits, including a large wild-cat, labelled "dangerous," shown by Lord LiIford, two leopard-like animals from Africa, exhibited by Mr. Billett, and a pair of white Japanese cats, described as the first exhibited in this country, shown by Mrs. McLaren -Morrison. The novice classes have drawn some pretty exhibits, notably a charming blue cat, owned by Mrs. C. Heslop, whilst in the kitten class a tiny creature of a slate-blue colour, shown by Mrs. H. Lugard, excited general admiration. There is a fine display of long-haired blue cats, including a beautiful animal bearing the name of Woolloomooloo. Amongst the larger cats on view may be mentioned Mr. S. Dale's Snowey and a fine white cat, owned by the Marquis of Dufferin, and appropriately named Ambassador. Miss Gresham, Mr. J. Jenner Weir, Mr. Harrison Weir, and Mr. J. Jennings act as judges, and the Show will continue open until this evening.

CAT SHOW AT THE AQUARIUM. Globe, 8th March 1894
In St. Stephen’s Hall, Royal Aquarium, yesterday, an international cat show, organised by Mr. Cruft, was opened. It is claimed that the show is one of the largest ever held, the exhibits numbering 630. It is most representative; almost every breed of cat known is on view, and a large number of well-known exhibitors have sent specimens for competition. Among the exhibitors are the Duchess of Wellington, the Marquis of Dufferin and Ava, the Hon. C. Howard, the Hon. E. Montague, and Lord Ilford. The total value of the prises offered for competition is nearly £500; and in addition to the ordinary prizes, special awards, including cups and medals, are given. During the day a large number of persons visited the show, which remains open until this evening.

CAT SHOW AT THE ROYAL AQUARIUM. London Evening Standard - Thursday 08 March 1894
The International Cat Show promoted by Mr. Charles Cruft, which opened at the Royal Aquarium yesterday, is certainly one of the most representative and comprehensive of its kind ever seen, and it has the further advantage in these days of large exhibitions of being kept within such manageable dimensions as not to fatigue the spectator by constant repetition of the same breeds. No known breed of cat familiar to British domestic circles is absent, and each entry is thoroughly good of its kind. It is not surprising that owners of really well-bred specimens should be anxious to enter the competition, inasmuch as the judges – Miss Gresham, Mr. John Jenner Weir, Mr. Harrison Weir and Mr. J. Jennings - have at their disposal a prize list which, besides the large number of ordinary class prizes, contains no fewer than fifty-one special prizes, ranging in value from 25 guineas down to five. Foremost amongst the curiosities of the Show is a formidable wild cat, the property of Lord Lilford. We are naively told that this animal is imported, and that its pedigree is not known. The last statement, in so far as it refers to the immediate ancestry of the cat, may be readily accepted. As it lies in its cage, spitting and snarling, one feels thankful that the stout wire bars are between the spectator and this feline savage. As it is, visitors would take care not to go too near, for the beast can make a sudden dart with its tremendous claws six or seven inches through the front of the cage. Although from one point of view the disappearance of the wild cat from our woods and forests may be regretted, one can easily understand why gamekeepers should have ruthlessly exterminated it.

Out of the 75 classes into which the exhibition is divided a few of the most prominent only can be mentioned. The class for brown tabbies is, for example, an exceedingly good one, and it includes as first prizetaker Mrs. C. Heslop's brown Xenophon, which has taken many prizes before. Mrs. Herring has a beautifully marked silver with a long record for winning medals; and other first prize winners in their respective classes are Mr. R. Naylor's red tabby Sam; Miss A. H. McCrae's black Vic; Mr. F. W. G. Walker’s pure white Kitzewee; Mrs. C. Heslop's tortoiseshell Faith; Mr. C. Graves's tortoiseshell and white Maria; Mrs.- Herring's brown and black Queen Bess; Mr. H. W. Bullock's silver tabby Shelley; Mr. R. T. Babb's red tabby May Queen; Miss M. B. Plummer's black Bayswater Blackie; Mr. Babb's silver spotted tabby Jem; Mrs. Pownall's self-blue Boy Blue; Mrs. E. Hill’s Siamese Mew, which is of a light fawn with dark points; Mrs. Herring's Siamese Queen Rhea, of fawn with chocolate points; Mr. C. H. Lane's Leonidas, a pure white short-haired gelded; Mrs. Lee's long-haired white, The Masher; and Mrs. Buller 's Betty, a tortoiseshell entirely without white. These are amongst the best classes; but, as we have indicated, the others do not fall far short. The attendance throughout the afternoon was very large, lady visitors being especially numerous. Nowhere can the great variety of breeds be better studied than at the present show, which will be continued to-day.

AT THE CAT SHOW Yorkshire Evening Post, 8th March 1894
A cat show the Royal Aquarium in London day attracted many ladies and a few gentlemen. It was good show, and there were about 600 exhibits. There were two tortoiseshell Toms shown, one of which was priced at £50. Thee exhibition includes two very beautiful tiger-marked wild cats imported from Africa, and a very large wild cat, exhibited by Lord Liiford, which is marked "dangerous."

Lancaster Gazette, 10th March 1894
A cat show at the Royal Aquarium, Westminster, on Wednesday, attracted many ladies and a few gentlemen. It was a good show, and there were about 600 exhibits, though several of these wer duplicates [i.e. cats entered in more than one class]. The worst of a cat how is that there is no generally recognised criterion of merit. A cat may have this on that peculiarity, or may be beautifully marked, but cats do not, at least at present, fall into well-marked varieties, as dogs and horses do. There were two tortoiseshell Toms shown, of which one was priced at £50. Otherwise the exhibition was not particularly alluring. What is wanted is perhaps a Cat Club, which should arrange for a very definite scale of points in very definite classes. [One wonders if this reporter even went to a cat show, because the National Cat Club already had Harrison Weir’s scale of points for the recognised breeds!]

CAT SHOW AT THE ROYAL AQUARIUM. March 16, 1894 The Westminster Budget.
With some Notes by One of Our Artists.
There has not been anything like it in London. Nearly 600 cats, all beauties, come together to show the world what cats could do in the way of making up an exhibition. They filled the St. Stephen's Hall, at the Royal Aquarium, from end to end, and when the show was opened, they have been visited by admiring and increasing crowds. These were perfectly at ease, and illustrated the old saying that the cat is a free animal which plays with you when it pleases, but never allows you to play with it. A tiny tiger cat, wild also, and imported from Africa, was one of the beauties, the first prize-winners of the show. Not far from it sat Leonidas, a pure white creature with green eyes and a pink ribbon. It also has won a first prize for its owner, Mr. C.H. Lane, and was much engaged in fervent washings of its lily-white coat.

The queen of the show was Mrs. Herring's Siamese Queen Rhea, in a lovely fawn coat tipped with chocolate, and eyes blue as the bluest sky. No wonder it takes first prizes wherever it goes. It is impossible to do more than mention all the various breeds, blue, white, black, tabbies, and tortoise-shells, gigantic in some cases, and daintily small in others ; but one and all boisterously affectionate, or sedate and solemn, or sadly musical. There was that rare creature in this country, a wild cat. It was a magnificent specimen, in its fierce pride and independence, but it was sadly out of sympathy with its surroundings. It had not been in the place for many hours before it escaped from its large cage, and dashed about in the room. Nor could u be captured again before it had bitten its captor all over the hands. Then it lay in a corner of its cage, apparently subdued, but with its ears laid flat against the head in a way that boded evil. Poor wild cat. Lord Lilford may well be proud of being its owner, but it was not a happy captive, as were the rest of the 600. Altogether, it was a most amusing and entertaining show.

LOCAL WINNER Kentish Mercury, 16th March 1894
At the International Cat Show, held the Westminster Aquarium last week, Mrs. Herring, Lestock House, Leyland-road, Lee, was represented by a beautifully marked silver cat, with a long record for winning medals [presumably Jimmy], a brown and black bearing the name of “Queen Bess,” and a fawn Siamese with chocolate points, rejoicing in the title of Queen Rhea, all which were numbered amongst the winners of first prizes.

CATS Preston Herald, 17th March 1894
We are afraid that we have neglected our purring friends of late; however, if we have done so, others have been paying them attention, as the recent cat show organised by Mr. Cruft, of doggy fame, and held at St. Stephen’s Hall, Westminster, was a big affair. All the arrangements were well carried out, the place being thoroughly disinfected and the pens being of the first quality. Perhaps the most interesting part of the show were the classes assigned to wild and foreign cats. Among these were a beautiful long-haired, tailless silver grey; a pair of white tailless Japanese, short haired; and a couple of wild tiger cats, which were handsome creatures marked like leopards, and were eventually purchased by Mr. Sydney Woodiwiss, of Dachshund and Schipperk fame, who purchased largely [probably these became “Sedgemere Spiteful” and “Sedgemere Hateful”]. Perhaps the most admired feline in the show was a German wild cat belonging to Lord Lilford. The chief charm of this breed appears to be his partiality for clawing out the eyes of anyone who approaches his cage; indeed, he is said by the keeper of the Zoological Gardens, who ha scharge of him, to be the most evil-tempered brute he has ever had under his care.

ROYAL AQUARIUM CAT SHOW Burnley Express,24th March 1894
This week I treated myself to a peep at the Royal Aquarium Cat Show, got up by Cruft. There were six hundred in all, and almost without exception they looked happy and contented. Each pussy had a box of earth behind her, so there was no bad smell in the show. Neither were the pens placed in a draughty place. Shows like these do good, though believe me friend Onida would from differ me. As to the breeding of cats there is shady side to this, and I shall take care to enlighten my public concerning it before I am much older.

SIX HUNDRED CATS ON EXHIBITION. A cat show at the Royal aquarium in London recently attracted many women and a few men. It was a good show and there were about 600 exhibits, though several of these were duplicates. The worst of a cat show is that there is no generally recognized criterion of merit. A cat may have this or that peculiarity, or may be beautifully marked, but cats do not, at least at present, fall into well-marked varieties, as dogs and horses do. There were two tortoiseshell Toms shown, of which one was prized at $250. Otherwise the exhibition was not particularly alluring. – various (USA), May 4, 1894

ENGLAND’S CAT SHOW St Louis Post Dispatch, 29th April 1894
Five Hundred Well-Bred Tabbies Meet Under One Roof.
London, April 17. There is an earnest movement in England to promote the breeding of cats. The progress of the movement has just been illustrated by a “cat show” held at the Westminster Aquarium. There are things to be said for and against the idea of breeding cats. The cat is the most domestic of all animals that exist of have existed. The seclusion and treatment necessary to produce and maintain distinct varieties will probably breed much of the domesticity out of him, which would be a calamity to a large part of the human race. On the other hand the breeders say you might as well have a handsome, symmetrically marked cat as one that looks as if he had been the sport of inebriated house painters, and they add it is possible to have your cat well-bed and domesticated too; that is to say, well-bred in a moral as well as a physical sense.

cat show

The late “Cat Show” proved, if that were needed, what a very handsome beast the harmless, necessary one can be. The show was quite successful. The president was Lord Marcus Beresford, who has himself an interesting collection of cats, and among the patrons were the Duchess of Wellington, the Duchess of Newcastle and other high mightinesses. Mr. Charles Cruft, who managed the show, offered a challenge trophy, valued at $75 [25 guineas], and Lord Marcus a challenge cup of the same value. Many other gold prizes were offered and taken.

There were seventy-five classes, among them many that have hardly been heard of by the ordinary cat keeping public in America. The finest representative of the tabby family in the show was Xenophon, a twenty-pound tomcat. He was covered with black and brown stripes, and colours were of the richest, and the fur of the shiniest. He had eyes of gold, with black pupils, and he opened and shut them continually to call attention to their beauty. He had not that air of calm and fathomless wisdom which some cats wear in repose, but rather the appearance of a stout and choleric Englishman, with a thick neck and large stomach.

Among the cats in the how was a wild one exhibited by Lord Lilford. Its cage was labelled “dangerous,” and it was quite unapproachable, as all its tribe is said to be, It was of a red colour and came from Scotland. It was, of course, a most important exhibit, as the domestic cat of England and America is probably descended from such an animal. It is a portentous fact that several highly respectable looking tabby cats were quite as fierce and unapproachable as the wild cat. One of them scratched an attendant very severely, who had never in his life looked on an ordinary tabby cat as the object of distrust. This was the result of the breeding system. The cat in question came from the cattery of Mrs. Buller of Kensington. English cat breeders, it should be known, call the places where they keep the animals catteries. The occupants of the catteries have a little house and a run inclosed by wire. Needless to say the roof is denied to them. They do not know the liberty, the joys, the sorrows and adventures of ordinary cats.

An animal that attracted deserved attention was a spotted tabby. He was of the same color as the brown tabby, but he had black spots on a brown background. Several colors were seen in the show which have been produced recently by breeding, among them blue and smoke color. An expert described the former as the color of the smoke which comes from the end of a cigar, and the latter as the color of the smoke which comes from your mouth. By the introduction of Persian blood, long-haired varieties are produced. There were also many cats called silvers of a very pretty color.

Several handsome specimens of the royal cat of Siam were in the show. This animal is of a light gray or fawn color, with extremely black extremities, including nose, paws and tail. It is desirable that the extremities should be intensely black, which not only enhances the cat’s value, but gives him a humorous appearance. The black marking is continued over the head and down the back, as in the pug dog. The Siamese is distinguished from most other cats by having no aversion to water. He is very domesticated and affectionate, and an excellent sportsman, catching rabbits and other small game, as well as rats and mice.

The much-maligned black cat is well regarded by breeders and was present at the show in force. The black cat is a cheerful and vigorous animal, and stands the fatigues of appearing in public better than many exotic varieties. The black cat has been the victim of a cruel superstition of the Middle Ages. As a matter of fact he never delighted in evil associations. He is a cat of unusual intelligence and affection of a high courage. Perhaps his spirited behaviour when provoked beyond endurance has given rise to some of the slanders concerning him. The blue cat, to which much attention was paid in the last show, was probably obtained from the black. There were also white and black, and black and white. To get these is easy, but not to get them correctly marked. Black and white have white nose, chest and paws only. White and black have black nose, chest and paws.


MR CRUFTS CAT SHOWHull Daily Mail, 1st March 1895
The Cruft’s Cat Show will be held in London, on March 13th and 14th. The entries close on the 4th inst.

cat show

CRUFT’S CAT SHOW Daily Telegraph & Courier (London), 14th March 1895
Kings and Queens in the realm of Cats are gathered together Mr. Cruft’s Annual Cat Show in the St. Stephen’s Hall of the Royal Aquarium. All sorts of cats are there - Russian, Persian, Siamese, blue, spotted, grey, silver, red, and other tabbies, tortoiseshells, chinchillas, smoke-coloured - until a sort of kaleidoscope of cats seems to revolve before one's eyes. Nor does their calm and contemptuous demeanour tend to put at his ease the unaccustomed spectator. It is a show the quality of which warrants the supercilious hauteur of the exhibits as they recline on cushions of a hue suiting their complexions; and it is, therefore, high honour to Mrs. Morrison's handsome blue Monarch to have won Lord Marcus Beresford’s Challenge Cup for the best long-haired cat, and to Mrs. C. Heslop for carrying off the Cruft Challenge Cup for her team of tortoiseshells, Samson, Hope, and Charity. Samson is a curiosity, as a male of that colour is exceedingly rare. The Marquis of Dufferin and Ava exhibits a large white cat, Ambassador, very highly commended in Class 11. An interesting corner is where Mrs. Herring’s beautiful Siamese Queen Rhea is ensconced in a carefully-covered cage, watching over her three weeks’ old kitten, which already gives promise of exceptional beauty.

CRUFT’S CAT SHOW Morning Post, 14th March 1895
The success of the Cat Show held by Mr. Charles Cruft in the St. Stephen's Hall a year ago induced him to arrange for a similar exhibition this year, and to judge from the number of exhibits - between 500 and 600 - and the large attendance at the opening yesterday, the second venture will probably prove even more successful than the first. Mr. Cruft has been fortunate in securing a long list of influential supporters, amongst whom are included the Duchess of Bedford, the Duchess of Newcastle, the Duchess of Wellington, the Countess of Warwick, Lady de Trafford, Mrs. L. Buller, Mrs. J. Foote, Mrs. Nicholay, the Marquis of Dufferin and Ava, who is amongst the exhibitors, and Lord Marcus Beresford, who is President of the Show. The entries have been divided into no fewer than 69 classes, and as the prizes offered are very numerous it is not surprising to find so many animals entered for competition.

The variety of the cats shown is proportionate to their number. Whilst wild cats are this year conspicuous by their absence, almost every known kind of domestic cat is represented. Siamese, Russian, Persian, and Manx specimens all figure in the exhibition, whilst a veritable tortoiseshell tom-cat, which, as far as the promoters of the Show can ascertain, is the only one in existence, will attract the attention of all cat-fanciers. Perhaps next in interest to the male tortoiseshell, which is the property of Mr. C. Heslop, of Darlington, are the smoke-coloured Persians, of which there are numerous specimens, and the so-called blue cats, which are also largely represented. Tabbies are, of course, present in great variety, and Chinchillas form a large and interesting class, or, rather, series of classes. Amongst the novelties of the Show is a "fine art " section, in which are included oil paintings and engravings of cats, dogs, and other animals, and specimens of taxidermy. The Exhibition will remain open until this evening.

CAT SHOW AT ST. STEPHEN’S HALL London Evening Standard, 14th March 1895
The second annual International Exhibition of Cats, under Mr. Charles Cruft's management, was opened yesterday, at St. Stephen's Hall, Westminster. There are nearly 600 entries. Every attention appears to have been bestowed upon the health and comfort of the animals by the management, whose solicitude has been supplemented in many cases by owners who provide soft and delicate cushions, and decorate the temporary homes of their pets with pretty looped-up curtains fringed with lace. There are 69 classes in the Show, and the prizes are numerous, among the subscribers being the Duchess of Bedford, the Duchess of Wellington, the Countess of Warwick, and many other ladies. The President, Lord Marcus Beresford, provides a cup of the value of 25 guineas, and Mr. Cruft another trophy of similar value, for the best team of cats in the collection. Besides the many varieties of home-bred cats there are cats from Russia and Persia, the tailless variety from Manxland, and numerous others. There are some vacancies in the Siamese class, several animals which had been entered not having put in an appearance by the afternoon. The first prize in that department, therefore, fell easily to Mrs. Herring's Queen Rhea, which has been successful at three previous exhibitions. A tortoiseshell tom, named Sampson, a short-haired specimen of remarkable colour and very symmetrical, the property of Mr. Heslop. Sampson is included in the catalogue as a great rarity. The show, in which there is an "art section," comprising oil paintings of cats dogs, horses, and other animals, and sporting subjects remains open until this evening.

CRUFT’S CAT SHOW London Daily News, 14th March 1895
The “Sending” of cats to the Theosophic Englishman in Rudyard Kipling’s story, although perhaps mysterious, was as nothing in point of variety in tribe and characteristics to those prosaically forwarded by hand, train, and parcel delivery to Mr, Charles Cruft’s Cat Show at the St. Stephen’s Hall, Royal Aquarium, which opened yesterday and will be continued throughout today. Cats of all sorts, sizes and nationalities are here to be seen, and as the entries number nearly 600, divided into 69 classes, it may fairly be inferred that the breeding of such animals, of choice, quality and good pedigree, is just now experiencing a boom at the hands of amateurs and fanciers alike. Besides the ordinary three prizes to a class there are special awards numbering 34. These include a 25 guinea challenge cup offered by Lord Marcus Beresford, the president of the show, for the best long-haired cat, and a trophy of similar value given by Mr. Cruft himself for the best team. There is also a gold medal for the winner of the latter cup, a 12 guinea challenge cup for the best pair of long-haired kittens, a 10 guinea challenge cup for the best single long-haired kitten, and a five guinea cup for a long-haired neuter. Amongst the exhibitors and patrons are the Marquis of Dufferin, who shows the enormous white “Ambassador;” the Duchess of Bedford, the Duchess of Newcastle, the Duchess of Wellington, the Countess of Sefton, the Countess of Warwick, Lady de Trafford, Miss L. Buller, Mrs. F. Blackwood and Mrs McLaren Morrison. Besides the Russian, Persian, and Siamese exhibits, the last named being from their outlandish appearance especially well worth a visit, there are several novelties to be seen. Above all, perhaps, from the cat lovers’ standpoint, Mr. Cruft is to be congratulated on having achieved the distinction of including in his show a real tortoiseshell Tom, an animal so rare that for years organisers of similar exhibition have sighed for a specimen in vain.

CAT SHOW Dundee Advertiser, 15th March 1895
A cat show has been opened at the London Royal Aquarium. There are 700 entries. One prize animal is marked for sale at £2500. The other prices include such figures as £1000, £100, and smaller sums.

CAT SHOW Luton Times and Advertiser, 15th March 1895
About fifty Lutonians availed themselves of the Great Northern Railway’s excursion to London on Thursday, the occasion of Cruft’s cat show at the Royal Aquarium.

CAT SHOW Chelmsford Chronicle, 15th 15 March 1895
At the cat show at St Stephen’s Hall, Westminster, yesterday, Mr. S. Woodiwiss’s Xenophon won the medal for the best smooth English tabby. In the catalogue this cat was marked at the fancy figure of £2,500.

LOCAL SUCCESS AT CRUFT’S CAT SHOW Hampshire Advertiser, 16th March 1895
At Cruft's International Cat Show, held at St. Stephen’s Hail London, on Wednesday and Thursday, Mrs. R. Greenwood, of Kensington House, Bellevue-road, Southampton, scored a double success. There were nearly 600 exhibits, and in the class tor white longhaired male cats Mrs. Greenwood was awarded first price for a magnificent feline specimen called “Southampton Ghost.” The same animal scored at the Crystal Palace show a few weeks ago. Speaking of the present exhibition, a London evening paper says: “Some of the pure whites are very fascinating in their radiant snowiness, especially the first prize winner, Mrs. R. Greenwood's ' Southampton Ghost.’” “Lord Southampton," a young Chinchilla male, received second price, Mrs. Greenwood having previously secured honours with this cat at both Clifton and Portsmouth.

AT CRUFT’S CAT SHOW Grantham Journal, 16th March 1895
Mr. Cruft, the Dog Show man, [is] holding his big annual cat show in the St. Stephen's Hall of the Royal Aquarium. There are over five hundred exhibits, many of them - for cattiness is longer an attribute of old-maidenism - the property of very well-known people. For instance the Marquis of Dufferin and Ava sends from Paris his enormous white cat, Ambassador, while the Duchess of Bedford, the Duchess of the Duchess of Wellington, the Countess of Warwick, Lady Trafford, and Lord Marcus Beresford are amongst the supporters of the exhibition. The hall is full of cats. They are kept in separate wire cages - for, after all, cat, however well bred, is still a cat, and if they were allowed too much liberty a good deal fighting might ensue. Generally speaking, the cats are ranged in two classes - male and female. But of each class there are many sub-divisions. There are long-haired cats and short-haired cats. There are tortoiseshells and whites, and tabbies, and blues, and Russians, and Persians, and Japanese, and Siamese, and Manx, and Chinese, and smokes, and oranges, and chinchillas, and dozens of other varieties and colours. There is a tortoiseshell tom-cat, one of the rare things in life. Some of the cats' names are interesting. There are, for instance, Petit Wee, Tiger, Tootsiana, Snow, King Bombe, Satan up to Date, Smut, Fluffy, Shah, etc.

CAT SHOW AT THE AQUARIUM Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, 17th March 1895
Mr. Charles Cruft's second cat carnival in the St. Stephen's hall brought together a remarkable collection of feline beauty. The entries numbered six hundred. Mrs. McLaren Morrison's blue Persian male Monarch, in addition to other successes, carried off the twenty-five guinea Challenge cup offered by Lord. Marcus Beresford for the best long- haired cat in the show. Mr. Cruft's Challenge cup, also of the value of twenty-five pounds, for the best team of cats present, fell to Mrs. C. Heslop for her trio of tortoiseshells, Samson, Hope, and Charity, the first-named being a tortoisesbell tom, and consequently a rare and valuable animal, as only one other is known to be in existence, though females of the colour are not nearly so uncommonly met with. The St. Stephen's Challenge cup, value 12 guineas, fell to the lot of Mrs. E, Davies, as the exhibitor of the best pair of long-haired kittens; whilst the Jay Challenge cup, value 10 guineas, for the best long-haired kitten in the show, was won by Mrs. W. Wells for Guzel. Amongst other notable competitors was the white Persian, Ambassador, exhibited by the Marquis of Dufferin, which upon this occasion failed to gain a prize, but Mr. S. Woodiwiss's short-haired tabby Xenophon, which last year gained the championship of the short hairs, once more worthily sustained his reputation. Mrs. McLaren Morrison was also represented by several curious Japanese cats, quaint-looking animals, with stumpy tails, and the hind action of a rabbit. The tortoiseshell female cats, which were headed by Miss Bretherton's Tootsiana, were a very attractive class ; and in a strong class of long-haired blue female cats Miss Gertrude Jay Holmwood’s Trixie II was well ahead. The smoke-coloured classes, both for males and females, were extremely strong, Mr. H.V. James winning in the class for toms with Blackwall Jubilee, whilst in the females, Mrs. McMorrison added another to her long series of victories with the attractive Bayaden.

CRUFT’S CAT SHOW Hull Daily Mail, 22nd March 1895
The leading cat show of the year – Cruft’s – which has just been held, was a great success. Amongst the winners was Mr S Pearson, Hull, who took first in the red or orange female class, in which there was only one entry. Mr Pearson was also reserve in the any other variety. Mr E Wellburn, Beverley, was on of the judges.


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