Cats claw their way to the finals

* Debbie and Cecil Viviers show off their Persian beauties, which have both earned a place in the prestigious Southern Africa Cat Councils Cat of the Year show.

Heavenly Angels is an appropriate name for the Sun Valley cattery that has two cats vying for top-cat position in the Cat of the Year show.

Cecil and Debbie Viviers say they are honoured to have two cats make it through to the finals, and to represent Fish Hoek and South Africa at the show in Port Elizabeth on Saturday July 28 – the Southern Africa Cat Council’s crowning show of the year.

The cats are both Persians.

Archie is one year and five months old and is a Red Harlequin. He is placed seventh overall, while Tequila is two years and six months old and is a Cream Bi-colour, placed fourth overall.

Tequila’s placings have shot up in the past few months: in March he was placed 36th overall, and since then he has risen rapidly through the ranks to take fourth place.

The cats are from different breeders, but both are prized examples of their breeds, and although their pedigree is evident and they present with a fair air of royalty, they are also exceedingly docile and cuddly.

They were judged, Ms Viviers said, on the shape of their heads, and they should display the breed’s cobby short body and long coat.

But it was the coat, Mr Viviers said, that was the prime example of the Persian breed.

And these cats are so adored and doted upon that the Vivierses bath and blow dry the cats themselves.

While many a cat would flay an owner attempting to immerse it in a bath, Archie and Tequila demurely allow the pampering – although
Mr Viviers said they had bought a special pet hair-dryer for that purpose.

The cats are also accomplished travellers, often taking lengthy road trips for various cat shows across the peninsula and be-
yond.

“We hope the travelling won’t take too much of a toll on them. It is a considerable journey from here to Port Elizabeth by car, but we will take it easy and stop often,” Mr Viviers said.

The precious Persians had been chosen from among hundreds of cats, the couple said, and they were looking very much forward to the chance of representing their home town at the prestigious show.

Next on their highlight horizon is the news that there are going to be kittens at the cattery soon.