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One of the last bastions of solidarity has crumbled.

It had to happen. I mean women got the vote. Women were admitted into universities – even Harvard AND Cambridge. Women stormed the doors and demanded entrance into “Men Only” clubs. PlayGIRL magazine published its first issue in 1973.

And now …

Cats are being included in the Westminster Kennel Show.

Dog lovers the world over were shocked when the announcement was made last week. Granted, felines will not be part of the “official” program but will have a “featured event” during Westminster Week. Rex Huppke of the Tribune News Service went so far as to say even that small concession is “too close for comfort” calling cats (and I quote) “Non-dogs. The devil’s house pet”.

Okay, I may be stirring up trouble where none exists. Mr. Huppke’s article is wonderfully tongue-in-cheek and makes for very enjoyable reading if you want a chuckle. That being said, I am sure there are many people who would agree that cats have no place in a “DOG” show.

Do I?

At the risk of virtual rotten fruit and vegetables messing up my email inbox and nerf bricks being thrown through my computer screen I have to admit that I do not think cats have a place at the Westminster. Wait! WAIT! Nor do I think Bruno the German Shepherd or Fifi the Poodle should be at the Cat Fanciers of America cat show. Sure, we humans are adaptable and can certainly love both cats and dogs. I do! Even more, our own homes prove that cats and dogs can live together in perfect harmony … dare I say it, even love(ish) each other. But I have watched the Westminster Dog Show on television (usually with a cat contentedly curled up and purring in my lap) and I have attended a local cat show in person. These animals are each the elite of their species, pampered, primped, groomed and coddled into perfection. Imagine the horror if “Best in Show” at Westminster happened to snarl at a sneaky escaped feline as he was being awarded the blue ribbon? Or, if the first place winning Maine Coon decided to raise its back hairs and fluff up its fur at the aforementioned Bruno innocently being led out for his constitutional. My head hurts just thinking of the consequences and possible fur-flying chaos.

Hate me if you must but just as I believe Mr. Universe has no business being in the Miss America pageant, except maybe to carry suitcases and rearrange stage props, I believe cats, wonderful as they are, have no place at a dog show … and vice versa. Some things should just be left to the purists.

Your thoughts?

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