I showed Gigi several more times that season but that Regional was her best ever. After a cat Supremes, the only thing left to go for are regional and international awards. Regional awards go to the top 20 cats in each class (cat, kitten, alter, household pet, and household pet kitten) in each region. International awards go to the top 20 cats in each class overall. I didn’t have any idea what it would take for Gigi to finish in the top 20 alters, so I kept showing her, tracking her points, and hoping for the best.

Gigi had some more good shows, but she never topped that Regional where she Supremed. She received another Best Alter final at Westchester in November, from Fate Mays again. After Christmas, competition heated up, and Gigi had a hard time making finals among all the big campaigners that were out. Her attitude was changing, too. She was still handling fine for the judges and showing herself off, but she was growing increasingly impatient with the other cats in the ring. She felt, and rightly so, that she should have been the only cat up there, that she should have the judges’ and spectators’ undivided attention!

She did two shows in the spring where she came home with no rosettes at all! Those shows were disappointing, but when the season ended, Gigi had over 6,000 regional points!

TICA rules state that the regional directors are notified of their regional winners on 10 June and it is the directors’ job to notify the owners of the cats. Since this was the first season with the new regional alignment, there were bound to be mix-ups and problems. That date came and went with no letters for Gigi or Bo. Maybe neither one made it. Finally near the end of the month, I decided I couldn’t wait any longer, and I called the regional director on the phone. She gave me good news, and Gigi must have known it, because when I hung up the phone, she promptly did one of her favorite tricks- she turned it off. The phone is on the kitchen counter and she loves to walk all over it. I told everybody the little starlet did it on purpose, that she had ordered me to screen all calls and that she would release a statement to the press when she was ready!

Gigi and Bo both made the top 20! Bo placed 16th and was the second best Aby in the region. Gigi finished EIGHTH! This was so exciting! I needed slides! I needed a dress! This was another first for Gigi- a dilute Somali had never won a regional award before! There were actually two dilute regional winners that season, Gigi and her cousin, Nocturne, a blue kitten living in Japan.

We received more good news in July, when the International awards were announced. No, Gigi didn’t win one of those, but she did win a breed award- she was Somali Alter of the Year. I had figured that out already, and she had beaten the other Somali alters by a wide margin. I don't think a dilute had ever won that award before, either.

Gigi placed 3rd in a Spot Lookalike Contest

Just for fun, I took Gigi to the Northeast Regional in July 1995. They were doing a Star Trek show and they were holding a Spot Lookalike Contest for fun. Data’s cat Spot was originally played by GP Zarpa’s Liberty Valance, a ruddy Somali. Concerned that he didn’t look “ordinary” enough (of course he didn’t, he’s a SOMALI), they replaced him with two red tabbies. I thought a fawn Somali was close enough for rock & roll, and I lobbied the show management to allow Gigi to be in the contest. Eventually they agreed and Gigi did place 3rd, and she made three finals during the regular show. She also had her color questioned again! This time the judge insisted she was sorrel silver, and that she was not ticked, she was shaded! “Here we go again”, I thought, as I tried to explain to another judge that she was really fawn. I was benched two cages away from a real sorrel silver Aby and I am sure nobody walking through the show hall thought they were the same color. It became a joke among my small group of friends, and I even kidded about reregistering Gigi as a different color and Supreming her all over again. The funny thing was, this judge had finaled her before!

Next was the first ever Mid Atlantic regional awards show, in Harrisburg. Gigi made three more finals, but I had made up my mind to not show her much during the 95-96 season. Quinn was coming and he was going to be my new show cat. Maybe Gigi would do a few shows with him while he was in kitten class but that would be it.

In September we made the trip to Montreal to pick Quinn up at a show, and of course Gigi went along. We spent a nice weekend with Andrée, and while Quinn struggled as the baby in a class of four <!> Somali kittens, Her Fawnness managed to make six finals, including another BEST! She didn’t seem to have a problem sharing show weekends with baby Quinn, so I took her to his kitten shows. We did the usuals, Keestone and Westchester, and we lucked into a ride to Hartford, where a new club was putting on its first show. It was Quinn’s turn to rake in the rosettes. He made seven finals and Gigi only made two, but one of hers was a BEST. Quinn finished his kitten career with an impressive showing at Westchester, making seven more finals including a BEST KITTEN! Gigi brought home a few more rosettes as well. I tracked her points, and with the previous season’s totals as a guide, I thought she might win another regional award. If she did that would be great, but if not, that would be OK, too. Quinn had set himself up nicely for a regional win of his own.

Quinn’s first show as an alter was Jersey State. I had done some work for the club so was offered a free entry. I decided to enter Gigi, too! Quinn had done so well in his previous two shows that I didn’t worry that he might not final, and I didn’t care if Gigi did or not. I thought it would be fun to see which cat the judges preferred. Quinn nearly granded, making five finals. Gigi made only two, but again, one of them was a BEST- from the judges who thought she was sorrel silver back in July! Show hall lighting can play tricks on the eyes, I guess!

After that show was Christmas City. I left Gigi home and showed Quinn by himself, because he had some trouble at Jersey State and I decided not to take the chance that Gigi would beat him. He was close to granding, he was starting to become unhappy in the show hall, so I wanted to get him at least quadded as soon as possible! He made seven finals that weekend, enough for Grand, Double Grand and Triple Grand. I showed him twice more but he was having trouble finaling. In March we went to a three-day show in Secaucus, a campaigner show where I expected nothing. The club had planned an Aby and Somali Breed Congress, so I entered Gigi along with Quinn. I wanted to take Bo and Ab, too, but that would have been too much. Quinn finally quadded at that show, and suffered some horrible handling by one judge. Gigi did not final. She did have a party, though. Pauline had entered some Abys in the show also because of the Congress, so I ordered a Supreme cake for Gigi and we celebrated.

The next weekend was a local show so I took just Gigi. It was a big one, 16 rings, and she made only one final. By this time my friend Gail’s Somali kitten, Hemingway had started to do well and she was anxious to go to GeneTICAts in April. I took Gigi by herself. I thought she would better tolerate the long drive. Hemingway did well enough to snatch the regional breed honors from Quinn. Gigi made six finals, including still another BEST! When all was said and done, she had over 4,000 points and I knew that was enough for another regional win.

Even though Hemingway had sneaked in and grabbed top honors in the breed and a top ten regional, Quinn finished the 95-96 season as the region’s 19th best kitten and, surprisingly, 17th best alter! He was 3rd Best Somali Kitten in all of TICA, and he became the third dilute Somali to win a regional award.

Gigi, without really trying, finished 10th! She was also the 2nd Best Somali Alter of the Year for that season.

After that Gigi did one more TICA show, the regional in Pittsburgh. She finaled once, but Hemingway was now in the alter class and I knew showing Gigi against him would be a losing battle. She had already gone as far as she could in TICA anyway.

She did CFA shows in California in 1997 and Kansas City in 1998. She participated in a CFA judging workshop on Somalis. Still, CFA proved to be a frustrating experience. After showing under judges who seemed to like and appreciate her, it was a real disappointment to show under CFA judges who would not even look at her. I quickly gave up on my dream of having the first fawn Somali female CFA Grand.

Gigi did her last show in the fall of 1999. She had been acting worse and worse in the show hall and I decided that she was never going to get any respect in CFA so I retired her. She showed for six years, which is a long time. Gigi made Somali history in TICA, and has titles in three other associations- CFA, AACE and ACFA. Her picture has been featured in a Japanese Somali newsletter and one of Tetsu Yamazaki’s annual Cat Catalogs. This past November she became a permanent part of the CFA Somali Breed Booth, which is displayed at the International each year. She will be a hard act for another fawn to follow!


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