I regularly travel the State Highway 2 route to get to Tauranga to visit my mother.
Over the years I have driven past the the biltong shops, the Mexican-themed motor inns and the perplexing Forta Leza restaurant, bar and China Doll museum and I have marvelled at the diversity of the people and places encountered.
Plus, it’s not Auckland.
This weekend though, things of a cultural nature ramped up several notches as I decided to attend my first cat show.
It’s true what they say about cat owners. You can spot a cat lady from 100 yards, and their long-suffering husbands. He’s usually the one with the flask of tea and the Cat-as-Yoda t-shirt. “Feed Me, You Will.”
The cat ladies wear thick craft knits that look like works of art and lots of pounamu bedecking.
We had to queue up to get in. The Greerton Hall is situated between the RSA and a bus stop. The windows of the RSA are covered in branding around ‘Make Some Noise’ and gambling. The bus stop has advertising for gambling help.
Mr Whippy was parked up outside. What a scam. Naturally, he had mobile Eftpos.
The hall is a good size and the most recent exhibition there was the Battle for Gate Pa. Now, make way for the Battle of the Pussies.
The cats are by and large pretty well kept. In fact I’d say better kept than most humans.
Many of them posed, made lots of eye contact with the judges and some of them slept between judging rounds.
There were home baked goods and a dining area reminiscent of the truck stop at Waiouru.
To the side, a punter was peddling her wares which were some sort of velveteen posing draperies and cage curtains for posing cats.
After the show we dropped by Greerton Countdown to pick up post-show supplies like Chardonnay and Eta Ripples, and were met by an obstructive group of adults having a private Dreamworks Cards swap meet in the doorway.
Once home we sipped wine and went through the various breeds. Certainly, the hairless stole the show, but there was also some nice ginger action and a couple of pretty robust tabbies that were holding their own in the short-hair division.
This show is on yearly and alternates between Greeton and somewhere in Rotorua, encompassing the Geyserland Cat Fanciers Club. The warmth of these quintessentially New Zealand events cannot be overestimated.
Greerton, don’t you go changing a thing.