Pets perk up annual 4-H show
Ginger the cat wiggled and twisted in the hands of her 11-year-old owner, Amanda Douglas.
Amanda managed to maintain control of her animal as judges Dr. Emily Read and Janet Dahl talked with her during last Saturday's 4-H pet show.
"She was kind of squirmy, but she's been through this before," Amanda said, holding onto Ginger's neon-pink leash.
Amanda returned Ginger to her cage, situated on a long table in the 4-H Building at the Leavenworth County Fair-grounds.
"There's more cats this year than she's used to," Amanda said, picking off fur that Ginger left on her T-shirt during the judging.
Ginger was awarded a blue ribbon for her efforts. Before entering the show, Amanda said, participants must first have their animals checked out by a veterinarian. And then there's lots of grooming to be done.
"You have to clean their ears," she said. "And you should have a leash to make sure she doesn't get away."
Then there's that terrible tartar that can collect on cat's teeth.
"The vet has something that works," Amanda said. "Some-times, I give her stuff that's supposed to help prevent it."
Across the room, Matthew Lutz quietly talked with Ruie Gibson as Matthew gently stroked Arthur the long-hair guinea pig's fur. As with cats, guinea pigs require extra care before a pet show.
"I usually give him a bath, and then when they're dried off, you brush them really well," said Matthew, 11.
Just before judging, Arthur received a quick once-over with baby wipes. That helps remove excess fur, Matthew explained.
Arthur apparently impressed the judge. He earned a purple.
"She thought he was very gentle," Matthew said. "And she said the appearance was very good."