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Cat Lovers Converge On Westchester County Center

Donna O'Shea and her cat, Oliver Twist. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Lori Hall and Teegor. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Kirstin Bellhouse and Dr. Julie Slavin of Visiting Veterinary Service in Westchester. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
JoAnn Davis runs Cherished Pets, a pet bereavement service. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Rafael Garcia shows off one of his showcats. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Katie Emerson of Pets Alive in Elmsford was offering up pets for adoption. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The Westchester County Center in White Plains was the cat's meow this weekend.

The 38th annual Westchester Cat Show was held at the Westchester County Center on Saturday and Sunday, bringing in cat lovers from throughout the Northeast and creating a feline frenzy.

There was a best in show cat competition, a feline fashion show, a birthday party for cats and shelters offering up cats for adoption.

"We donate our proceeds to shelters," Claire Diele, a Peekskill resident who served as publicist for the event, said. "This event has caused hundreds of cats to be adopted."

Dr. Julie Slavin and Kirstin Bellhouse were representing Visiting Veterinary Practice of Westchester which makes house calls to cats (and dogs) in need throughout the county.

"We love to meet people who love cats," Bellhouse said. "We enjoy watching the fashion show."

Bellhouse said people prefer house calls since taking a cat to the vet can be a huge ordeal.

"Cats get very nervous," Bellhouse said.

Jo Ann Davis, a Buchanan resident, runs Cherished Pets, a bereavement service for grieving pet owners.

"It's a unique business," Davis said.

Davis started the business after the death of her 18-year old cat Lovey.

"She was almost like a daughter to me," Davis said. "I want to help other people and lend my support."

Davis offers cremations and helps with funerals. She also helps with home euthanasia services.

"I hear from people all the time, I cried more for my pet than I did for a family member," Davis said. "People have a very different bond with their pets, there's a real emotional connection."

Rafael Garcia, a Somers resident was showing off his world famous American short hair cats in competition. Garcia travels all around the country with his pets, even going to Colombia.

Garcia said he loves having a cat show close to home.

"That's the greatest," Garcia said. "It's very convenient to have a show in your backyard. It's very expensive to travel with all these cats."

Katie Emerson of Pets Alive Westchester was giving away cats for adoption. Pets Alive in Elmsford is a no-killer shelter.

"This is a great way to give pets a home," Emerson said. "They get real exposure. If kids could make decisions, we would give away every cat."

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