Probably one of the most fitting illustrative similes for the cat fancy, is that it's like a large barrel of shit with people swimming around in it.
"But that's very extreme", I hear you say. Sadly, it's true. Just about all of it is total shit. Beginning to end. The placings, the list of who goes to COTY every year (year in year out, mind you), the catshow results. It's all about who's who in the zoo - sorry in the shit. It's got so bad that we don't even bother to look at pictures of the cats anymore. It's sufficient to just know who is campaigning and then you can predict who is going to win COTY in which sections. It helps of course in your predictions if you follow who buys which cat from whom, and which breeder is also a judge and who their buddies are, and who runs the shows and the federations and who is on the commshitties. Then you're set. You spot the clique, and away you go.
We predicted 2 of the 3 winners in the sections correctly this year, in a federation that we have never even been associated with. The 3rd section winner was obvious, after the fact. It's easy - the same turds float in the different barrels.
OK - so there they are, a-floatin' around in the shit barrel. Large ones, small ones, skinny ones and very often, big fat ones. Many of them sink down to the bottom and form a sludge. And then there are a couple of ones that are floaters. And there are a few who are not-so-floaters, but they attach themselves to the floaters and they float along too. The key is finding the right floating partner - then you've got it made!
It's funny : when we started in the cat fancy, we noticed that the judges didn't stand on the outside of the barrel and decided which were the best turds - they dived into the barrel and floated along with the rest of them. Now, we both have an aversion to swimming in sewerage, so as soon as we noticed that the water was on the excremental side of things, we got out. Then we stood on the side and waved at people to tell them they were swimming around next to some huge juicy ones. The strange thing was; nobody seemed to care - in fact they started to mutter to each other about how there was someone who was not joining in the swimming fun in the barrel, and they should be avoided at all costs.
But on our part, we found that the longer you spend in the barrel, the more you start to smell like its contents. And in fact after a while, you become the contents, taking on all characteristics of it. You know of course that old cat fanciers never leave their barrel - they merely sink down to the bottom and join the sludge. The one exception to this is when they sprint out of the one federation barrel and dive into the other federation barrel for the weekly comparison of who is the biggest shit. But that's not really leaving the barrel - it's just a quick barrel swap. I've even heard someone bemoaning the fact that they can't be at their usual shit-party in the off season.
And then once in a while you hear a smaller shit whining about being "sabotaged" by a bigger shit - usually a judge-shit. Usually involves being pulled down and floated over. Provided you're on the outside of the barrel, you pay no heed - it's all about floating nearest the top after all, and there are no real rules in the shit barrel. Besides, if you don't like the stink, stay out of the barrel.
But can't you clean the barrel? You could, but this means draining out all the shit, thoroughly scrubbing the barrel and then putting a fine mesh on it to stop any shit getting back in. If you just avoid the existing shit barrels and start up a new barrel yourself, all the other turds shit-hop between their old and the new barrel, and before you know it, it's polluted too. So maybe it's better to let the shit wallow in the barrel - at least that way it's all contained in one place, and the rest of the country is cleaner for everyone.
"But where are the cats?", you ask. They're an accessory - an accoutrement. They're a nice-to-have - not essential to the outcome, but necessary to maintain the charade that the barrel's full of fresh mountain water. Effectively, they're optional. I wish people would just get on with swimming in the shit without taking the cats in with them.
Cats are clean creatures - they're much happier at home.