Last week, Andrews McMeel Universal hosted its second annual "Bark at the Boley" dog pageant. However, after many complaints about cat discrimination to our HR Department, this year also featured a Cat Photo Pawgeant.
AMU associates submitted photos and videos of their adorable bags of fluff to a super secret surprise guest judge. The day of the event, it was revealed that the philosopher of all things feline, Breaking Cat News creator Georgia Dunn, was that supreme judge!
Georgia worked tirelessly from her home studio to study all of our cat submissions, and sent us her detailed feedback. We spoke to Georgia about the grueling process of choosing the best in show, and how she slyly subverted the process:
GoComics: Interestingly, the Cat Fanciers’ Association has ties with a close associate of ours, Garfield. Were you able to get in touch with him as the spokesperson for all things cat show?
Georgia Dunn: I did not realize that, or I might have tried! Truth be told, every few months I open the "Get in Touch!" window on the Garfield site to try to write a "Dear Jim Davis, I'm a syndicated cartoonist in newspapers with a strip about cats and you were a hero of mine growing up" email, but it always ends with me softly yelling at myself, "No, Georgia, don't be weird!", much like the time Chris Farley tried to interview Paul McCartney on SNL.
GoComics: We noticed that, of all the categories you chose, “Fanciest Cat” was not among them. It was a bold choice. Can you explain your move?
Georgia Dunn: It's funny you mention that! Before I decided for sure that Coco Chanel was Best in Show, I had her category as "Fanciest Fancy Cat!" Once I gave it to her, all the other categories had their winners.
GoComics: The aforementioned Coco Chanel was voted Best in Show. She's a very classy choice. Were you aware that Coco was not the disembodied spirit of famed designer, Coco Chanel, in cat form?
Georgia Dunn: I was not. She had me fooled! I have a big soft spot for cats of the Siamese/ragdoll/snowshoe/Himalayan varieties. I held off on deciding Best in Show until my very last pick because I worried I was being biased, but in the end I had to go with my gut! It was clear that she had the heart of a tiny heroine.
GoComics: “Biggest Sid” went to Big Sid, a portly and feisty fellow. Can you tell us about the other contenders for this award?
Georgia Dunn: "Littlest Sid" and "Average Sid" were strong competitors in this category, but when I saw Big Sid, I knew we had our winner!
GoComics: Did your cats, Elvis, Lupin, and Puck, have any thoughts on your picks?
Georgia Dunn: This is no joke, Elvis sat with me while I watched the video a few times and made my notes and he seemed VERY put out. He's not a fan of anything that takes my attention away from him, and a video of other cats calling me away seemed to put him over the edge. Puck was there too, but he was in a much better mood and napped most of the time. I imagine that Lupin would have appreciated James' dedication to taking water and Charlie's love of fetching. I have to imagine that because he was downstairs guarding our backdoor from the squirrels in our yard, which is his new favorite pastime. He takes it very seriously.
GoComics: What was the most difficult part of this competition, and what have you learned, and when you learned it, did the recap music from Full House play?
Georgia Dunn: I realized just moments into watching the video, "Ohhh no - They're ALL champions." I quickly had to decide between "Hey, just award one cat, Georgia," or "create 21 subcategories of winners for 23 cats, with one three-way tie." I went for the less complicated choice, less complicated for my heart, at least! Like most people who grew up during the late '80s/early '90s, the Full House soundtrack plays in my head spontaneously during most major life events, and this was no different. However, it's important to note that when I was asked to judge the competition, the Perfect Strangers theme, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now," played in my head SEVERAL times, because I truly was standing tall on the wings of my dream! (That is to say, judging a cat show was a dream come true!)