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Move Over, Fido! Here Comes the Feline Agility Competition

Everything you know about cats is wrong: You actually can herd them, and in fact, you can even train them to run an obstacle course. There's even an international tournament dedicated to such (I suppose we can call it) sport.

Behold, the feline agility competition:

Feline agility competitions, in which cats run through a miniature obstacle course full of hurdles and tunnels, have become fixtures on the cat show scene. Modeled after canine agility competitions, the tournaments feature a ring in which cat owners — some of whom have trained their pets from kittenhood — brandish a feather or sparkly wand to try to coax a cat to climb stairs, weave around poles and leap through hoops in as little time as possible.

Some cats tear through the course in seconds. Others make it clear to the eager onlookers that they could not care less.

“You have to get the cat to focus on the toy,” said Anthony Hutcherson, who raises Bengal cats in Port Tobacco, Md., and whose oldest cat, Justin, has run the course in nine seconds. “Cats will pretty much chase a feather on a string anywhere.”

Jennifer Kingston of The New York Times explores this brave new world: Link (Photo: Monica Almeida/The NY Times)

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Anyone else ever see the guy with his trained cats at Mallory Square in Key West? Jumping through hoops of fire,etc.--- neatorama neat!
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