by Martin Kristensen.

The Skogkatt of the Year 1996 has been the biggest success ever if you can measure success in the number of participating cats. The first year the reaction on the list was moderate, the year after it had become a well known fact that this International list was made up and this year the number of cats signed up for the competition have been overwhelming. I wish I had counted the number of Fax rolls used and the number of letters with pretty stamps appearing in my mail-box.

The list

Looking at the list of winners one may ask what is the use of the list? The answer to that is very complex but here are some of the interesting information we can deduce from the list.

  • Foremost the list help us to keep our breed International.
  • It makes us realize what has happened on the NFC show front in countries from where we only occasionally hear news.
  • It makes us aware that the NFC world is a very active and lively community.
  • It gives us a clear idea on how active the breeders and exhibitors of NFC's are in the different countries and different parts of Europe.
  • It tells us a lot about the best cats in today's NFC world.

The NFC-world

After having studied the results of the participating cats for tree years now some interesting aspects of the NFC world have come to light.

  • You can be sure that the cats on the list are the most winning NFC's from that specific country.
  • You cannot be sure that cat no 4 on the list is better than cat no 8 on the list. Those cats have probably never been entered at the same show.

You have to be aware that the competition in the Semilonghair group and the number of entered cats varies very much depending on which part of Europe you are in.

It is now clear that Europe is divided in 4 major show areas and only very few cats show in more than one area.

  • The Southwestern European area includes: Portugal, Spain, Andorra, Monaco and the Southern / Middle part of France
  • The Finnish - Russian area includes. Finland, Russia and the Baltic Nations
  • The Swedish - Norwegian area include those two countries only
  • The Major European area include: Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Poland, Austria, Holland, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Denmark, Northern part of France.
  • Fife cat shows are also arranged in Ukraine, Greece, Malaysia Iceland, Israel and other countries. From some of these countries i.e. Iceland it is not possible to travel abroad with your cats and most of the other countries have none or only a few NFC's

The reason behind

Tree factors decide how far you travel when you participate in a show. Time, money and language. It is very expensive and time consuming for a person living in Finland to attend a show in Portugal. It is rather complicated and expensive for a person living in Norway or Sweden to vaccinate and test their cats in order to go to shows in the rest of Europe. Apart from that some English speaking persons may find it too difficult to go to a French of Spanish speaking country or visa versa.

The International NFC community

This is just a few of the thoughts that flew through my head when I look at the list. When you look at the list you may get other ideas.

Knowing that such a list is only available for one breed in FIFe I sit down with a proud and beautiful feeling of belonging to an International Active Community of Norwegian Forest Cat Fanciers.