A quarterly newsletter is available to members of SCBF.
The newsletter includes articles about nutrition, breeding, showing, grooming,
general health topics, as well as just fun stories about living with the
delightful and thoroughly charming Birman. Issues also include photos,
pedigrees, cattery ads and litter announcements.
columns include: interviews with breeders about their philosophies and
breeding practices, interviews with CFA judges about the Birman breed standard
and Harriet's History Corner, with reprints of historical articles, photos
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THE SHOW BAG - A SEQUEL
by Dan Newland, NuSong Birmans
In the previous article I discussed what to look for in a show bag.
This time I will explain what items we have chosen to go into our bag and
how to pack it. With a little thought and planning we were able to collect
more indispensable items than our single bag could contain.
We begin by packing the freshly laundered and ironed cage curtains along
with a couple of towels into the bottom of the large center section of
the bag. Just remember Murphy's first law of packing "What goes in
first, will be needed first" and you will be ok. Next to go in on
top of the curtains and towels, are a stack of three twelve by nine inch
plastic litter pans. Into the top one are placed many of the small items
like baby food bottles, plastic spoons, water bowls, food dishes, catnip
mice, camera, business card holder, photo albums, extra film, and small
paper plates. All of which has to be dumped out when you need all three
In one end of the center compartment are the plastic spring water bottles.
If they should accidentally leak the cage curtains will soak up the water.
If the humidity is low they will dry fairly quickly when placed on the
cage. If not the mildew smell helps cover the odor of the spraying tom
that is usually benched close by.
In the other end is a blow dryer. I purchased a nice looking streamlined
1700 watt model. I don't know what it does with all those watts. They sure
are not used in the production of heat. It has six switches on the handle
and the only one that has any effect on its performance is the one marked
on off. Another nice touch is its self coiling cord; when the dryer is
in use it behaves like an enraged boa constrictor with the holding power
of a Chinese finger trap. I cannot begin to explain the feeling of togetherness
experienced in a motel room at five thirty in the morning with a blow dryer
whose cord is wrapped around your wife's wrists, both of my arms and the
tail of an uncooperative Birman having it's paws dried, before breakfast
and the first cup of coffee. Paws that were sparkling white when we went
to bed, have somehow transformed into an awful shade of purple during the
night. "We'll leave the light on for you".
I now pack a six foot extension cord. This helps in keeping the coiled
boa further away from the cat and gives me a little more time to react
when it strikes. We also pack a drip coffee maker and its assorted accessories
in its own bag, so we can be properly fortified before beginning the mornings
The cord is stored in an exterior side pocket along with a spray nozzle
and hose. The hose came with an adaptor kit which is supposed to fit any
faucet in the world. I have yet to find one that it will fit properly.
When I do get it to stay on it is usually squirting more water up my arm
than onto the cat.
The combs and claw clippers have been removed from the pockets in the zippered
end compartment. Nancy could not stand the screaming every time I jammed
the tines of a comb under my finger nail while trying to fish the flea
comb from the bottom of the pocket. She bought a nice folding makeup organizer.
It has a clear plastic front with lots of little zippered compartments.
It now contains the combs, claw clippers, cotton swabs, cotton balls, eye
dropper, scissors, murine, panalog cream, neosporan, small hemostat, wash
rag, twist ties, plastic spoons, and some wet wipes. It is stored on top
of the litter pans in the center compartment. When unpacked it hangs nicely
from the edge of the cage. Just remember to zip up all of the compartments
before putting it away. I do not, and the screaming has been replaced by
my cussing, as I pick up the combs and other items that have fallen from
the compartments that were left open when I removed it from the show bag
The compartment that used to contain the combs is also home to four eight
ounce bottles containing shampoo, whitener, ultra black, and cream rinse.
The shampoo whitener and rinse are F1 R2 products. The ultra black is from
Bio Groom. The whitener and ultra black do not seem to do much but it makes
you feel better for having used them. Kind of like meditation. I am sure
that the soul of the temple priest residing in your Birman will appreciate
the extra effort and you will receive your reward in paradise. From the
looks I get from our Birmans at bath time I will probably be reincarnated
as a litter box.
This compartment also contains the signs for the cages. The "DO NOT
TOUCH" sign that no one reads. The cattery name and breed sign. It
never ceases to amaze me how some one can read the name Birman and pronounce
it Rag doll or Siamese. This provides us with the perfect opportunity to
sit the person down and explain the difference, give them some of the literature
on Birmans, which is also kept in this compartment and convert them into
On the other side is a similar compartment which contains Bio Groom powder
for touching up oily places behind the ears and Bio Groom texturizing spray
to add body to the coat when combing. Also a spray bottle of Nolvasan disinfectant,
a small bottle of Goop and Dawn dish soap for disasters (purple feet).
In closing just remember Murphy's second law of packing, "What you
put into your show bag other than the bare essentials will never be needed
but what you do not put in will be".
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