Fevre Dream has golden eyes, a muscular body and tawny spotted fur. She moves like a wild ocelot on the prowl.
But the truth is, there isn't a more gentle and domesticated kitty around. "Fevre's a wonderful pet; she has a very loving personality," says proud owner Barbara Forrest of Roy.The tawny, furred animal, Forrest says, is an ocicat - a rare and exotic breed. The ocicat got its name because its markings resemble those of the ocelot that roams the southwestern United States and parts of South America.
The domestic kitty actually descended from a Siamese crossed with an Abyssinian. In Utah, Julie Jensen, who lives in Ogden, and Forrest are the only ones exhibiting the breed.
Fevre will be among the fancy felines on exhibit and competing for ribbons at the upcoming Promontory Point Cat Club show. The event, "We're Coloring Cats Again," will be held in the Salt Palace from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and will include a coloring contest for children. Every child who enters will receive a prize and pictures will be displayed. A drawing will be held each day and one grand prize will be presented.
Admission is $1.50 for adults and 50 cents for children 12 years of age and younger.
In addition to seeing the ocicat, those attending the show will have a chance to see such unusual felines as Scottish folds, Egyptian maus and Tonkinese. This year for the first time, a British shorthair will be exhibited. The big black cat belongs to Donald O'Brien and weighs in at a spectacular 20 pounds.
The show also will feature vendor booths, with all kinds of feline goodies and souvenirs; a photographer will be on hand, and Utah artist Doug Simmons will create the trophies.
Judges will come from throughout the United States and include Ann Kimball and Will Thompson, local experts.
Naturally, Fevre the ocicat will try to charm the judges and take home some honors. It'll be her second show, according to Forrest. The kitty made her debut in show biz recently in Phoenix.
"It's fun to show cats and win prizes, but it requires dedication and hard work, too," says Forrest, who's acting as show chairman for the upcoming Promontory Point event.
She has been a member of the Promontory Cat Club for about 7 years now and used to raise and exhibit blue Abyssinians. Last year at a show she met Julie Jensen, who introduced her to ocicats and eventually sold her Fevre. From that moment on, Forrest knew she wanted to focus her attention on the breed and work toward perfecting it at her cattery, Barbarella.
Fevre, who's classified as a tawny spotted ocicat, marks the beginning of this dream. In the future, Forrest would like her cattery to boast other types as well, including the cinnamon spotted, the chocolate spotted and the silver spotted varieties.
If these cats are to be successful on the show circuit they'll need wedge-shaped faces; muscular bodies; coats that feature a profusion of spots and stripes; big, bright eyes and large ears (if the ears have generous tufts, so much the better).
Judges strongly consider these things, explains Forrest. They're important ocicat characteristics. But less than perfect specimens still can make marvelous pets.
Perfect cats. Not-so-perfect cats. She has had them all as pets over the years and has learned to appreciate and respect felines of all kinds. And now husband Jerry is converted, too.
"Once he was a dog person," says Forrest with a smile. "But it didn't take the kitties long to win him over!"