His most outstanding rival was Georgette, who lives in the pressroom of the
Memphis Press-Scimitar and Commercial Appeal
. Georgette not only catches mice. From time to time she catches a rat and brings it to the pressmen who feed her from their lunches. The pressmen do not appreciate this. It was, in fact, some members of the Press-Scimitar editorial staff who entered Georgette as a silver tabby. They backed down on that after giving Georgette a bath. She turned out to be' a sort of brown mackerel color and what looked like silver was just printer's ink.
To test the cats' working abilities a maze was constructed of wood and chicken wire. Each cat was permitted to sniff at four frightened little pet mice at one end of the maze, then taken to the other end and induced to enter it. The cat that got through in the shortest time would be the winner, though a disappointed one. He was not allowed to catch the mice.
First cat away was Cavalier, entry of the Zephyr Awning & Products Company, which makes awnings and products. Cavalier took his own sweet time—two minutes. Georgette was next.
She sniffed the mice and was put into the maze. The excitement, the flash of photographers' bulbs, the buzz of the crowd—none of these bothered Georgette, who lives among the roaring presses. She eased through the first opening, looked about, went straight through the second, darted through the third, stopped to get her bearings before going through the fourth, stuck her head into a cul-de-sac but backed out immediately and then went on through the fifth and sixth openings without hesitation. She finished breathing easily. Time 1:48.
Black Vulcan just sat in the maze, refusing to do anything. After two minutes he was removed. Camshaft's Flywheel (H&H Stamping Company entry) got confused and was removed at 3:16. Calico (of Anderson-Mulkins Antiques) quit like a dog. She looked like a winner, then went back to the start and stopped. Smoky Joe ( Memphis Steam Plant) just wouldn't start.
Georgette was the winner of a large silver platter, biggest trophy in the show, but she was not the most distinguished cat in the show. That honor went to Tortiman of Gallus, a very rare male tortoise-shell domestic short-hair who is potent. It seems that the odds against a male tortoise-shell domestic short-hair being potent are about 1 to 1,000.
The most frightened animal in the show was a mouse, one of the five originally brought to the show to entice the cats through the maze. He escaped, and if there is anything worse for a mouse than to escape into the thick of 160 cats, you name it.
SOVIET TROTTERS ABROAD
So far, in their campaign to conquer the world of sport, the Russians have been so thorough, so steeped in certainty (and so successful) that they have been deprived of one of sport's great lessons: that the best laid plans of mice and men, etc. It is now possible to report, however, that this grievous oversight has been at least partially corrected: almost at the moment that the Soviet Minister of Sport, Nikolai Romanov, was exulting over Russia's Olympic victory at Cortina, a group of his countrymen—who had gone to Paris to prove that the U.S.S.R. has the best trotting horses in Europe—were discovering that plans and pronunciamentos are not always enough.
The U.S.S.R. made no bones about its reason for entering horses in big-time international competition. "If we came to Paris," said Michel Kalentar, director of Moscow's Hippodrome, "it is because we believe we have a good chance of winning." The Russians spared no pains in preparing victory: they obtained seven railway cars for their six best trotters, loaded 15 sulkies, two tons of Russian oats, two tons of Russian hay, half a ton of Russian corn, 200 pounds of sugar (the horses get a pound a day) and 500 bottles of Russian mineral water.