My dear friend in Denver brought her cat Mojo to the auditions in Denver yesterday and she made it through the first round!!!!
Mojo is a deaf white cat with odd eyes (one gold and one blue) and is a huge cat at 22 pounds (the vet claims he is at an ideal weight). He has extremely long hair (his mane measures in at 6 inches) and he gets a summer buzz cut to keep him cool. This year, they gave him a mohawk cut (which we call the Mojo-hawk) and he looks adorable in it.
There were 4 things that they put contestants thru to weed them out. The first was a 20 question quiz about cats. My friend got 16 out of 20 and was told that she did much better than everyone else. 2 of the questions she missed were: how many bones in a cats body (250), and what is the average heart rate (150).
The second was a visit to a cat behaviorist who spent time with the cats and asked a lot of questions about the ability to train the cat. Since Mojo is deaf, my friend spends a lot of time shaping his behavior as he lives with 3 other cats who don't always understand him. The behaviorist was not only fascinated by his eyes (his blue eye is stunning), but impressed that Mojo was responding to her instructions so well.
For the third they put the owner and cat in a room and watched them under hidden camera. My friend didn't realize this is what they were doing and let Mojo out of the cage to chill for a bit. She sat on the floor and he on a chair and she kept him on that chair thru nothing but hand signals (remember he's deaf). The other person in the room kept her cat in the carrier and didn't interact. That person was let go. Mojo made it to the last test.
The last was a video and photo op with the cat and owner. My friend has blue eyes and they got a face shot of both of them with Mojo's blue eye next to her blue eyes. They then video taped them while asking questions such as "what would you do with a million dollars?".
Thru the entire time (it took about 2 hours), everyone was absolutely fascinated by Mojo's eyes and how calm he remained thru all of it. My theory is that since he is deaf, he didn't hear the commotion around them and therefore didn't get startled. His handicap gave him the advantage for a change.
They'll notify her by August 11th if she makes it to the final round in Las Angelos. She's not expecting to go any further so she' not getting her hopes up too high. If he does make it to the final round and there's online voting, I expect everyone on the cat site to vote for him!!!!!
And btw......I pulled Mojo out of a kill shelter in Kansas and fostered him for a while until my friend drove out here from Denver to take him home. So Mojo has a very special place in my heart. Mojo had a vulcan mind meld with my dog Spike while living with us (he stood on top of his head one day) and we always joke that he turned into a dog that day. The folks at the contest basically admitted that they were looking for a dog in cat's clothing.