April 2018 Issue
From the President's Desk:
A Message from TICA President Vickie Fisher
 Fabulous felines, friends and pasta!

Just back from the annual meeting of the World Cat Congress in Milan, Italy, hosted by ANFI, a member club of the Fédération Internationale Féline (Fife).  What wonderful hospitality and what a beautiful city!
Delegates and guests were treated to an amazing historical tour of Milan, complete with Sforza Castle (where we all took more pictures of the Castle's well kept cats than the structure itself), the Milan Cathedral (5th largest in the world and taking almost 6 centuries to build), and the Pinacoteca Art Museum.  
What a treat it was for me to join Fife judges from around Europe in a full day training seminar and judge beside them for two days at a wonderful show filled with friendly smiles and crowds of visitors, anxious to see all the beautiful cats.  
TICA is a proud founding member of the World Cat Congress, an organization formed in 1994, to "promote harmony in the cat fancy."  Though, throughout each year, relationships between the member organizations may not always be totally "harmonious," this once-a-year meeting always brings us back to the fact that we all cherish cats, are trying to preserve our beautiful breeds, and are concerned about the welfare of cats - no matter where they are in the world.  
Meeting face to face, though we may agree to disagree on some things, provides an opportunity to understand and respect our differences and support each other as we face challenges to our hobby and passion for cats.  
And the Castle's Cats!!
Novatica Joins TICA's World

Please help us welcome the club Novatica in Arlington, VA to our growing TICA family!
 Click to watch video.
NCSU Releases New Pain Scale for Cats
Approximately 40 million cats in the US suffer from chronic and debilitating pain associated with neuromuscular and orthopedic conditions. However, many suffer in silence as only a small percentage have been properly diagnosed and are under a vet's care due to a feline's ability to tolerate changes in bones and joints without showing signs of discomfort. 
To help veterinarians and pet owners with a more reliable way to detect pain in cats, North Carolina State University has created The Feline Musculoskeletal Pain Index (FMPI).Developed by Dr. Duncan Lascelles, BVSc, PhD, DACVS at the Comparative Pain Research Laboratory at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, the FMPI is a tool for scoring the degree to which a cat is suffering pain, physical function and quality of life associated with a chronic musculoskeletal disorder. It is the only clinically validated instrument for diagnosing and monitoring feline chronic pain arising from degenerative joint disorders.
To find out more or for those wishing to assess the degree to which the cat suffers from pain associated with long- term degenerative osteoarthritis (OA) or related neuromuscular and orthopedic conditions go to painfreecats.org to fill out the FMPI questionnaire. Once completed, owners should bring a copy of the results to their next veterinarian appointment. 
Plans Announced for TICA's 2018 Annual Show & Awards Banquet 
Get ready to book your ticket...much anticipated plans for TICA's 2018 Annual Show & Awards Banquet have been announced. The Alabama Paws & Claws Cat Club will present this year's event themed "Experience the Magic" on September 1-2, 2018 in Birmingham, AL.
The Banquet, which will recognize the top international cats, exhibitors, judges and clubs for their hard work and accolades throughout the show season, will be held September 1, 2018 at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel in Birmingham, AL. 
The show, sponsored by Dr. Elsey's, will be held September 1-2 at the East Exhibit Hall at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, also in Birmingham, AL.
The show is now open for Early Bird Entries and banquet reservations. Early Bird entries are available until May 31. Entries will close and must be paid by August 20 or when 500 entries are received. Go to tica2018.com for more information.

A block of hotel rooms have been reserved from August 24 -September 5 at a special rate of $139 per night for TICA members and exhibitors. Reservations can be made online or by calling 205-324-5000. To receive TICA's special discount, please use the block name ALPAWSCLAWS. 

For the most up to date information on the show, including the Awards banquet, hotel and even the latest on what to see, do and eat while in Birmingham, go to the event's website http://www.tica2018.com.

Fourteen highly-respected judges have been named for TICA's 2018 Show. They span from all parts of the world and bring their more than decades of judging experience to the show. Among them:
Vlada Beninya (AB) EN Region. Beninya has been a TICA licensed judge since 2006 and resides in Russia.  
Alexandra Chisholm (AB) SW Region. Chisholm began showing cats, then moved into clerking and master clerking before becoming a TICA judge. She is currently the Regional Director for the SW Region.
Laura Cunningham (SP) MP Region. Cunningham has been a TICA judge for nearly 19 years and currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. She has judged TICA cat shows throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America.  She also served as guest-judge for several Australian and New Zealand cat associations. 
Monika Dany (AB) ES Region. Dany became a licensed TICA judge in 2002 and beginning her career in 1990 at a Fife show in Austria. 
Harley Devilbiss (AB) SC Region. Since 2003, Devilbiss has judged more than 66,000 cats; flown almost 1.1 million miles; driven another 50,000 miles; been on over 1000 airplanes; and has been on the road for almost 860 days (more than 2 years).
Luiz Paulo Faccioli (AB) SA Region. Faccioli became Allbreed judge by TICA-affiliated Federação dos Criadores de Gatos do Brasil in 1992. He became a TICA Specialty Judge in 1993, gained full Allbreed status in 2000, and has served as TICA Judging Administrator Assistant for South America, and Clerking Administrator Assistant for South America. He has judged TICA shows in Europe (France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, England), the United States, South America (Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Brasil, Peru), and Malaysia. He also served as guest judge in New Zealand and nine shows for different Associations in Australia.
Francine Hicks (AB) NE Region. Hicks began showing in TICA in 1995. After many years of clerking she became a TICA judge in 2002. She served as Northeast regional director for 6 years and is the founding member of Nauticats cat club.
Phillipa Holmes (AB) EW Region. Holmes started clerking, master-clerking, show management and went on to become a TICA licensed judge in 2009. She attained the level of Ring and School instructor in 2017 and sits on the Maine Coon breed committee.
Rene Knapp (SP) SE Region. Knapp began judging TICA shows in the Northeast Region in 2006 and is an approved Allbreed judge.
Brenda Russo (AB) MA Region. Russo served as Abyssinian breed chair/committee and is currently serving as co-chair. She became a TICA judge after being involved in the cat fancy for more than 20 years.
Hisae Tasaki (AB) AA Region. Tasaki has been a TICA member since 1993 and entered the TICA judging program in 2003. She became a TICA specialty judge in 2005 and an Allbreed judge in 2008. She served as Cats Paradise Party Club's president in 2007 and was TICA's Asia Regional Director from 2011-2013.
Chris Unangst (AB) GL Region. Unangst has been an approved TICA Allbreed judge since 2001 and has been involved in the cat fancy since 1989. She has judged more than 400 cat shows traveling within the US, Canada, England, Brazil and throughout Europe. 
Elaine Hawksworth-Weitz (AB) NW Region. Hawksworth-Weitz has been a TICA judge since 2005. She has judged in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, France, Austria, Denmark, United Kingdom, Japan, China, Australia, Belarus, and Russia. 
Robby Whyte (AB) SE Region. Whyte has been a TICA member and active member of Mississippi Cat Fanciers since 1986 and became a licensed TICA Judge in 1997. Over the past 20 years, Whyte has judged more than 350 cat shows throughout the U.S., Canada, South America, Europe and Asia.  
Detailed information on each judges background and history can be found on the 2018 TICA Annual website at TICA2018.com.
TICA Members at Work
TICA Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, Anthony Hutcherson and more than 35 exhibitors and judges made Super Pet Expo in Chantilly, VA a huge success! Special thanks to Dr. Elsey's for sponsoring TICA's participation as well as Vickie Shields for rousing a crowd with agility and Adriana Kajon for manning the TICA desk & creating new connections with potential new TICA partners. More than 500 Visitor guides and 750 coloring books distributed!  
The Portland Press Herald reported that people came from as far away as Texas and Canada to compete in the Nauticats Annual Cat Show in Augusta, OR last month. Read the full story here.
The Washingtonian reports on some of winning cats who competed in the Super Pet Expo held at the Dulles Expo Center last month. Read the full story here.
An Update from the WINN Foundation
2018 Shelter Medicine Grant Review: Winn announced three research grant awards for feline shelter medicine. Funding for these grants was made possible through a donation from PetSmart Charities®. Dr. Jody Gookin from North Carolina State University will be conducting a study on protecting foster kittens from infectious diarrhea through the use of a new probiotic containing specific protective bacteria. Profs. Vanessa Barrs and Julia Beatty from the University of Sydney, Australia will be evaluating natural and vaccine stimulated resistance to panleukopenia to enable the design of more effective prevention strategies. Gary Whittaker, PhD and Elizabeth Berliner, DVM from Cornell University will assess the importance of feline coronavirus as a cause of upper respiratory disease in shelter cats, and the role it plays in the development of FIP.
Reminder ~ Winn Symposium Registration is Open: The theme this year will be "Perplexing Paradigms in Feline Medicine." Dr. Katie Tolbert from the University of Tennessee will discuss new research on a common and frustrating infectious cause of feline diarrhea, Tritrichomonas foetus. Our second speaker, Dr. Melissa Beall of IDEXX, will explain how our understanding about feline leukemia virus infection in cats is changing. Details to register are here.
Winn 50th Anniversary Party: Celebrate Winn's 50th Anniversary on June 28th (immediately after our annual educational symposium). Cake, a cash bar, and light refreshments will be served, so stop on by to show your support and drink a toast to our past successes and hopes for the future of feline research. The Symposium speakers will be present, along with Winn board members, to answer questions and talk about cat health. Thanks to IDEXX for their generous sponsorship of this special event.
A Loving Legacy tip for April 
Thanks to recent law, the individual exemption from Federal estate, gift and generation-skipping taxes has been increased to $10 million (before indexing for inflation) for tax years 2018 through 2025.  (Note: unless extended, the personal exemption would later revert to $5 million, indexed.)
The IRS has determined that (after indexing) one person may exempt from Federal estate tax up to $11.2 million in assets in 2018.  Married couples may be able to exclude $22.4 million from estate tax for 2018 using a tax provision called "portability".  Using portability, the personal representative may elect to transfer the decedent's unused estate tax exemption amounts to the surviving spouse to reach the $22.4 million.
In addition, the annual exclusion from federal gift tax increases to $15,000 per donor for each donee in 2018.  For example, a couple may each gift a person $15,000 for a total gift of $30,000 to one person from the couple.  If the donee is married, the couple may gift the spouse another $30,000 free of federal gift tax.  This means fewer estates will be subject to Federal taxation and may mean more opportunity to make planning for avoidance of Federal income taxes a priority.

TICA Makes Big Impression 
During Global Pet Expo 
Last month TICA attended the premier event in the pet industry, Global Pet Expo.
Presented by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA) Global Pet Expo is the largest annual show in the pet industry. The event, held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, is equivalent to the size of 17 football fields of pet products and provides major players in the pet industry a first-hand look at the hottest and newest pet products before they hit store shelves. 
"The Association's presence at this major event reconfirmed TICA as a major player in the industry and opened the door to many new business opportunities to grow our future," said TICA President Vickie Fisher. 
Throughout the event TICA held kitten agility competitions and hosted therapy cats throughout the event in the Dr. Elsey booth while Marketing Director Roeann Fulkerson met with current affiliate partners NekoChan and Sleepypod, as well new companies, drymate (surface Protection), PetFusion, TruPanion (medical insurance for our cats), Revival Animal Health Pet Care Products, Bio-Pro Research/Urine Off, Assisi Loop, among others. TICA also met with media executives Mariah Stanley from ModernCat magazine as well as Cait Kelly and Executive Editor Melissa Kauffman both from Catster. 
This year's event featured more than 1164 exhibitors and 3500 booths from 80 different countries.
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