Great Darke County Fair Cat Show judge owns 20 cats


GREENVILLE — According to Eve Cusac-Seale, of West Milton, Ohio, cats are misunderstood.

“I think it is because of the mystique of the cat, and people who want that personality of a dog that needs and wants you,” she said. “They misunderstand the cat’s aloofness.”

Eve and her husband Bob Seale are cat lovers. It is more accurate to say that they are animal lovers, but their 20 cats definitely play a huge part in their lives. Four of the cats live in the house and the other 16 live in the barn with the exhibition chickens.

“Our oldest hen Feather Locklear has taught every cat to respect the chickens,” Eve said. “The chickens are in pens that are shut. Heather doesn’t hesitate to peck them right in the nose if they get to close. They all understand space.”

The cats are all spayed, neutered, and are rescued, stray or under release, Eve said. And they all have very different personalities. Some of them are non-social, such as the one they received from its owner that wanted a more loving cat.

“We never see her,” Eve said. “She is is literally a shadow in our barn. She walks the perimeters of the barn and just shows up to eat. She is just who she is, and we respect that.”

Eve had a cat Marissa for five years, who has claimed Bob as her favorite human, Eve said. Their cats behave more like dogs, such as Chloe, a blue-cream tortoiseshell cat that was born on the farm.

“Chloe comes when she is called; she likes to play with people; when she wants petted, she climbs up in my lap; she walks on a leash; she loves to ride in the car and she loves baths,” Bob said.”

One of the benefits of owning cats is having a mouse-free barn. It seems the cats and the chickens both delight in the responsibility.

“Any mouse that comes into that barn, has to be like, ‘What am I thinking’”, Bob said. “We used to have one rooster that hunted mice also, and one of the cats and the rooster worked together as a tag team.”

Since the age of 5, Bob was allergic to cats, but his exposure to Eve’s cats has cured him, Eve said. The cats have full run of the barn, but they do not get out. The windows are screened and they keep the doors closed.

“We don’t allow them out,” she said. “They can become a nuisance to the neighbors, victims of the road or to predators. We keep them safe, and they live much longer that way.”

Because of their vast knowledge in cat care, Eve and Bob were judges for the Great Darke County Fair Cat Show, Saturday, August 16. Eve judged the cats and Bob judged the cage-decorating contest. Eve has been the cat judge off and on for several years.

“At a show like this, because they are not pedigreed, you look at the pet quality and the condition; how well they are cared for, especially if they are spayed or neutered; that they are free of dirt and fleas; that they have personality, attitude and are sweet loving house cats.”

They also show two of their cats in the House Cat Division at big pedigree shows in and around Dayton. In addition, Eve and Bob have shown their chickens at the Darke County Fair for several years. They recently celebrated their three-year wedding anniversary which took place at the Poultry Barn during the fair, in 2014. Eve’s chickens were decked out for the ceremony, including neckties. The huge crowd included people in the poultry show, spectators, friends and family. In addition to the chickens and the cats, Bob and Eve have dogs, fish and eight Cockatiels.

“We used to have horses,” Bob said. “We got a little old for them.”

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From left to right: Cat Show Judge Eve Cusac-Seale, of West Milton, “Camo” and Anna Dircksen, of Versailles, during a judging of the Cat Show at the Great Darke County Fair, Saturday, August 26. Dircksen took home two first place and two second place awards for her cats, and first place for her cage decoration.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_catlady3.jpgFrom left to right: Cat Show Judge Eve Cusac-Seale, of West Milton, “Camo” and Anna Dircksen, of Versailles, during a judging of the Cat Show at the Great Darke County Fair, Saturday, August 26. Dircksen took home two first place and two second place awards for her cats, and first place for her cage decoration. Carolyn Harmon | The Daily Advocate

From left to right: Eve Cusac-Seale and Bob Seale, of West Milton, Ohio, recently celebrated their three-year wedding anniversary, which took place at the Poultry Barn during the Great Darke County Fair, in 2014. Eve’s bouquet was a Silkie chicken in a basket.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_catlady.jpgFrom left to right: Eve Cusac-Seale and Bob Seale, of West Milton, Ohio, recently celebrated their three-year wedding anniversary, which took place at the Poultry Barn during the Great Darke County Fair, in 2014. Eve’s bouquet was a Silkie chicken in a basket. Courtesy photo

From left to right: Eve Cusac-Seale and Bob Seale, of West Milton, Ohio, love cats. The two own 20 cats on their farm. Eve judged the Cat Show at the Great Darke County Fair. Bob judged the Cage-Decorating Contest.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_catlady2.jpgFrom left to right: Eve Cusac-Seale and Bob Seale, of West Milton, Ohio, love cats. The two own 20 cats on their farm. Eve judged the Cat Show at the Great Darke County Fair. Bob judged the Cage-Decorating Contest. Carolyn Harmon | The Daily Advocate

By Carolyn Harmon

charmon@dailyadvocate.com

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.