Chris Unangst
for Southeast Regional Director
My experience


20 year TICA member

TICA has been my life since I first showed a Burmese cat at a show in New Jersey when I was 14 years old. Long before TICA's Junior Exhibitor program existed, I competed equally with exhibitors many times my age. I learned a lot from my peers over the years and am thankful for the opportunities I've had.

Over the years I've been a consistent exhibitor showing and participating in club and association activities. TICA has been, and always will be, my home.

Approved Allbreed Judge

Initially, judging wasn't something I considered doing. But, after I was "volunteered" to clerk for the first time I realized judging was something I wanted to do. Unfortunately I had to wait a few years until I was 21 to enter the program.

When I joined the judging program I was honored to have two allbreed sponsors - Pat Smith and Larry Paul. Larry was one of TICA's founders and I was honored to learn much from him; not only in judging, but about our heritage and what TICA was meant to be.

After a long and detailed training program involving almost 90 training and solo sessions and thousands of hours testing and studying, I was honored to be accepted as a TICA judge in 2001. Over the years I have worked hard and am now an Approved Allbreed judge.

Over the years I have been honored to judge across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Brazil.

2008 Judge of the Year

There are many honors being a judge, but one of the greatest is being recognized by the membership.

For me that honor came at the 2008 Annual when my name was announced as TICA's Judge of the Year.

Judge of the Year isn't selected by a committee, or even nominated. It is an award voted on by you, the membership. Thank you for your vote of confidence!

Assistant Yearbook Editor

I am known for being very detail oriented and that skill brought me the opportunity to work on the TICA Yearbook.

The yearbook is our organization's record and archive. To the best of anyone's ability it should be complete and accurate.

In 2007 I volunteered to complete an end-to-end review of the yearbook resulting in a significantly improved book over prior years.

As a result, in 2008 I was hired as Assistant Yearbook Editor and am continuing that role for the 2009 yearbook.

Southeast Regional Awards coordinator for 10 years

Many do not realize the work required to have regional awards each year. I've been honored to assist our current Southeast regional director, Jo Parris, with the coordination of our awards since I became a member of the Southeast region 10 years ago.

The items I've handled for Jo include:

  • Maintaining records of all cats shown in the region to compare with the awards list published by the Executive Office. (Cats must be shown one time at a regional show to be eligible for a regional award.)
  • Validating the awards list and informing winners of their regional wins.
  • Coordinating and encouraging awards sponsorship which has allowed all top-20 regional winners and best of breed winners to receive plaques for their awards.
  • Arranging for all award rosettes to have the cat's name on them.
  • Expanding the awards rosettes so all championship cats receive both an allbreed and longhair/shorthair rosette with their awards like is done for the international awards.
  • Coordinating regional rosette, plaque, and trophy orders
  • Coordinating and distributing awards certificates.
  • Coordination pictures for the regional Powerpoint and candid presentation
  • Creation of the regional awards program
  • Coordinating, packaging, and mailing awards that are not picked up at the banquet.

Doing this work has given me a unique understanding of how our awards work.

Active clerk, master clerk, and entry clerk

Without clerks we would not have shows. Staying active in various clerking activities is important to me. At many shows you will see me in a ring clerking or behind the master clerking table. I also entry clerk several shows a year.

Just because you are a judge or official doesn't mean that you shouldn't participate in these activities. Clerking isn't something to check off a list of requirements. Clerking gives you an insight into the workings of our shows - an invaluable insight that I've always sought.

Managed 1-4 shows a year for the past 19 years

There are many ways to participate in TICA: showing, breeding, helping out behind the scenes. However, if it wasn't for those who roll up their sleeves and take the financial risks to host shows we wouldn't be able to get together and show our beautiful cats.

I've been involved in show management for most of my years in TICA arranging all aspects of shows from hiring judges and arranging their transportation, facilities contracts, awards, down to buying candy to go in the rings. Hosting a quality show can be an almost full-time volunteer position, but it's one I have cherished all these years.

Over the years I have managed some of TICA's largest regularly scheduled shows and several regional awards shows and banquets as well. Some years I managed as many as four shows.

Many new clubs have come to me as a mentor and I welcome anyone who wants my advice and assistance. I know the challenges and respect those who are willing to take the risks.

20 year Championship & HHP exhibitor

For many showing means showing in one class. That's fine.

But, for me, I have enjoyed showing in all classes. By showing both pedigree and household pets I've had an opportunity to meet so many people who love their cats.

For me showing is my love and if I had to choose between judging and showing I would have to say I would always be an exhibitor first.

I have yet to show in the developmental classes (preliminary new breed, advanced new breed, or new traits), but it isn't something I would rule out.

Each class is different with its own concerns and actively participating in the different classes helps me understand those concerns.

Breeder and Rescuer

Over the years I've worked with many breeds breeding under the cattery names Chrischat, Blueyonder, and Luvpurrs. The breeds I've bred and shown are:

  • American Shorthair
  • Burmese
  • Bombay
  • Exotic Shorthair/Persian
  • Tonkinese

The breeds I'm currently actively working with are the Exotic Shorthair and Tonkinese.

Breeds I've also had the privilege to show are:

  • Abyssinian
  • American Curl Longhair
  • American Wirehair
  • Cymric
  • Devon Rex
  • Himalayan
  • Japanese Bobtail
  • Japanese Bobtail Longhair
  • Maine Coon
  • Manx
  • Oriental Shorthair
  • Pixiebob
  • Scottish Fold Longhair
  • Selkirk Rex
  • Selkirk Rex Longhair
  • Siamese
  • Siberian
  • Singapura
  • Sphynx

I understand the hard work of being a breeder, the joy, and even the heartache at times.

But, as a breeder I also feel it is important to help those cats and kittens who don't have a loving home. Over the years I've adopted a number of cats who have been rescued from bad situations. They now call my home their forever home and have just as much fun playing with my Exotics, Persians, and Tonkinese.

Proud exhibitor of over 30 International winners

Throughout my 20 year TICA career I have shown extensively every year and have been honored with at least one international win each year - except one year. That one year I showed a cat for one of my Allbreed sponsors. The cat I agented achieved an international win the year I did not have one of my own.

I've had international winners in all classes: Cat, Kitten, Alter, HHP, and HHP kitten demonstrating my love for all cats and classes. Those winners have included:

  • Four International second best cats
  • Five International best shorthair cats
  • Second best international alter
  • Best international household pet
  • Best international household pet kitten