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What to watch during the NBA lockout? Feline agility competitions!

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It is a sport in which the contestants sometimes lie down in the middle of the field, unmotivated and bemused. Feline agility competitions, in which cats run through a miniature obstacle course full of hurdles and tunnels, have become fixtures on the cat show scene. Modeled after canine agility competitions, the tournaments feature a ring in which cat owners — some of whom have trained their pets from kittenhood — brandish a feather or sparkly wand to try to coax a cat to climb stairs, weave around poles and leap through hoops in as little time as possible. Some cats tear through the course in seconds. Others make it clear to the eager onlookers that they could not care less. "You have to get the cat to focus on the toy," said Anthony Hutcherson, who raises Bengal cats in Port Tobacco, Md., and whose oldest cat, Justin, has run the course in nine seconds. "Cats will pretty much chase a feather on a string anywhere." http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/19/sports/in-feline-agility-competitions-the-biggest-obstacle-can-be-the-cat.html?gwh=0B4F97FD3C09861D62CCF389DD610E41
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