Top of the Morning, July 2, 2014

Top of the Morning, July 2, 2014

She may be an international star, but 2-year-old Kili isn't acting like one around the house.

"It's all about the next time the food bowl is going to get filled," said her owner, Robin Bryan. "And when mom's lap is next available.

"She is clueless about the accolades."

Last weekend, Bryan traveled to New Orleans for the Cat Fanciers Association annual awards ceremony, where Kili was honored as the 14th Best International Cat. Meanwhile, the award-winner stayed in Champaign.

"She was watching the birds on the patio and living the life of luxury," Bryan said.

Kili, a European Burmese female, beat out more than 10,000 cats to finish in the coveted Top 25, which included felines from Russia, Italy, China, France and Spain.

Her reward?

"Lots of affection," Bryan said. "She was never one to be impressed by treats. She's a picky eater."

A real knockout, too. At least the judges thought so.

Bryan — who has been showing cats since the 1980s — accompanied Kili to competitions in Colorado, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas and Washington, accumulating enough points for international stardom.

"The stars aligned," Bryan said. "She hit her peak when she needed to hit her peak."

She told Kili as much.

"I believe in communicating with animals telepathically," said Bryan, president of the Illini Cat Club. "I told her that Mom needed her to have fun."

Now comes the really fun part.

Kili will be bred with one of her three housemates: 6-year-old Bergerac, also a European Burmese and big-time award-winner.

"The bloodlines are good," Bryan said. "We're hoping for some good little kitties."

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