This article originally appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News on June 15, 1983.
Madame Ellie Vator, a pumpkin-colored tabby from Bensalem, will jet off to Florida next month for the time of her nine lives, trying to claw her way to the top in the 18th annual All-American Glamour Kitty Contest.
Madame Vator learned yesterday that she was among the nine feline finalists in the nationwide competition, sponsored by Waverly Mineral Products Co. of Bala Cynwyd, which manufactures Glamour Kitty Litter.
Should this Bucks County feline fatale capture the jeweled crown and white ermine cat robe, she’ll strut down the runway July 22 before hundreds of cheering spectators, as Bert Parks croons, “There she is, Miss Glamour Kitty. "
That’s not bad for a cat found starving and abandoned four years ago near a Virginia campsite.
“She was a poor little starved cat with no place to go,” recalled the madame’s mistress, Ruth Penn, a composer and music instructor. "She had to be nursed back to health. "
Penn says she will begin intensive training for Madame Vator to prepare for the grueling pageant schedule, which includes a poolside fashion show, a ''kitty olympics" and interviews with the judges.
The finalists’ owners often choose a theme representative of their home state or city for the kitty fashion show, which in past years has brought out some wild c’attire.
Last year, a cat contestant from Vermont came dressed as a cow, with udder and all, pageant officials say. (Vermont considers itself the Dairy State. The cat’s owners arrived in some sort of outfit representing milk. )
Penn declined to reveal what she has in mind for the madame’s costume because competitors could be catty.
And this upcoming pageant, she says, is a most important moment for Ellie Vator, whose name came from the grain elevator where Penn’s husband works.
You see, in the past, Madame Vator had to attend a lot of dog shows, sitting in a crate while Penn displayed her prized Bedlington terriers.