Secretary of State Colin L. Powell met Colin Powell, the Cat of the Year 2004. [See photo on left.] Colin the Cat was awarded this title by the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA). The feline, whose full name is "Caricature's Colin Powell," is a Bombay, a rare cat breed. [See photo on right.] According to the CFA, Colin the Cat "was named for a person of color who has made, and continues to make, significant contributions in the world." See CFA Press Release.
Read more about the Bombay breed of cats.
Secretary Powell's full remarks at the photo opportunity with Colin the Cat are below the photos. Also present at the event was Pam DelaBar, President of CFA, who served under Colin Powell when she was in the army. [Ms. DelaBar is shown below presenting the Cat of the Year award to Colin the Cat held by Secretary Powell (right photo). Colin Powell the Cat sits atop a State Department podium (left photo).]
SECRETARY POWELL: This is the best cat in the country. (Laughter.) Competing against 22,700 other cats at 290 competitions, Colin Powell came in first in 2004. And we're very pleased that he came to the State Department and -- easy now. (Laughter.) I'll get in trouble now. (Laughter.)
But one of the benefits of him visiting with us today is they said that I would have the privilege of naming one of his sons, a son that was born on July 4th, I think. And so I have decided that, with your permission, ma'am, sir, we would like to name Colin's son in honor of a great American who has a connection to the cause of peace and to the State Department and somebody who was a great prizewinner in his own right, the first black American to receive a Nobel Peace Prize, Ralph Bunche. [See photo on right of Caricature's Ralph Bunche, the kitten of Caricature's Colin Powell, named by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.]
A PARTICIPANT: Thank you, sir.
SECRETARY POWELL: Okay. Now, Barry Schweid had the best idea of the last day and a half, that I ought to do a walkout. (Laughter.) We'll take a few questions. And I think we'll pass that on. Colin's behaving so well now that we don't want to press our luck.
MS. DELABAR: Mr. Secretary, we have to commemorate the occasion here. I often, in my position as President of the Cat Fancier's Association, and as an international all-breed judge, present best cat. So, sir, I can't make you best cat, but I can make you best. (Laughter.)
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you so much.
MS. DELABAR: And also, a copy of our almanac with Colin Powell's signature on the front. The feline. (Laughter.) [Ms. DelaBar is shown at left holding the Cat Fanciers' Almanac as Secretary Powell holds Colin the Cat (left photo). Sig Hauck, breeder, holds Colin the Cat and explains the Bombay cat breed to Secretary Powell (photo below).]