On Monday, the Westminster Kennel Club announced that three new dog breeds have been added to its 2017 show at Madison Square Garden later this month (February 11, 13, and 14).
Cats Ready To Crash This Year’s Westminster Dog Show
In a SHOCKING twist, organizers also revealed that — hold onto your butts — cats would be joining the lineup of 2800+ doggos at the prestigious event for the first time in its 140-year history.
(This development provoked a bevy of hot takes on social media, but hold that thought, because we'll return to it below.)
The first addition on the dog slate is the Sloughi (pronounced SLOO-ghee), who will compete in the Hound category. According to the club, these loyal and devoted puppers originated in North Africa but "are primarily bred for companionship in the US".
Hot on the sloughi's heels was a second adorable rookie, the Pumi (pronounced POOH-me). This breed traces its lineage back to Hungary, where they have been used by farmers to herd cattle, sheep, and pigs. They are described by the club as "intelligent, willing to work, and quick learner[s]".
The final new entry is the American Hairless Terrier, who were first developed in the 1970s to "hunt rats and other vermin". Said to be lively, alert, and curious, their trainability makes the breed "a perfect choice for such dog sports as Obedience and Agility."
Here are the three new breeds posing for photographers.
While reaction to the new dog breeds was largely positive, news that cats would be included at a "Meet the Breed" function on February 11 was considerably more polarizing. (Cats, as the New York Times reports, have been featured by the club previously but only separately and away from the primary competition.)
Because some folks couldn't literally deal, denial was a popular, if predictable, response.
Other observers tied it to the storylines that have been dominating the political headlines this week...
...or opted to cue up references that riffed on pop culture from the 80s, like this quote from Ghostbusters.
And then there were those that saw it as the next phase of a sinister plan for world domination...
...or a sign that the apocalypse was close at hand.
How do you feel about the new additions? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!