Cat Camp NYC Catch Up!

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When I visited New York City in November of 2015, the weather was beautiful and I was able to enjoy some site-seeing. That was not the case for this trip – even though it was nearly spring, the weather was brutally cold.

Let’s see, I’ve been back from Cat Camp NYC for a couple weeks and what did I learn? I learned that my once strong, Upstate New York blood that could handle cold weather in a heartbeat, has thinned so completely that I’m barely functional in freezing temperatures. I was so excited to be going to the city – I had visions of site-seeing, eating in trendy vegetarian restaurants with my cat-loving friends, and browsing in some of the quirky and quaint shops of the city. You know, like Carrie Bradshaw of Sex in the City, only with cats, and no sex. Instead, I got bitter weather that was so debilitating I was nearly incapable of walking!

Oh well…I’m back now in the balmy Florida weather and now that my brain has thawed out I’m ready to share a bit of my experience! I went with my dear friend, Laura Zaccardi of the Squeedunk Whiskers &  Warehouses Cats, and as we were standing in line to get our entry wrist bands, there was a mad sea of cat lovers – men and women – of assorted ages, sizes, and nationalities. Cat ears, cat shirts, cat leggings, cat scarves, cat boots, cat this, cat that and more – everyone was wearing their love of cats as an emblem on assorted body parts and I felt wonderfully at home in my leopard garb.

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Laura and I decked out for a day of cat-inspired fun, facts, shopping and more!

And have no fear – if you weren’t wearing something related to cats when you came in, by the time you left, you probably were. Or, at the very least, you were buying something related to cats, or something for one of your own cats! The place was filled with a fantastic array of vendors – from the wildly popular Pusheen, to meowbox.com, to Triple T studios and more. Artwork, greeting cards, cat furniture, cat bedding, t-shirts, socks, and jewelry. In other words, find something, put a cat on it, and chances are, it was there. It really was like being a kid in a candy store for cat-loving grown-ups! Being extremely budget conscious, I tried my level best to be strong, but honestly, I wanted something from every booth!

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This vendor was selling a cute assortment of laser cut greeting cards and more.

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I LOVED this cat camouflage t-shirt but it was a bit pricey for me at $26.00 so I regrettably passed it up!

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I always enjoy seeing the whimsical artwork from Cathi De Meo Marro of Cat-Hi.

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I love the marketing style of Honeycat Cosmetics – right down to the hint of leopard here and there!

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Laura standing in front of a gorgeous cat tree from Pet Tree Houses with Dawn White of Lola the Rescued Cat.

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I brought a few of my Makin’ Biscuits books with me and it was an absolute hoot catching up with Francois Deschenes and Olivia Canlas of meowbox.com who have a feature story in the book in the chapter “Rules of the House.”

Because this was the first year for the event, I didn’t know what to expect and decided to go as an attendee rather than a vendor with my books. This way I was able to attend all the panel discussions, which I really enjoyed. Kate Benjamin of hauspanther was fantastic in her presentation on trending cat products and how to catify your house (even featuring some pictures of Laura’s gorgeous warehouse apartment which she recently catified), and Lil Bub’s Dude, Mike Bridavsky, was so much fun as he shared his story of how Bub’s fame came to be.

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One of my all-time favorite cat ladies, Ingrid King of the Conscious Cat, introduced Kate Benjamin’s catification discussion.

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Laura and I chatting with Kate after her wonderful catification discussion. She shared so many great decorating ideas to satisfy our kitties needs while keeping our homes looking beautiful and stylish.

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It was wonderful finally getting to meet Mike and Lil Bub. They are also a feature story in Makin’ Biscuits in the chapter “Man’s Best Friend.” Photo credit: Andrew Marttila.

There was also an abundance of all kinds of great rescue groups, including one of my favorites the NYC Feral Cat Initiative, along with the amazing Dr. Jennifer Conrad of the Paw Project who educates people on the health risks of declawing cats and her desire to see it banned nationwide. There was even a Maine Coon Rescue group – one of my favorite breeds – and lots of rescue cats up for adoption. The event ended with an invigorating keynote from Jackson Galaxay of My Cat From Hell and weather aside, it was a great event.

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The NYC Feral Cat Initiative booth.

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The Cat Rescuers is a documentary about the epidemic of abandoned and feral cats in Brooklyn featuring four dedicated activists who hit the streets to rescue them.

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Dr. Jennifer Conrad on the left and dedicated Kitten Lady, Hannah Shaw on the right. Photo credit: Andrew Marttila.

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This sweet boy is from Only Maine Coons Rescue.

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One of the many rescue kitties available at the event. Photo credit: Andrew Marttila.

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Jackson Galaxy was at several events at Cat Camp – from book signings, to meet and greets, the keynote and more.

I’ve got lots to think about as to how I approach next year. The creative side of my mind has been has been reeling since I’ve gotten back, but unfortunately with my day job, free time is not something I have a lot of. All in all it was a great event and I’m glad I got the unexpected opportunity to go. Staying at Laura’s warehouse apartment was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I got to meet several of her rescues, including Valentina, Manhattan, and Coco, who all regaled me with their presence – Manhattan even boldly ventured up on the couch with me as I was sleeping to check me out.

Kitties Lulu and Bessie didn’t come out to make formal introductions with me, but foster cat, Mimi, was a true delight – as gregarious as can be and I fell madly in love with her. She reminded me so much of my angel Harley, that she caught me off-guard several times, thinking I had seen a ghost! Mimi is a senior kitty who would make a wonderful pet for someone and I do hope Laura can find her a loving furever home. Until then, she is in good hands with Laura and very well-loved and taken care of.

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Gorgeous Valentina settling on the window sill for some sun and bird watching.

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Sweet Manhattan coming out to see if I was friend or foe. Thankfully I passed the “friend” test!

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Me bonding with sweet Mimi. With her white bib and mittens and similar build, I truly felt Harley was with me for a moment.

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I did succumb to temptation and bought one item at Cat Camp – a catnip banana for my gang! I have heard others raving about this product, so I wanted to see for myself what the fuss was about. Valentina was kind enough to test it out first and LOVED it!

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I’m back from Cat Camp and my suitcase isn’t even open, but somehow Jazmine knows there’s something good inside for her! Suffice it to say, the banana toy was a HUGH hit with my gang!

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  1. Ingrid King says:

    What a wonderful recap of an amazing weekend, and it was wonderful to get to see you. I can’t wait until next year!

  2. terry davis says:

    love this Cat Camp, what fin! Hope to give a donation to all rescue groups

  3. This was a fabulous recap! What I LOVE that I have seen from all of the recaps is that Cat Camp had high-quality cat products. Everything looks like it was the creme de la creme of cat products. I would have totally lost my mind. My Pet Tree House that Cody has is probably my most prized possession. Everything there looks like it was amazing! You were lucky to experience it while it is smaller too, I have a sneaky suspicion since all went so well it will be much larger next year. Next year I hope to get there to check it out!!! I would have loved listening to everyone speak too!

    • Deb says:

      You are so right about that, Caren. The quality and creativity found in the products available was amazing. And I envy you – the Pet Tree House line is so, so gorgeous and Cody is very lucky to have such a beautifully crafted piece of cat furniture. I’m sure next year will be much larger – I hope we can both be there!

  4. jmuhj says:

    Wonderful post and beautiful photos! So glad you got to go, and wishing I could have as well — but couldn’t leave my clowder!

  5. What a fun event! Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  6. Ellen Pilch says:

    That looks like a lot of fun. I would love to visit all the vendors, but I would probably spend way too much money.

  7. meowmeowmans says:

    What a great event, Deb! Thank you for sharing all about it with us. Hopefully, we will be able to make it next year!

  8. Deb, what fun it was to experience Cat Camp together with you and Dawn! I loved roaming around to the various vendors–some of them new to me, some I’ve seen online or featured on blogs! I don’t think I’ve fully absorbed how special the entire experience was yet–having you visit with the gang and staying at my apartment, attending the event and having exposure to all of the people you and Dawn know and gleaning lots of good tidbits along the way…and thankfully having people there to remind me that spending ALL of my money on cat related items is not fiscally responsible–ha! So many great things. Thank you so much for your beautiful commentary on all of my girls, and the photos are precious. Bessie and Lulu are scarce with new voices but they would have come around quickly. Next time, right?? Looking forward to the next cat related adventure!

  9. What a wonderful event ! Thank you for the recap and the great photos ! Purrs

  10. Sounds like THE BEST time! My favorite picture is Jazmine. It’s obvious how much she loves you in that she’s always nearby. Bear Cat is the same way :)

  11. what fun….it certainly sounds like it was a hit!