Cat Camp NYC Catch Up!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.