Mojito Cats, Fundraising, Jackson Galaxy and More – Celebrating the 20 Year Anniversary of the Cat Network
As a cat person, when you get to take a break from changing litter boxes, cleaning up hair balls, and wiping fur off the furniture and your clothes to go to a fancy event (the 20 year anniversary/ fundraising gala for the Cat Network of Miami), you really take advantage of it. Especially when the scheduled guest speaker is none other than the Cat Daddy himself, Jackson Galaxy of My Cat From Hell!
The event was last Saturday and I must admit I felt like Cinderella getting ready for a ball. I broke out my fanciest cat ears (gold sparkle lined), curled my rat’s nest of hair, and put on my swankiest gown (also known as my only gown). I was escorted by my handsome Prince Charming, Dan (who happens to be my favorite Cat Daddy), and off we went to enjoy an evening of cocktails, gourmet vegetarian food, music, and a silent fundraising auction.
When we arrived, I was immediately impressed with the number of people and organizations that had donated items for the auction. There was so much stuff to bid on that they actually needed several rooms to hold it all! I had contributed several of my books – The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey and Purr Prints of the Heart and was relieved to see that by nights end they had brought in some nice donations!
I also got a chance to catch up with Christine Michaels of Riverfront Cats who is always my favorite accessory (who doesn’t look good standing next to her?) along with fellow cat loving friends, Cathi De Meo Marro of the South Florida Flute Orchestra and Jodi Ziskin of Healthy Cat Pro (Dan and I had previously met them when we attended the Global Pet Expo in 2014 that resulted in us bringing home our sweet Jazmine). The highlight of our chat was when we all took out our cell phones to share pictures of our feline babies!
That’s what I love best about cat related events – where else can you so comfortably mingle in a sea of ladies wearing cat ears and openly share pictures of your furbabies? In that regard, thank you so much to the Cat Network – they did a wonderful job coordinating the gala and have much to be proud of – an organization that started in 1995 with a handful of compassionate women looking to help stray and abandoned cats on the streets of Miami has grown to over 2,500 volunteer and donor members.
They have trapped and sterilized over 51,000 stray and abandoned cats and have adopted out over 7,000 cats since 1995. And their mission, “to make everyone aware of this huge community problem and to be proactive in fighting it by spaying and neutering pets and strays,” remains strong and true. They are also working diligently to make South Florida a No-Kill community and that’s why Jackson Galaxy was the perfect guest speaker, because that’s who he is at his very core. Ever since I’ve known him, his wish has been for a world in which no animals have to die needlessly and he continues to work to make that dream a reality.
I had heard Jackson speak previously in 2012 at the Cat Writers’ Conference in Los Angeles and that talk centered around his first book, Cat Daddy – What the World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean. Jackson Galaxy in 2015 is a different person. He is still a cat lover and he is still covered in tattoos, but he is a household recognizable name now. A brand. Rather than focus on his books (he has since written two more since Cat Daddy), or his show, his speech was about what we can do as cat ambassadors to get people to be more accepting of cats so that more of them are adopted into homes and not brought to shelters in the first place.
His solution – by providing the best “mojo” we can for cats so that they can live in an environment that lets them establish territorial ownership along with their pre-wired disposition to hunt, catch, kill, and eat (mojo is defined as walking through the world in the minds-eye of a cat and learning what it is that motivates them). He says if those things aren’t in place, especially the ownership aspect, then bad things can happen (after all, cats have really only been living in homes with us for about 120 years). He puts cats into three categories, and for him, he strives for every cat to be a Mojito cat.
A Mojito cat is the one that has that John Travolta swagger – a cat that walks boldly into a room with her tail held high with a relaxed, backward question mark hook to it. She is a happy, let me weave in and out of your legs kind of girl who is confident in her surroundings.
The Napoleon cat is the one that is insecure. He needs to prove something and will puff his chest out in an offensive, aggressive posture. He might lie down across the doorway of a house to make sure you have to step over him and he might pee on things because he doesn’t trust his ownership of the territory.
Lastly is the Wallflower cat. She is the one that politely hopes you won’t notice her as she sneaks by to use the litter box. She hugs the wall as she walks by and you never see her in the center of the room because she doesn’t think she is the owner of the territory, nor does she want trouble with whoever is.
Whether through hunt and play games, vertical space for cats to lay claim to, proper diet, veterinary care, and spay/neuter to help keep the personalities and health in check, the point is to try to get all cats as confident as we can of the territory they live in. That’s when the magic – the mojo – happens and those people that had doubts about whether or not a cat makes a good pet, well, now they become believers.
After his talk, the event ended with a picture taking meet and greet which was a lot of fun. Jackson was a great sport and all in all, the Cat Network put together a wonderful event. I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with so many great cat-minded people and I hope they were able to raise lots of funding to help with spay and neuter, fostering, educational efforts, and more.
For those of you that were unable to attend the gala but would like to learn more about cat mojo and the Mojito, Napoleon, and Wallflower cats, please check out this video from Jackson in which he discusses it in detail! After you watch it, let me know – what kinds of cats do you have?