New York City’s first feline-focused symposium.
Christina Ha is not only the founder of New York City’s first cat café (Meow Parlour), she is the founder of the first feline-focused symposium in New York City. Cat Camp NYC was a two-day convention celebrating cats and the people who love them. With over 2,500 attendees, I would say the event was a success! (I'm going to apologize for the quality of some of the photos; my camera decided to go on the fritz right in the middle of everything!)
I enjoyed seeing familiar faces from the blogging world, and I had a great time spending the weekend with Deb Barnes of Zee and Zoey and Laura Zaccardi of Squeedunk Cats.
I ran into the mom of one of Lola and Lexy’s Instagram friends, @mrpawesome. (We posted his rescue story and you can read it here.)
And look at this cutie, Mac, of @Littleman_Mika.
Let’s Make Cats Lives Better
The theme that infused the event was enhancing cats’ lives. The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, New York City Feral Cat Initiative, and the Paw Project were just a few of the organizations represented there. The Cat Rescuers and Catnip Nation are two documentary films that tell the stories of volunteers who rescue and care for feral cats on the streets. The Cat Rescuers was filmed in Brooklyn, in many areas that I work in. I was able to speak to one of the filmmakers about the huge problem in Canarsie, one of the areas it was filmed in. Catnip Nation was partially filmed in Rockland County, my (and Lexy’s) hometown. I am looking forward to blogging about both films in the future to bring attention to this important matter.
One organization that really impacted me was the Urban Resource Institute of NYC. This agency that works with victims of domestic violence runs a program called URIPALS: People and Animals Living Safely. This innovative program is the only one of its kind in New York City, assisting pet owners facing domestic violence by allowing their pets into the shelter. It almost brought tears to my eyes discussing it with the representative. This is also a subject you will hear more about on the blog in the near future.
Artwork, t-shirts, and cat toys – oh my!
There were 49 vendors at Cat Camp, all selling cat-themed clothing, wares and of course toys, treats, beds, hats and much more for kitties.
Jamie Shelman of The Dancing Cat, whose artwork I love, was one of the vendors. The first thing I said to her was “You painted a picture of my friend’s cat!” She had a copy of the print of Pickles (CEO of Sweet Pickles Designs) and I couldn’t resist buying it.
I was delighted to meet Terri, the owner of Honeycat Cosmetics. Her products are not only high quality, but they are cruelty-free! Music to my ears! Some of them are vegan as well. You’ll be hearing more about Honey Cat in the future on our blog.
I really need to get this cat tree from Pet Tree Houses for my girls. The company will custom make one depending on the size you need, and will not charge a large fee for doing so.
Adopt, Don’t Shop!It’s no surprise that my favorite part was the adoption area. Rescues/shelters that were there included Kitty Kind, Patricia H. Ladew Foundation, Best Friends Society, Bronx Tails Cat Rescue, and Frankie’s Fund among others. The adoption area was jam packed with people and I heard many asking about certain cats. This beauty had a pending adoption!
Speakers and PresentationsI was able to make a few of the presentations. Dr. Jennifer Conrad presented on the horrific effects of declawing. Assembly Woman Linda Rosenthal joined her on stage to talk about the legislation she is trying to push through in Albany to ban declawing in New York State. Hannah Shaw taught the audience how to take care of kittens. I learned a lot from both presentations.
|L to R: Dr. Jennifer Conrad, Assembly woman Linda Rosenthal, Hannah Shaw|
Photo credit: Andrew Marttila. Used with permission.
I thoroughly enjoyed Lil Bub and Mike Bridavsky. Bub is probably one of the cutest cats I’ve ever seen. (Please don't tell Lola I said that!)
It was so obvious and endearing to see how much Mike loves and adores her. It’s evident in the way he dotes on her, and in the look on his face when he’s watching videos of her or showing photos like the one on the far right to the audience.
I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to meet her. Her Meet n’ Greet raised approximately $16,000, which will go to the ASPCA, Meow Parlour, and KittyKind. Good job, Bub!
Kate Benjamin of Hauspanther spoke about feline design and gave many ideas on how to share your living space with a cat while keeping asthetics in mind. I loved so many of the products she showed, and I wish I could make a super highway in my apartment.
The highlight of the weekend was a Meet n’ Greet with Jackson Galaxy. I had my photo taken with him
and got my book autographed. He is such a nice guy! I mean really nice. His keynote was delivered to a packed room. Jackson is an energetic speaker and very entertaining. He spoke about his past and how he became a cat guy and left the audience with the idea that we can all do more to help cats.
The event was definitely a success and I hope that Christina plans a Cat Camp in 2018.