Cat Camp = Best of Times

I went to Cat Camp on Sunday to check it out, buy some stuff for my cats (er, me), and see Jackson Galaxy’s keynote. Little did I know that about 15 minutes after I arrived, Jackson Galaxy himself came out to his foundation’s table to sign pictures and take photos with people. 

When it was my turn, I thanked him for all he does and shook his hand, took a photo, and then asked him as briefly as I could what I should do about getting Ares and Playbill to get along – since Playbill had started to treat Ares like prey. He asked a few additional questions and then told me that they’re not ready to be in the same room yet and to keep feeding them on opposite sides of the gate until they can eat and ignore each other. I shook his hand and left, elated, since I had no idea I’d even have the opportunity to talk to him.

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So cool. He was the nicest. 

I bought lots of toys for the furmonsters, donated some money to various organizations, purchased some cat wine from Apollo Peak, and bought a tank top with a meditating cat on it that says, “Meowwwwwwwm” with the literal Sanskrit translation of it below made by Squirrel Den Studio. (I mean, I obviously had to buy this t-shirt.) I also saw a talk with Lil Bub and her dude. To be honest, I’m not really familiar with Lil Bub, but I know more now, and she’s the most chill little cat ever, not to mention adorable. The Kitten Lady was there, too! But I also learned about some amazing stuff going on in the cat community that I wanted to share:

Littleman_Mika: A kitty who was born with a cleft palette. Her human is raising awareness for special needs cats.

The Cat Rescuers: A documentary about volunteers who TNR in Brooklyn. Look for it in 2018!

Kitty in NY: In-home cat caregivers! If you’re moving, or renovating, or need to travel, this is an organization that will come to your apartment and take care of your kitty. Awesome idea, since most cats don’t travel as well as Lil Bub!

Catnip Nation: Another documentary in the making, this one is about how cat videos have taken over the internet. Cosign that. 

My Cat Kyle: A big black and white kitty named Kyle sat in a harness on the table for this organization. Kyle was a kitty who once witnessed a murder in his home, so this organization is about the pets that get forgotten in the midst of domestic violence and how to help save them. 

Only Maine Coons Rescue: A 9-month old Maine Coon say on the table of this organization and she was BIG. She was bigger than Playbill and this Maine Coon was only a kitten! You can obviously decipher what this organization does. 

The Paw Project: This is an organization that was collecting signatures in an effort to get New York State to outlaw declawing. I gave them whatever money I had on me. 

Polydactyl Cats: This is an awesome cat toy company that make toys for cats that “think outside the mouse.” I bought soy sauce and duck sauce packet catnip toys for my cats. LOVE this company. Their toys are amazing

Square Paws: This is an awesome cat furniture company. They’re currently working on making NYC apartment-sized cat furniture which is great because all of their stuff is way too big for anyone’s apartment. 

The Dancing Cat: This is “art for the moderately crazy cat lover.” They’re really fun photos and I would’ve bought one but I couldn’t find a tuxedo or brown tabby cat photo!

There were many others which you should totally check out on Cat Camp’s website. This was an awesome day and I can’t wait for next year!

Lil Bub and her dude.

Lil Bub!

The 9-month old Maine Coon kitten!

Jackson Galaxy’s key note!

Cat/Cow Pose with Actual Cats

Last Thursday, I headed down to the LES for yoga and kitty time at Meow Parlour. I haven’t been back since my first trip there in the winter and I was look forward to it a lot. Before the yoga class begins at the Meow Parlour, everyone gets 45 minutes of kitty time so I first got to know the cats I’d be hanging out with. 

There were two ginger wobbly cats there (cats with a neurological disorder that makes it hard for them to balance, hence ‘wobbly’), as well as two tortie kittens, an older white cat, an adorable tabbie kitten, an older ginger cat, and Willie, an adult tabbie who has been at the Meow Parlour since the very beginning and probably hasn’t been adopted, according to the folks at Meow Parlour, because he takes longer than usual to warm up to humans. I loved him instantly.

As soon as the yoga mats came out, the cats that had been sleeping in the front of the store came running to the back. For some reason they love the yoga mats. 

The class was an advanced beginners class for the most part. It made me feel good but didn’t tire me out. It was definitely the most distracted I’ve ever been in a yoga class though, with the cats walking around and brushing up against us. Distracting and adorable

For $20 and a long ride down to the LES, it was totally worth it to get my downward dog on with the cats and support a great organization. 

Meow Parlour (Lower East Side, NYC)

As I mentioned in a previous post, my dude and I went to Meow Parlour, the new cafe full of fully adoptable cats on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I really want to adopt a cat soon but I haven’t met the right one yet and I thought that maybe this was the right low-stress environment to find my future pet. 

We arrived and were immediately put on a list and told it’d be a 45-60 minute wait and we were welcome to wait in their actual cafe around the corner. We walked in and when the only other people in there had already been to the Parlour, I knew that the 60 minute wait would be much shorter. 

It was. As soon as we sat down and started sipping our lattes, the manager of the cafe let us know that we could go over after we signed the waiver. We walked in, took off our shoes, purelle-ed our hands, and went to chill with the cats. They have a generously sized play area full of wooden boxes that they can run in to if they feel like they need to hide (not pictured in any of the photos below). There are a handful of clear-topped boxes that cats can sleep or relax in, too. 

The assistant manager started telling us about some of the cats, what shelters they came from, their backstory of where they were found, etc. We were told that we could pet the cats, take their photos (sans flashes), but not to pick them up. They see a lot of people every day and they’re still getting used to routine. 

The front of the store. The cats hang out where ever they damn well please. One even spent a fair amount of time sitting on the managers’ laptop.

This cat on the floor walked over to these humans and literally rolled over to get scratched. It made an audible thump as it hit the ground.

This is Matt. He wasn’t super friendly but he let me pet him for a few minutes when he was sitting in a basket in the front window. 

There was one cat, Stovetop, that did not like the other cats at all. It would regularly walk up to other cats and start swatting at them. Stovetop claimed a human, sat on her lap, and when another cat sauntered over to join in the fun, Stovetop saw this other cat approaching and hissed until the cat retreated. It was also an obese cat at about 25 pounds. It liked humans enough, it just hated other cats.

It was totally worth the price of two lattes and $5/person/30 minutes. I’d suggest making a reservation before going, but even if you don’t, the wait probably won’t be very long. 

Totally follow them on Instagram. Cutest Instagram ever? Yup. 

Saturday Wanderings

One of my favorite things about New York is wandering. You never know what hole-in-the-wall restaurant/bar/bakery/shop is around the corner just waiting to be discovered. 

Saturday started out almost exactly like every other morning: get up (though a couple of hours later, of course), go to the gym, shower, eat, etc. Of course it was all much slower and more relaxed because I didn’t have to go to the office, duh. Anyways, I digress, around 1:30 I made my way to Times Square to meet Justin and see when the earliest date we could buy tickets for Hamilton was. Spoiler alert: It was far away, so now I’m planning on going through my contacts to try to pull strings for house seats in a couple of months. We’ll see what happens.

We walked over to 44th and 10th Ave to try pizza from Claudio’s after hearing it was good on RG. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but probably not worth the walk to 10th Avenue to Times Square. Still: good to check it off the list.

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mmmmmmm, health food. 

After pizza, Justin wanted sneakers so we headed down to SoHo to Under Armour. After successfully procuring the aforementioned basketball sneakers. we wandered down and around SoHo. I saw the graffiti below somewhere south of Houston and Mercer but I can’t remember the exactly location. Can someone do this in my apartment? I couldn’t get a good photo of it either because some tourist was trying to take her best casually-walking-with-my-latte-in-front-of-some-gritty-street-art-how-cool-am-I selfie. Spoiler: tourist + selfie-stick = not cool.

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We wandered to Broome Street to Black Tap Burger and thought there was no line when we walked in, but the line was actually outside around the corner and down 6th Avenue. So completely ridiculous. We aborted mission and popped into Broome Street Bar for sustenance instead. 

Our last stop on our wanderings we decided would be Meow Parlour. I had no idea what the wait would be like but we wandered for a while (it’s probably a mile or maybe more from Broome/6th to Hester/Ludlow), passing through streets and around corners that we were both unsure whether or not we’d ever passed through before in 10+ years of residency in New York. It’s definitely gritty in some parts, hipster-ish in some parts, and gross in others. Upon arriving, we were told there was a list and it could be up to 45 minutes to an hour. They had a cafe you could wait in around the corner, we headed there and a few minutes after receiving our lattes, we were called back. 

This place is worth a separate post, but here’s one photo to hold you over:

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That’s Matt, a Maine Coon cat and so pretty. Here are the other cats we hung out with. I wanted to take him home with me but he was kind of skiddish. He’d give you a few minutes of petting time before running away. 

We journeyed home on the D train and stopped for dinner and a drink at Amsterdam Tavern before calling it a night. As the weather gets nicer again, I look forward to having more of these days because I think if you’re living here and not exploring on a regular basis, you should probably just save your money and live in the suburbs.