Kitty pops. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)
Cats have it made. They get to stay up all night and sleep all day. The Aristocats said that everybody wants to be a cat. Grumpy Cat got her own movie and consequently earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Twitter has started celebrating #Caturday every single week. Everything is awesome for cats…right?
Kizu the kitty. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)
Unfortunately this is not the case. Every year, 1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats are euthanized because they were not adopted soon enough. That’s 200,000 more cats than dogs. According to a survey, 27 percent of people looking for a new pet say they would not consider a cat.
Kizu and her human, Katie Cassidy. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)
What, exactly, is their problem? According to a survey by Pet Smart Charities, 43 percent of pet owners would describe a cat owner as “weird or quirky”, and 49 percent of pet owners believe in the “crazy cat lady” stereotype. Just to reiterate how stupid this is…a Crazy Cat Lady is an unmarried woman, especially an elderly woman who has never married, who lives alone with at least three cats. She probably has never married because she is unattractive, has an odd personality, and has no sense of style. Her house will smell like cat litter and be covered in cat hair.
Katie Cassidy with a Hot to Adopt t-shirt and a cat. (www.facebook.com/OfficialKatieCassidy)
My chief issue with this stereotype is that pets are supposed to make people less lonely. There are plenty of singletons out there who get a dog for the same reason a “cat lady” gets a cat. I think the root of the problem is that, since cats are lower-maintenance than dogs (usually smaller, know how to take a walk by themselves), a given household would be able to support a greater quantity of cats than dogs. And the quantity thing freaks people out. Of course, the average number of cats in a cat household is only 2.1, versus 1.6 for dogs in a dog household. And again, two cats might be easier to take care of than one dog. The cat lady stereotype might sound silly, but it has a terrible consequence for the little kitties who don’t get adopted.
A poster for the Hot to Adopt Feline Fashion Lounge. (Fresh Step)
Cat-eye sunglasses, a cat-ear headband, and a cat-faced clutch. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)
Fashion Week to the rescue! Actress, blogger, and cat owner Katie Cassidy partnered with Fresh Step litter to host the Hot to Adopt Feline Fashion Lounge. Held at the Lori Bookstein Fine Art Gallery in Chelsea, the feline lounge was open to the public and free to attend, provided that everyone registered and RSVPed. There was a runway show “for the modern cat lady”, with looks that celebrated cats’ huge artistic and sartorial influence. Said Cassidy, “From cat eye glasses and leopard prints to kitten heels and cat-faced flats, feline-inspired fashions have infiltrated runways for many years.” Guests could leave with a Hot to Adopt t-shirt. And a cat, of course. The Humane Society of New York, Zani’s Furry Friends, and The Little Shelter all brought sweet little kitty-bits who were ready to be adopted.
Katie Cassidy with a cat who can’t wait to get adopted. Erin Cebula and Katie in their best cat ears. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)
My view on this is that if a cat is not adopted it should be released into the wild. In Turkey it is less conventional to consider the cat a companion animal, so you see cats out on the street the way you see pigeons in New York. Not everybody wants a new pet. Pets are loving and rewarding, but they are a lot of work. That said, if someone is in the market for a new pet, they should give cats and dogs the same level of consideration.
Lulu and Luna the kitties.
I have had 9 cats in my life: Scampi, McGonagall, Salud, Lulu, Double Tuft, Kit Kat, Scarlet, Princess, and Luna. (Don’t worry, not all at the same time.) Even I didn’t know that this was a problem. I had blissfully assumed, along with most others I’m sure, that everything was fine in the world of cats. That’s why it is so important to spread awareness of this issue through campaigns and events, and Fashion Week is the perfect place to do it.
Greenwood, Jennifer. “Study Reveals Public Opinions About Cats and Cat People.” Pet Smart Charities. 19 May 2015. http://www.petsmartcharities.org/blog/study-reveals-public-opinions-about-cats-and-cat-people
“Pet Statistics.” American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. http://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics
“U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics.” American Veterinary Medical Foundation. http://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-pet-ownership.aspx