Cat Camp NYC Cat Lovers - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Cat Lovers Unite! Behold Cat Camp NYC

We love our cat. Chloe is family in every conceivable way.

And if you sense that I’m both unapologetic and unequivocal when making these two statements​, let me explicitly confirm your intuition. I am. On both accounts. Full stop.

I do not have a young child, nor do I currently have elderly parents or in-laws to care for in their latter years. (I’m incredibly grateful that they are all, by God’s grace, in good health.) As for my grandparents, they have long since departed this world.

That’s not to say I don’t know something about being a caretaker. For years, I’ve had a dependent, just not one I can claim on my taxes. I’ve cleaned up her messes. I’ve prepared her meals. Even handled her 3P’s (pee, poop and puke). I’ve brushed her hair and cut her nails and attempted, rather unsuccessfully, to bathe her. I’ve transported her to checkups.  (And chewed my nails through a few medical procedures.) I’ve soothed her crying on airplanes and hushed her hissing on road trips. I’ve spent untold hours doting on her, reprimanding her, worrying about her and pulling at my ever-thinning hair in frustration.

Cat Camp NYC Cat Lovers - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Cat Camp NYC Cat Lovers - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Cat Camp NYC Cat Lovers - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

When Lynn and I heard about the first-ever Cat Camp, the feline-focused conference and adoption event at Metropolitan Pavilion, it was a given that we would attend.  As the press release alluded, “The symposium will bring cat lovers together under one roof to celebrate all things cats and to discuss some of the most important and challenging problems facing cats today.” And Cat Camp didn’t disappoint. There were a tremendous number of vendors, offering wares and information on numerous cat-related products and services, scattered throughout the space.

Of all the vendors present, we were particularly taken with The Dancing Cat, where we found cards, prints and t-shirts featuring witty illustrations by artist Jamie Shelman.  The Dancing Cat has had an online presence since 2008, but their cards can also be found at Paper Source and other brick-and-mortars.  Jamie Shelman is a Rhode Island School of Design graduate, and you can shop her charming designs on etsy here.

Cat Camp NYC Cat Lovers - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Cat Camp NYC Cat Lovers - Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Jamie Shelman’s Purrito illustration, courtesy of her etsy site
Cat Camp NYC Cat Lovers - Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Chloe doing her best impression of Purrito

Several rescue organizations were present, hoping to facilitate cat adoptions. It can be heartbreaking to see kittens orphaned at birth and older cats abandoned in their waning years, or worse, abused and broken by the worst examples of callous human nature — all, waiting in cages, for permanent homes. One’s instinct is to save these poor creatures. And certainly I feel that pull, though I cannot indulge in its gravity.

Cat Camp NYC Cat Lovers - Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Monty, a polydactyl kitten with only one eye, via Bronx Tails Cat Rescue
Cat Camp NYC Cat Lovers - Mad Hatters NYC Blog
Katy, a chunky calico via Crazy Critters Cat Adoptions

At 18 years of age (as of this month), I stand beside Chloe at the abyss of her mortality. I’ve cared for her in what was at first gradual but is now, more recently, a precipitous state of decline. And at some point in the future, near or far, I’ll have to go on in life without her.  Cat Camp was a celebration of our journey, from the moment Lynn brought her home from the ASPCA, to the moment I joined what has become our family unit, to what will be a difficult end.

Pair it with:

Daily Provisions

Cat Camp NYC Cat Lovers - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Cat Camp NYC Cat Lovers - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Cat Camp NYC Cat Lovers - Mad Hatters NYC Blog

There was a running joke at work that I was a food porn sadist. On Monday mornings, around 9:00 am, I’d assail colleagues with pics of my weekend food conquests, be it burgers, slices of pizza, or any number of delectable sweets. You would hear a collective “Dear God, you son-of-a-bitch!” when these images would pop-up unexpectedly on their screens in group chat, followed by the likes of “Well, I can’t eat this crap 0% yogurt now, can I?” 

And so, there’s the segue into my weekend excursion to Danny Meyer’s new bakery and cafe, Daily Provisions, praised for his excellent crullers. And the accolades proved well-deserved. These are, without doubt, the best I’ve ever tasted. Crispy on the outside at the twists and warm egg-creamy, reminiscent of a souffle texture, at the center. They come in three flavors: glazed, maple and cinnamon and sugar — all three are excellent.

And though I’ve since moved to another department within the company, you can rest assured, my former colleagues received a group message with the images you see here, first thing Monday morning.

103 E 19th St

Monday – Friday 7 am–6 pm
Saturday – Sunday 8 am–6 pm

– J.



4 thoughts on “Cat Lovers Unite! Behold Cat Camp NYC”

  1. Ooo, the bakery sounds good! And what a smart thought – celebrating your years together by attending Cat Camp….ours was at an advanced age, and already very sick, when we moved out here five years ago. The trip just was too much and she only hung on a few weeks before it was time to say bye. Sad. I hope all those deserving souls got adopted – I know chances are good in New York!

    1. We discovered our other cat, Felix, had a terminal injury a couple of months prior to our move, so we know your pain. We worried about Chloe since she lost Felix and her home almost simultaneously. But surprisingly, she rebounded, even thrived. We’ve been fortunate to have so much time with her.

  2. Is that Chloe in the cover photo? Or is she not pictured in this post? I want more Chloe pictures <3 I didn't hear about Cat Camp until after it happened- thanks for covering it so well! And gahhhh those donuts look ammmmmazing (I'm cutting out sugar until Macaron Day – you know about Macaron Day, right?)

    1. No, the dapper kitty in the cover photo was a guest at the event! (Which is why we go, we’re suckers for that stuff.) Chloe’s in the post, she’s the one playing Purrito. She doesn’t love pics, so most of our shots are of her sleeping!

      Macaron Day sounds dangerous! Shouldn’t you be in training for the event, though? Building up that sugar tolerance?

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