Four years and twenty-six days ago, I lost my cat Felix. Everyone thinks their cat is special, but calling Felix “special” would be doing him a huge disservice. He was uncannily shrewd. He figured out how to open doors and drawers. He manipulated timed feeders into futility. And he orchestrated cover-ups: he’d once gained access to a large bag of food in the pantry, but continued to pretend he was hungry at feeding times so we wouldn’t get suspicious. Felix gave me fourteen years of laughter, frustration, pride, annoyance, and lots and lots of love.
I’ve never shied away from the “cat lady” moniker, but it turns out maybe I should have. The term is often used in a derisive manner, with images of unattractive women destined for eternal singlehood attached. So Fresh Step set out to dispel the negative connotations with its first ever Fresh Step Feline Fashion Lounge and Adoption Event during New York Fashion Week. In a space located just off the High Line, Fresh Step and actress Katie Cassidy (of Arrow, Gossip Girl and Melrose Place fame) played host to a Hot to Adopt event, where models walked the runway in fabulous fashions and the hottest accessory in town: a cat.
The Hot to Adopt event was nirvana for cat lovers: upon entering, you could pledge allegiance to the feline race by donning your own pair of cat ears or branding yourself with a cat sticker. Then you could head over to the Fresh Step step-and-repeat and strike a pose. As you waited for the runway show to begin, you could munch on cat-shaped cake pops or play with adorable kittens in a makeshift petting zoo. All the while, drinks flowed and a DJ spun tunes. NY Drawing Booth was on hand with a talented artist who could sketch a personal portrait or fashion illustration in a matter of minutes, which would then be printed out as the perfect New York Fashion Week keepsake (the original digital file was emailed directly to you).
All glamour and fun aside, pet rescue and adoption is a cause close to our hearts, as both of our cats were adopted from local animal shelters. Several of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals partner rescue groups and shelters were on-site during the event with adoptable cats, each one cuter than the next. If we didn’t have an ornery (but lovable) 17-year old cat at home, we might have gone home with a more than a souvenir! The Hot to Adopt event has since passed, but you can still visit a local shelter and add a loving fur baby to your family. And for those unable to provide a home for a kitty, there are other ways to contribute: pet owners who purchase select Fresh Step products can earn Paw Points which can be redeemed for rewards, or donated to pet shelters around the country. A direct donation to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals can also do wonders. The non-profit organization is committed to transforming New York City into a no-kill community, meaning that no dogs or cats of reasonable health and temperament will be killed merely because they do not have homes. The New York Fashion Week Hot to Adopt event reminds us we can look good and DO good.
As part of an ongoing campaign to prove that “adopting a cat is always on trend”, Fresh Step has initiated Feline Fashion Fridays, where all cat lovers can share fashionable cat pics to be featured on their Instagram page. Share yours and tag them with #freshstep and #felinefashionfriday. Tag us with @madhattersnyc too, we’d love to see your pics!
Pair it with:
Dinner at Gato
If you’re dressed to the nines in your Fashion Week ensemble, and you’ve just left a feline-inspired fashion catwalk, then it seems obvious that the next step should be to head for dinner at the fabulous Gato in NoHo. Housed in a 100-year old building, Bobby Flay’s Mediterranean restaurant serves up warm ambiance and amazing food. You can hang out in the bar and lounge area and partake from the extensive menu of bar bites, or treat yourself to a wonderful dinner where the dishes promise to surprise and delight. If it’s available, I can’t recommend the Black Rice with Shrimp and Squid enough. And the vegetables are not to be overlooked: the Roasted Cauliflower was mind-blowing. Bobby Flay’s Maine Coon, Nacho, is the official face of the restaurant. If reincarnation exists, coming back as Nacho Flay is my number one choice.
324 Lafayette St
Bar: Open daily at 4pm