Edmonton International Cat Festival 2016

Back for its third year, the Edmonton International Cat Festival attracted young and old back to the NAIT gymnasium for a day of fun, frolicks, and cats…lots of cats.  The event, organized as always by Linda Hoang and emceed this year by local writer and entrepreneur Adam Rozenhart, contained all of the elements that has made it the success it is, with a few additional elements added in for good measure.

DSC_0241   DSC_0274

This year, I entered the venue to find a long queue which, being a good Brit, I promptly joined.  It was only after five minutes of not moving that I decided to ask the person in front if this was the queue to get in, to which point I was informed that “No, this is the queue for Nana.”  I’m a bit deaf, so when I asked my boyfriend Steven (he’d been convinced to attend on the promise of kittens) who Nana was, he reckoned it sounded more like Nala.  Anyway, we got our tickets and wandered off to where the queue started only to see a fairly ordinary looking cat sitting in a child’s buggy, looking perfectly comfortable, almost nochalant.  A quick Google search revealed that Nala (or nala_cat as you might know her) is a five year-old rescued Siamese/Tabby mix who has 2.9 million followers on Instagram.  Now, Jesus had, at best estimates, only thousands of followers during his lifetime, and he died at 33, so we thought this might be worth queuing for.  Forty-five minutes later, most of them spend standing on the same spot thinking “Why?”, we got to meet Nala, who was still in the child’s buggy.  I expect it’s how she prefers to meet her public.  If I had 2.9 million followers on Instagram, some of whom could be bothered waiting forty-five minutes to see me, I’d probably plump for a chaise longue.  Now she may be a fairly ordinary cat in reality, but she does have one skill that none of the cats I’ve ever owned have had, when we had our picture taken she looked, without hesitation or deviation, directly at the camera.  The complete pro!

Version 2   Achilles & Apollo

DSC_0247   Doughnut

Zoe’s had a bigger profile at the event this year.  Last year’s sole ambassador, Tippy Canoe, quickly became a foster fail for Allen Williams.  This year we came mob handed with five of our finest in full-on adoption mode.  Justice, Achilles, Apollo, Doughnut, and Crossy were all in fine form.  Ensuring their experience was a good one and keeping the public right were Dusty, Susan, Jacqueline, Jan, Kath, and Nicole (who raised some serious moolah with her fantastic Catnip Mice on the stall with her friend Julie from Majesty Industries selling some gorgeous cat themed wallets, mugs, and travel masks.

DSC_0288   Justice

On the main stage there were presentations on Library Cats, a veterinary & behavioral Q&A, big cats, the Mr & Mrs Purr-fect Photo Contest and of course a presentation from the aforementioned celebrity cat Nala!  There was also something for the kids this year in the CATivities Centre allowed them to play with lego and draw to their hearts content and also purchase something tasty from the Cat Cafe!  Another new addition was the Cat Yoga session which was completely booked out.  The Edmonton Cat Fanciers Club also returned with a completely kitten based mock show this year.  Talking of kittens, there were more than you could shake a stick at, you know, the ones with the string, feather and bell at the end?

DSC_0306   Group Photo

Overall, totaling up the donations, proceeds from the Catnip Mice and Zoe’s Animal Rescue’s cut from the door proceeds, Zoe’s made more than $6000 from the event, which makes it one of the most important in the Zoe’s calendar, so clear your calendar for the last Saturday of May next year and we’ll see you then!