I have a way with cats. There is something about my physical allergies causing me to sneeze, wheeze and tear up that draws them to me like a terrible gravity. Although I cannot smell (plugged nose) and cannot see (swollen red eyes), I always suffer through it out of love. This is the power of the cat.
Cat culture is also a force to be reckoned with, and Edmonton’s cat enthusiasts are no exception. This year’s Edmonton International Cat Festival will (big) stretch out for an entire week and be packed with a litter of various cat-focused activities, like meetups, cat tattoos, and celebrity cat meet and greets.
“This is the very first time we’ve ever done a Cat Fest Week,” says Shereen Zink, an organizer for the festival. This whole feline shindig has been doing its dance since 2014, run by Linda Hoang and her fellow cat compatriots. “The plan was to bring together cat lovers and celebrate cat culture,” says Zink.
Zink joined after being singled out as a capable cat coordinator by Hoang, and even though Zink is also allergic, she powers through.
The festival is also coordinating the Cat Tats event, in which folks can receive one of several ready-made designs from the artists at Black Market Tattoos, which Zink says is an organic crossover. “I think one thing we knew we wanted was something interactive, but cat tattoos just seemed like a good fit.”
For cat owners, years spent in hibernation with only their cats, their consciences and their computers (with many pictures of cats) have only heightened the intensity of people’s focus on these curious creatures. And with events like these, we won’t lose interest in the cat phenomenon any time soon.
Scratch and claw your way down to multiple cat-themed events during Cat Fest Week, May 20 to 28.