I wasn’t always crazy about cats. But I was crazy about a boy who was. And he said I should give them a chance. We rescued our first cat, Kiki three years ago from a mobile adoption van in Park Slope. We were told that Kiki had been abandoned and found in a box with his siblings. I became hopelessly enamored of him. Two years later, we adopted Nara from KittyKind. There were so many abandoned and homeless animals that needed help, I started to think about other ways I could make a difference.
I had never volunteered for anything before, until KittyKind. I started working directly with cats at the adoption center, helping with general care like feeding and cleaning cages to rescued kittens and cats waiting adoption. Looking back, what made my experience so rewarding and successful was my Saturday morning crew. We immediately bonded over our love for cats but more importantly, we shared a common goal, which brought everyone on the same page and allowed us to work with collective passion. Over the course of two years, I saw many great volunteers come and go, and it made me think about how I could have more impact.
Earlier this year, I transitioned into a volunteer manager role where I’m overseeing the recruiting and training process at KittyKind. I’m excited about growing our KittyKind team and building up what I hope will become a more scalable organization. It’s funny to think until three years ago I never had a cat and never actually desired one. Today, I have two and since joining KittyKind, we have found homes for over 1,500 cats. Volunteering at KittyKind has been immensely rewarding and I hope to continue working with my incredible team for many years to come.
KittyKind Inc, an all-volunteer animal welfare organization and one of the oldest cat adoption groups in New York City, will be hosting a farewell screening of the wildly popular Walker Internet Cat Video Festival June 29th and 30th. Produced by Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center, the Internet Cat Video Festival began in 2012 as a “communal experience” for fans of the online phenomenon of viral cat videos. What resulted is nothing short of a sensation. After beginning an international tour in 2013, the Walker Internet Cat Video Festival has attracted crowds of tens of thousands around the world for four straight years.
Unfortunately, KittyKind’s screening of the Internet Cat Video Festival, which will take place at Anthology Film Archives from 7:30 to 9:30pm on Wednesday June 29th and Thursday June 30th, is the last time the Walker Internet Cat Video Festival will ever be in New York City. “We think that cat videos will live on without us, and we’re really excited for other people to take up the mantle and program their own festivals,” Walker Art Center design director Emmet Byrne told the Star Tribune earlier this year.
The Walker Internet Cat Video Festival is a 70 minute compilation of videos curated by Will Braden, creator of the Henri Le Chat Noir videos, and includes the most touching, hilarious and artistic internet cat videos of our time. There will be complimentary beverages, wine, and hors d’oeuvres following the screening, from 9 to 9:30pm. Hors d’oeuvres are generously provided by East Village favorite Lil’ Frankie’s. All ages are welcome and cat attire is strongly encouraged! Proceeds of this screening will benefit KittyKind and provide life-saving support for cats awaiting adoption. Tickets can be purchased at kittykind.org/film.
Though New York City is saying goodbye to the Walker Internet Cat Video Festival, the Walker Art Museum has donated its internet cat archives to the Minneapolis Historical Society and rumors of the next phase in the festival’s life (a new CatVidFest) are already purr-collating. Says KittyKind President Marianne Mathieu, “KittyKind experiences how powerful the love of cats can be in uniting the community every day. We are honored the Walker Art Center has chosen us as a partner for the farewell tour of the Internet Cat Video Festival. The Internet Cat Video Festival will help us to save many animal lives. We know there are exciting things in store for these incredible internet cat archives in the future.”
To learn more visit http://www.kittykind.org or call KittyKind at 212-726-2652.
Aimee feeding the strays in Tel Aviv
My love and experience with cats is relatively new, having started right before adopting in March 2010. I had grown up with dogs so I was never lucky enough to spend quality time with cats. My boyfriend and I had just moved in together and were interested in adopting an animal. While we were initially thinking of adopting a dog, we ultimately decided a cat would be a better fit for our lifestyle, and after a fateful sighting of a mouse in our apartment, it seemed like the right choice! We had visited cats at the ASPCA several times to meet the different characters, and it was during our last visit that we met Batman, a one year old recent owner surrender, who stole our hearts. I immediately fell in love with our first child! We decided three months later to adopt him a brother, and sure enough a three-month old tabby renamed Flash Gordon (Gordon!), completed the family! “Cats are kids too.” has become my motto!
Like many people, I had stumbled across KittyKind as I frequented Petco to purchase supplies for my kids. I felt such sadness seeing those precious faces in the cages, and I knew I had to contribute in some way. I started by cleaning and feeding once a week on Wednesdays, and Wednesdays immediately became my favorite day of the week. I was no longer sad seeing the cats in the cages because I knew they received such great care, attention and affection from our amazing volunteers. It happened by chance that a fellow volunteer introduced me to Miriam so I could learn more about the adoptions aspect of the organization. I learned so much from her and credit her with my wonderful experience, and I’m happy to report that I now work three shifts a week as an adoption counselor. Suffice it to say, KittyKind has become my home and has provided me with a supportive network of like-minded friends and colleagues that I’m so grateful to have.
At home with Flash and Batman
Please consider adopting an FIV + cat…it’s not a death sentence!
Some of the best cats we had/ have were FIV +