If you have a cat, chances are that you’ve heard of Jackson Galaxy, aka the Cat Daddy. He’s the motorcycle-riding, guitar-case-wielding (it’s filled with cat toys) host of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell.” Galaxy, with his shiny pate, continually mutating facial fur, heavy-metal earrings and tattoos seems at first to be an unlikely template for a cat behaviorist, but he has more than 25 years of experience dealing with recalcitrant kitties and a few books under his pelt. On his show, he meets up with the incorrigible delinquents of the feline community and their despairing humans or mentors and has probably saved more cat/human relationships than dears Abby and Ann have dealt with human/human ones.
You may have watched a few episodes and thought “How can Sadie and Frank and Ninki and Calpurnia and I get on that show?” There’s an application process, but you’ll have to wait for next season. Meanwhile, you can take advantage of the many resources on his website. Better yet, you can attend his online camp on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. PDT and maybe even win a private session with Jackson, remotely, of course! And it’s free!
Jackson Galaxy’s Cat Camp was a weekend live event—and hopefully will be so in the future—that had its inauguration in 2017. The camp was held in New York City and two years later expanded to Las Vegas. “Campers” purred in from 31 states and eight countries and took part in panels to help them understand their furry fellows, listen to guest speakers, engage in cat-tivities, meet some little adoptables waiting to go home forever, and buy stuff from vendors so that their little housemates wouldn’t be cheesed off at them when they got home.
This year’s camp was all set and ready to pounce in June, and then COVID-19 happened. The planned New York City and San Diego events were cancelled, and ticket money was refunded. But the national nonprofit Petco Foundation, one of the event’s supporters, caught the ball midair and offered to sponsor the event online at CatCamp.com, free of scratch! And your own cat can attend this one with no problem.
“The pandemic has really changed the landscape of in-person events for the foreseeable future, but going online gives us the opportunity to create something different—thoughtful content that is timely, relevant and educational, with more visibility on diverse voices in animal welfare,” said Christina Ha, co-owner of Manhattan’s first cat café, Meow Parlour, which is temporarily closed for the pandemic.
The virtual iteration of Cat Camp promises to be as much of an absolute joy and education as an online event can be. Instead of tetanus shots and a bus ride full of weird, strange kids, the Camp Prep page on the website gives you a template for a watercolor session, a list of materials to buy for the DIY cat-scratcher lounge (cardboard, sisal, glue gun, all that stuff), and the downloadable Bingo cards, which cost $10 each. The schedule includes a mind-and-body session for your cat, a session for editing photos of your cat, the watercolor session and lounge construction for your cat, an “Ask Me Anything” Q&A with Galaxy and Kitten Lady Hannah Shaw for questions about your cat, and what’s billed as the “World’s Largest Game of Cat Man Bingo, with Adam Myatt, the Cat Man of West Oakland.” With prizes for your cat, of course.
Cat-rescue activists Will Zweigart and Latonya “Sassee” Walker will host a panel on trap/neuter/return, commonly known as TNR, with “spay” understood. Zweigart and Walker will relate how they became involved in cat rescue and will also touch on alliances with Black communities, especially those with a high number of feral cats, and how to get community members involved in rescue.
“As we’ve adjusted to a world of social distancing, we’ve witnessed a monumental moment of action taking place on behalf of cats, including more people stepping up to foster and adopt, and cat guardians asking what new things we can do for cats in our homes, now that we’re spending more time together,” Galaxy said. “The mission of Cat Camp has always been to embrace the chance to change with the moment, and this virtual event gives us an opportunity to give even more people a sense of community and belonging during this trying time at no cost—and yes, have fun doing it!”
Get tickets here to go to Cat Camp! See “Just fur fun” under the “Pet Projects” section for de tails.
What—no cat? How could you not have a cat? You need one to have legitimate fun at Cat Camp! The Cat Cove and one-person nonprofit Jellicle Cats Rescue Foundation, both of which have done plenty of TNR both solo and with each other, and have found good homes for youngsters and adults, has a few on hand. Because of the pandemic, all adoptions have to be done by appointment, so fill out an application here quick for the kitties, all of which can be seen here, before the camp bus leaves. Missed the bus? Take home a cat anyway. For more information about the cats and rescues, contact [email protected] for the Cat Cove or [email protected] for Jellicle Cats.
Just fur fun
Jackson Galaxy’s Cat Camp: Saturday, Sept. 26, 11 a.m.–3:30 p.m. PDT, free! Register here.
If you’re all sad because you’d sewn labels on your cat collar and rehearsed “99 Things to Knock off the Shelf” with your kitty cabal, and then Cat Camp was subsequently knocked off the shelf itself by the pandemic—tails up! Thanks to support from the Petco Foundation and Litter Genie, the camp’s going virtual and will be absolutely free of charge to the happy campers! Register, and then wait by the mousehole for a great time with Jackson Galaxy, the host of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell,” along with Kitten Lady Hannah Shaw and her straight-out hints for raising kittens. Enjoy question-and-answer, interactive activities that likely involve dangling things, and prizes to win, including a one-on-one consultation with Jackson Galaxy—all while your cats are walking on the keyboard and blocking the monitor. OK—ready? “99 things to knock off the shelf, 99 things to smack…”
Best Friends Strut Your Mutt Day: Saturday, Oct. 24, register or donate here
The annual Strut Your Mutt dog walk, which has raised thousands of dollars for lifesaving projects, is going virtual like everything else. Best Friends has teamed up with local rescue groups, shelters, animal-welfare organizations and pet-community members for a virtual community walk and fundraiser to benefit homeless dogs and cats across the country. During this period of relative isolation, raising funds is more important than ever, so join up and participate in engaging opportunities to help throughout the season and build a virtual no-kill community. All funds raised go directly to lifesaving programs such as spay neuter services and adoption—and it’s all off leash!
Help wanted, help given
DIY Kitten Care Kits available free at Long Beach Animal Care Services.
It’s kitten season—the time of year when cats give birth. It starts in the spring—sometimes before, depending on the weather, peaks in midsummer, and ends in autumn. It occurs because so many cats are not spayed or neutered, and soon, kittens flood our shelter. It isn’t unusual to find nests of young, seemingly abandoned kittens during kitten season. It is a natural reaction to want to help, to save them. If you are interested in obtaining a Kitten Care Kit made possible by Helen Sanders CatPAWS, please email [email protected].
Spay/neuter vouchers available at shelter
Long Beach Animal Care Services has spay/neuter vouchers available. They’ll take a healthy nip out of the cost of a procedure. Residents of any of the five cities served by the shelter—(see above)—can telephone the general number at 562-570-7387 to request a voucher.
The Spay/Neuter Project of Los Angeles (SNP/LA) is back in business for free and low-cost spay/neuter services, and they’re extending the hours of their vaccination clinics. The San Pedro clinic, located at 957 N. Gaffey St., will give shots every third Thursday between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Call 310-574-5555 to see if you qualify for services.
Calendars—save the date, and save some pets!
Seal Beach Animal Care Center cat and dog 2021 calendar contests: through Sunday, Oct. 18, register here.
You still have time to inscribe your dog or cat in the annals of an annual calendar and support a local rescue/shelter at the same time. Seal Beach Animal Care Center, a nonprofit all-volunteer animal shelter that keeps its pets safe until a forever home is found, is sponsoring two calendars, one for doggies and the other for kitties. Rules for the calendars can be accessed on the above link. Enter and vote for your best buddies ($1 per vote, $5 minimum)!
If you can see the bottom of the kibble bag:
Helen Sanders CatPAWS offers, through specific private donors, e-gift cards for people struggling during the crisis to buy food for their pets. The CatPAWS Spay/Neuter Fund, also privately funded, has vouchers available for anyone not able to go to the shelter for them. They also accept donations.
Pets of the Homeless’ home page gives a self-description as the only organization focusing only on providing food and care for pets belonging to homeless people. Businesses and other organizations across the country receive in-kind donations of food and other needs that the dogs and cats’ human families can pick up at outreach locations. The following Long Beach businesses will accept your donations:
Trendi Pawz, 3726 E. Seventh St., Long Beach.
Belmont Heights Animal Hospital, 255 Redondo Ave., Long Beach.
Paw Shoppe Pet Center, Inc., 6416 E. Spring St., Long Beach.
Food and supplies are available at Beacon for Him Ministries, 1535 Gundry Ave. Long Beach, Mondays from 9 a.m. to noon and Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m.; and at Christian Outreach in Action, 515 E. Third St., Long Beach, Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m. Donations will be gratefully accepted at these locations as well.
Adopt, adopt, adopt
Little Lion in-person adoption event: PetSmart Towne Center, 12741 Towne Center Drive., Long Beach, Saturday, Sept. 26, noon–3 p.m., adoption fees apply.
The Little Lion Foundation showcases its adorable, adoptable cats and kittens. You can get all their needs inside the store! Masks and social distancing are mandatory.
spcaLA Are You Kitten Me? adoptions: Through Sept. 30, shelter hours at all spcaLA locations, $20 adoption fee for all felines.
Help the community raise kittens born during kitten season and shine a spotlight on the adult cats passed over for their younger counterparts. Because of closures to the public, spcaLA will conduct all adoptions virtually, so check out these pointy-eared cuties here and complete an application on any of the adoptables’ pages. An spcaLA adoption counselor will contact you to complete the adoption. (This adoption special is for qualified adopters; exclusions may apply.)
Helen Sanders CatPAWS adoption center: Daily, store hours, PetSmart, 2341 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach, adoption fees apply.
Window-shopping’s a neat pastime and likely has become more common during the pandemic. Helen Sanders CatPAWS has applied window-shopping to cat adoption; you can peer at several of the fine felines through the windows of the PetSmart adoption center in Seal Beach. Sadly, no ear scratching or chin rubs at this time, but volunteers can answer questions and provide you with adoption information! Be sure to wear a mask. You can find adoption applications and all the kitties here.
Long Beach Animal Care Services monthly adoptions: Every second Saturday of each month, store hours, Pet Supplies Plus, 2086 N. Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, adoption fees apply.
Long Beach Animal Care Services shows up with its fabulous Adoption Waggin’ equipped with air conditioning, running water and comfy kennels with cats, dogs and bunnies waiting to go home. Masks and social distancing required for visitors.
The following pet-related businesses regularly feature cat, dog and rabbit adoptions, but as of now, adoptions are mainly by appointment. Click on the links for each rescue in case of updates or changes. These organizations operate through donations and grants, and anything you can give would be welcome. Please suggest any Long Beach-area rescues to add to the list.