By Carla Selby & St. Francis Society Animal Rescue
Cat Lovers Rejoice! KittyCon is coming to town!
KittyCon? Yes! a fan convention devoted solely to the love and rescue of cats, for people crazy about cats, such as myself…
Finally, the cats of Tampa Bay will have their day at KittyCon Tampa Bay 2018 sponsored by Weruva.
KittyCon, a convention with everything for and about cats, promises to bring cat people, cats and vendors of kitty products, together for a day of education and lots of fun!
In case you didn’t know, I am a crazy cat lady and proud of it!
It all started when I was very little and lived back in my home country Venezuela. I was in the car waiting for my dad to pump gas when I saw him… a very small orange kitten that was covered in dirt and meowing loudly, probably from hunger… so I got out of the car, picked up the kitten and sat back in the car as if nothing had happened. I remember my dad getting back in the car, looking back at me, shaking his head and saying “What’s that Carla?”… “Our new kitten” I responded. I told my dad he needed “saving” and that he was probably going to die without our help.
“Micho,” my rescue kitten, was my first love 🙂 and the start to my cat obsession. Back then my parents knew it before I even knew myself… I was a crazy cat lady in the making and since then my cat obsession has just grown with each passing year.
Recently, my love for all things cat/kitten recently took me into a whole new direction; Fostering kittens.
About a month and a half ago I was searching adoptapet.com, petango, and petfinder trying to find a playmate for my 6-year-old Himalayan cat, Mr. Penelope. It was then that I realized just how many kittens and cats were currently out there needing furever homes. A lot of these cats were in shelters, some were at various Petsmart and Petco locations, and a big number of them were staying at “foster homes.”
While inquiring about a kitten that had caught my attention I ended up emailing a very nice lady who happened to work with St. Francis Animal Rescue. She informed me that the kitten I wanted had already been adopted, but she let me know they had many others needing a good home… in fact, they had soooo many kittens needing homes, that she brought up the idea of fostering.
I had never considered it, especially because of my husband’s allergies… but it definitely got me excited about the idea of helping kittens find their furever homes, because after all, I had started rescuing them since I was young and inexperienced, so why not now that I was all grown up, had a nice home with plenty of room, and I made enough money to afford their food, litter and whatever else they needed.
So about a month and a half ago, I became a proud foster kitten mama with St. Francis Animal Rescue, the organizers of KittyCon Tampa Bay 2018. I have to admit that it’s been as challenging as it’s been rewarding. I now have a much deeper understanding and respect for all pet fosters out there, because it takes a lot of work, time, patience and LOVE for our furry friends, to be a good foster. But let me tell you… there’s nothing more satisfying yet equally heart wrenching, than seeing one of your fosters get adopted into a good furever home. I have successfully fostered and adopted out 4 lil kittens and counting!
It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I heard about KittyCon through one of our foster group members, so I offered to share the news and details about this incredible event through the Tampa Bay News and Lifestyles platform… After all, we’re all about supporting our members of the community, including our four-legged fluffy friends.
KittyCon, St. Francis Society Animal Rescue’s flagship fundraising event, will take the stage as the area’s first fan convention devoted solely to the love and rescue of cats, and you bet this kitten loving lady will be there to experience it all!
So come to support this great cause in which all cat lovers will come together and celebrate their passion for felines while benefiting St. Francis Society Animal Rescue, whose volunteers such as myself, work really hard every day to rescue and foster cats and kittens all over the Tampa Bay area.
“Since there are so few events to benefit cat rescue, St Francis Society, the largest all-volunteer animal rescue in the area, is proud to take the lead in producing KittyCon Tampa Bay,” said Kathy Walvoord, President and Cat Care Coordinator of St Francis Society Animal Rescue. “The proceeds will allow us to continue the lifesaving work we do for the neonatals, the sick, injured and homeless cats in the community.”
Special guests for this charity fundraiser include:
- Laura Lassiter the Animal Communicator,
- Chris Poole of Cole and Marmalade, and
- Cameron Moore of the Million Cat Shelter Project.
Sterling Davis The Trap King and Adam Myatt The Cat Man from West Oakland will be available for meet and greets. There will be vendors, entertainment, Kitty Kosplay, a special Meow Ween costume contest, photo ops and autographs, children’s activities, fun panels, a charity auction and raffles, free product samples and even a Vegan Cat Cafe.
A central highlight of the event is an adoption ballroom sponsored by Maddie’s Fund filled with St. Francis Society kitties, all ready to be adopted.
KittyCon Tampa Bay 2018 sponsored by Weruva, will be held at the Holiday Inn Westshore, Tampa, Florida on Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 11-6 p.m.
Tickets are on sale now at www.kittycontampabay.org. Online advance purchase for general admission in $20/$25 at the door. Online advance purchase for children 12 and under is $5/$10 at the door. A special VIP Black Cat Supporter ticket available for $100 includes exclusive perks including access to the VIP Black Cat Hospitality Lounge.
Established in 1997, St. Francis Society Animal Rescue is the oldest and largest animal rescue in the Tampa Bay area. Primarily a cat rescue, St. Francis also finds homes for dogs. St. Francis placed over 1500 cats and dogs in homes in 2016. In total, St. Francis Society has found homes for over 30,000 homeless pets.
An all-volunteer organization, St. Francis receives no government funding and depends solely on the kind generosity of donors, supporters, and friends of the homeless pets in our community. Visit www.StFrancisRescue.org for more information.
And remember, ADOPT DON’T SHOP. There are hundreds of cats and kittens out there that would make a wonderful addition to your family.
See you at KittyCon!