By Kate Gill
Christina Ha, founder of the Meow Parlor, wasn't always a cat person. Ha, who is allergic to felines, paid them minimal attention until her husband brought one home ー and she fell deeply, madly in love (although she admitted she takes Benadryl daily).
Eventually, her adoration became a bustling cat cafe in New York City. And now, she's adding another furry business to her portfolio ー cat camp.
"It's basically this weekend adventure," Ha told Cheddar.
"You go and explore your love for cats. We have camp counselors and they're talking about all these different topics from fostering, or your cat going to the vet."
But don't let the name fool you. This camp, Jackson Galaxy, is for cat enthusiasts, not their pets. Attendees are advised to bring their zeal, but leave their cats at home.
The website even includes a stern advisory: "Any guest who attempts to bring in a cat or any other animal will be turned away at the door and will not be given a refund."
"Cats typically don't like to be taken outside," Ha explained.
According to Ha, the camp ー which facilitates fostering for strays ー has found 130 homes for homeless cats over a period of two years. And she's even scored a new sponsor for the business: PetCo.
"It's amazing," she said. "They're really helping us out with sort of spreading that messaging, getting it out there and getting people involved both in stores and at the event. They're really big fans of pushing for people to start fostering," she added.
The weekend-long slate of events includes guest speakers, info sessions, and group exercises about all things cats this June.