Cat-Lovers Plan June 10 Picnic
Greater Cleveland's cat community is gathering in Lakewood Park, on Sunday, June 10 for a picnic and party from 3 to 8 p.m.
The event is hosted by the "Weirdo Cat Lovers of Cleveland" Facebook group, and promises food, games, prizes and kitties.
Josie Triton, an administrator for the group, says "there might even be a few 'famous' cats from the group there." Mostly, though, "It's really just a party for cat people to hang out and network."
"Anyone is welcome to attend, but we recommend joining the online group first so people can see what we're about," she adds.
"Weirdo Cat Lovers" has evolved considerably since its beginning as simply a place to share cat pictures. Laura Rodriguez-Carbone, a Lakewood resident, says the group has become a support community for cats and cat-owners. Members organize work like rescue, adoption, and fundraising. She adds that "I adopted a cat last week because of the Facebook group."
Many including Rodriguez-Carbone have joined in recent months, and more than 14,000 people are now members. Over 200 have committed to attend the picnic.
The event will temporarily spotlight cat culture in what often seems to be a dog-centric community. Lakewood has a dog park, a pooch parade, a dog swim and even canine controversies. But our city hasn't entirely gone to the dogs, yet.
In addition to participation in the Weirdo Cat Lovers group and its party, Lakewood's cat subculture has several beloved shop cats to its credit. Cat-lovers and book-lovers recently welcomed the return of Hobbes, at the Bookshop in Lakewood's new home. Customer-facing cats have also been spotted at Lakewood Hardware, the Lakewood Garden Center, and My Vacuum Store, among others.
Feline equality is also the law in Lakewood, in one sense, as animals of all types "shall not be permitted to run at large anywhere within the city limits" according to city guidelines. The picnic's hosts ask that every cat be accompanied by a leash or pet carrier, as well as an ID collar and a disposable litter box.
To read more about the cat lovers picnic, visit tinyurl.com/wcl-lkwd.
Matt Kuhns is a freelance graphic designer, and occasional author.