by Joey Phoenix
Witches, grab your familiars! Salem’s first-ever Cat Convention is coming to Old Town Hall.
Witch City Kitty is taking over Salem’s Old Town Hall on Saturday, September 14 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, bringing in 30+ vendors, interactive performances, and cat adoption opportunities. The event is the brainchild of Notso Kitty creator and artisan Wendy Casazza Scruton.
The event will take place on two levels, with the lower level hosting cat adoptions and non-profit educators covering topics like fostering and shelter volunteering. On the upper level, there will be vendors from all over, some even as far as Denver, Co, selling their feline-themed wares.
Upstairs is also where special events will take place including a reading by Author Lauren Beader who will share her story about acceptance told through her special needs cat Maya, Live Painting by artist Kameko Branchaud, interactive performances with Moonrise Fae, and a cat-themed photobooth.
Wendy attended her first Cat Convention, CatCon in L.A., in 2014 and what she saw inspired her. “It was magical,” she recalls. “I didn’t think an event like that could ever exist and be pulled off in that nature.”
After that event and a few others, she started playing with the idea of starting her own in Salem. “I saw these happening more and more and I thought: ‘Why doesn’t Salem have one?’ Salem’s full of cat people and cat-friendly things,” she said.
Wendy started Notso Kitty in 2015 after several years of amusing herself by putting her cats in “funny hats” and posting the results on the internet.
“I put a couple of the photos [I took] on Etsy, about ten years ago just to see what would happen. The response to them was so over-the-top because people hadn’t been putting crazy things on cat’s heads yet.
“It got a lot of attention, and I found the more attention it was getting, the more it amused me.”
After attending CatCon L.A., she decided that there was a market for what she was making and left her Engineering job to craft and vend full time. Now, 4 years later, she’s hosting cat conventions of her own in Salem, arguably the perfect location for this kind of event.
“Salem is the witch city. Cats are the natural witch’s familiar,” Wendy said. I was approached by witches as soon as I moved to Salem saying how much they enjoyed my things and how much they supported what I was doing.
“Witches support cats, cats support witches. I just thought it was such a natural place for an event like this to happen.”
Cat-lovers, come to Salem’s Old Town Hall on Saturday, September 14 for Witch City Kitty between 10:00 am – 5:00 pm for a uniquely Salem event that will make you purr with delight.
Joey Phoenix is a performance artist and the Managing Editor of Creative North Shore. Follow them on Twitter @jphoenixmedia. If you have an idea for a story, feature, or pictures of adorable llamas, feel free to send them a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
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