Clue may beg to differ, but I had a great time last weekend at the Super Pet Expo.
Only Maine Coons has a mascot for their group, Baby Benz. He was raised since birth by the President of the rescue, and has been leashed trained and brought to events since he could wear a harness.
Having raised Clue since she was a baby, it’s been in my mind that I’d like to train Clue to eventually do something similar, be a rescue mascot. So far, I’ve made efforts to bring her to vet appointments, work, school, etc. The Super Pet Expo served as her first big event.
Clue does great in environments that are quiet, and without other dogs or cats. At work, she loves cuddling up on my desk and getting love from coworkers. The same goes for school, where classmates dote on her.
At others homes where there are other cats, however, she gets growly and cowers in a corner. Once while in an elevator, we were trapped with a St. Bernard. The dog was very happy to see Clue, but she did not reciprocate the feeling. I got a smack in the face for trying to keep her from crawling up my head to escape the poor dog.
Outside and waiting in line, Clue was aware, but not panicked while in my arms. Anytime a dog would wander slightly close, I would move my body such that I could block Clue’s view, and that seemed to suffice for her. At OMC’s booth, I had a dome bed on the table that would help her feel less exposed to the crowds of people.
Lots of colorful people and critters came by the booth. Many were delighted to see Benz and Clue representing Maine Coon mixes. Clue for the most part took to strangers petting her during the first half of our visit. After shopping, Clue had had her fill of attention and did bite someone who reached into her dome bed…oops. The person understood thankfully. At that point, Clue went into a carrier with a litterbox and food so that she could chill out and unwind.
Benz, being completely used to the attention, sprawled across the table and napped like there weren’t noises and people milling about.
Someone had a gorgeous orange Maine Coon mix named Gator. They were carrying him around in what looked like a satchel. I asked if I could take a photo of him, because he made me think of an adult version of my Manny.
Benz, friendly as ever, wanted to say hello to Clue. I imagined Clue would immediately swat Benz on the nose, but surprisingly, even she would reach out and bump noses. It was adorable.
There was obviously shopping to be done.
Go ahead and laugh, but I strapped Clue into a stroller for our shopping excursion. The stroller had straps so that you could clip into the harness the pet is wearing. I knew she wasn’t going anywhere, but just in case.
While we were strolling around, people stopped and commenting on how well she was behaving. She sat and observed everything around her. Not amused, but not afraid either. People could reach in and pet her, and she had no issues. I was quite the proud mama.
In the past, the Super Pet Expo has been heavily dog centric, and it’s still the case. However, I saw a little bit more diversity in their offerings this time around, which gave me some hope!
Cat vendors, including Not So Kitty, were at Cat Camp as well as Super Pet Expo. They had adorable glasses, bowties, and hats for cats. I saw them at Cat Camp and thought about how as much as I love to dress Clue, she’d hate me for putting any of those on her. I flash back to trying to put a cowboy hat on her:
The owner of the business was incredibly friendly, and super happy to see Clue at the Expo. I think Benz had purchased something from her at Cat Camp, and worn it during the Expo. I decided to snap some photos of a couple bowties so that my husband could pick one for Manny. Clue got the first girly piece of clothing she’s ever owned: a dress with a D-ring so that it could double as a harness.
Benz has a firey harness and tie, and he recommended the shop where he bought it: Trixie’s Dog Fashions. Sunday at the expo was 50% all outfits, so how could I resist buying something for Clue?
Not at Cat Camp, but really should have been, was a one man company called Feline Innovations, based in Falls Church, VA. I think if my husband had accompanied me to the Expo, we may have gone home with one of their scratchers. The base of the scratcher is a solid wood, with a hammock below and a replaceable scratching pad that drapes across the top arch. There are three different kinds of replaceable pad, so you can choose depending on what material your cat prefers. After having attended Kate Benjamin’s presentation at cat camp, and noting how Clue literally eats our cheap cardboard scratchers (admittedly I only pay $8 a piece on Amazon for them), we’d been considering upgrading our cat furniture for practical and aesthetic purposes. At $55 a pop (there may have been a special deal for purchasing at the expo) though, I didn’t want to bring one home without my husband seeing it in person too.
Clue was pretty happy to go home at the end of the day. We went home with new clothes, and some catnip wine, which we will test at some point on the kitties. I’m really proud of her. She wasn’t stretching out on the table asleep like Benz, but she wasn’t cowering in fear, either. She let strangers approach her, and it wasn’t until later in the evening that she finally got overwhelmed enough to lash out at someone. For a cat, that isn’t bad at all. As she attends more events as a kitten, I hope that she’ll become more accustomed to going to these kinds of events.
In the meantime, her and Manny get to show off their new digs to people who visit us at home.