Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tidy Cats Pet Projects Design Challenge Cat-tail Party in NYC!

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a cat-tail party to celebrate innovative feline design at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. The event was held to announce the Grand Prize winners of the Purina Tidy Cats Pet Projects Design Challenge, and was hosted by TV personality and interior design expert Candice Olson.

Yarn art

Drunk mice gossiping away

The party was held in a private room at the museum, decorated with cat themed accents, such as empty containers of litter hanging from multicolored string, a plexiglass installation adorned with balls of yarn, and tables brightened up with little felt toy mice. Drinks and delicious hors d'oeuvres were served (seriously -- they were super yummy), as I mingled with contest winners, Tidy Cats representatives, and animal lovers of all stripes, including my friends and fellow cat bloggers Ann Dziemianowicz (Paper Bag & String) and Tamar Arslanian (I Have Cat), along with Theresa O'Connell (Prudence Pup), designer Steph Mantis, and pet photographer Koren Reyes.

The Tidy Station and The Hanging Garden

Artistic renderings of the Grand Prize and Runner-Up Winners' designs were displayed on canvases mounted onto metal poles, offering a stunning view of Columbus Circle as a backdrop.

Some of my favorite finalists were The Tidy Station and The Hanging Garden of Tabbylon, with other innovative designs including catios, teepees, and a "fun mountain"! (Check out all of the winning entries here).

Glenn Massie

Grand Prize Winner Glenn Massie of Temecula, Calif., who is a dog trainer by trade, has three cats named Babe, Mr. Hunter, and Sara Sue. These lucky kitties enjoy his winning creation, a staggering nine-foot-tall cat tree made out of plywood and covered in carpeting. Massie told me that the tree took him over 18 hours to complete, and was placed near a window to provide his cats with wonderful views of the outdoors. The mammoth creation also has cup holders mounted on the side for when guests come to visit, since he had to remove all of the end tables to make room for the tree!

Rob Gaudio

Grand Prize Winner Rob Gaudio has three cats named Minx, Nadja, and Mia, and lives in Los Angeles, where he and his wife Janene Zakrajsek run the popular Pussy and Pooch Pet Boutique. Gaudio's winning design transformed a sleek, modern cabinet into a multifunctional litter box cabinet, complete with private entryway, adjustable ramps, scratch pads, glass doors, and aluminum edging.

Meeting Candice Olson

I also got to speak with Candice Olson, who you may recognize as the host of Divine Design and Design Star on HGTV. Olson, herself a pet owner with a dog and a 17-year-old cat named Chevy, judged the contest, where cat owners were asked to submit original videos, showcasing their pet project. Out of twenty finalists selected by an outside panel of judges, Olson was tasked with selecting winners based on creativity, quality, and how the project enhanced the cat owner's home. All twenty finalists received a year supply of cat litter, while the Runners Up won $500, and the Grand Prize Winners brought home a $10,000 cash prize, plus a trip to New York City to attend the celebratory soirée.

Cupcakes for everyone!

And lest I forget, as we left, we were each handed small gift boxes containing three mini cupcakes from Baked by Melissa. Sadly they didn't have any cats on them, but were still a sweet way to end to a purrfect evening!

"Squeaki" by Romero Britto

Afterwards, Ann and I headed across the street for dinner at the Time Warner Center, where from my seat at Bouchon Bakery the 3rd floor, I spied a cat in the lobby. After our meal, we returned downstairs where I got a better look at the adorable sculpture, titled "Squeaki" by Pop Artist Romero Britto. Cats really do follow me everywhere!



Gracey, The Tiniest Tiger said...

Thanks for sharing your fun adventure. I love Candice Olson too.

Ann Dziemianowicz said...

Had a lot of fun last night with you! Finished all my cupcakes when I got home! ha!

Congrats to all the winners. It was great to meet everyone.

Sara said...

How cool. It's really fun to look at all of the different designs and it gets my mind churning thinking of some of my own. Very neat event. :)


Cat and DOG Chat With Caren said...

sounds like it was a great time! Just the fact that you, Ann and Tamar were there is enough for me to KNOW it was fun!

T said...

was fun seeing you guys there! i forgot my cupcakes out of the fridge so they are kind of solid/hard now! ha!

Prudence said...

It was great to meet you! What a fun evening, and now we think we need something like that 9' tall cat tree. Our kitties would love it!
(Theresa, posting under Prudie's name)

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