One of my favorite standalone scenes from a movie is from the late-70’s frightener, The Sentinel. In it a group of decadent Riverside Drive Central European emigres celebrate Burgess Meredith’s cat’s birthday with a black-and-white party, by dressing extravagantly, waltzing to old gramophone records and eating slivers of a checkered Sachertorte. Somehow, it always seemed to me more charming than foreboding, even given that each and every one of these people shared a deep, dark secret...


Which is a good enough reason to celebrate someone getting a kitten. 

As with a bridal, or baby shower, the basic idea is to get a set of basic items, chitchat and trade advice. Think of a baby’s layette or the Finnish Baby Box: kibble, litter, cat milk, basket and/or blankets, dishes, toys…

As with babies, the more basic the gift, the more welcome. The rhinestone headband that looked so good in the catelogue may not be as welcome as a nice big jug of cat sand (think diapers), or a container of organic chow from those cat-loving folks at the Farmer’s market. As you might not buy Scotch for a small human kit, a cat may not appreciate your gift of  ‘nip, as much as a bottle of calming cat pheromones, to indicate where the box is. 

You can probably figure out what kind of invitations you want. Some are at this writing, even swirling around the inter webs, Pinteresting among unemployed graphic designers. Please try to adhere to the old customs: you can’t shower yourself, no matter how clever you think this is. 

Decor can be as simple as going to your local Sanrio outfit and asking for a Hello Kitty Party, or as elaborate as you might want, with  music from the the musical “Cats”, dancing to cat music, cat-like party games, and suchlike. Kitty Litter Cake (which is both food and game) is a fun idea, eating contests without hands cute, and of course, Pin the Tail is very cat-friendly.  If the kitten is in the house, of course she should put in an appearance, though this might be quite brief! 

Afternoon reception food and manners are fine: tea and/or sherry and/or cocktails with little nibbles are better, you’re here  to cat chat, not have a meal as such, unless you decide to go the luncheon/supper route. Or, you can dress up and waltz. 

Enjoy your new cat!

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