Do you have a cat? Do you love your cat? Prove it. For $3,000, you might be able to get a poster-size photo of your cat put up in a Metro station for the amusement of thousands of commuters.
That’s the top reward in a newly launched Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that aims to replace typical subway advertising with awww-idn’t-he-cute felines.
The Citizens Advertising Takeover Service — Washington, D.C. (C.A.T.S., for short) is hoping to raise $30,000 by May 4.
“The main goal is to take over the station with just cats, instead of your everyday ads you see on the Metro,” said Nicole Adams, who is organizing the effort.
Nicole was inspired by Glimpse, a guerrilla marketing group in London that pioneered the cats-not-ads concept. The English C.A.T.S. garnered international coverage in September when cat photos filled the Clapham Common Tube station.
[London’s Tube subway has been taken over by cats, including one from Virginia]
It’s expensive to take over an entire Metro station. Texas A&M spent $150,000 last year for a five-week “station domination” campaign at Metro Center. Nicole thinks that for $30,000, she could get a portion of a large station or an entire small station, maybe Cleveland Park, in honor of Ollie, the National Zoo’s bobcat.
The English effort had a message: Crass consumerism can’t improve your life. Nicole doesn’t sound quite so subversive.
“I’m not trying to tell people how to live their lives, but it’s like, ‘Wow, this can happen here. People could just stop and slow down,’ ” she said.
Slow down and see the felines.
[A little bit of Aggieland has taken over Metro Center this month]
Nicole has teamed with the Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County and Charm City Animal Rescue and, if the campaign is successful, it will include photos of cats from those shelters.
Nicole has nothing against dogs — “Everybody loves dogs,” she said — but dogs don’t have that captivatingly inscrutable quality cats possess.
“People understand dogs, but people don’t understand cats,” she said. “You see cats doing silly things, you’re like ‘Really?’ My cat surprises me every single day, and I’ve had him for six years.”
That would be Bob, an orange tabby fond of cuddling. Bob is part of a menagerie that includes a hamster named Eliza, a white hamster named Jon Snow and a ball python named Mr. Fluffles.
“I live in a zoo, but I love it,” said Nicole, a mother of two who lives in Gaithersburg, Md., and works for a commercial real estate company. “When I’m having a really bad day, I’ll watch cat videos just to get what I need to take a break.”
The Kickstarter campaign — go to kickstarter.com and search for “DC Kitties” — runs until May 4. Lesser rewards include
T-shirts that say “I Can’t Keep Calm. C.A.T.S. Are Taking Over Metro!” and “Show Me Your Kitties.”
In an email from London, Glimpse’s James Turner wrote: “We’re delighted to see this idea spreading across the world, and we wish the D.C. takeover the best of luck. We know of at least two other cities who are planning something similar, too: L.A. and Cape Town.
“Who knows where this could end up? Maybe in the future our kids will wonder why it took us so long to replace all advertising with cats.”
Cats poop in a litter box. Dogs poop, well, everywhere. That’s why dog owners should carry bags and pick it up.
One dog walker who didn’t is the subject of a manhunt in Tenleytown. A homeowner’s security camera caught the guy blithely walking away after one of the two pooches he was walking dropped a load in the front yard of a home on Brandywine Street NW.
Marcello Muzzatti posted a 20-second video on the neighborhood message group with the subject line “Your Dog Sh*t on my Lawn.”
The topic was sure to rile folks up. Some thought the video was Big Brotherish. Others thought it was hilarious.
Said Marcello: “When the dog poop thread comes out in our listserv, oh my god, it’s ‘Here we go, let’s get some popcorn and start reading the comments.’ ”
The poop scofflaw was pretty gutsy. Marcello is a retired D.C. cop, and a decommissioned Rye Brook, N.Y., police car sits in his driveway. Marcello bought it at auction to strip it and flip it.
The video has gone semi-viral, and Marcello’s been featured on Channels 5 and 9 and on the DCist and Prince of Petworth blogs.
“I’m actually starting to feel bad for this guy,” Marcello said. “I hope he just comes forward and apologizes.”