I reside in a city that has a small-town vibe because of its historic charm, its quaint downtown by the sea complete with a tavern dating back to 1934, the Marine Room Tavern, and its ongoing community events. And what better way for a small town-ish community to kick off summertime than to have a Pet Parade & Chili Cook-Off?
The event, hosted by the Laguna Real Estate Charitable Assistance Fund has been supporting Laguna Beach’s animal nonprofit organizations for over 20 years. From sea lions to felines, Laguna Beach loves its animals, and what better organization for a cat lady to be involved with than The Blue Bell Foundation for Cats? I’ve been a volunteer for 10 years and have worked the Blue Bell booth at several Pet Parade events. This year was extra special because of the event’s return after a 4-year hiatus thanks to the pandemic and skyrocketing costs of the longstanding venue where the event was held.
A new venue was found and on Saturday, June 24th, the parking lot of the Neighborhood Congregational Church was filled with people and their pets, colorful booths holding space for animal nonprofit organizations including Catmosphere Laguna Foundation, The Blue Bell Foundation for Cats, Laguna Beach Animal Shelter, One Mutt at a Time and Friends of Normie, various real estate firms, and the Laguna Beach fire and police departments.
I was honored to meet the police department’s support dog K9 Cooper, a loveable Lab who joined the police force to offer support and comfort to survivors of crime and people dealing with trauma. Not only do Lagunans love their animals, they understand the animal-human bond and the positive impacts that these precious beings have on us humans.
Dogs, puppies, cats and kittens were entered into the parade in various “cat-agories”. One of Blue Bell’s feline residents, Honey, won the award for “Most Gorgeous Senior Pet” and friend of Blue Bell, Rolo, won first place in “Best Costume” and “Happiest Rescue”. It was great spending time with Rolo and his mom Elizabeth who adopted Rolo at CatCon.
You don’t get much more of a small-town feel than being in a place where everybody knows somebody, the aroma of chili permeates the air, and people gush over pets in costumes.
And back at the cottage, Samantha has been her usual sweet and sassy self.
She expressed her dismay about not being able to go to the Pet Parade & Chili Cook-Off.
Yet she found solace on a sun hat.
Samantha was thrilled to see herself in Laguna Beach Magazine’s June/July issue, which featured my book Two Cats, a Mermaid and the Disappearing Moon!
And she adores my new home-office chair.