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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Bust Holiday Craftacular shows off homemade gifts and a cozy Cat Cafe

Benedict+the+cat
Benedict the cat

There are three groups of people in every holiday season. There are the ones who have started their holiday shopping, but maybe they want something original. Then there are the ones who haven’t started because they resist the malls that start a few holidays too early, and finally, the ones who have not yet started because they don’t know what to get for their friends and family. For all three there’s a solution found at Boston’s first Bust Holiday Craftacular, held on Nov. 22. Missing the event is not the doom of creative gift giving this holiday, because all of the vendors have online sites to order their handmade products.
The Bust Holiday Craftacular itself is hosted by Bust Magazine every year in New York, and has expanded to Boston and London this year. The word Craftacular is a clue to the theme of the event. The event features DIY floral crowns, an ugly sweater selfie booth, and a wrapping station, because the planners were just that thoughtful. Some of the other booths involved hand-made jewelry, including Lisa O’Neill, a former University of Massachusetts Boston student. Other vendors brought original hand-crafted mugs, glass blown ornaments, bamboo buttons, and even fake taxidermy stuffed animals — yes they have unicorns, in case that was a concern.
The real star of the show was the Cat Café — another first for Boston. The concept is to be able to lounge with adorable feline friends in a public environment, wearing their animal lover’s badge proudly. This is a practice alive and well in Japan, but as showrunner Melissa Thornton explained, “The issue with opening a permanent cat café is that right now the Department of Health won’t allow food to be served with animals.” It’s not just about cuddling with cats, although that is important, but about the adoption aspect.
For those who are looking for a gift that gives that warm and fuzzy feeling—emphasis on the fuzzy—there are plenty of volunteer options. Broken Tail Rescue is an animal rescue organization that, as a non-profit, is always looking for volunteers. In addition to feeling good about the gift that keeps on giving, there are plenty of animals that would benefit from the help. For those looking to commit on a more permanent basis there is always adoption. Broken Tail Rescue screens their adoption applicants to make sure they pair cats with a good home. Their animals are vet-examined, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered, receiving any medical treatment they need. They run entirely on donations. To get in touch with the organization, visit their website: www.brokentailrescue.org.
The Cyclorama had numerous shiny things that would distract the best of cats, yet the line to get into the Cat Café was like being in line at Six Flags on a beautiful day. Cats haven’t been this cool since Cats: The Musical.
The concept of the Cat Café was more successful than anyone at the Craftacular expected. However, Thornton went on to say that despite the success of the event itself there are still obstacles. These obstacles have not stopped business entrepreneurs from approaching Broken Tail Rescue at the event saying they have the money to back ventures that hope to have a real cat café on a regular basis. Right now, cat cafes are not on every corner, but it is quite possible that with enough of a demand, and a belief in the mission, that it could become a reality. First — cat cafés, next? Puppy pubs.