Feline lovers unite at the Cat Extravaganza event

Ontario resident Paul Staluy embraces his newest family member, Nubby, who he adopted at the Pomona Cat Extravaganza on Saturday. Cat lovers gathered at the two-day convention and adoption event at the Fairplex on Saturday and Sunday, hosted by Loving Cats Worldwide. / photo by Sheridan Lambrook

Taylor Moore
LV Life Editor

The Pomona Cat Extravaganza and Adoption Event, hosted by Loving Cats Worldwide, was the perfect opportunity for cat lovers to not only adopt but also learn about different cat breeds, buy accessories for their pets, and support the local rescues that were there. The Cat Extravaganza was at the Fairplex in Pomona on Saturday and Sunday.

Guests were greeted at the door with cat-ear headbands provided by Loving Cats Worldwide and two different backdrops for taking pictures.

The main events were the cat shows that took place in the center. There were four going on at a time, each with different curators who showed off several kinds of cats, including Ragdolls, Sphinxes, Maine Coons, British Shorthairs, Himilayans and traditional Tabby cats.  

Steven Meserve, founder and CEO of Loving Cats Worldwide, first held up a Ragdoll, a breed of cat known for their striking blue eyes, soft and long fur, and laid-back personality, to the audience. He talked about the signature traits of each cat breed in the show. 

Bengal cats heavily dominated the event. That was no surprise since Camelots LB, a Bengal breeding organization, brought 25 Bengal cats to the event. While most of these cats were not up for adoption, guests were able to interact with the cats upon request and learn more about the breed from Sophi Yates, the creator, and her children, who work with her. 

Guests anxiously waited for the red carpet event. This display allowed the audience to get a closer look at cats while Meserve walked up and down a carpet with members from cat rescues to talk about the cats they were displaying at the show. 

Cameron Yates brought their most playful Bengal male named Tom Hardy, named after the actor since both share the same birthday, while Sophi Yates brought Freya, a 10-month-old Bengal female, to be shown off by Meserve at the red carpet event. 

A ragdoll kitten draws in the cat lovers at the Pomona Cat Extravaganza event Saturday at the Fairplex. Apart from the shows and merchandise, visitors could meet the various breeds at the two-day convention and adoption event sponsored by Loving Cats WorldWide. / photo by Sheridan Lambrook

“When you guys are home tonight, and you can’t sleep because you’re too excited from today and can’t stop thinking about the cats, come back tomorrow and get a Bengal,” Meserve said to the audience as he walked up and down the carpet with a cat named Tom Hardy. “They will be everywhere you don’t want them to be, your cupboards and your closet. They are so playful and mischievous.” 

When guests were not at the shows or interacting with cats, they were buying from the vendors selling cat-themed merchandise. There were animal-themed art pieces, such as a kitten wearing a Boba Fett costume from “Star Wars.” There were also pieces for dog lovers, such as a Husky running around as Captain America. 

If guests were looking to shop for their pets at home, there were cat scratching posts for sale of all shapes and sizes, as well as beds and a variety of toys. Otherwise, there was plenty of merchandise for the cat lovers, such as shirts that said, “Home is where the cats are” and slippers with cartoons of house cats achieving mischief. One side of the slipper showed a cat playing with a fish, while the other showed the cat licking their lips with a little grin on its face. 

Some owners were there with their housepets to show off their tricks or decorative carriers. 

Dixie Tantardini, a psychic, medium and spiritual healer from Orange County, brought her six-year-old Norwegian Forest cat, nicknamed Delilah the Viking Cat, since her carrier was decorated as a large Viking ship. 

Along the edges, rescue shelters displayed the cats they had for adoption and sold merchandise, where all proceeds went back into their organizations. 

Cats and Comics Rescue is a combination of a comic book shop and a rescue shelter. 

Guests were drawn in by the comics for sale, as well as the kittens up for adoption. 

While it was the organization’s first time being at this event, Cats and Comics Rescue often attended Comic-Con. 

Steven Meserve, founder and CEO of Loving Cats WorldWide, shows off a beautiful Siamese cat at the Pomona Cat Extravaganza on Saturday. Cat lovers gathered at the two-day convention and adoption event at the Fairplex last weekend. / photo by Sheridan Lambrook

“When we go to Comic-Con, no one expects cats, so we have a huge crowd of people that adopt and love to see cats,” Jeremy Guerra, founder of Cats and Comics Rescue, said. 

According to their website, their mission is to provide socialization for sheltered cats to better their chances of survival and finding a home. Guests can come in to read comic books and play board games, all while interacting with cats up for adoption. Interacting with animals can be beneficial for humans, but human interaction is just as important for cats looking to be adopted since it makes them more comfortable and friendly, two aspects that everyone looks for in a housecat. 

Precious Purrs Feline Rescue, a nonprofit rescue for stray and abandoned cats, had a variety of breeds and ages up for adoption and was selling See’s Candies as part of their fundraiser. While they were there at the event to find homes for their cats, they handled adoption differently than other rescue shelters. 

Kittie Aleman, president of Precious Purrs Feline Rescue, said that she never allows someone to adopt a cat then and there. Instead, she sets up meetings between the potential adopter and the cat they are interested in. While she knows it is not a conventional way of adopting an animal, she does it to ensure that the cat is going to a safe and loving home. 

“For the most part, we’ve had amazing adopters because we model ourselves a little differently because we look at it as (if) you’re not adopting a cat, you’re adopting into our family,” Aleman said. “We offer support after the adoption. The majority of our adopters, we keep in touch with… after they adopt a cat, they receive my personal phone number. If they’re worried about their cat at two in the morning, I’m worried about their cat at two in the morning.” 

Precious Purrs Feline Rescue got its start in 2020 when the pandemic was at its highest. Aleman and her husband started rescuing cats and took them into their home, but once it got too crowded, they used their business backgrounds to create an organization dedicated to the well-being of cats. 

Kitty Camp Corporation, another cat rescue organization in Norco, has a mission to provide homes for cats and kittens found on the Norco prison grounds. Blankets, both for owners and their furry companions, were for sale at the event to provide support to the organization. Through it, members are able to provide food to the cats remaining at the prison. 

While Kitty Camp Corp. focuses its efforts on providing homes for the cats they have rescued, the organization strongly believes in controlling the population of stray cats. The reason why neighborhoods are so populated is because female cats are getting pregnant over and over and producing several litters with nowhere for these kittens to go. Then, as the female kittens get older, the cycle continues. 

“We recommend that (people) trap (the cats), neuter them, and return them. That way, they continue to live but don’t continue to add to the population,” Julie LaPierre, vice president of Kitty Camp Corporation, said. 

Taylor Moore can be reached at taylor.moore@laverne.edu.

A 7-month-old minx is loving the attention at his decorated booth at the Pomona Cat Extravaganza and adoption event at the Fairplex on Saturday. The convention drew over 2,000 cat lovers over the two-day event. / photo by Sheridan Lambrook

Taylor Moore is a junior broadcast journalism major and LV Life editor for Spring 2023. In her fourth semester on Campus Times, this is her second time serving as LV Life editor. She has also served as social media editor and staff writer.

Sheridan Lambrook

Sheridan Lambrook, a senior journalism major with a concentration in visual journalism, is a staff photographer for the Campus Times and La Verne Magazine.


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