Does getting your krewe out to the parade route feel like herding cats?
Dr. Mark Cousins can sympathize.
The Uptown veterinarian, owner of The Cat Practice, started the feline Carnival celebration called Endymeow a few years ago by carrying kitties through the neighborhood in crates.
“We thought we could put cats in cages and parade them down the street,” he recalled. “They thought that was stupid.”
Nowadays, the cats stay home, while their human families admire photos of Endymeow royalty at an exclusive, people-only cocktail party. Owners submit photos of their felines in Carnival finery, and the Krewe of Endymeow – which is made up entirely of cats – chooses its royalty in a secret process, the workings of which are never revealed, Cousins said.
One thing is certain, however: These cats keep up with the times. This year’s monarchs are two females: Queen Lily Amari, who belongs to Mimi and Marcello Amari, and Queen Blacktop Galloway, who belongs to Patricia Galloway and Peter Webb. An evening-appropriate look comes naturally to the couple, both black-and-white tuxedo cats.
The 2018 theme is the New Orleans tricentennial, or, as the invitation to the ball puts it, the 300th Anni-Fur-Saire.
Cousins decided a few years ago that it was time for felines to get in on the Carnival fun.
“The canine people had their own Mardi Gras organization, Barkus, and there was nothing for the feline population. So we tried to correct that. We thought it was in our purview to correct that. Cats were getting left out,” said the vet, who has four non-royal (but still very special) cats of his own.
Endymeow has become a tradition at the Cat Practice. It has its own space on the office website. Royalty was announced Thursday on WWL-TV’s morning show. And the feline court, pictured with feather boas, dainty tiaras and beads, is permanently enshrined online.
It’s more than a Carnival event, Cousins said. “It’s a celebration of the cat.”