A bunch of shelter kittens basically held their own press conference on July 15.
  • Anna Minard
  • A bunch of shelter kittens basically held their own press conference on July 15.
A few weeks ago, Mayor Ed Murray's office renamed City Hall "Kitty Hall" for a day, invited the public to hang out in a tent full of adoptable shelter kittens, and spawned a ridiculous amount of social media love for kittens. All sorts of city departments, media, and Seattleites got involved on Twitter. Even Google got in on it. (See SPD's greatest hits here, here, and here, and the mayor's office's here, here, and here.)

It was all done in the name of promoting the cats and kittens at the city's animal shelter and publicizing some upcoming adoption events. But lots of people griped about how it was a stupid media stunt, or a harmless but pointless excuse to hang out with kittens. So I've been wondering: Did anything tangibly good come of it other than a bunch of city staffers, politicians, and reporters getting to hang out with kittens (and of course all those fucking adorable pictures)? I mean, whatever happened to all those cats?

I asked the mayor's office for an update. Says mayoral spokeswoman and cat lady Megan Coppersmith:

We do know that four [Kitty Hall kittens]—Marguerite, Kingsley, Raymond, and Bella—were among the 16 cats adopted at the July 19 Fab Felines event, which we promoted at Kitty Hall. Most people who attended that event said they did so because they heard about it via Kitty Hall. And 16 adoptions at one of these monthly events is likely a record—the typical is four to five adoptions.

It appears that other kittens from that day, including one whose adoption page had said she was "retiring from political life," have also been adopted since.

Sure, you could argue that letting loose a bunch of cats into a room usually reserved for press conferences is somehow not a good use of city resources. But then, you'd be a total butthole, because c'mon, KITTENS. And also, seriously: When bureaucrats get goofy on social media for a second, sometimes it gets citizens to engage with them in a new way. SPD has pioneered having a funny social media presence but using that to draw people in so they can actually deliver useful information. They've even won awards for it. If we got to watch kittens take over the podium and the city tried something new with social media and then the city's animal shelter saw an uptick in kitten adoptions? I call that a win-win. And also, I totally don't care, because I'll never look at the 7th floor Norm B. Rice conference room the same way again after seeing cats crawling all over the press seats, trying to get into the mayor's office, and staring up at the flagpole.