By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Cat behavior and wellbeing expert Jackson Galaxy says the success of his appearances stems from a “shared energy”.
“There are a lot of people expecting me to walk up to a desk and start talking about cats,” Galaxy says via Zoom.
“There’s everything from puppets to music to audience interaction. If people don’t pay attention, I’ll get them on stage. Much of the show is improvised, and yet it takes you through the history of cats in order to understand yourself and your relationship with your cats. I talk about my relationship with my cats and how I got to know cats.
Galaxy, from Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell,” will be making several appearances in Arizona over the next few months. He will be the keynote speaker at Heidi’s Village’s inaugural fundraising gala, An Evening of Hope, on Saturday, February 19 at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa.
Next, he’ll bring his “Total Cat Mojo Live!” tour. at the Piper Repertory Theater at the Mesa Arts Center on Saturday, April 16 and at the Fox Tucson Theater on Friday, April 15. within their environment.
Whenever he gets the chance, “The Cat Daddy,” as he’s known, likes to dispel myths that cats are boring, scary, or have no personality.
“I think people are guilty of looking at cats through dog-colored glasses and experiencing them as failed dogs,” Galaxy says.
“Apart from, you know, having four legs is apples and oranges. If you understand the journey of cats and what they did to get here, it’s so fascinating. It gives you that way of relating to them that you didn’t have before.
He adds that humans are “bad at relationships”, whether with other humans or with animals. With cats, humans should meet them halfway, instead of expecting them to come when called.
“It’s really tough, and we take it personally,” he said.
“I think if you can embrace the mystery, then the depth of the relationship is incredible – not to mention the dogs. I have dogs setting right here, and I adore them, and I get this energy from them. I get a different energy from cats. They work incredibly well together.
Galaxy says many people are misinformed about cats, even though Americans own more than 100 million cats.
“There are a lot of people who are afraid of cats,” he says. “I like the opportunity to take what is usually a childhood trauma of being a little scratched or whatever and turn it around. I think there’s a lot of opportunity there.
It’s this human connection that keeps Galaxy passionate about his work.
“It’s hard to do it in a vacuum,” he adds. “It’s hard to maintain your passion when you think that, from a rescue perspective, it’s just a hamster wheel. It never stops. When I’m casting videos or chatting live and looking at the numbers, knowing that there are people I can talk to about these animals is amazing. That’s why I love it.
Outside of her tour, Galaxy frequently makes appearances at charity galas and fundraisers to raise awareness for rescues. He started his career working in shelters and “it never left me”.
“It never escaped me for a second,” he says. “I owe everything I do with animals to my experience in rescue. Heidi’s Village is a great organization and the need for support at this stage is widespread.
“I think a lot of people like animals. A big red flag went up at the start of the pandemic when everyone said, “Please cheer.” Please adopt. People responded, but they forgot that the shelters were going to fill up again. We have done good things, but good things have yet to happen.
“An Evening of Hope”
for the benefit of the village of Heidi
WHEN: From 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., cocktail and live silent auction, followed by dinner and a presentation at 7 p.m. on Saturday, February 19
WHERE: JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, 5350 E. Marriott Drive, Phoenix
COST: $175; $75 for a video recap, including the keynote speaker’s presentation, sent the following week; valet parking $15; $10 self-parking
Jackson Galaxy “Total Cat Mojo Live”
WHEN: 7 p.m. on Friday, April 15
WHERE: Fox Theater Tucson,
17 W. Congress Street, Tucson
COST: Tickets start at $24.75
Jackson Galaxy “Total Cat Mojo Live”
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 16
WHERE: Piper Repertory Theater at the Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa
COST: Tickets start at $35