July CATalysta* Mayim Bialik & PetSmart Charities
*A CATalysta is a person or organization that celebrates and champions the cat.
Mayim Bialik is known for many things – her turns on the big and small screen (Beaches, Blossom, The Big Bang Theory), her PhD in Neuroscience*, and for being an advocate. One of the causes she is most passionate about is pet adoption, which seems only natural given that during her childhood, all of the pets in her household were adopted. Then as an adult, she added a new family member of her own, Frances Miffy Goes to the Zoo, a cat adorably named by her son when he was just three.
As part of her advocacy work, Mayim recently teamed up with our friends at PetSmart Charities to aid pet adoption by debunking the “crazy cat lady” stereotype. During June’s Adopt A Cat Month, Social Media users were asked to out themselves as proud cat owners. The resulting #meowOUT campaign is an amazing testament to the diversity of cat owners everywhere – men and women of all ages can be seen posing with their cats. While the crazy cat lady moniker is not quite a thing of the past, campaigns like this are helping to do away with negative stereotypes and increase adoptions.
“Adopting not only saves the life of a deserving pet, but it changes the lives of those who choose to adopt as well,” says Mayim – a statement that everyone who has adopted a pet knows to be true. However, there are still barriers for cat adoptions – their number is always lower than that of dogs – which Mayim and PetSmart Charities are hoping to combat. “Cats and cat owners get a bad rap, but in reality it seems most people think these stereotypes are outdated,” Mayim commented during CatConLA, where she helped in publicizing the effort. The fact that stereotypes are fading, can only serve to help the adoption effort and open up more homes to the cats that desperately need them.
Thank you Mayim and PetSmart Charities for helping to break down barriers and advance the adoption effort – creating more forever homes for our feline friends.
*Mayim’s Ph.D. research at UCLA focused on obsessive-compulsive disorder among people with Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare condition in which the hypothalamus malfunctions. The hypothalamus secretes the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin. Her research on these hormones, which are critical to the mother-child bond, helped her understand biological mechanisms involved in parenting. It seems quite likely that as Dr. Bialik understands the inner workings of our own minds that she promotes the human-animal bond through cat adoption for more than helping cats, for helping people too.
The PetSmart Charities name and all images are used with permission by PetSmart Charities.