Vera is a cat lady. She’s obsessed with cats. It’s actually always been this way (although, I’ve been in denial for awhile since we are solid dog people) but beginning as far as back as her pointing out stray cats during her neighborhood stroller rides, to her most recent request for Disney’s Aristocats to stay on replay throughout the day, the cat obsession is real.
I had several animal theme ideas for her birthday, right up until she saw some of the decor and told me “No, Mommy. Vera Birthday Gatos!” in her little Cuban girl accent. I knew what she meant. Only cats were allowed. Because if there’s anything I can say about this little lady’s already emerging character traits, it’s that she’s a girl that definitely knows what she wants. Lord help us.
I wanted to tie in her favorite Aristocats movie somehow but with a modern twist. So, I sketched out a French inspired Cat Cafe and to be honest, I’m still not sure if what I created was a French Cafe with a cat theme or an actual Cat Cafe in France, but it looked cute, so it worked.
Party Planning Tip: I like to draw out my entire vision and ideas for events so that I can create a general concept first.
I also like to make a list of phrases, words and little puns that tie in to the theme and use that when I’m creating the invite and signage for the party. Here’s what I came up with for a Kitty + Cat Cafe theme:
- 2 Purrfect
- Kitten Around
- Cat Lady
- The Cat’s Meow
- Fur Real
- Feline (feeling)
- Cool Cats and Kittens
- Pounce over, Hiss and Wave
- Wipe your Paws
- Wet your Whiskers
- Party Animals
- The Cat’s Meow
- Let the Cat out of the Bag
- Cafe MEOWcha
I am a big fan of Australian Event trends. I am an event nerd, if a nerd like that even exists. I make mental notes about locations for future parties, future themes, future ideas, constantly — even if I’m no longer working as an event planner, I never stop taking notes. It’s a hobby, it’s innate and I can’t help it. I remember seeing Daniella from Eve and Co.‘s work on instagram and remember thinking she was so talented. I am so we glad we got to talking and I was so excited to see what she created from my sketch for Vera. It was exactly what I had pictured.
I knew I wanted something on the smaller size this year for Vera. My Mom is a recent Cancer survivor and had not been vaccinated yet, so we were still being careful. We settled on a small drive-by birthday celebration and invited “all of the cool cats and kittens” to decorate their car and give us a meow as they drove by. So, I took all this over to Kary from Just 2 Party to create a driveby backdrop and balloon arch for me. We’ve worked together in the past and she creates the easiest disposable drive-by setups that involve no pickup coordination. She helped me bring the entire thing to life including suggesting we switch up the color scheme to a boho neutral and actually creating the exact yarn balls that I had envisioned for the balloon arch.
I created a little cat inspired kid’s table to go with the boho neutral color scheme.
Here’s a list of what I used on the table:
- Macrame Table Runner
- Cat Plates, cups and hats
- Disposable Scalloped Plates that I used as chargers
- Blush Pink Vase + Succulent Potted Plants I had from Ikea
The last part of the puzzle was the entertainment, and if this would’ve been a regular party, I would’ve definitely provided kid’s activities. I’m listing some of my ideas for those below in case you decide to use this theme in the future:
- Create your own Cat Collar: Using string and letter beads.
- Create your own Meow Mix: Using little snacks to mix into one little bag like a Chex Mix.
- Adopt your own cat: Using a Little adoption form like this that needed to be filled out and was taken home.
- Pin the nose on the cat.
I also always try to include some kind of live entertainment for kid’s parties. I find that usually seeing a character live is what makes it extra special for them. We decided getting Vera, her favorite character to sing and dance with, would make her the most happy. Thankfully, Enchanted Fairytale Parties was able to secure a visit from Marie from the Aristocats in time for Vera’s birthday and she had the time of her life dancing with her “big cat.”
For favor bags, I had this idea one night as I was looking for inexpensive ways to make something cute to create a “Cat in the Bag.” Super simple and cost effective. I used chalk markers to draw little cat faces on Kraft gift bags and it was probably one of my easiest Party DIYs. I finished it off by drawing a little chalk sign on a little play cart we had from Vera’s last birthday.
Here’s what I filled the bags with:
- Mini Stuffed Cats
- Cat Donut Puzzles and Cat Matching Games
- Cat Ears headband
- Goldfish crackers
- Little cat stamps
- Cat Lollipops
Vera’s outfit was a pink tutu, cat ears and these cute shoes that she now refuses to take off even to go play outside. I got myself a last minute kitty sweatshirt to match the theme.
We wanted the kids and the adults to leave “happy” so we provided individual happy meals for the kids and handed out White “Claws” for the adults. See what I did there? lol
Lastly, what do you get a cat obsessed 2 year old? Here’s a little round up of gifts that were a hit at our house:
- Furreal Cat Walk A lots
- Melissa and Doug Pet Care Set
- B. Toys Interactive Cat Piano
- Aristocats Marie Pajamas
- Pet Shop Playdoh
- Aristocats Figure Play Set
- Kiki Striped Cat Mini Purse
- Present Pets
In the end, when it was all said and done — it’s the memories of the joy on their little faces, that make it worth it for me to create these events for my children. I hired Tuti B Films to capture that for me this time around and I can honestly say it is truly some of the best money I’ve ever spent. Check out the video below that made me cry with joy and made me so grateful that I will have her reaction on film for years to come.
- Video and Photography: Tuti B Films
- Digital Illustration: Eve and Co.
- Backdrop and Balloon Arch: Just 2 Party Rentals
- Allergy Friendly Cake: Bunnie Cakes
- Live Entertainment/Character Appearance: Enchanted Fairytale Parties
- Event Design: Gisselle Pou | Party with the Pous
*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that I may earn a small commission on, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.