Mary Costello has always strived to be creative about finding her foster kittens’ future homes. Over the seven years of fostering the tiny felines, she has found success by taking pop-up playpens to kickball games or to South Park during community events. Costello’s latest kitten promotion project—the Mass Street Kitten Academy at Wild Man Vintage—is an innovative way to reach potential adopters.
Mass Street Kitten Academy allows Costello to test her concept of a future “cat café” with adoptable cats and kittens. “I think we’re able to reach people who aren’t necessarily looking to adopt, but just happen to fall in love, which is always a wonderful thing to see,” said Costello. Mary is good friends with the management of Wild Man Vintage, a popular clothing store on Mass Street known for creative window displays. Costello ran the idea of a kitten window past Phil, the owner of Wild Man, and he was on board!
“I’ve always worked and lived close to downtown and to me, it’s the heart of Lawrence,” said Costello, “So, I really wanted the kitten window to be on Mass Street.” Costello said she sees the kitten academy as a downtown extension of the Lawrence Humane Society shelter. The “Academy” was developed from the idea that the kittens graduate out of foster care and find their forever home. “Plus, I couldn’t resist the idea of tiny graduation caps” said Costello.
“It’s been an all-around team effort and I’m just lucky to have a great team” said Costello. Costello’s family and friends assisted in making decorations for the kitten window display, and the entire crew at Wild Man Vintage has enjoyed facilitating the adoptions and falling in love with the new kittens. Even if you are not looking to adopt, you can still visit, enjoy the kittens in the window, and check out the amazing themed window displays ranging from vintage 70’s vibes to the latest farm theme complete with adorable tiny cows and tractors! “Aside from increased visibility for adoptions, I’d say my goal is just to share the joy I get from fostering kittens and I think we could all use a little more joy right now,” said Costello.
If you are looking to adopt a kitten at Wild Man Vintage, follow Mass Street Kitten Academy on Instagram where Mary posts the cutest pictures and videos of her latest kitten students. The staff there are supplied with a hold certificate that allows the kitten to be placed “on hold.” These holds expire at 5 p.m. the same day the hold is placed. After meeting with the kitten at Wild Man Vintage, you will be instructed to head to Lawrence Humane Society to officially sign the adoption papers.