Drag Bingo + Cats

By Michelle Talsma Everson, August 2019 Issue.

My 9-year-old son

is obsessed with cats. He doesn’t just love cats, he

wrote-a-book-about-cat-breeds-for-a-final-project loves cats. With this love in

mind, we discovered La Gattara Cat Lounge & Boutique.

La Gattara is a unique place — a cat cafe

where locals can relax and hang out with cats, use the free wifi, and

potentially adopt a furry friend through their partner rescue, Lost Our Home

Pet Rescue. (There’s no pressure to adopt though, which makes it so unique.)

They host regular yoga, movie, and other cat-themed events, and I recently

discovered that they host monthly drag bingo nights. Cats and drag, what could

be better? I had to learn more about how this one-of-a-kind combo got started.

Felicia Minor and Freddy Prinze Charming grab the winning balls. Photo by Delia Johnson: Cronkite News.

“We started Drag Bingo + Cats in September

2017, just a couple of months after opening [in May 2017],” explains Missy

Pruitt, owner of La Gattara. “I saw another cat cafe [in another state] doing

drag bingo and it seemed so fun!”

To host the monthly event, Missy teamed up

with local entertainers Felicia Minor and Freddy Prinze Charming.

“Felicia and I have been involved

since its inception in September 2017,” says Freddy Prinze Charming. “We

were the first people Missy came to about doing the event after she came to one

of our Truth or Dare bingo nights at The Cash, and we’ve been there ever

since.”

Missy shares that the events happen monthly

on a Friday, cost $25 per person, and usually last 3-3.5 hours. Attendees can

BYOB (or wine), and there is bingo, socializing, and, of course, cat-themed

prizes (including a coveted Betsey Johnson cat purse). The bingo usually lasts

four to five rounds and, while attendees can bring their own beer or wine, it

is not exclusively a 21 and older event. “Kids can come, but we ask that their

adults use their own discretion with that,” Missy says.

“Some of the

fun [at Drag Bingo + Cats] includes chatting it up with guests, welcoming them

to the cat lounge, selling raffle tickets and, of course, calling numbers and

having fun,” says Felicia.

“We talk to them [the attendees] about the

cat lounge, about ‘Let’s Have a Fefe,’ (the duo’s weekly podcast), and we make

connections,” adds Freddy. “We’ve met so many people, so many of whom support

us outside of bingo nights now, which is amazing.”

So, what’s the importance of blending two

seemingly different audiences (cat rescue and drag performers)?

“We put up a sign at the cat cafe when we

first opened that says everyone is welcome,” Missy says. “I grew always feeling

judged, and I want people to know they can come here and not be judged. This is

a safe space. By doing the Drag Bingo + Cats event, people who have never been

to a drag event can learn more about it. We have little old ladies who never

went to a drag event in their lives and now they won’t miss one. Because of

cats, two completely different worlds [drag and cat rescue] can have fun

together.”

“We’re one

of, if not the longest running drag bingo in Phoenix that takes place in a

venue that isn’t an LGBTQ+ establishment or bar,” says Freddy. “Being visible

to audiences who may not often have a lot of contact with our community just

means we get to help educate and expand the minds of the folks who come to see

us. Bingo is all ages, so we get quite a few kids and teens that come, and they

love seeing Felicia and I all dressed up. They get to interact with the type of

people that maybe they’ve only heard about or seen on TV and, in return, we get

to show them that drag artists are just normal people.”

Each Drag Bingo + Cats event also has a

theme.

“It’s a great

time for everyone to have a good time and be in a safe space, especially if you

love cats and meeting new people from all walks of life,” Felicia shares.

“Freddy and I love to have a good time. Each month there is a theme and we

encourage costumes to fit the theme.”

The bond

between the entertainment team and La Gattara goes beyond monthly bingo nights.

This past spring, Felicia and Freddy joined La Gattara supporters on a float in

the pride parade.

“I’m an ally and friend, and I want the

community to know that La Gattara is a place of love and acceptance,” Missy

shares. “Peace, love, meow.”

In addition to the monthly Drag Bingo +

Cats event, Freddy and Felicia recently had a drag story time with the kids at

La Gattara’s summer cat camp and a drag bingo event that welcomed the children

and their families. “Drag artists aren’t often seen outside of LGBTQ+ spaces,

so to show the children that, it helps them to understand and they bring that

understanding back home to their parents,” Missy says.

“La Gattara is a wonderful, welcoming space

for everyone,” Freddy shares. “Drag Bingo + Cats is a great way to support

a local, small business, that promotes animal rescue and educates along the

way. There are few spaces that can be considered a safe space for the LGBTQ+

community outside of the bars, and Missy and her staff have always made sure

that La Gattara is one of those spaces.”

To learn more about La Gattara Cat Lounge & Boutique’s Drag Bingo + Cats and other events, visit lagattaracatcafe.com/events.


Drag Bingo + Cats Upcoming Events
August 23, theme: The 1970s
September 27, theme: TBD
October 11, theme: Felicia’s birthday bash!
All events start at 7 p.m. See website for most updated info and pricing.

Photo courtesy of Joe Eats World

Slane Irish Whiskey bottles

Disclaimer: My trip was provided courtesy of a press trip but all opinions about the trip and events are my own. Please note there are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase.

Keep reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Mental Health for LGBTQ+ Aging Adults

Queer elders have made a big impact on the world. Queer folks over the age of 65 were around during the Stonewall Movement in the 1960s and may have even campaigned to improve the rights and freedoms of LGBTQ+ people around the world.

But, as queer elders enter later life, they may need to find new ways to protect and preserve their mental health.

Keep reading Show less
Photo courtesy of Erkin Athletics

B37 Massage Gun Review

Disclaimer: This product has been tested and reviewed by our writer and any views or opinions are their own. Please note there are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, we may earn a commission if you make a purchase.

Keep reading Show less