If you are in Philadelphia and see a cat in the air, don’t worry, it’s just because the 76ers won. With the (relative) resurgence of the 18-33 Sixers squad, Sixers fan Dennis Grove has been celebrating each win by hoisting his cat skyward, and the city has followed. Dennis is the creator of the movement #RAISETHECAT and he was nice enough to put his cat down and answer some of my questions about cats, how to raise them, and raising money (for cats.)
Was this the first usage of the hashtag?
How did you connect cats, raising them, and Sixers victories?
Ben Simmons has two Savannahs and they sit on his head and shoulder. I tried to do the same with my 20 pound cat (Izzy) and it didn’t work. I did promise Twitter that I would raise my cat when they won and I did it. The internet loved it!
How did your cat react to being raised initially?
Izzy is OK with it for the first 10 seconds but then she wishes to be put down. So I am working against the clock.
How has that changed in the recent winning streak? Is your cat getting tired of it?
Izzy is fine with it for the most part. I just have to raise her correctly. She watches the games with me so she is within reach.
Please give me tips for properly raising a cat.
First, I make sure she is on her feet. Cats don’t like when you reach under them while they are sitting. So I might get some cat food out so that she rises to her feet. Then I reach underneath and pick her up. At that point she seems pretty un-phased and that’s when I take the photo.
How has the social media / Philly reception been to your campaign?
The reception has been unreal. It’s amazing how many cat owners there are out there. Also, Twitter is the only place where this could take off. I feel like Instagram and Facebook wouldn’t receive it as warmly.
Philly twitter is the best and Sixers twitter is the best.
Describe what happened when you saw Ben Simmons raising his cats on Twitter.
I was beside myself. It felt like it was full circle. I started laughing and was just in total disbelief.
What percent of cats do you think like being raised?
Based on the photos, I would say about 40% of the cats enjoy it.
Could you please list your top 10 raised cats? I know how hard it is to pick between cats, but if you don’t mind trying I would appreciate this.
Sure! Here they are (10 is the best):
Why did you choose to give all the profits from RTC merch to PhillyPaws? Props on that BTW. Good Bless You.
Thanks! I decided that this would make the most sense since there’s an obvious double meaning (RAISE A CAT!) We have $3,000 and counting for Philly PAWS.
Any luck getting Stauskas to raise his cat? I believe it lives in Canada but he visits it I know.
Yes his cat is named Dribbles and I think one day, he will do it.
What’s the future of Raise The Cat? I don’t know if the playoffs are in sight this season, but in the future, will you raise more cats even higher somehow?
I think it can only grow more! The cat is a symbol of winning and they will be winning much more in the future.
Maybe climb a ladder?
Which Sixers (besides Stauskas and Simmons obvs) strike you as cat people?
I bet Dario would have a cat if he could.
Finally – can you help me find out the name of Ben Simmons’s second cat? I think it’s still a mystery and it’s driving me nuts.
I will try my best to find this out!
Follow Dennis on Twitter
Get the Raise The Cat 2 shirt here