Andrea Reese loves Whiskers! Check out her adventures in NYC, and her visit to Whiskers.
“Reese’s reason for counting her pennies became clear when we arrived at our final stop: Whiskers Holistic Pet Care (235 East Ninth Street; 212-979-2532; http://www.1800whiskers.com).
“This is a great pet store,” said Reese, who became a vegetarian after visiting the Catskills Animal Shelter several months ago, where she bonded with cows and horses and a pig that “you could lie on top of and he was so happy he would almost purr.”
“I’ve always had a huge love of animals, but I was disconnected in a way,” she added. “The experience of really connecting with animals right in front of you and hearing what goes on inmeat factories…I couldn’t eat meat anymore. I felt like I wanted to do more, so I went to an animal shelter in Queens and met all these dogs and cats, and I’m going to start volunteering there. They also need food, so I thought I should start putting my money where my mouth is.”
Inside, Reese grabbed a basket to stock up on tasty canine treats, which she had already arranged for the store to deliver to the Queens Community Animal Shelter the following day.
“We have $43 for food and a $5 tip for the driver,” she said. But first, she picked up a box of Bunny Kraze Greens for Hector and Achilles ($3.99). “These are greens that you grow yourself and then feed to the hamster,” she explained. When asked what she had against pre-made greens (or, ummm, goldfish), Reese laughed. “You’re right! This is like growing Triops in a tank. The whole process is very exciting.”
We would expect nothing less from the daughter of a research scientist whose idea of childhood fun was to accompany her dad — the head of neurobiology at the National Institutes of Health — to the lab on weekends, where they’d have horseshoe crab races or spray silicone on the floors and “skate” down the halls.
“We were around all these animals, though I was always really disturbed by the experimentation,” she recalled. “I wrote my college essay on animal cruelty instead of on myself, so this goes way back…To the dog food we go!”
She placed her basket on the floor and began filling it with enticingly named Wellness and Merrick puppy products. Campfire Trout, Thanksgiving Turkey, Chicken Drumette, Wild Buffalo and even Grammy’s Pot Pie went into the pile.
“That would be a great burrito,” Reese opined of the vegetarian Sweet Potato formula. “And you can’t go wrong with Cowboy Cookout. I’m so happy about this… What is venison?” We reply as she’s poised to toss another can in the cart.
“Oh gross,” she shuddered. “I can’t buy that. It just feels wrong, with Christmas and reindeer and all that. Blitzen almost got blitzed! I’m going to put this back.”
The burgeoning activist counted the cans (17, at $1.79 and $1.89 each) and decided to spend her last $3 on some Waggers Originals Natural Treats, which included Savory Casserole, Hearty Stew and a yummy-sounding Peanut Butter and Rolled Oats cookie (woof!).
The cashier entered the shelter’s delivery information into the computer and tallied up the damage ($46.59, with tax and driver’s tip), bringing Reese’s grand FWD Shopping With total to $99.51.
Guess paying attention in third grade math class really does pay off.
“My main interest has always been helping others, but performing and creative expression is crucial, too,” Reese said as she buttoned her coat before heading back outside. “So putting them together, like for the Red Cross thing, is great because it uses everything. Today was perfect, too, because I got something for myself, which is really fun, but then I did something good, as well. It’s the perfect balance.”
Like the complex icon she so skillfully portrays in “Cirque Jacqueline,” Reese is the true
embodiment of a multifaceted Renaissance Woman, circa — make that cirque — 2005.”