Illustration by Cole Sandhofer
An hour before Sabbath Tattoo opened, the line of people waiting to get tattoos was down the block, according to Laura Clark, director of the Whatcom Humane Society.
“Tats for Cats”, an event hosted by Sabbath Tattoo and the WHS, raised $8,840 on May 1 from 12 a.m. to 10 p.m.. All the proceeds were donated to benefit the cats at the WHS.
“It was so incredible to see so many people willing to stand in line for hours to get a cat-themed tattoo to help support the Whatcom Humane Society,” Clark said. “Community events that support local nonprofits are so important to places like Bellingham.”
Clark even got a cat themed tattoo by Teresa Lane, tattoo artist at Sabbath Tattto and one of the main organizers of the event. Clark also has three other tattoos that have been done at the shop.
“The folks at Sabbath Tattoo did all the work, they deserve a huge amount of credit for all their efforts,” Clark said. “Their artists came up with the tattoo designs, and they have a system in place to manage the crowds and people wanting to get tattoos.”
When Lane’s cat passed away last spring, she donated her cat supplies to WHS and the shelter came up with the idea for the event and contacted her. Lane said that she was the initial point of contact between WHS and Sabbath.
“The turnout was beyond what we’d imagined,” Lane said. “There were times during the long day that it seemed like a really crazy thing to have undertaken, but we had some amazing shop helpers who kept us going by fielding people and organizing.”
“I think events like this are important for lots of reasons, but primarily, I believe we work in a very personal luxury industry,” Lane said. “Benefits like this are a way to give something back with the skills that have given so much to us.”
“Tats for Cats” is the second benefit event that Sabbath Tattoo has hosted, according to Phil Freytag, another tattoo artist of at Sabbath Tattoo.
The first benefit event that Sabbath Tattoo hosted was for a fellow tattooer who was in a motorcycle accident last October, and the turnout and support that it attracted made the shop open to do more benefit events, Freytag said.
“We have a lot of history in this community, and we think it’s important to give back to it and all of the people that have come in and supported us all these years,” Freytag said.
The event was set up based on a number of flash tattoo designs that were previously drawn, and the participants could pick from the options shown, according to Freytag.
“I don’t know how the amazing staff at Sabbath managed to get through the day,” Clark said. “They must have been exhausted, yet they just kept tattooing.”
The artists at Sabbath Tattoo tattooed just short of 100 people during the event, according to Freytag.
Some frequents of the shop have also come to participate in this event, including Heather Seevers, who has other work done by Lane in the past.
“My business partner and I saw the “Tats for Cats” event promoted on Facebook,” Seevers said. “I’ve been to another one of their fundraisers before, and it was equally as crazy, but not as much of a line as it was this time.”
Seevers arrived an hour before the event started. As a repeat customer of Lane’s, Seevers had Lane tattoo a “catapus,” a combined octopus and cat, for the charity. Her business partner got a “bat cat,” Seevers said.
“It’s always fun to get a tattoo, but I am very much supportive of the humane society and animal rights,” Seevers said. “The quality of the artwork and the cause combined was a big motivator to attend the event.”