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As one set foot in the Memminger Auditorium for the 7th annual A Furry Affair, benefitting the Charleston Animal Society, it became quickly apparent that animal lovers come from all walks of life.

Young and old, fashionistas and hippies, media mavens and lawyers—all came out in support of our four-legged friends, making for a interesting and enthusiastic crowd. A couple of ladies sported towering hats adorned with stuffed-animal puppies and enormous feathers. “We’re the Hat Divas,” one of them explained.

The mixed-bag crowd circulated to and from Cafe Catering’s delicious spread of small plates, which were served through a large set of shelves. The lobster macaroni and cheese was quite a hit, as were the shrimp and crab grit cake and the tiny flutes of raspberry mousse.

A man rocking a mesh shirt and green lipstick and his blue-eyeshadow-sporting plus one briefly distracted me from the extensive silent auction of local art, but just as I was about to pat the Charleston Animal Society on the back for bringing in this season’s most exciting crowd of partygoers, I realized the couple was actually in costume.

They stepped forward as two massive lengths of cloth uncoiled from the ceiling, and each respectively treated the crowd to what can only be described as mesmerizing, gravity-defying feats of athleticism. The awed guests responded with a thunderous round of applause before turning their attention to the live auction.

The night was a refreshing addition to this summer’s party scene, and it was wonderful to see an event appeal to such a wide variety of Charlestonians.

The Charleston Animal Society is a non-profit organization offering temporary shelter for abandoned, sick, abused, or homeless pets. The Charleston Animal Society strives to promote responsible guardianship of domestic animals as well as advocating the compassionate treatment of all animals. In addition to providing temporary shelter for animals, the organization also provides medical care, spay/neuter education, and opportunities for pet adoption.