"It's going to be a salon; I hope my apartment can be a place that Alpha Kitties, men and women who are interesting in New York, will want to come by, shoot videos together, and just hang out, figure out how to do interesting things together," former Seventeen editor Atoosa Rubenstein tells the Observer of her plans for the 3,007 square foot loft she and her financier husband just snagged for the bargain price of $3.07 million. Her salon will, of course, also double as a temple to the domestic arts: "I wanted to focus on building a home again," hence that comment about cooking for her DH. All of which begs the question: what the hell is an Alpha Kitty supposed to be, anyway? She's a businessperson, but she's a housewife! She's "men and women who are interesting in New York"? Wait... wasn't she was supposed to be a teenage girl? 'Toosing and turning in confusion, we did a little research.

The first incidence of the term "Alpha Kitty" we could find appeared in a 2000 article in the Cleveland Scene about Judas Priest singer Rob Halford's sexual orientation. Mentioned in passing was an upcoming show at the Beachland Ballroom where the bands "Lesbianmaker, Satan's Satellites, King Nixon, and Alpha Kitty" were to perform.

Hmm. No insight there.

The next usage of the phrase occurred in Life magazine in a 2005 review of a touring production of 'Little Women: The Musical.' "Jo (Kate Fisher) is the alpha kitty of the four Civil War-era sisters." Ah, like an "alpha dog," but female. Ok.

Atoosa's own first use of the phrase can be found in Jon Fine's BusinessWeek article from February 5th of this year, 'Say Hello To The Alpha Kitty." In it, we were introduced to the concept of Atoosa's "tribe": "This tribe is 13 to 30, female, thoroughly digital, and, in Rubenstein's view, lacking an 'alpha kitty' addressing their concerns and sensibility." This was also the article where she discussed launching "Psychic Kitty." a series of videos featuring her cat Thurston "spouting, in Rubenstein's electronically processed voice, brief inspirational tidbits."


Not everyone seems to have agreed with Jon Fine that Atoosa's ideas were "so bent as to be half-brilliant," and in her next assessment of what it means to be an AK, she was more measured. "Alpha kitties are girls that are powerful, but they're also fun, and they want to be cute, and they don't feel like in order to be powerful you have to be super serious," she told FishbowlNY at the Sassy book party.

For the real scoop on what it means to be an AK, though, we eventually had to turn to Atoosa's always enlightening MySpace blog.

I'm an Alpha Kitty: brave, intuitive, fierce, passionate and...well, yes, weird. Weird is the new normal, haven't you heard? After all, who wants to be cookie-cutter, anyway? B-O-R-I-N-G. "Le freak c'ést chic" is our motto in the world of Alpha Kitty. We are a celebration of being different...of being individuals...of self expression. To that point, we love fashion—but Alpha Kitties don't wear muzzles. (Not even when they're made of diamonds—that's so 20th century, dahling.) Alpha Kitties must be heard.

Ok! Just one last question, 'Toos: what's the point of being heard if absolutely no one can figure out what the hell you're trying to say?