CatCon LA

I have to be honest, last week when I headed to CatConLA I wasn’t sure what to expect. Looking back I don’t think I was prepared for what it would be like to have all things cat in one place, at one time.

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Waiting in Line to meet Lil Bub and her dad Mike Bridavsky

Most fans were beyond excited to meet Lil Bub and a few even shed real tears of joy. Regardless of what you think Bub is like, nothing prepares you for how unbelievably cute she is in person. I confess it’s almost impossible not to grin from ear to ear in her presence. I asked Mike if a visit to Toronto was in store and he said that they have come close but haven’t made it there yet.

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Good Job Bub! Does this mean a visit for Canada?

With my meet and greet over I explored the convention floor, which by end of day Sunday would see well over 10,000 people walk through. A friendly atmosphere permeated the event and whether you came in a group or alone you felt like you were part of one giant cat loving family. No one was an outsider here and if you arrived solo you were guaranteed to leave with at least a few new friends.

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Just a few new friends! With @samsam_ferdinand and @oliveandrye

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Left to right: @Catsprofile, @Sushirulz and @Coco_Sazerac with their Flat Cats.

Many people were carrying cardboard cut outs of their cats, otherwise known as Flat Cats. The humans behind some of the well known cat Instagram accounts used this as a way to represent their beloved felines at the show, and since the online cat community is large, it was a fun and helpful way to identify who the human was behind the cats. If you didn’t have a Flat Cat you most definitely carried business cards… for your cat.

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The crowds of cat lovers gather…

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Real men do wear cat print swim shorts.

There were many notable cat themed outfits but one of the most unexpected, was by printmaker and costume designer Martelier of Etsy. I tried to capture as much of the outfit as possible but I am not sure my pictures do it justice.

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Up close you can see individual cats made from woodblock prints sewn together, the skirt was seven feet wide (the hat was faux fur).

This was the most labor intensive and intricate outfit at the event that I saw, and deserves a special mention as the attention to detail is just amazing.

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You name it vendors were selling it. Everything from art, cat furniture, cat wheels, t-shirts, clothes, underwear, cat toys, cat collars, cat ears for humans, urns for cats, baby clothes, plush toys, books and even the first interactive robot cat – Zoomer Kitty all available for purchase.

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Undergarments by MetalCats available in neon green or pink.

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Unique cat furniture by Square Paws

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For the future cat lady or cat man by Kumquat Baby Clothing

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Big Cat art work by Chaos in Color – Cheetah Twins

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I picked up this adorable print by Lili Chin

One of my favorite surprises was seeing Artist Rick Ordonez, otherwise know as Atlas. He told me he decided last-minute to be in the show and had put together the work you see here in three days. While the freeway cats are long gone in LA, he is now working on some commissioned work nearby so the cats will be back!

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It was two days filled with cool merchandise and awesome people and, just when I thought it couldn’t  get any better I was lucky enough to catch The Cats of Instagram team and  Pudge the Cat posing for pictures.

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Team work – Eli and Kady (mom to Pudge)

Of course an event like this would not be complete without stories of cat adoptions and one rescue. A total of 75 cats found their forever homes courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society on site adoptions and, a real life cat rescue by expo attendees happened right near the venue in downtown LA.

So much wonderful happened at CatCon that plans are well underway for next year which I gather will be even bigger, so mark your calendars and let the countdown begin all over.

 Stay tuned for more on my post CatCon experience and other cats of Los Angeles and be sure to follow my Instagram and Facebook page for more CatConLA Fun!

The Center of The Cativerse

For two days in June, Los Angeles will become the center of the ‘Cativerse’ when it hosts the first ever convention and expo for cat lovers.
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No this isn’t a dream, this is real.

When I first read about CatConLA last fall I knew I had to go, so I booked off vacation time at work and redeemed my frequent flyer miles. The tag line “It’s like Comic-Con but for cat people” said it all. This was the ground-breaking and litter-box shaking event cat lovers everywhere had been waiting for.
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The event takes place June 6 and 7 at The Reef in Downtown LA

“Part expo, part symposium, CatConLA showcases the world’s top cat-centric merchandise including furniture, art, toys and clothing for those of us who possess a great love of the feline, as well as conversations with some of the top cat experts in the world.”

The weekend is guaranteed to be filled with fun but it will also be about giving back. CatConLA will be donating a dollar for every ticket sold, as well as a portion of the proceeds from CatConLA merchandise, to benefit FixNation a non-profit organization committed to helping cats in Los Angeles. FixNation provides a free, full-time spay/neuter clinic for cats as well as low-cost spay/neuter services for owned pet cats.

Lil Bub or Pudge the Cat Meet and Greet packages, that include a two-day pass to CatConLA, are available for fans who want a little one on one time with their favorite internet cat. Lil Bub will donate a portion of the ticket price to both Lil Bub’s Big Fund and FixNation, while a portion of the ticket price from the Pudge the Cat Meet and Greet will go to FixNation.

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Lil Bub

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Pudge the Cat

The event will offer numerous seminars on both days and the Speakers list includes, among others, Simon Tofield creator of  the cartoon Simon’s Cat, Mike Bridavsky the human behind Lil Bub, Will Braden creator of Henri, Le Chat Noir and Ben Huh Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cheezburger.
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Simon Tofield and Simon’s Cat

CatConLA will also have Best Friends Animal Society on site with day-of adoptions and, If all this isn’t enough the extensive list of vendors selling cat themed merchandise will keep you busy shopping for yourself and every cat lover in your life. Be sure to bring a big shopping bag and your credit card, I guarantee you will be going home with a much heavier suitcase.

For more info and to purchase tickets visit CatConLA, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.

Be sure to stay tuned for my full report when I head out to LA in a weeks time. Let the countdown begin!

Whisker Wednesday

“Cats know how to obtain food without labor, shelter without confinement, and love without penalties”  – W. L. George

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Calvin was adopted tonight, right after I took these photos 🐱

Wordless Wednesday Volunteer Edition

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Hermione ID#A632219

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Dolly ID #A690664

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Jerome ID #A693250

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Helen ID# A689040

All cats are available for adoption at Toronto Animal Services South region. For more adoptable cats be sure to follow me on Instagram

10 Years Hundreds Of Cats

October 2014 marks a milestone, my 10th year volunteering as a cat cuddler with      Toronto Animal Services.

In that time I have socialized and cuddled hundreds and hundreds of cats. The most rewarding part of the job is knowing that I had a small role in helping them on their journey to find their forever homes.

Over the years I have taken many pictures of the cats at the shelter and thought I would share a few of my favorites here.

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I will say it has been an amazing learning experience and one that has taught me much, including the most important lesson – I cannot possibly adopt every cat I fall in love with.

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Of course Spinner has been the one exception…so far.

If you want to do more to help look into volunteering in your city as animal shelters and local rescue groups are always in need of dedicated people. Fostering is another great option, you can choose to look after a new mom and her kittens or help an older or special needs cat… and if you fall in love with one of the cats, you can always  – adopt. 🐱

Whisker Wednesday

On my recent visit to the Hawaiian Island of Lanai I made a few feline friends including this delightful, sweet rescue kitten named Puna Hou.

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Kitty Kisses

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A little cuddle

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Paw to nose

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Final tummy rubs before saying goodbye

This little guy was one of the many cats I met at the Lanai Animal Rescue Center. Stay tuned for more on this amazing feline paradise 🐱

Monday Hugs and Kisses

There are some days when we all need a good hug…or two…or…

A good grooming session doesn’t hurt either…