CatConLA The Return!

I just got back from a short vacation in LA and CatCon! Last year, the first year of Cat Con, was an experience not soon to be forgotten and completely overwhelming in the best possible way. This year I was better prepared – with a plan of how to calmly and productively make my way through the two floors of everything cat.

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The event was held again in downtown LA at The Reef but the set up was much better, more vendors spread out over two floors (last year it was on one!) which made it much easier to navigate. I found you could actually see the tables and the merchandise better as well as have plenty of room to stop and chat with friends both new and old. I made sure to arrive at the venue before noon, thankfully the line up around the building moved fast however, by late afternoon the Fire Marshall barred people from entering for a time due to capacity issues. The attendance was at about 15,000 up from last years 10,000.

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Stopping by Polydactyl Cats to pick up some fun catnip toys!

Meet and greets with some famous internet cats were available with LiL Bub, Nala Cat and Pudge the Cat. Portions from the sale of these special tickets went to support FIxNation, Kitten Rescue or Lil Bub’s Big Fund, and a $1 from the sale of all regular CatCon tickets also went to FixNation.

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Lil Bub so cool you have to wear shades

For the person who loves to shop for themselves or their cat, it was a dream come true. Many vendors from last year returned and there were quit a few new ones.

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Cat beds – are all the rage and this one came with hand made cat quilts! You could purchase single or bunk style for your cats.

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One piece cat suit by Pretty Snake

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Picked up this bright colored pouch by Olive & Rye Cat Art

Many famous internet cats also have their own merchandise, like Cheese and Olive two Abyssinian cats who are featured in clothing, home decor and accessories.

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Cheese and Olive Catzilla shall destroy your city!

There were many cat themed items for home and human use like like the classic pillow cases of Xenotees, which I picked up, or these Japanese tattoo inspired creations by Momon Cats.

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Beautiful cat shaped pillows by Monmon Cats

Of course there were plenty of options in the cool for your cat and looks great in the house category, like these colorful and modular Kitty Kasa designs by Arni Says. 100% of profits go back into the ARNI foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue of animals at local kill shelters in Daytona Beach, Florida.

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Kitty Modular design by ArniSays

On the really tiny side, there were these delicate cat figurines by Long Live Porcelain, who also make items such as ring bowls and cat adorned salt and pepper shakers.

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Cat figurines by Long Live Porcelain

If you wanted cat beds there were lots of styles to choose from, including these whimsical and colorful designs by Dharma Dog Karma Cat.

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Super fun and cozy hide outs for your cat

Once you were all shopped out just walking around to admire the many of the cat costumed humans was a great way to spend your time.

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Amazing Calico Cat – fully detailed with claws and moving mouth by Dragon Squared

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Fierce looking Stabby Tabby

Among the extravagant outfits one couple stood out for having subtle yet detailed matching cat printed Kimonos. They had purchased the fabric in Japan and had the outfits made to order.

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By end of CatCon on Sunday, people went home with cool cat stuff and some went home with a new family member courtesy of the SPCA LA’s cat adoption center. About 90 + cats and kittens found homes and, since they were only allowing serious and potential adopters in the cat cuddling areas, which was a good thing, I had to snap a few pictures through the glass.

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A view into the cat adoption rooms where potential adopter got to meet the cats.

Actress and original cat woman Julie Newmar met with fans, signed books and autographs and, Kat Von D showcased her make-up line providing free cat eye make up applications. There were speakers on various topics and even the first Furr-ocious Fashion Face of contest. Once again there was something for everyone and then some!

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Saying hello to I Have Cat’s Tamar Arslanian

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A visit with SauerKraut in the RV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sauerkraut’s Humom and Pops

It was another fun year at Cat Con, with lots of like minded people sharing their passion for all things cat and if you missed it, not to worry the event is guaranteed to be back again for a third year.

Kraut and About

At a CatConLA after party I had the fortunate chance to meet Sauerkraut who, along with her humans were on a stop during their whirlwind Kraut and About tour across the Southwest US. The tour raised money for local shelters while highlighting animal welfare issues and special needs pet adoptions.

Sauerkraut, a special needs rescue from Oklahoma crowned Animal Planet’s America’s Next Cat Star finalist, was only taking visitors in her RV so I gladly obliged and tagged along with her Humom (Amy Bender) and a few other fans for a spontaneous meet and greet. There Sauerkraut was being waited on by Pops (Patrick Bender) during a break in their schedule when we were told she would receive us.

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Sauerkraut gets hugs from Humom

Sauerkraut’s look of disdain and penchant for dressing up in fancy clothes have won her a place in the hearts of fans everywhere and while some cats may be “trying” to hard, for the Kraut all of this comes naturally.

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“I am aware you are here but will choose to pretend you aren’t”

Sauerkraut’s parents first fostered her, but after realizing just how special she was they decided to keep Kraut and become foster failures – a very good thing.

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“I bet those birds have never seen a shark in an RV before!”

So why does Sauerkraut look so sour and what’s with the get up?  This little kitty has a neurological disorder called Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome so wearing clothes helps discourage her from over-grooming or scratching too much and injuring herself.

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Practicing for a role in the revival of  Toonces the driving cat.

Despite her challenges Sauerkraut is a happy cat who is well loved and looked after by her servants humans. When she isn’t looking cute and stylish meeting her fans she is using her Sauer Power for good. Kraut is a spokes cat for special needs pets; the benefits of volunteering with animal shelters; and adopting or fostering shelter cats.

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Kraut with a view

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Those baby blues look right through you!

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“Humom Kisses ewww!”

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“I am tired my loyal fans, you are dismissed!”

The Kraut and About tour aims to be an annual event throughout the US and is an awesome way to educate the public on the plight animals in shelters and help bring attention to those cats and dogs who are overlooked and considered less adoptable.

For more on the tour and Sauerkraut head on over to her Facebook page or be sure to follow her on Instagram.

 

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!