Conventions have provided a place for networking, showcasing and promotion for a multitude of products, causes and passions for hundreds of years. All sorts of industries hold conventions and so do fanciers of critters of all kinds including reptiles, rats, and betta fish (seriously—the International Betta Congress Convention), celebrity dogs and service dogs, and even mermaids (MerCon and Merfest). Pet expos and cat shows have been going on for years, but a convention specifically for cat lovers to meet, share and show-off their wares did not exist until now. On June 6 and 7, 2015, feline fanciers convened at CatConLA, the first true convention for cat enthusiasts of all kinds. It’s about darn time! We have CatConLA founder Susan Michals to thank, who reported to the Los Angeles Times, “The whole idea is about changing the perception of cat people […] that you can be stylish, chic AND a cat lover, all at the same time.” Ms. Michals accomplished that and more.
With cat craze comes creativity: Living in the Meow t-shirts and tote bags; the KitNip Box, which brings to your door a monthly box of goodies for your feline; similarly, the Cat Lady Box brings cat-themed goodies to cat ladies; Lorenzo the Cat photography; Cat Cubes by Joan Wyand; and Papercut Lab’s inventive cat scratcher’s; Cathair App software for creative images of your cat; and Metal Cats by Alexandra Crockett a beautiful book featuring photographs of heavy metal musicians with their cats, just to name a few out of the 100 vendors.
Apparently cats are wearing bowties these days, and ladies are wearing rhinestone studded cat ears. Yes, I bought a pair.
The symposiums were impressive—there is a lot to say about cats. Tom Otto from Animal Planet’s “Treetop Cat Rescue” shared stories and clips of perilous cat rescues from the treetops of Western Washington State and Keith Bowers, senior editor of Catster magazine humorously discussed how to be a cat guy and be cool.
Thank you both, but I have to say that my favorite was John Fulton’s (host of “Must Love Cats” on Animal Planet) interview with Mike Bridavsky and Lil BUB—what a treat to witness the loving interaction between those two.
Cats for adoption from Best Friends Sanctuary drew crowds, but bringing home a new feline family member was not the main objective of this event. What made CatConLA unique from pet expos and cat shows was its showcase of the deep human-feline connection and our devotion to these fabulous creatures.
If you missed CatConLA 2015 you’ll have a chance to experience the feline fervor at CatConLA 2016!