Well, the weekend I have been waiting for all year has come and gone! I have to say that #CatConLA was everything I hoped it would be! I met so many cats and cat parents I have followed on Instagram for years and made so many new friends.
The weekend started off when I flew to the Fresno area in California to visit my best friend, Jess, and her husband, Nick. She has been living in California for three years now and I have never been to her house! I was seriously overdue for a visit. The first night, we spent the evening at her friends’ house, where we made homemade pizzas in their poolside brick pizza oven. It was incredible. That bottom right image is bacon and fresh quail eggs from their backyard coop! You might think eggs and bacon (and maple syrup aioli) wouldn’t taste good as a pizza. But you’d be wrong.
The next day, we went berry picking and I forced Jess and Nick to take me to In-N-Out Burger for lunch. You can’t go to California without eating In-N-Out. Seriously. Dinner that night was BOMB. Freshly grilled salmon, corn, and potatoes dug up from their garden that afternoon. Top if off with a little wine and a fresh cinnamon blackberry crisp Jess made for dessert and you have yourself one happy Deb. Now, I know this is a blog about my cats, but I seriously cannot say enough about Jess’s baking skills. If you like to bake/cook, or are just generally obsessed with food and pretty pictures, PLEASE check out her blog. Seriously, you won’t be disappointed.
Saturday came and we were finally off to CatCon! It took us about three-and-a-half hours to drive to LA, but the ride was scenic! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect or how many people would end up attending. When we arrived at The Reef, the line to get in wrapped all the way around the building. I read later that over 10,000 people bought tickets! Incredible.
One of the highlights of Day 1 was sitting in on this talk with Kady Lone and Pudge, Mike Bridavasky and Lil Bub, Will Braden (creator of Henri, le Chat Noir), and Scott Stulen (co-founder of the Cat Internet Video Festival). The panel was called “My Cat’s a Celebrity… and How I’ve Dealt with That.” It was truly a treat to see how well behaved and calm Pudge and Lil Bub are and to hear each of their stories about how they have gotten to where they are. One of the things they talked about was how “It only gets weird when it stops being weird.” Meaning–when it becomes normal to be creating/selling merchandise for your cats and booking meet & greets and you actually realize that this isn’t just a passing thing; but it’s now your career–only THEN does it seem weird. I love that. I’ve been writing this blog and posting pictures of the trio for a few years now and I am sure it seems so weird to everyone else. It’s still weird to me sometimes, too. I’d love to get to the really weird stage. 🙂
I also spent the entire weekend handing out @tuxedotrio buttons and stickers I made up before the event. I wanted to be able to give people I met something to remember us by. Towards the end of the weekend, I just started leaving piles of stickers and buttons in random places in the convention center so I wouldn’t have to pack them in my suitcase. I hope whoever found them looks us up and stops by to say hello or comment on this blog post! We love making new friends. 🙂
Day 1 ended with a BANG! @sunglasscat and @stovepipe_the_traveling_cat helped organize a “Meow Meet” at the Hotel Figueroa with lots of members from the COI family and some famous kitties too! I was so happy to finally meet (from top left) Fergie and Duffy from @squish_n_duffy_n_fergie, Stovepipe himself, @sirsorbet, Bagel, and meet a new friend, @omarlittlethesphynxcat! It was so wonderful to meet so many other friends that I have followed for years and get to know everyone there. What a terrific night.
One other fantastic thing about CatCon was the fact that Best Friends Animal Society brought in a bunch of cats and kittens for adoption! People could visit with the kitties and take their new friend home that day! The room where they kept the kittens was jam-packed with people the first day and it nearly brought tears to my eyes to learn that 73 cats and kittens had been adopted by the end of the weekend! Think about that for a minute: Seventy-three kitties went home this weekend! Thank you, BFAS!
Finally, Day 2 started off with quite an exciting morning. We got to meet @Pudgethecat herself and hang out with Kady and Eli from @cats_of_instagram! Pudge was a darling little sweetheart and graciously let me pet her while she dozed off in her cute little traveling pod. Her fur was incredibly soft and she was purring quietly.
While we were in line to meet Pudge, @thesauerkrautkitty‘s mom let me know she was outside the convention center with Kraut herself, so we made a beeline out there as soon as we were finished. Kraut was adorably sleepy and all dressed up in her white and navy striped dress! She posed for a few pictures, let us pet her, and then got back to her mid-morning nap.
I spent most of Day 2 loading up on my CatConLA swag. I have a slight obsession with stickers, buttons, and magnets, especially ones with cats on them! I love my new “My Cat is Kinda Famous on the Internet” t-shirt and my Cats of Instagram mug. (I have a mug obsession, too….)
Thanks for a great weekend, CatConLA! I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I’m already planning my trip back for next year! xo