Over the past weekend, 10,000 feline fanatics converged on The Reef, an exhibition space in downtown Los Angeles, for the inaugural edition of CatConLA. Billed as “Comic-Con … but for cat people”, the event brought together famous “celebricats” (Lil Bub, Pudge), popular social feeds (Cats Of Instagram), content creators (Simon Tofield), artists (Rob Reger), publications (Modern Cat Magazine), sponsors (Animal Planet), and pet owners for 2 unforgettable days.
The highlights were multitude — panels! meet-and-greets! costumes! cat videos! retail therapy! — of which the 15 most important and most breathtaking are collected below.
1. This amazing dress, which was 100% hand-drawn, hand-stitched, and handmade.
(Mashable’s Water Cooler team has an excellent roundup of other outrageous feline fashion statements; you can purruse that here. Sorry, not sorry.)
2. The BIG reveal. Lil Bub is planning an album of looping electronica composed of her purrs and mews. Is there anything this magical cat can’t do?
3. A grown man awesomely pretending to be a cat on a leash. Ben Huh, king of the LOLCats and creator of the Cheezburger network, impersonated a kitty on a leash during his hilarious (and highly informative) presentation on memes. Because optimization and remix culture go hand-in-hand.
4. This delightful ensemble, juxtaposed with an equally delightful wall macro.
5. And this cone-of-shame cosplay.
(Image credit: Heather Schmidt)
6a. The Cats Of Instagram lounge, which provided the purrfect (again, sorry, not sorry) backdrop for selfies and social media snaps.
6b. On a related note, that moment when Internet crossed over to real life.
7. The Best Friends Animal Society Adoption Center, which was mobbed by visitors throughout the event. A total of 73 cats — both kittens and mature cats — found new homes, including this snoozing cutie!
8. The ridiculously punny t-shirts.
9a. That moment when even Internet heavies in the VIP Lounge found themselves reduced to adoring fans.
9b. A cat traveling in style. Sidenote: Pudge is trucked around in this really cool carrier and she loves it when the dome is flipped over.
10. The artwork with a pop culture twist. Cats as Avengers or Star Wars characters? Illustrator Jenny Parks has you covered.
11. These two who dressed to impress on both Saturday …
… and Sunday. Reinforcements, amirite? #gams
Remember: CatCon is a safe space so there’s no shame here.
12. This sign, which is a real thing …
… and these bow ties!
Get your cat some snazzy bow ties at Business Catual.
13. This sweatshirt, (more) proof that the cat dudes out there weren’t content to let cat ladies have all the fun.
14. The longest line of cat people ever. CatCon’s grand finale, Bub’s Big Show, which featured actor Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) and an extended Q&A with the audience. The queue started forming two hours in advance of the scheduled time and eventually stretched the length of more than half the expo’s floorspace.
15. The best news ever. Finally, the very important announcements from event creator and organizer Susan Michals — saved for the very last panel of the weekend, natch — that (a) CatCon raised thousands of dollars for its primary charity, Fix Nation, and (b) will return in 2016!!!!!
(Image credit: Twitter)
All images care of author unless otherwise noted.