Business events and conferences often promote the promise of coming together with like-minded people, but one convention extends the face-to-face gathering to include four-legged friends, too. Over the weekend, approximately 20,000 attendees united for CatCon at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California. Now in its third year, the event — billed as “the only cat-centric, pop culture convention in the world” — has its share of two- and four-legged celebrities. And every meet-and-greet opportunity with them sold out in advance.
Lil Bub, a cat from Indiana with more than 174,000 Twitter followers, greeted guests for two hours. Julie Newmar, the actress who played Catwoman in “Batman,” spent five hours mingling with the audience. Moshow, a hip hop artist who raps about cats, was also on the list of celebrities. Four exhibit halls were filled with booths hosted by companies like If Cats Had Thumbs and Waffles the Cat. And sessions included everything from a lecture and slideshow by an award-winning historian on local So-Cal feline history to an ASPCA-sponsored session on orphaned kitten rescue.
While rap songs about cat emotions and feline wine are comedic material, I did have a serious question: Could animals actually come inside the convention center? Wouldn’t that create some potential health and safety issues? Event organizers and the venue recognized similar concerns. “Feline family members will not be allowed into this event,” stated a disclaimer on the event website. “We believe this is the best option for the safety of all beloved pets and that most cats would probably want to stay at home rather than go to a very crowded, foreign venue anyway.”
That’s probably good news for the Internet. All those cats at home probably needed that time to rehearse for the next video sensation.