Many people have heard of Comic-Con, a celebration of all things comic books, but there’s a new kid — er, kitty — on the block. This June marks the launch of the first-ever CatConLA, a celebration of all things cats and the people who love them.
Coming to downtown Los Angeles on Jun. 6 and 7 at The Reef, both days are packed with vendors and speakers to entertain folks who like feline-kind.
Even though it’s only the first year, some big names are attached to CatConLA. The show is presented by Rachael Ray’s Nutrish and guest stars include Mayim Bialik from “The Big Bang Theory,” who will appear on behalf of PetSmart Charitie,s and Jack McBrayer from “30 Rock.”
Bialik will introduce the lecture called “Goodbye Dowdy, Hello Gorgeous! Debunking the Cat Lady Myth,” and discuss her work with PetSmart Charities to change stereotypes of “cat people,” her own experiences with cats and the importance of adoption. She will also do a meet and greet in the PetSmart Charities Lounge on Saturday at 1 pm.
Others who will appear include interstellar sensation Lil’ BUB, who will host “Lil BUB’s Big Show Live at CatCon,” a talk show with Jack McBrayer, now on the “Jack and Triumph Show,” and Simon Tofield, creator of Simon’s Cat. Best Friends LA will also be there hosting cat adoptions in a specially themed area called “Rachael Ray Nutrish Furever Home.” More than 100 exhibitors will be on hand to sell things for both cats and cat fans.
The event will do more than just bring cat fans together. Proceeds will help benefit some worthy cat charities. For example, $1 of every sale for CatConLA will benefit FixNation, a non-profit group devoted to supported trap-neuter-return; also, 50% of the proceeds from Lil BUB’s Big Meet and Greet and the Pudge/Cats of Instagram Meet and Greet go to FixNation.
Sponsors include Rachael Ray Nutrish for Cats, Animal Planet, PetSmart Charities, The Ace Hotel, Modern Cat, Purpose Cat Litter, Scrap Cat and Zoomer Kitty.
The schedule of events, which Animal Planet will stream live, includes:
Sat., Jun. 6:
10:15 Cats, Cartoons and Life (Simon Tofield, Creator of “Simon’s Cat)
11:45 PetSmart Charities Presents: Goodbye Dowdy, Hello Gorgeous: Debunking the Cat Lady Myth (Diane Lovejoy, author of “Cat Lady Chic” and Ashley Tschudin, creator of Choupette’s Diary)
1:15 Cat Guys of Animal Planet (Shaun Sears and Tom Otto, stars of Animal Planet’s “Treetop Rescue”)
2:30 Photographing Cats–It Looks Easy, But It’s Not. (Joann Biondi, creator of Lorenzo the Cat)
3:30 You Can Be a Cat Guy and Still Be Cool. (Keith Bowers, Senior Editor, Catster)
4:40 My Cat’s a Celebrity … and How I’ve Dealt With That. (Scott Stulen, Cat Vid Fest creator, Mike Bridavsky and Lil BUB, Kady Lone and Pudge, & Will Braden, creator of Henri Le Chat Noir)
Sun., Jun. 7:
10:00 How Cats Have Changed the Internet & My Favorite Memes. (Ben Huh, CEO of Cheezburger, creator of the cat meme)
11:15 Cat Vid Fest Favorites (Will Braden, creator of Henri, Le Chat Noir; Scott Stulen creator of the Internet Cat Video Festival)
12:45 Humor. .. with Cats. (Francesco Marciuliano, author of “I Could Pee on This and Other Poems by Cats; Angie Bailey, author of “Texts from Mittens”)
2:00 How Cats Have Shaped My Life As An Artist: A Short History. (Rob Reger, creator of Emily the Strange and the Bad Kitten Club)
4:00 Lil BUB’s Big Show Live at CatConLA (Lil BUB, Mike Bridavsky and Jack McBrayer)