My Day At CatCon, 2018

sarah james
Aug 6, 2018 · 4 min read

I got to go to CatCon today for free, not because I did anything Good or Cool or because I have a Famous Cat. I’m pretty sure they papered the shit out of this event. Here is my log of things that happened at CatCon, the convention for Cats (maybe?)

11:45 a.m. After less than five minutes of waiting to get in, someone behind me starts shooting for his vlog. This isn’t too weird, because it’s Southern California and everyone has a vlog. Except this dude starts off (loud, aggressively) with “CatCon first impressions? NOT GOOD! We’ve been waiting in this line for a long time. Maybe they weren’t expecting us?” Dude… it’s been three minutes. Chill.

11:55 a.m. The people in line behind me are talking about Lil Bub, prompting this excellent text exchange with my friend Adrienne Teeley:

12:01 p.m. The convention is RIDICULOUSLY crowded (see above theory re: papering the shit out of this.) Surely this many people wouldn’t pay (insert amount of money here) for… whatever this is? I’m still not sure what this is.

12:04 p.m. I head to the adoption area, hoping I’ll see some CATS at CatCon, but there’s a line to get in. What is this, a fancy donut place in a hipster neighborhood?!!! Since I have absolutely no intention of adopting a cat today, I decide to cede my place in line and thus see NO cats at CatCon… OR DO I?

12:22 p.m. The Lil Bub merchandise for sale is truly SHOCKING, both in variety and in quantity. I still have no idea if the cat is alive or dead.

12:45 p.m. I buy a collage and a pair of earrings from artist Maureen Shields. She expertly roasts me in that way only someone who had just spent two days working a booth at a convention could: “I feel like you have to buy something, you’ve been standing here laughing at it so long.” Solid, Maureen. That’s solid.

12:49 p.m. I leave for an hour to go to Starbucks because CatCon is… a lot.

2:02 p.m. At a panel on giving cannabis to your cat, the moderator says “bongs don’t work for cats.”

2:19 p.m. Also during the cannabis panel, an adult man from New Jersey wearing cargo shorts and in his bare feet stands to ask question. Unsurprisingly, the question is something along the lines of “I wish we had more weed in New Jersey.”

2:45 p.m. The following panel, “Men & Cats,” begins. A man is brought out and everyone screams. I have utterly no idea who he is. In a text message, I describe him as low-rent Matt Bomer, which a later Google search will prove pretty accurate, I think.

EDITED TO ADD — Low-rent Matt Bomer ended his Q&A by asking if there were any bio-technicians in the crowd, because he had pitched the Obama administration on species-specific sterilization pills. He thinks it could be done for about 50 mil or so.

3:00 p.m. HOLY SHIT IT’S LIL BUB!!!! The crowd goes wild, but not too wild, as to not upset Lil Bub!!! I will say, I truly did not care at all about Lil Bub before CatCon and now I am ALL IN ON LILBUB. #TEAMBUB #LILBUBLIVES

3:05 p.m. The Men & Cats panel is stacked: the owner of Lil Bub, the owner of another cat I don’t remember, that guy who raps with his cat in the bathtub (I love him), and STEVEN! from the podcast My Favorite Murder. The women behind me are extremely excited about STEVEN! and keep saying STEVEN! and this definitely does not get annoying STEVEN!

3:30 p.m. The Men & Cats panel is wrapped up. I’m a little disappointed we only got half an hour of these four dudes because low-rent Matt Bomer took up fifteen whole minutes. We are instructed to STAY IN OUR SEATS because SOMETHING IMPORTANT is gonna happen.

3:40 p.m. I’m supposed to meet a friend at 4, but I’m still busy STAYING IN MY SEAT for SOMETHING IMPORTANT. I text my friend that I might be late.

3:45 p.m. We are told the SOMETHING IMPORTANT is in fact a WEDDING, of two people who got engaged at CatCon two years ago! This is cool, I guess, but also… ohmygodnothankyou. As the room oohs and awws, me and about a dozen other women bail, each muttering something like “I don’t have time for this!!!!” TIME AT CATCON IS A PRECIOUS COMMODITY

3:46 p.m. On the way out, I hear that LIL BUB will be a BRIDESMAID at this wedding. This is almost enough to make me want to stay except for that it’s super not.

3:47 p.m. I do one last lap of the convention floor to see if it’s still crowded. IT IS!

4:03 p.m. Safely away from the convention center, I drink a sangria.

All in all, it was an excellent day and if you can get in for literally no dollars and no cents next year, I highly recommend it!

Written by

sarah is an editor at slackjaw. her writing has appeared in reductress, splitsider, the toast, and more. thesarahjames.com

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade