LOS ANGELES (AP) — Their cat tails wagging and whiskers twitching, feline fans, some in shirts emblazoned with “Check Meowt,” chattered about their “purrfect” pets as they waited in line for hours for a selfie with a kitty celebrity.
No one was as serious as Laura E. Mart of Los Angeles, who donned a ballgown she crafted from a patchwork of 300 fabric cat photos, its skirt several feet wide. She also wore a tall, furry hat, complete with a long tail she swung about.
“If I see a cat, I have to pick it up and pet it. I was afraid I was going to be a cat lady, so this is my way of having all the cats I want,” she said of the dress.
The first-ever CatConLA brought the cat craze popularized online to life in a big, costumed way last weekend. It tapped into the Internet memes and clickable videos that have spread on social media as people share their love of cats’ antics and help create stars, including ever-downtrodden Grumpy Cat and eternally tongue-wagging Lil Bub.
More than 12,000 people dusted off old Halloween costumes or cat-patterned clothing to become the most visible part of the cat lovers’ version of ComicCon, the comic book fest that attracts flocks of costumed fans.
Famous feline Lil Bub rubbed up to cat enthusiasts Mayim Bialik of “The Big Bang Theory” and Jack McBrayer of “30 Rock” as panelists entertained and vendors peddled products.
The huge turnout overwhelmed some of the 100-plus sellers. Olivia Mew — seemingly destined for cat commodities — said that by Saturday afternoon, she had sold all 150 shirts, totes, bags and art prints she brought with her from Montreal.
The Beauty Bar ran out of cat stickers that manicurists pressed on people’s fingernails. Even the food truck fare ran low.
But the crunch didn’t faze the flocks of feline fans. Long lines at booths, autograph signings and seminars at The Reef in downtown Los Angeles just gave them a chance to meet more cat lovers.
Wearing a “Mayim is Purr-fect” T-shirt, one woman waited in line for 2
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.