Clawing & Scratching My Way Through CatCon

Denise Fleck (left) and Mayim Bialik

Clawing & Scratching My Way Through CatCon L.A. (Well, Not Exactly…It Was PURRfectly Awesome!)

Guest post by Denise Fleck

Clowders and clowders and clowders of cat people pounced on The Reef Hotel on the weekend of June 6, 2015 in sunny Los Angeles. There were humans in cat dresses, cat glasses and cat ears getting CATicures and having a feline fun time! 

Male humans were spied sporting “Real Men Love Cats Too” t-shirts while looking at cat art, cat toys and even the latest in feline hygiene products. There was truly something for everyone who has furry purring creatures on their brains and in their hearts.

Caticure bar Aveda catcon

Cat-loving celebrity, Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler of CBS-TV’s “The Big Bang Theory”), took time out from her busy schedule to do a meet-and-greet. As spokesperson for Petsmart Charities she autographed her way through the line of eager fans hoping they’ll change the bad rap some cat owners wrongly get by submitting a selfie with their adopted cat and declaring their cat pride! Submission are open until July 3rd, so Instagram or Twitter your and your fur buddy saying why being a cat parent is a point of pride using #meowOUT or

Denise Fleck (left) and Mayim Bialik
Denise Fleck (left) and Mayim Bialik

I was lucky enough to have a brief chat with Ms. Bialik to whom I posed the question, “Do you know Kitty CPR,” since that is my specialty and I never turn down an opportunity to raise awareness as to how people can help their pets. An extremely talented actress who not only IS a Neuroscientist but also plays one on TV, raised an eyebrow in surprise by my question and honestly answered, “No, I do not. I’ll have to look that up!” I of course left her with my Cat First Aid & CPR pocket guide 😉 I do think “The Big Bang Theory” could use a Pet Safety Crusader, and I’m just the person to fill that cape! LOL

Veterinarians, members of the press and people of all shapes and sizes coping cattitudes and NOT were at Cat Con battling the crowd for the love of their feline friends. I even caught a glimpse of one real-life cat sporting catty sunglasses (hey, it is Hollywood after all).

Lili Chin
Lili Chin

I was delighted to happen upon other than Lili Chin. Lili illustrated my children’s book, “Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover,” that shouts the message, “Pets ARE part of the family,” teaching kids from 0-99 to not judge a book, person, animal or anything but to look under “the fur coat” for the treasure that lies inside. Lili has created many amazing pieces of art for me over the years including this Pet First-Aid one showing both my canine and feline best friends…

I was thrilled to see Lili overwhelmed by the number of people perusing her feline drawings. They are truly the cat’s meow and you should definitely check them out at doggiedrawing (yes, the kitty ones are here too!).

I moved on to paw at the wares offered at the Adopt & Shop Store, perused wide-eyed at Chaos in Color, scampered by Lil Bub’s booth (my, what big cat eyes Lil Bub has) and lunged in excitement over the amazing climbing adventure to behold at CatastrophiCreations! It is a feline fantasy of items to circumnavigate an entire house without ever placing a single paw on the floor!


Speaking of paws, or more accurately…claws, meeting Veterinarian Jennifer Conrad was a true honor and a privilege. As founder and director of THE PAW PROJECT, a seriously important documentary explaining the dirty truth about de-clawing, she is a woman who has made a difference for cats of all shapes and sizes, domestic and wild.


PAW PROJECT denise fleck
Jennifer Conrad (left) and Denise Fleck

Declawing first begame illgal in 2003, in West Hollywood, CA, not far from where Cat Con stands, and since then 7 more California cities have passed laws against this form of medieval torture. There is much work yet to be done, but Dr. Conrad’s film is opening eyes and hearts to the attrocity. Four paws up to the efforts going on right now in the State of New York, so lend a hand if you live there to help cats in your state! I myself show THE PAW PROJECT each semester in the high school Animal Care Class I teach as a joint project between the Burbank Animal Shelter and Unified School District. Students think it’s just a “nail trim,” until they watch and they are forever changed. Four paws up Dr. Conrad! Keep educating the public and fighting for our feline family members!

My schedule of doing Cat & Dog CPR Demos at Emergency Preparedness events didn’t allow me enough time to partake in all that Cat Con had to offer. There were seminars with the Creator of Simon’s Cat, A Letter to my Cat’s Lisa Erspamer, the authors of Cat Lady Chic, Keith Bowers of Catster, the CEO of Cheezburger and even Lil Bub, live and in PAWson! Four claws up for ALL the organizers, sponsors, host, vendors and attendees for making this a MEOWtastic event! I can’t wait for next year…

Catcon press pass

Guest blogger Denise Fleck founded Sunny-dog Ink in 1999 to help people help their pets. An award winning author and Pet First-Aid & CPR instructor, Denise developed the curriculum for & teaches high school Animal Care in addition to pet first aid and senior pet care classes. She has demonstrated animal life-saving skills on CBS –TV’s“The Doctors,” Animal Planet’s “Pit Boss,” “Kirstie Alley’s Big Life,” and CNN, andto complement her teachings, created a line of Pet First-Aid Kits, instructional posters and books for children teaching animal respect and care!
Learn more at

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