Susan Michals is a serious cat lady. She even started CatCon, an annual two-day event that will become the world’s largest cat-centric pop culture event.
And this year it’s all about beloved, ahem, national treasure Nicolas Cage.
It happened because Michals noticed Cage’s references to his cats in interviews, particularly a sweet one he made while promoting April’s. The Unbearable Weight of Enormous Talentin which he declared his adopted cat Merlin his best friend.
“Well, my best friend is a cat. And his name is Merlin,” Cage said while promoting the film. “He’s an unusual cat. He’s very affectionate. He loves touch. Sometimes he’ll jump into the bed and hug me, you know? I’ll really think he’s my wife. Nope, yes he’s Merlin. And it’s just amazing, a loving, affectionate energy that’s emanating from that cat. It’s really sad. He’s my best friend.”
Michals, who has “forever loved Nicolas Cage”, had an idea in part because of his eccentricity.
“You never know what to expect with Nicolas Cage,” Michals tells Yahoo Entertainment. “And that’s very much the same with me in a cat’s personality. Dogs, they’re trained – they love you, love you, love you, love you, love you – they’ll do whatever you want. Cats can to be apathetic and then loving within a 10-second time period. You can rub my stomach but … not that spot.”
“I thought, ‘I want to pay tribute to Nicolas Cage, pay tribute to his love for cats, pay tribute to the fact that … he does things the way he wants, like cats,'” explains Michals.
Since Michals curates the semi-regular Cat Art Show — which is just like it — held last October, she knew who to call. She contacted some of the dozens of artists there; people she knew would create something truly bonkers.
It is the result Uncaged: The Unbearable Weight of Genius Cat Art, an art show that will be held at this year’s CatCon on Oct. 1-2 at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, Calif. The seven pieces will be for sale, priced between $300 and $5,000. Some have already been sold.
One dollar from each entry ticket will go to three cat charities. In fact, Michals, who started the cat events to go beyond the crazy cat lady stereotype, says the organization has donated $330,000 to charities. Seven hundred kittens adopted there.
She hasn’t reached out to Cage yet, but she hopes he will attend. She knows it might not be, however, since he and his artist wife welcomed a baby just two weeks ago.
“I have my fingers crossed.”