Olpe, Germany

I have checked in and gotten my room key. It is a small room with just two beds. My roommate is going to be another American, or so I am told. He has not arrived yet. I think it is a wonderful idea to hold a convention in a youth hostel (Jugendherberge). It is very much like my dorm room back in college except that the showers across the hallway are not crusty.

There are already a lot of costumers here. There is a fellow from Sweden with an amazing ringtail cat costume. Also a girl (German?) in a snow leopard suit that is breathtaking. My favorite so far is a "catcoon" suit. This one puts all of the others I have ever seen to shame. The suit itself is gray and white, with huge black eyes and some sort of animatronic motor in the ears that allows them to move very realistically. He likes to strike a particular pose where he opens his mouth, flashes his fangs, and tucks his ears back with a hiss. You could swear that it was real when he does it! Most of the time, though, it just looks cute and cuddly. The man inside is incredible; he is able to move just like a real cat would. I asked him what sort of species he was, and he said, "Catcoon!" in the most charming accent. His English does not seem to be very good, but that just adds to the illusion that this is indeed some fantastic creature that is trying very hard to speak like a human.

I think that I will try to do a drawing of him later.

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Der Kostümträger, Story © 2004 Samuel C. Conway, Illustrations © 2004 Gideon, The character of Kchierath, the catcoon, is ©2001 G. Haßler