Unlikely SXSW Stars: Queso Cats

By: Julia Simon

Sure, Austin has enough melty queso to spread across the great length of Texas, but for a moment at South By Southwest on Saturday night, it was also home to a 640-pound block of cheddar sculpted into famous internet cats. Friskies, celebrating the launch of their new cheese-flavored cat food, Tasty Treasures, tapped the folks at I Can Has Cheezburger and master cheese carver Troy Landwehr to curate and create a monument in the likenesses of YouTube sensations “ Standing Cat,” “ Nora the Piano Cat,” “ Gizmo the Flushing Cat” and “ Monorail Cat."

Indeed, the whole affair, with four regal kitties chiseled from an unlikely source, looked a little like the Grand Canyon of cats. And, given the precision, you'd never guess it was Landwehr's first time fashioning felines. "The most interesting part of the carving process was getting to know the cats, getting to understand their 'cat-dom,' " he told us. "Plus, my sister's cats vouched for [their authenticity], so it was all gouda."

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