I like cats. I’ve enjoyed the company of cats for as long as I can remember. When I was 10 years old, I collected all the Garfield books and read them front to back more times than I can count. I had Kilban cat posters hanging on my preteen bedroom walls. When I was in high school, I collected cat figurines and in college spent countless hours in bookstores scoping out funny and cute cat books.
My love of cats continued into adulthood, although once my husband and I started our human family, I didn’t actively collect books or tchotchkes. I was too busy collecting dirty diapers.
Then almost five years ago I began blogging. I’ve always loved to write and, at that time, had only had published pieces in a local paper. I found I enjoyed writing — and others especially enjoyed reading — the cat humor posts. Shortly after that, I officially considered myself a “cat writer,” specifically and mostly cat humor.
When I first meet people and they ask what I do, I tell them I’m a writer. “What kind of writer?” is always the follow-up question. I tell them I primarily write about cats, and that I even have a published cat humor book. Their look is always one of polite confusion. “That’s a thing?” they ask. Yes. Yes it is. These are also the people who are blown away that people maintain Facebook pages for their cats and place goodies in their kitties’ Christmas stockings.
The first time someone comes into my house, they notice the cat area. You can’t miss it — it’s the first thing you see when you walk in through front door. It’s a great area that works perfectly as a space for my kitties. The centerpiece is the cat tree, but they also have Catty Stacks, scratching posts and a collection of toys. At this point, the person usually says, “Your cats have a whole area for themselves?” Yes. Yes they do.
If this person and I decide to spend more time together, I’ll go on to tell them a little more about my involvement in the cat world. Maybe I’ll show them my home office, which is decorated feline-style and even includes a basket for my cats on the corner of my desk. If they begin inspecting my office space, they’ll probably notice some writing awards I have on display. Further perplexed, they’ll ask,”How to do get awards for writing about cats?” This prompts my explanation of Cat Writers’ Association and BlogPaws, a pet blogging conference. We cat people love to co-mingle and get together any chance we get. “Wow. This really is a thing.” Yes. Yes it is.
As the friendship continues, my new companion will see me wear cat-themed shirts and perhaps some cat ears if I’m feeling particularly silly. They’ll also learn about my work with Feline Rescue Inc., including the concert fundraiser with Sarah Donner. “You really like cats.” Yes. Yes I do.
It’s funny. I guess I spend so much time online with cat people that I don’t think any of what I do is out of the ordinary. And then I meet other people who maybe share their home with a cat, but the cat is a pet and that’s the extent of the relationship. They don’t have framed photos of their cats hanging on the wall or spend a solid half-hour marveling over how inexplicably adorable they look when they’re sleeping. It’s not that they’re wrong — they just have a different view of cats than I do.
I wouldn’t say my kitties occupy my every thought — I do have human children, a home and other responsibilities. It’s just that I’ve managed to create a livelihood doing what I love to do: writing about and spending time with cats. I’m a big believer in doing what you love and loving what you do. After getting to know me and seeing the happiness that comes with living a life of joy and purpose, my new friends usually say something like, “Wow. You’re really lucky — I’ll bet you’re grateful.” Yes. Yes I am.
Do your friends think you’re really into cats? Tell us about it in the comments!
About the Author: Angie Bailey is a goofy girl with freckles and giant smile who wants everyone to be her friend. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, and thinking about cats doing people things. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that may or may not offend people. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.
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