I love cats, unapologetically

June 10, 2015

Way back when my blog had a bunch of followers, I remember reading a blog conference speaker’s do’s and don’ts for building an audience on social media. The person basically said, don’t be a cat lady. Don’t post a bunch of pictures of your cat, talk about cat things or get crazy about cats. No one wants it.

My heart sunk.

‘But I love cats!’, I thought. Bummer.

Even though I still mentioned my cats and took pictures of them, I tempered it. When I stopped blogging, I catted it up on Instagram. People unfollowed. Sometimes I felt bad. I’d go back and examine the picture. Was it offensive? Over the top? It didn’t seem like it, but I really love cats. Hmmm.

By the time I came back to blogging a lot of my original followers were gone. When I stopped focusing on outfits, more left. It didn’t bother me as much as I thought it might. I talked about having a stroke, new readers came onboard and even more old readers jumped ship. That kind of hurt. I talked about cats. I stopped caring what people thought.

I’m still talking about cats. I take pictures of them and put them on my Instagram feed, even if they’re not mine. They’re a big part of my heart and always have been. Cats, books and jeans, my top three things.

On Sunday we went to CatCon in LA. At first I wasn’t going to go. One time I went to the Cat Show in Santa Monica and it was a massive pissing contest amongst attendees and organizers for who was the biggest cat lady. Kind of sad. So on Saturday I just checked out the CatCon hashtag on Instagram to see what was up. There seemed to be a diverse crowd, focus on adoption and some really interesting cat stuff for sale. No one walking around wearing a massive litter box. It looked good.


There was cat art and apparel and all sorts of things for cat-loving humans, but also cool litter boxes, toys, cat trees and everything under the sun for your cat. You could get a cattoo, sign up for Cat Lady Box or Kit Nip Box (like BirchBox only for you and your cat), or get a caticure. If you wanted you could shell out some extra bucks to meet famous cats like Lil Bub or Pudge. Fix Nation (one of the best groups for ferals and stray cats) was there to talk about the importance of trap-neuter-return. My favorite part: the adoption area was crowd-controlled so cats and kittens in cages weren’t completely traumatized. They did something like 77 adoptions in two days. Awesome!

Chris and I even got a picture in the Cats of Instagram area. There was a big line of people who took turns taking pictures for each other. Everyone was cool and in no way competing for who was the biggest cat freak. When we walked away I caught myself contemplating not posting the picture. What if it alienated someone?

Wait. What in the actual hell was I thinking?

I posted the picture.

I LOVE CATS.  It’s not like it’s a secret. And really, if people who follow me on Instagram don’t like that I like cats then wtf are they following me for anyway?

So here’s the thing about blogging and, I guess, anything to do with social media: I do what I want. I hope you do, too. It shouldn’t be about followers. I just want to have a record of my life and the things I love. I just want to remember. I won’t unfollow you if you have kids or a dog, just because I don’t. I want to hear your stories. And if you’re wearing some cool jeans now and then, I probably want to know about them too. Live and let live.

CatCon ArtLife With/Without a Cat

catinthewombLil Bub's BoothCatsofInstagram

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  • Reply Dorian @ CatLadyBox July 14, 2015 at 10:50 pm


    You are amazing, and awesome — and of course, a cat lady to go along with it. Because cat ladies ARE awesome! The world will learn. 🙂

  • Reply Melissa Blake June 24, 2015 at 2:28 am

    I loooove this post! Long live cats — and the owners who love them! Hope you’re doing well! 🙂

  • Reply MarlaD June 13, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Let’s just get this out there: I am a cat person. I like that you are too! But I follow because I like what you have to say, you’re real, you’re smart and you’re goofy. I liked the outfit posts, but I like now even better.

    I have always had a cat. When I met my ex (let’s say it again EX) he said…uh…you live alone and have a cat, that’s a little weird, don’t you think? (Note that he lived alone with a dog but no problemo there.) He *at least* conceded that I didn’t have TWO so not completely weirdo “cat lady”.

    Some time after he was long gone, I started thinking how adopting a kitten would enhance my, and my cat’s life. I worried that it would make me less desirable, somehow weird to have two cats. I took the plunge anyway. My older cat is happy, I am happy, the new kitty is happy. It’s been a little over two years and no one fled my life in horror, no one said a word, and that little kitty poops sugar cane she is so dang sweet.

    If someone doesn’t like it, they’re not for us. 🙂

  • Reply Jenn June 11, 2015 at 1:06 am

    Chris’s shirt! Hahaha! Is he a big cat lover too or just a good sport?

    I lose followers anytime I post too many photos that aren’t outfits. I’ve recently decided that I don’t care (I don’t blog for profit or free stuff) so eff it. ALASKA. 🙂

    • Reply This Free Bird June 12, 2015 at 4:37 am

      Chris loves cats, too. He wasn’t going to wear the t-shirt but I was like, ‘Dude. This is couple’s bonding time.’ So he did and a bunch of people stopped him about it. We met some awesome people thanks to that shirt. Lol. And I’m glad you’re posting whatever you want. These follow/unfollow junkies are too much for me. WILDERNESS.

  • Reply Jen June 10, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    I’m not going anywhere.

    The cats.

    The jeans.

    The bike.

    The food.

    The spicy margaritas.

    The setbacks.

    The frustrations.

    The recoveries.

    The victories!

    Love the whole caboodle!

  • Reply Faiza Venzant June 10, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Chris’ purrito tshirt is the BEST!

    • Reply This Free Bird June 10, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      Faiza, that shirt was a showstopper. It opened so many fun conversations with other cat people! We were all laughing and talking cat t-shirts. There were some really good ones there, but Chris’s kind of took the cake. For the record, I bought it for him for his birthday. And HIGHLY encouraged him to wear it to CatCon. Hahaha!!

  • Reply Courtney June 10, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    CatCon looks amazing. Amazing. I think you know my feelings on cats…

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

    • Reply This Free Bird June 10, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      It was pretty amazing. I think you would have had a SUPERB time. Marie (a la mode) said there was a cat show in YEG last weekend. Did you go?? I would have been all up in that business.

  • Reply Miss S June 10, 2015 at 3:38 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for at least 4 years and have never commented before now.
    Screw what people think. Do what you love, what makes sense to you, and the right people will gravitate towards you.
    You’re amazing. I think we’re close in age (48) and I’m in awe of how you have handled yourself since the strokes. I put myself in your shoes and have tried to imagine where I’d be in recovery. It’s too much to comprehend. Keep doing what you’re doing. Please!
    I love your blog. All of it. Thank you for being willing to honestly share the path you’re on. You rock.

    • Reply This Free Bird June 10, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      I read your comment late last night and cried. I mean immediately burst out crying. Thank you for speaking up and letting me know you’re a longtime reader. That means so much to me. We are somewhat close in age, at least born in the same generation. LOL. Damn this age thing gets tricky, doesn’t it? Anyway, I just want to let you know if you got sick, you’d be okay. You would figure it out. It’s just what happens. I can only think of one day at a time, some days only an hour at a time because I get so overwhelmed by what ifs I feel like I’m drowning. But then I don’t. I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the encouragement, it means more than I could ever say. You really made my day (possibly month or even year).

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