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.