Crazy Cat Ladies No More

Crazy Cat Ladies. In many circles that expression is not meant kindly. It connotates instability, excess (too many cats, obsessively talking about cats), wearing sweatshirts with cutesy embroidered artwork of kittens chasing after balls of yarn. We're probably fat. We're far from “cool.” We have no relationship as meaningful as the one we have with our cats. We're probably not married, maybe never even had a boyfriend.

Est Fest R Olson Dinner 475.jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. The cat ladies dinner. Between everyone at the table we had or cared for (we counted ferals) 85 cats!

Not any more.

Photo Booth with Angie Tamar R Olson.jpg

Tamar from IHaveCat and Angie from CatLadyLand and moi.

Today I'm retiring the phrase: Crazy Cat Lady. It's been dying slow death and it's time to strike it from the dictionary and replace it with something appropriate.

Kitten Envy with Angie R Olson.jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. Ever-smiling Angie with kitten.

Last week I attended BlogPaws 2013, a conference for pet bloggers. I'll be doing a write up about my trip, my 90-minute session about our Kitties for Kids program and may even dish a bit of dirt, but today my focus is on the real reason why I go to these conferences-it's to spend time with my friends, who happen to write about cats and who love and protect them with the same passion I do.

Cube Queens R Olson.jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. Our dear friend, Kate from Hauspanther couldn't make it to BlogPaws so we got together and created the Cat Lounge for her.

When I was a kid I had a younger brother. We didn't get along very well, nor do we, today, which is why I used “had” referring to him. Our family moved around a lot and I was constantly uprooted and lonely. Making new friends was tough and it seemed that just as I made a friend, we'd move away and I would never see them again.

Deb Barnes R Olson.jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. Deb from Zee & Zoey sharing a flirty smile (and wearing cat-ear tiaras!)

My Mother never had women friends. She had some interesting male friends, ones whom I'm not sure what their real relationship to my Mother really was. There was the Chief of Police, one of the officers in the Fire Department and another guy who worked doing construction who was like an uncle to me. I never had a role model for how to be friends with women. Women were always creatures you could not trust and who you were in competition with for the cute guys.

Janea and Disco R Olson.jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. JaneA of Paws & Effect with Sir Disco

My “best” friend in high school went behind my back and stole my boyfriend away from me (he returned a few weeks later claiming she smelled like wet cardboard..and I later dumped him). She claimed I should “move on because David loved her now”…some friend.

Angie Tam Deb R Olson .jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. Tamar, Angie and Debbie from Glogirly

I wrote off being close to women. I just didn't know how to do it…

Disco in Pink R olson.jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. Elegant Coco-and yes, she's dressed up. Coco has no problem wearing an oufit or prancing around. She's VERY well cared for, stable and loved. This little cornish rex has one of the biggest personalities I've ever met. Coco has style (and so does her mom, Teri!)

…until I started to do cat rescue and write my blog.

Ingrid and Kitten R Olson.jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. Ingrid of the Conscious Cat with a kitten.

What would happen if you met someone who shared your interests? You'd have a good reason to be friendly, at least. But what happened if you hardly even knew this person, but it didn't matter because for some unspoken reason, they felt you were worth the effort to get to know, warts and all and you felt the same way about them.

Ingrid Angie Bern R Olson.jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. Ingrid, the birthday girl, with Bernadette of The Creative Cat and ANGIE!

There's something magical about the cat ladies. Most of us compete for the same awards. Most of us compete for the same “eyeballs” on our blog or friends on Facebook. While there can be blips of mildly hissy behavior, all in all, those issues aren't issues. We have our own angle, our own stories. We can support each other without losing our readership. We can even be dismayed (to say the least) when a newcomer hits the scene and starts winning “our” awards. Our revenge—we reluctantly make an effort to make friends with her then find out she's too nice for us to hate and instead of shunning her, we adore her (you know who your are, Debbie G.!).

Janiss and Tamar R Olson.jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. Janniss of Sparkle the Designer Cat and Tamar get photographed by ANGIE at the welcome banquet at BlogPaws 2013

Where else do people retract their claws and extend a hand in friendship? Getting together with my ladies feels close to a sacred gathering where I'm accepted and accepting. Where even if I lose out on an award, I can still find a smile and hug for the winner, who is also a friend of mine. We're in this together. We're trying to raise awareness about cat wellness, behavior problems, nutrition. We make you laugh about your cat. And some (yours truly) make you cry about cats. Whatever we do, it's done with a deep and abiding love and devotion to our cats, not in an obsessive way, not in an unhealthy way, in a rational, clever, compassionate way.

Tattoo Ingrid and disco R Olson.jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. It's not a party until someone gets a tattoo. Here's Ingrid flashing her calf while big boy Disco photobombs the shot.

Felina Domina means “Cat Lady” in latin. It rolls elegantly off the tongue. It gives us an air of class and refinement-that we deserve. Sure, we wear cat ear headbands or tiny tiaras, but that's only because we celebrate who we are, without apology. We cherish the bond we have with our cats and we love to share that joy with other like-minded women AND MEN.

Teri and Coco R Olson .jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. Teri of Curlz & Swirls with her girl, Coco.

Many of the Genus: Species: Feline Domina ARE married or are in long-term relationships. Most of us are in good shape mentally and physically. Many of us have friendly relationships with lots of people. We hold down jobs. We help others live better lives with their cats.

Teri and Disco R Olson.jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. Teri and her boy, Disco Noferno. I LOVE THIS CAT. He's completely hilarious.

Feline Domina is about friendship and support. Holding your friend's hand when times get tough or helping your friend laugh after there have been too many tears. Realizing we are in this together, whatever “this” may be. We're glued together by our love for cats and we take great joy in that fact.

Winners R Olson.jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. Winners of the Nose-to-Nose Awards: Karen of Mousebreath with ANGIE! and Debbie

I honor my ladies with this post. Your friendship means the world to me and without it I am a sad, lonely person. I love each of you and take great delight in your successes and I share your sad days, too. There are few things better than the comfort of sisterhood and I will never take it for granted.

Robin and Janea by D Glovatsky sm.jpg
©2013 Debbie Glovatsky. JaneA and me. This is what sisterhood is all about.

Robin and Ingrid D Glovatskysm.jpg
©2013 Debbie Glovatsky. My dear, Ingrid.

Ingrids Birthday Pano 475.jpg
©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. My hotel room full of cat ladies!

Ingrid Birthday Group D Glovatskysm .jpg
©2013 Debbie Glovatsky. Happy Birthday to Ingrid from all her cat lady pals.

Tags Click a link below to find more articles on that topic.

Comments

Blog Paws

Great post, great pics!

Pleasure to meet you and little Angie!

I enjoyed my first Blog Paws and the Bloggers vs Veterinarians presentation.

Thanks Big Sis!

What a lovely post I was misty-eyed!  I'm so grateful to have met you all, my cat sisters. I've admired and followed your blogs and now am spreading my own wings (or paws). 

Robin, since you're one of the few that started both a blog and cat rescue, we share that physical and emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows.  Rescue, adoption and education about stray cats is the hardest job ever.  I'm told it takes a special person to see it through with balance, valor and grace. I never knew I had the strength.

Then I read your blog. And I didn't feel so alone. Thank you for leading the way!

Christine Michaels

Founder of Riverfront Cats

www.riverfrontcats.com

Nice post..

Just wanted to let you know that the third picture of your article the one of you holding the kitten, that's my husband in the background wearing the black shirt.

It was my first conference and I loved your session.

Did I ask if I could use the photos of my cats yet?

I am working on a blog post and just love the photos you took of my cats and would love to use them for the post...I will link back to your blog (just so I can read this lovely post over and over again, lol). I didn't know you didn't want me to leave... You are so endearing. Wish we lived closer! Will you be at Barkworld?

Oops

I just saw this..of course you can use them! No BarkWorld unless they pay for my trip! I'll be in Minnesota judging the internet cat video festival a few days before and it will be too much traveling for me. you should go to Minnesota! xoxoxo

RE: PEOPLE who care about, and for, cats.

I can't help but think (again, yet, always) that people in this society are SERIOUSLY messed up, have psychological issues, and are clueless about how to care for others (all of which is borne out by high divorce rate, violent crime, etc.)

In my background, men, women and children on both sides of my family, going back forever, have always loved, respected, protected and rescued cats. We don't think of gender issues or imagei issues -- we just love and care for cats. Why is that so difficult for the mainstream society???

All hail Felina Domina!

I might be a crazy cat lady... I am crazy (an artist) and I own cats... and one of those cats is certifiably crazy... the other just has chronic furballs... Married, freelance henna and glitter artist with a day job.  We also have a few fishtanks which are like different channels of CatTV...

If you need a Cat tattoo, I can make that happen... henna lasts about 2 weeks on the ankles...

Compassionate Cat Ladies

What a touching and moving post Robin! It was wonderful to be with my cat friends and am honored to know each of you who have inspired  my work.  I'm happy to plug away helping cats in my city, one day at a time. Blogging has bestowed this new sisterhood in my life. I'm so sorry I could not stay for the final hurrah. But there will be other cat pawties! Hope to see you at Vegas next year if not sooner!


Continued success and blessings.

 

 

Robin, what a beautiful post;

Robin, what a beautiful post; I am sooo impressed by how well you all get along and support one another even though, as you mentioned, you're basically in competition with one another. A great example of being able to "play nice."

Thank you for sharing your experience at BlogPaws - it makes me envious!

How are you doing? You've been on my mind so much lately. Do take care of yourself.

Others of My Sepcies

I always wore my cat ears proudly but usually alone, and it's so exciting after all these years to meet other members of my species who not only feel the same about cats and have many of the same experiences, but who also share those loves and losses in the public forum. Let's hear it for us!

And the last group photo of us reminds me of a photo a rescuer sent me of a dozen rescued kittens in a carrier, all looking up at the human. I guess we've been rescued by each other.

Beautiful!

What a beautiful post, Robin! Like Teri, I got all teary-eyed. The sense of community and sisterhood within our group is one of the great treasures of my life. I can't imagine my life without it - and thankfully, I don't have to!

Crazy Cat. Lady.

I am a lady. I have a crazy cat. Therefor, I am a crazy cat, lady. It is the cat that is crazy, not me.

You and your friends sound like a great bunch of women I would LOVE to know. Thank you for sharing.

Just remember, If you have even one crazy cat (and at times The Dood would qualify, thank goodness) you are still a crazy cat, lady, just remember to put a comma in there....Crazy cat, lady.

Wink Wink

Anne

Lovely ladies!

So sad not to see you all this year but I loved seeing all of the photos of the lovely Feline Domina having a ball! Next year.......


xo

Great article!

I am a crazy cat lady and I proclaim it proudly! I am also a biologist, college professor, and married! Although I have always been crazy about cats, I only began animal rescue 20 years ago. Since then, I have TNR-ed over 100 cats, 80 of them over the past 15 years. When we were forced to relocate from our forest home in 2011, I pulled money from my retirement fund to build a sanctuary for my rescues. I built them a two-story cat house - complete with windows, electric, heat and fans. The sanctuary also has a very large fenced-in play yard complete with a large apple tree for climbing! I am NOT a non-profit! I pay for everything out of my own pocket. The Shawnee Om Shanti Cat Sanctuary is a living memorial to my daughter and only child who died unexpectedly in 2001. I am presently caring for 40 cats, over half of them are now over ten years old!

Great article!

I am a crazy cat lady and I proclaim it proudly! I am also a biologist, college professor, and married! Although I have always been crazy about cats, I only began animal rescue 20 years ago. Since then, I have TNR-ed over 100 cats, 80 of them over the past 15 years. When we were forced to relocate from our forest home in 2011, I pulled money from my retirement fund to build a sanctuary for my rescues. I built them a two-story cat house - complete with windows, electric, heat and fans. The sanctuary also has a very large fenced-in play yard complete with a large apple tree for climbing! I am NOT a non-profit! I pay for everything out of my own pocket. The Shawnee Om Shanti Cat Sanctuary is a living memorial to my daughter and only child who died unexpectedly in 2001. I am presently caring for 40 cats, over half of them are now over ten years old!

Great post! It was wonderful

Great post! It was wonderful meeting some of my fellow cat peeps (I have six) at Blog Paws!

The Ladies of Cat

OMC! I got all blinky eyed reading your post! Not surprisingly, though. My relationships with The Ladies of Cat is very heartfelt and important to me and brings to mind something my therapist tells me often...that my relationships with my woman friends are fulfilling my needs and make me happy...for all the very reasons you cited here! Hip Hip Hooray and MeWowZa to you!

Oh Teri!

Teri, you were the last cat lady to leave my room after Ingrid's party was over and I have to tell you that I cried after you left. I didn't want you to go, but I felt too idiotic to say anything about it. Being with you and the kitties was such a joy. Being with all the ladies just makes me happy. Like you, I think it gives me things I really need and haven't felt for a very long time. Here's to the flowering of a beeeeutiful friendship. xoxoxo

I Can Relate

Such a wonderful post!  Some of the people (both ladies and men) I've met through cat blogging are better friends than people I've know my whole life.  I feel as if I know many of the ladies you wrote about.  Maybe next year I can make Blogpaws and meet some of you in person.

 

Mom Paula

GREAT Recap!!!

LOVED this!!!

The Cat Ladies are a force to be reckoned with!!!

Here's to BlogPaws 2014!  Vegas, baby....YEAH!

: ) GG

Awesome article - I envy you

Awesome article - I envy you your sisterhood.   All together you do wonderful things for the cat community - feline and human.

Cat lady pals

Yes, indeed, Robin!  They are truly special friends that don't jusge you for anything stpuid that you do!!!  They have, at one time or anther been there for me when I was going through a rough patch.  I treasure them all!!!!!

The sentiments are mutual

by the way x0

well done

a wonderful post Robin. :)

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options