We are lucky to have a guest post from WereBear on her exciting new Cat Shelter Project, complete with cat art of the latest kittens! I am told that the black one is Morgen Le Faye and the dilute tortie is Rhiannon. I know we want to hear about the new project, but Cat art first, right? ~WaterGirl
*the Cat Shelter Project*
Over the years, as my cat writing gained fans – yay! the Cat Appreciator Jackals here :) – I always wanted my ideas to help shape opinions, too. This long led me to explore how Way of Cats might give back to cat rescue causes.
When we virtually-opened our cat toy shop with organic herbs custom-mixed by Mr WereBear, we set some aside for every product sold. My readers donated to get the rest of Sir Tristan’s family vet treatment and new homes. When we adopted our last two kittens, from widely disparate shelter situations, I brought an autographed copy of my book to donate to the shelter.
On top of that, I always tip.
In fact, that’s one of the ideas I hope to promote with my long dreamed-of venture that launches this holiday season. #TiptheShelter will reflect my practice of adding extra each time I adopt. I know how hard they work and how heartbreaking it can be.
The Cat Shelter Project will be how Way of Cats can help both shelters and seekers of cats. Easy care for a happy new friend. Training for scratching post, litter box, and leaving (some) things alone.
Because I realized, after a dozen years online, dodging writer’s block like a character in a video game, I’d gotten into PhD dissertation territory. Sure, lots of readers have been reading me for years. They love teasing out mental constructs of cat behavior as much as I do.
There were others who need my help. For them, I should dial it back.
Half of my cat site remains free to all, even as its popularity demanded more investment in infrastructure. (SWIDT?) But now it’s about navigation and chaining ideas for everyone, and having a place they can go to.
These are people interested in cat acquisition. But know they don’t know enough, so they are seeking. They need a guided tour. Not only of my site, but also of cats themselves.
I have sections of the site full of posts about how to choose, care for, and make friends with this elusive, then delightful, pet. When I help people reach their cat and solve their problems, they can love each other more.
Which increases the amount of love in the Universe. Keeps cats in their homes. Influences people to say, “I guess so,” with resignation (and secret delight) when a new rescue potential shows up.
Shelters want those homes to be forever, and they can’t be a resource for cat training. Vets are great about some things, but I’ve found them — unless they have multiple cats themselves — clueless about others. Neither have the time to delve into it, so they can’t exactly point to where to go online, either.
I want to be such a resource. For shelter newsletter, for a new parent teaching a toddler how to love the cat,
This will turn into the How to Love the Cat podcast. (I’m thinking Buzzsprout as a pod-home — anyone have thoughts to share?) I have been experimenting with formats and tech for months. I needed a new laptop by then anyway! The old one having passed the magic 7-year Mac milestone, where it starts doing mysterious things. Hey, at least it’s a warning.
Then I learned sound engineering. Then I tried to muffle noise and keep the cats quiet. THEN I realized they were cats. Now Tristan, as actually heard in my latest broadcast, is my co-host. I do think it would be a first for a cat podcast to have a cat as on-air talent. But then, Sir Tristan, Lord of Pickledish, and Duke of Gherkin has never lacked for talent.
Listen to him with my blog post, Pickle Loves Podcasting.
This was a lot of backstory to bring the Cat Shelter Project ready to burst into bloom. My Patreon site is excellently equipped to become Way of Cats University. I need to extend that concept to take care of two groups close to my heart.
Shelters, and the people who seek them. They are highly worthy causes, and I found a way to combine them. But I do think they have mutual interests, certainly.
Over years of running what developed into an actual site, I had refined my ideas, message, and focus. I got better at explaining the holistic part of the cat relationship. From the detailed end.
Going Big Picture for Newbies? I think that’s a calling. Because simplicity is its own challenge.
And is just as needed. Happy Holidays to all Jackals everywhere! Because this is Earth, and someone has a big solstice celebration, somewhere.
That’s who we are.
Learn more at catshelterproject.com.
This has been a Way of Cats PSA
If you’ve got questions, I bet WereBear has answers!