This has a week of losses. Those of you who know cat lady Julia Reiman, know she lost her dear Phil to cancer after a long brave battle. There was of course Daisy the Curly Cat, the empress of the Golden Age of Cat Blogging. And a couple of days later, Rick and Cyndi G. helped their cherished Katie Tulip make her journey to The Bridge.
These losses gut me. My friends are hurting, and I reflect on the inevitable day that I’ll have to say good-bye to a family member (human or feline).
I also reflect on the tremendous kindness that was showered upon me when Skeezix made his journey. Money was raised to donate to a rescue in his name. Memorials were posted. I was so verklempt over losing him so unexpectedly that I could not thank each and every person and their cats who remembered Skeezix in such a special way. I was undone.
And so, this week, I tried to remember all the cats I got to know during that Golden Age of Cat Blogging.
Rick (Shabby, Kalin, and Katie Tulip’s dad) was Skeezix’s very first fan. He reached out to Skeezix, and OMG, I was so surprised that someone had read Skeezy’s blog. I’d set it up as a sort of inside joke. When we adopted Skeezix he was such a skinny, tiny, ugly little thing. And the sweetest cat ever. I thought it would be fun to keep an online photo journal of his development, told from his purrspective.
The second fan was Kismet the Big Man Cat. Kismet’s mom, a professional journalist, nurtured Kismet’s aspirations to be the best cat blogger ever. Skeezix and Kismet became BFFs in no time flat.
Wow! There were other cat blogs out there! I started seeking them out, and many began stumbling upon Skeezix’s blog. A short time later, Catster was launched (I’d been bugging them incessantly about expanding Dogster to cats). For Skeezix’s birthday, we held a birthday pawty like no other via Catster. Dozens of cats pawticipated.
I had a grand vision of holding the pawty online, but also enabling the attendees to play along IRL while the pawty took place. I mailed out party packs to every cat who RSVPd. (Temptations, a toy, a Pin the Tail on the Maobutt game, catnip, etc.) There was a party hat contest that some cats enjoyed more than others.
In the days leading up to the pawty, mountains of gifts for Skeezix from every corner of the country piled up on our doorstep. Mr Tasty Face couldn’t figure out what the heck was going on.
The party itself was held in two Catster groups (the reason for that escapes me now). I needed help facilitating it (as in, a couple of people to pose as Rocky and Mao), so I enlisted the help of Mr TF and my college-age nephew. (I’d like to have known how my neph’s frat brethren reacted to his description of that afternoon.)
It was a crazy few hours. I like to think that that pawty lit the fire of the Golden Age of Cat Blogging. Yeah, that’s hubris on my part, but it really took off about that time.
At the risk of leaving off some of my cherished cat friends, I’d like to list as many of the cat bloggers and some memories from those days as I can remember. (If I leave a few off, blame it on my TBI–I do have memory gaps. Leave a comment; I’ll add it.) The names in bold are cats I have been lucky enough to meet in purrson.
Abby the Manx
Atlas the Cat
Bravely Sir Robin
Cali, Snickers & Company
Castle of Grimalkin
Cheysuli, Gemini, Ichiro & Georgia
China and Stash
Coco, RayPod, Mouse, and later, Mochy and Brando
The Cyclone Cats
Daisy the Curly Cat, Harley and Pixie
Daisy Mae Maus and the Feline Americans
Derby and Ducky
Elle & Gimme Maves
Eric and Flynn
Finny, Buddy, and Jasmine Peluso
Fiona Bun, Lando and Diva Kitty
The Florida Furkids
Frankie Sinatra Cat
Grover & Dexter Ramsey
Grr, Midnight and Cocoa
Honey P Sunshine
Jack the Cat
Jake and Bathsheba
Jan’s Funny Farm
Jeter Harris (and Whitey, Mickey, Matsui and Joba)
Junior and Orion
Karl of the Cat Realm
Kaze and Latte
Kimo and Sabi
Kismet the Big Man Cat and Sophie
Louis and Ethan Evans
Ma Chia Jing
Mao and Yao-Lin
Max and Buddha
Meeko and Kiara
Merlin & Dobby
Meowers from Missouri (Nels, Sir Edmund, Nitro, Xing Lu)
Miles the Cat
Miss Arial Betancourt
Mr Echo, Spencer and Tenny
Parker and Rudy Miller
Pippin and Turtle Moore
Rocky the Gutter Cat
Rosie and Cheeto
Ruben and Gordy
Samantha Black and Tigger
Sammy and Miles Meezer and Billy
Samoa, Violet, and Calvin
Skeeter and LC
Skeezix the Cat
Sparkle the Designer Kitty
Stevie, Bitey and Lucy
Tara, Princess Meezer
Taz and all his housemates in Dearborn, including Orv and Marvel Ann.
Tazo, Earl Grey, and Titus the Frootbat Dawg
Ms Tiger Woods
TRIPPER THE PSYCHO STRAY CAT
Turtle and Pippin
Victor and Bonnie Underfoot
Wally the Island Cat
William of Mass Destruction
Willow China Cat and Samantha
Zenith and the Fancidots Gang
Zippy, Speedy, and Sadie
During the Golden Age, cat blogging was frenetic, with multiple daily posts, springing back and forth between blogs, each one riffing off the other. Skeezix had some long-running storylines: waiting for the short bus, educating the world about the vishus deer menniss, competing in the Nashunul Spellin Bee with his coach Da Grate Jeter Harris, his trip to Ireland and discovery of Mother’s Milk. He only got the stories started. The magic happened when all the other blogosphere cats jumped in and pawticipated in the narrative.
I was happy to be along for the ride. I not only got to meet a surprising number of the blogosphere cats in person, but their moms and dads, too. Some have become my dearest friends, even though we live a continent apart.
The Golden Age of Cat Blogging came to an end on November 28, 2013, when Daisy the Curly Cat ended her blog. Only a few of the old timers who were part of that Golden Age are still around; even fewer are still blogging. Each one that goes to The Bridge takes a little piece of my heart.