Monday, July 8, 2013

How We Got Here, Gratitude and Catladyland's First Blog Entry

More than four years ago, I created this Catladyland blog (originally called Eclectic Catladyland -- its initial essence was much more than cats). It started as a New Year's Resolution -- a place to keep my humorous and thoughtful essay-style writing. I first committed to blogging once a week. Over time, my posts became more frequent and I watched as my little resolution slowly morphed into full-blown cat-centricity. 

And I started developing a following! Although this certainly is a goal of most bloggers, for whatever reason, I was flabbergasted that someone -- no, some people -- wanted to read what I was writing. I mean, I'd written a small column for a local paper, but that had a built-in audience. This was all me. People came to my blog only to read my posts. Even to this day, it's a massively humbling experience for which I'm beyond grateful. 

Saffy, Cosmo and Phoebe, circa 2009.

Now, four years later, I'm a busy freelance writer, award-winning blogger, and my first book will be released in less than two months. Who'd have guessed? And I can't even count the number of friendships that have developed simply because of a shared love of cats. Thank you to everyone who even occasionally stops by to see what's up in my little world. Whether you're a new reader or have been here for the duration, please know that I am so thankful for your support, friendship and shared laughter. You really are the best! 

I was recently thinking about this journey of mine and thought it might be fun to post my very first Eclectic Catladyland entry. It's from January 8, 2009, and is called "Listen Up." 

Sometimes it seems to me that the art of good listening is lying limp and lifeless, gasping for air. Are people's brains so disengaged these days that they can't really focus their full attention on what others are saying? For example, more times than not, when I go to a coffee shop and ask for a plain black coffee - no cream, the barista asks, "Do you want room for cream?" Is she bewildered by my shockingly simple order or is she mentally Twittering instead of tuning in? This annoying scenario has driven me to the point of curtly countering with, "No - I said black." *insert laser death gaze* I'm now one step closer to "crotchety old woman" status - thanks, Starbucks.

"Would you like a muffin with your coffee?"

You know who's a good listener? A cat. The TV can be blaring, people engaged in lively conversation, neighbors shooting-off fireworks, and my cats will hear the sound of a can opener piercing aluminum. These felines could be passed out, comatose under multiple layers of blankets and their eyes snap open when they hear the word "treat" merely muttered in general conversation. I think this keen auditory ability makes a cat the ideal candidate for barista. Why not? Unlimited access to caffeine makes it the perfect job for a creature who is constantly tired and who would look cuter in that little green apron?

These super-hearing, caffeine-infused, cuddly critters would be the model of customer service. She'd hear your coffee order as you discussed it with your friend on the walk from the car to the coffee shop. The purring paws of lightening would quickly prepare the beverage and then slide it to you, old west bartender-style as you approached the counter. You'd look up to thank her and she's simply nod and wink, moving on to the next satisfied customer.

Beware humans - as your listening skills weaken and good customer service nears extinction, there's an army of tabbies waiting in the wings, ready to swoop in and whip up a mad Venti Latte.

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