This is Part 2 of a two-part series on writer Kiril Kundurazieff and the interesting explanations as to why he considers himself to be a cat blogger.
Who is Kiril? Who is Nikita? Who is Elvira?
I’m Kiril, a modern day Dr. Doolittle who speaks and understands fluent Felinese and other critter languages. On my blog, Meowsings of an Opinionated Pussycat, I do the actual writing, but I tell the world that my cats “write.” Very shortly, you’ll understand why. Mr. Nikita, my cat, is the proud feline pundit that has been blogging since 2002! Miss Elvira, my other cat, is the sassy, vivacious, and proud, feline pundit that has been blogging since 2010!
My cats are smart cats. They are photogenic, playful, and interactive with me and each other in so many ways – - ways that easily lend themselves to writing ideas, thoughts perfect for word balloons in pictures, and creative conceits of various types.
They are the most opinionated pussycats in America, with talent on loan from Ceiling Cat. Their blog has creative writing, photos, journalism, experiences, observations, and humor and opinions on life and the world at large. Inspired by my love of Nikita and all things feline, I built an unmatched collection of cat-related resource links and added them to my blog’s sidebar.
Did Your Cats let you Know they Wanted to Write?
Nikita was and still is my main creative muse, joined in 2010 by young Elvira, my second cat. My creative talent and urge to write were revived by their presence in my life and by the friendships made with online friends and with others who have known me since I became a blogger. I guess, in an existential way, you could say that, yes, Nikita and later Elvira, did indeed “let me know” they wanted to write.
Before I adopted Nikita, I was a loner, with no friends to hang out with, no relationships, no real social life. Soon after, I rediscovered my talent for writing, eventually on four blogs, I came out of my shell and my life changed. I changed in so many ways for the better, that those who knew me in the past might not recognize me if we met on the street today.
Once I took up blogging in 2002, I did the actual writing and blogging, but credited Nikita. I expanded on the voice and personality I originally gave Nikita on the community message boards at the Entertainment Weekly / Time Online website.
In 2003, more and more people around the world started bringing their love of cats to the blogosphere, including vets, reputable breeders, and shelter and rescue people. They wrote about their cats, while others, like me, let their cats and dogs, rabbits, ferrets, ducks, fish (don’t ask ME how!), horses, etc., do the blogging, and post to social media sites for them.
In 2004, Laurence Simon was influential in creating a weekly online showcase called The Carnival of the Cats, the longest running of three similar critter writing showcases online. The other two showcases, also important to me, are Friday Ark and Weekend Cat Blogging. My cats, along with a friend I admire, are instrumental in keeping the Carnival of the Cats alive and trying to bring back its glory days, when up to 50 entries a week were submitted.)
By April 2006, The Cat Blogosphere was born, around which cat bloggers throughout the world rallied around. It bears one of the most awesome sites online, even if few beyond our niche know about it. (The woman behind the Cat Blogosphere that keeps it going is another friend I also very much admire.)
Some people turned their blogging into book writing careers within a few short years, building up huge online followings, either by writing about cats or as their cats. By 2007, after I’d discovered many other people like me, Nikita was becoming more and more the storyteller, humorist, poet, commentator and journalist of today, with his role gradually expanding, particularly in my second personal blog.
Discovering the cat blogging community and so many other fellow cat bloggers was an eye opener, personally, and creatively, providing new inspiration for me not just for my writing talents, but in a personal way, by bringing me new friends, a few I have had the pleasure to actually meet in person.
Since I shared my personal blog with Nikita, eventually, I allowed him to debut his own blog on New Year’s Day 2010, due to the fact that Nikita’s role had expanded and he had become more active in the cat blogging community. With so much blogging under their belts, my cats Nikita and Elvira have become writers, poets, storytellers, humorists, commentators and amateur journalists, just like me.
What is the Benefit of Humanizing Cats? What do I achieve by “Humanizing” my cats and declaring them “writers?”
To those of us who write as “our cats,” our online personalities are a creative combination of our own, theirs as we see and experience them, and our creative imagination inspired by having these wonderful, amazing, adorable, loving, trusting, creatures in our lives.
In the last three years, another popular website and related annual convention, the Blog Paws Convention, has been built around the critter blogging movement. During the convention, human writers gather, some with their pets in tow, to meet and network with each other and pet industry types and learn how better to build their platforms. One of these days, my life will settle down and I will be able to attend the convention; that is something I believe will benefit me greatly.
I have learned that some cat bloggers have gone on to have writing careers of various types, build brick and mortar and online businesses around their interest in cats, become animal doctors, or gotten involved in other cat-related fields. We are “versatile writers.” Some are seeing, or will see, their children inspired by what they do as they grow up.
We share creative and imaginative stories and photographs, news, opinions, and the adventures of daily life, from fine dining, playtime, litterbox visits, belly rubs and lap catting, naps and snoozes, injuries, illnesses, trips to the vet, pet stroller journeys, misbegotten trips outdoors, getting lost and being found, to birthdays, gotcha days and that final journey all creatures on this earth must one day take, in one fashion or another – - the trip to Rainbow Bridge.
We raise awareness and money for each other in time of need, and for numerous animal-related causes. The variety of blogs, and how the cat bloggers go about doing their blogging, is as varied as the breed of cats. Some of us, like me, have family who, for years, have scratched their heads and looked askance at all that we do, thinking we are a tad eccentric, or worse, nuts. Sometimes, our families are unable to find it within themselves to accept and encourage our endeavors, unsure about and a little embarrassed about having us around their own family and friends.
While I am the creative mind behind what I believe is the most unique and resource-rich cat blog online and the online presence of my cats Nikita and Elvira, I suppose this relationship we have could in some way be called a real life “fictional exercise” of living with two felines “who write.” Like their human counterpart, Nikita and Elvira are struggling to find a way to build a creative, online platform, attract readers and interest and eventually, maybe even earn an income doing what I and they love.