To anyone who loves cats, being a cat blogger sounds like a dream come true: you get to post photos of your cats for everyone to see and get all sorts of fun perks like free cat toys and treats to review – sometimes even trips across country. I’ve had all that, and more. But if you ask my blogging cat Sparkle, sometimes it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
Although Sparkle’s blog is very popular and has won a number of awards, this matters not one bit to her. While she does tend to supervise me closely when I am at the computer (a common Somali cat trait), I am not so sure how eager she is to participate in the photographic part of her blog posts. When she was a kitten, she didn’t mind having a camera pointed at her. In fact, she barely seemed to know it was there. But eventually she realized she was expected to perform for the lens, and I think it was downhill from there – because as you know, cats don’t like having thing expected of them. The moment it becomes a chore, they try to figure a way out of it. Sparkle’s favorite tactic is to sit pretty while I turn on the camera and adjust the settings (I always use the “manual” function) – but the moment I point it in her direction, she turns her head. She won’t move, but she won’t look at the camera either. If she is being especially contrary, she won’t even turn her head – she will just look to one corner or another.
Then there’s Binga, who wants to be part of the action constantly, especially if there are treats involved. She has no camera awareness whatsoever and shamelessly invades Sparkle’s space. Then the whapping begins. Even if Sparkle has become a jaded, not-always-cooperative model, she does not want to share the spotlight. If I really don’t want my diva to walk off the set, I have to corral Binga and lock her downstairs until I am done with the photo session.
Then there are some days when Sparkle does not want to cooperate at all, no matter what. Usually, I can just leave her alone and try again another day, but occasionally I’m on a deadline for a brand’s post and I need her to rise above her contrary mood. Unfortunately, things like deadlines and schedules matter not a bit to her. If she does not want to be bothered, she will be as difficult as possible until I find the sweet spot (read bribe) that will get her to patiently pose while I get the pictures I need. More often than not, this means pulling out the brush. She loves being brushed above everything else, maybe even cat treats. If you see a photo on her blog in which she looks particularly excited, it is probably because I am holding a brush just above the camera.
You would think all this annoyance would hurt our relationship and make Sparkle shy away from me, but oddly, I think it has made us closer. Although she doesn’t realize she has fans all over the world, she does know something special is going on and she is the center of it. When she is in the mood to pose, she hits her mark just right, with that “Yes, I know I am stunning” attitude that all supermodels casually toss off. And she knows that our photo sessions, as much as they bother her sometimes, are something that we share together – another indicator that yes, we are a duo in this crazy kitty world. More than once I’ve considered retiring her from her blogging career (and a couple of times I’ve flat-out wanted to “fire” her!), but I think she would actually miss our silly and sometimes maddening blogging routines. It’s just another one of my many terrible quirks she has decided to forgive and I think she’s kind of used to it.
Meet Sparkle the Designer Cat >>