Reflecting on "Imperfectly perfect ... together: The power of one cat's love."

We are professional members of the Cat Writer's Association (CWA). For 2019, our blog earned five certificates of excellence for the following entries (one earns a COE by scoring at least an average of 90 of 100 between three judges):

Imperfectly perfect ... together: The power of one cat's love [Written Article: Feline-Human Bond].
What do your cats see? [Written Article: Humor & Entertainment].
There's an app for that [Written Article: Humor & Entertainment].
You know you're a cat person when ... [Written Article: Humor & Entertainment].
Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat [Blog/Website: Humor / Entertainment].


Because this year's Cat Writer's Association Conference was canceled, the awards ceremony took place virtually on Saturday, August 8. Proudly, we won a Muse Medallion (a Muse is given for the highest score in a particular category) for,  "You know you're a cat person when ..." [Written Article: Humor & Entertainment] and a Special Award for, "Imperfectly perfect ... together: The power of one cat's love" [Goodnewsforpets.com Human-Animal Bond Award]. You might remember that we won the Goodnewsforpets.com Human-Animal Bond Award last year as well - so we've been doubly honored for our passion besides humor and brightening people's days: the feline/human bond. Today's post shares our reaction to the win and a brief explanation of how the story, "Imperfectly perfect ... together: The power of one cat's love," came to be.



To review the list of all the CWA Certificate of Excellence winners, the winner of the Muse Medallion in each category and the winners of the Special Awards: 2019 CWA Communications Contest.

Winning The Goodnewsforpets.com Human-Animal Bond Award

BC: Bear Cat Kat 
MK: Momma Kat 
EM: Ellie Mae Kat 
The Boy: Momma's fiance 

BC: WHAT. ARE. YOU. DOING?
MK: Putting my cookies away.
BC: Is that a euphemism for something?
MK: No. I'm putting my cookies away in the pantry.
BC: NOW?!?
MK: Yes.
BC: They just announced the next award to be given out and it's the Good News For Pets Human-Animal Bond Award ... the special award you entered our story in.
MK: And if I leave the cookies out - you, aka Mr. Compulsive Cookie Licker, will lick every cookie in the package and Ellie will clean up crumbs.
BC: But you have to put the cookies away NOW? At the moment we've been waiting for?
MK: Eh.
BC: What the fluffing mother-meowing ...
{Pause}
BC: Oh.
The Boy: Oh, what?
BC: Momma has this ... "thing." When there's something she wants or needs so badly that it would really hurt her a lot to not get, she has to pretend she doesn't care about it one way or the other. She hates being vulnerable to something out of her control that she might never be good enough for.
The Boy: What?
BC: Didn't you read our story?
The Boy: Yes! Many times!
BC: Then you know that when she was younger she wanted her parents to love her so badly - she wanted that more than anything - and she couldn't ever be good enough. She swore she'd never let herself want something that badly again - to keep from feeling that unbearable pain ever again. So she's pretending she doesn't care if she wins or not.
{Momma sees the computer screen she and The Boy are watching the CWA Awards on and sinks to her knees, then onto her butt on the floor where she stood and sobs uncontrollably}
BC: What? What happened?

The Boy: Kat? Are you okay?
BC: Did we lose? Because I have some connections in the crapping world to deal with that judge!
The Boy: Leave your cat rapping ...
BC: It's called CRAPPING! Cat rapping equals crapping! Capiche? I drop more than beats!
{The Boy looks at what Momma saw on the computer screen}
The Boy: Holy crap.
BC: You JUST SAID no crapping!
The Boy: What?
BC: You requested a holy crap! I do holy craps on Sundays only.
The Boy: NO! You and your Momma won!
BC: OBVIOUSLY.
{Pause}
BC: {whispering to The Boy} Why's she crying?
The Boy: She's happy?
BC: Momma never cries like this! She literally collapsed in tears!
{Momma grabs Bear and pulls him into her}
BC: Now wait a minute! You'd better respect me in the morning!
{Pause}
BC: Oh, hey, now! Hasn't my fur been soaked by enough of your tears? Geez. One little thing and she's just a pile of weeping nonsense!
{Pause}
BC: {whispering to Momma} I love you, Momma. I'm proud of you.
{Momma cries harder ... which no one thought was possible}
BC: This is so UNDIGNIFIED! PUT ME DOWN! HELP! Momma's crushing me! HELP!!! HELP!!!! I'm a cat-cake! HEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLP!!!!! I can't breathe! I can't breathe!!
{Pause}
BC: {whispering to Momma} We did it! Together! Like always. Me and my Momma against the world! Ha! They don't even see us coming!
The Boy: Kat?
BC: DO YOU MIND?! MOMMA AND I ARE HAVING A MOMENT!
The Boy: What about me?
BC: What about you?
The Boy: You were JUST complaining about how she was cat-caking you!
BC: I have no idea what you're talking about.
The Boy: Kat?
{Momma sets Bear down and sits with The Boy on the couch where she still sobs uncontrollably}
BC: PSST! Erm ... can we have some treats? To celebrate our win?!
EM: TREATS?! Did someone say ... TREATS?!?! Because someone already put the cookies away ...

The Boy: What's wrong, Kat?
{A couple minutes pass as Momma collects herself}
MK: I wasn't expecting to win. I wanted to ... so badly, but I just never thought I would. I started crying because I was so happy that we won. I don't make it a secret - my inability to connect with my feelings has caused major trouble in every single intimate relationship I've been in - not to mention making therapy useless. So to connect so readily to my feelings - to sob - I realized every word I wrote in the piece was true and that made me cry even harder. It's easy to declare that you aren't a victim - but I wasn't entirely sure I believed it. The immediate connection to my feelings upon finding out we won showed me the reality is exactly as I stated it in the story: "I am no longer a victim - or just a survivor - I LIVE, I love, and I am a person who has value and the power to be the person I want to be." I don't just survive, I'm a living feeling PERSON - with wants and needs and imperfection and blessings and LIFE. Not only that, but by crying so readily in front of you, I realized that I'm SAFE - surrounded by my cats, you and my friends (at least virtually).
EM: Yoo-hoo! Treats?!?! Maybe a tuna toast?
The Boy: Eww.
EM: Hey, don't knock it until you've tried it.
The Boy: Have you tried it?
EM: Erm ... no. But that's just because you wouldn't let Momma make me a tuna smoothie.
The Boy: I never said she COULDN'T make you one. I just said I wasn't buying her a blender for her birthday so she COULD make you one.
EM: I'm still mad at you!
The Boy: That was almost a year ago!
BC: WOMEN!
MK: Excuse me?
BC: You can't be mad at me! I saved your life!
EM: And you're grounded for the rest of your nine lives!
BC: You can't say my youth was misspent!
MK: YOUTH? You were hell on paws for THIRTEEN YEARS!
BC: Ummm ... so how do you plan to spend the money I won? Maybe start my Flightless Bird Ranch?
The Boy: You could buy fifty rotisserie chickens!
EM: I'd prefer fifty rotisserie tunas!

BC: WHOA! FIFTY?! But maybe I could up give up ten rotisserie chickens and get a tank?
MK: A fish tank.
EM: I'd prefer fifty rotisserie tunas!
BC: FINE! A bazooka!
EM: If Bear gets a bazooka, I want a sparkly pink bazooka!
BC: Phht. My bazooka will be black. Black is a signal of the instrument of death!
EM: I'm not a signal of the instrument of death!
BC: RATS! Why couldn't I be a black cat? It's not fair!
MK: No. You're just an instrument of life - just like in our story.
BC: Hmph. An instrument of death sounds so much more ... cool.
EM: Umm ... so can I get fifty rotisserie tunas!? 
MK: No rotisserie tuna or chicken. No tanks or bazookas. 
BC: Phht. For JUST winning, you're in a bad mood!
MK: Life with cats: lots of love and plenty of crazy.
EM: I'm lots of love!
BC: And Momma's plenty of crazy!
The Boy: Hahahaha.
MK: Oh?
The Boy: Erm ... no?
{Pause}
The Boy: I should've won an award for everything I have to put up with from Bear!
BC: Keep talking, chuckles!


About the Good News For Pets Human-Animal Bond Award

Sponsored by goodnewsforpets.com, a digital publishing platform of Germinder + Associates, this award is presented for the entry that best reflects and promotes the strengthening of the human-animal bond, highlighting the bond between a cat and owner, as well as their relationship with their veterinarian as another direct caregiver. Entries will be judged for exceptional quality and on the ability to convey this concept and connect with the reader.
If you've ever been to a BlogPaws or CWA Conference, you know Lea-Ann Germinder and Good News for Pets. Lea-Ann is passionate about what she does (and pets), she's down to earth and fun to be around and she's dedicated a lot of time and work on behalf of pets and the people who love them. We talked one-on-one in person only once as we both headed to a CWA event and one thing is readily apparent: Lea-Ann's enthusiasm is so vibrant, so heart-felt, so interminable, it's impossible not to be swept up into it. Without knowing much about public relations, it seems to me that if your intent is to generate interest in and get the word out about a product or service, Lea-Ann's contagious enthusiasm is the hallmark of absolute excellence. Lea-Ann also won the CWA Michael Brim Distinguished Service Award for 2019 - which recognizes: 
Extraordinary achievement and communications excellence ... whose published work or actions have had a significant impact on improving the quality of life of cats, educating the public, promoting responsible cat breeding and ownership, and/or facilitating the professional growth of cat writers.
As mentioned above, this is the second year we've won the Good News For Pets Human-Animal Award (last year, we won forDo cats need human interaction or are they completely fine on their own?). Because of what Bear means to my life and the ways he's completely transformed my life and healed so much of the brokenness I'd known before, this award has special meaning to me. With all the ugly cat myths and the culture created by misunderstanding cats, the GNP Award honors people who fight to educate the public on those myths and misunderstandings of cats. I firmly believe entries to this category mean better lives for cats, better lives for the humans who love them and a better understanding of cats that truly saves lives (both human and feline). 




When truth isn't stranger than [my] fiction[s]

Like anyone who's suffered severe trauma and PTSD, I've developed my fictions that I believe keep me safe from future trauma. These fictions function to give one a sense of control over trauma and create a false sense of security. In the dialogue above, I mentioned one of my most pervasive beliefs to keep myself safe: pretending not to care when there is something that I want so badly that not getting it would throw me back to the moments I wanted so badly for my parents to love me - but I never managed to be good enough for them to do so. Another of these fictions is the belief that if I stand up and talk about something that is good in my life or something that is going well, it will be snatched from me in short order. If you ever wonder why I seem less enthusiastic about accomplishments than others - this is why. Of course, another factor in me tamping down excitement over my accomplishments is that I believe those accomplishments are luck and NOT due to any talent on my part. But back to the fiction element, there have been several instances that keep this fiction running. 

First, days after our first blog post, I felt a lump in Bear's back. Nine years earlier, our veterinarian mentioned that I might want to limit the vaccinations I give Bear because of the incidents of Feline Injection Site Sarcomas. I had a weird sense at that time that we would come full circle on my decision to fully vaccinate him. That day came a few days after my first blog post. I first felt the lump on Saturday, took Bear to the vet on Monday and had the lump removed Tuesday. While our vet was confident Bear's tumor wasn't a sarcoma before the surgery - his opinion changed drastically during surgery. Because of the look of the tumor once our vet got in there, he removed three times the tissue he planned to when he thought the tumor was benign. "Sufficient margin" was the best way to describe the six to eight-inch incision down Bear's back (to this day, there continues to be a huge dent in his back where so much tissue was removed). A sample of the tumor was sent off - and for three days, I made every bargain imaginable with God. I wondered if we were being punished because I started our blog. What if my audacity to brag about Bear by starting a blog about him - caused God to knock me down back into humility by taking Bear away? I'd been fighting this fiction for years - though this incident definitely gave the theory some credence. On that Friday, the histopathology came back on the tumor: it was a benign lipoma that had outgrown its blood supply (fortunately, the tumor was removed because there was quite a bit of necrotic tissue and a resulting infection which could've become life-threatening if not promptly treated). You may read more about this incident and what went through my head as we faced this nightmare here: Too Close to a Nightmare I Couldn't Handle.



I completed the story of how Bear saved my life last year - right before his health declined pretty significantly. Is it a coincidence that I finally wrote Bear's story and his health declined so significantly immediately afterward? Had I not written the story, would he still be healthy? What about me being happy or fulfilled causes such future pain? Logically, I'm pretty sure there's no connection: Bear's almost 15! But in the back of my mind, I have to wonder. Should I even write this post sharing the award I won or just pretend it never happened? All I know is that this past year has been very difficult. In this past year, we've faced IBD, chronic pancreatitis, diabetes, and crippling arthritis; we've faced lots of medication and supplements - anything to make Bear's life easier and pain-free. I've found more and more that I'm not happy with the little bit within my power to do for Bear. He's still Bear - but the days of him jumping on counters to clear them are over. Because of all that's happened with Bear's health, I'm even happier that I completed the story of our journey together to healing though there is a part of me that believes the decline in Bear's health was due to sharing that story. Of course, our journey isn't over, and for that, I am incredibly grateful.


Reflecting on our Good News For Pets Human-Animal Bond Award

Many people believe the life of a writer is a solitary one. Perhaps you even believe writing is a one-way profession - the writer provides content to be consumed by some nebulous group of readers. However, my experience couldn't be any more different and I'd like to take a minute to tell the story of the organizations and people that kept me writing until I completed, "Imperfectly Perfect: The power of one cats love," the award-winning true story of the power of one cat's love to completely transform my life and heal what I thought was irreparably broken.



Upon reflecting on us winning the Good News For Pets Human-Animal Bond Award, I can't help but observe that it should be wholly appropriate that the judge for the Award this year would be associated with BlogPaws (now All Pet Voices).  I started Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat in early 2015 - one year into my recovery from anorexia. At the time, my friends LOVED my stories of Bear's exploits and encouraged me to start a blog all about Bear and his [mis]adventures. By 2016, I was incredibly discouraged with blogging. I hadn't found the Cat Blogosphere, I wasn't drawing many readers and I had no idea there was a Cat Writer's Association. By chance, I came across BlogPaws while searching for help with blogging. They were accepting nominations for their yearly Nose-to-Nose Awards and I made a quick decision in that I would nominate myself: if I was named a finalist, I would continue blogging - and if I wasn't, I'd quit blogging. Did I really think I would be a finalist? Absolutely not! That was the whole point ... AN EASY WAY TO JUSTIFY QUITTING. And then we WERE named as finalists. WHAT?!?!?!

At that time, with recovery becoming more and more of a stable reality, I looked around at how small anorexia and my past trauma caused my life to be: I'd pushed almost everyone away, I had little interest in things not completely within my control and I stayed within my safe "box." When I got the e-mail about our finalist status, I replied with a [hopefully tactful] concern: I asked if my getting the e-mail about our blog being a finalist was a mistake. Yes, I was honestly convinced that us ending up as a finalist was only a mistake. Yvonne DiVita, the co-founder of BlogPaws, replied that it was not a mistake. Well ... CRAP! There went my easy out of blogging: THANK YOU VERY MUCH BLOGPAWS! I replied to her with a simple apology that I was an extreme introvert and going to a BlogPaws Conference was so far out of my comfort zone that I had a panic attack even THINKING about going and I'd need a spaceship to get from my comfort zone to the Conference. Yvonne DiVita replied with a confession: she too is an introvert and she couldn't wait to meet me at the Conference. Erm ... WHAT?!? THE CO-FOUNDER OF BLOGPAWS IS AN INTROVERT?! Maybe I'm just a more extreme introvert? That was the only explanation! At that moment, I remembered a quote I heard years before: "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it." So I went to BlogPaws 2016 in Phoenix.

At the same time as I considered going to the Conference, through the list of other BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose finalists, I found the blogosphere - and more specifically - the Cat Blogosphere. I happened upon The Cat On My Head by Janet Blue who hosts the Sunday Selfies blog hop - and through that blog hop, I truly became part of the community of cat bloggers. When I had panic attacks about going to the Conference, many of our new friends were there with encouragement. I and another finalist, Rachel Loehner from Three Chatty Cats, e-mailed back and forth for months supporting each other in our decision to attend BlogPaws. As "conference buddies," I knew I always had someone to sit with - and someone to walk the red carpet with before the award ceremony!


Debbie Glovatsky of Glogirly (a fellow finalist in Best Pet Humor Blog) was another of the very best of our new cat blogging friends - she made me promise to seek her out when I got there so she could give me a hug. Then she introduced me to the other cat bloggers. Funny enough - tell me the blog, and I could tell you the names of every single cat - and I had MANY questions about the cats - even if I had no clue who the human behind the blog was. SparkleCat? Summer Samba, Binga and Boodie! Sweet Purrfections? Truffle and Brulee! The Island Cats? Wally, Ernie and Zoey! A Tonk's Tale? Allie, Maxie and Faraday! Rachel and Debbie's kindness and support made my excursion completely outside of my comfort zone and attending the 2016 BlogPaws Conference possible. Additionally, Debbie taught me a lot about writing a humor/entertainment blog by example - and I enjoyed every minute of my "research," following her cats, Katie and Waffles.




In attending to the details of the BlogPaws conference, I came across the Cat Writer's Association - who was holding their conference in partnership with BlogPaws. Had I decided not to attend BlogPaws, I would never have discovered CWA. Along with that, BlogPaws offered one-on-one mini-sessions with experts related to blogging and writing. I signed up for a session with Lonnie Hull DuPont (there mainly for the CWA part of the conference) - at that time, an editor at Revell and Baker Books. I came prepared! The session was to last fifteen minutes - but an hour later (by coincidence, many of her appointments never showed up!) - after many tears and a genuine connection forged by understanding the healing power of cats - we planned to meet up again in person. I finally got to see pictures of Kit Kat and Lucy - the stars of her upcoming book about two cats who changed her life, Kit Kat and Lucy. Me being me, I minimized this encounter thinking I'd be easily forgotten - but upon saying my name at future conferences, she'd reply, "BEAR CAT!" She remembered me - and Bear. At the CWA Conference in May 2019, Lonnie (known as Callie Smith Grant on the anthologies she edits) solicited stories around the Rescue Cat theme for her upcoming anthology. We talked for quite a bit there as well. The deadline to submit stories was in July 2019. I'd now been blogging for four and a half years and I hadn't written the story I started blogging to tell - how Bear saved my life. 

Days before the deadline, I e-mailed Lonnie and begged her for advice - I just couldn't figure out how to tell the story in a way that honored Bear as much as he deserved. Her reply? Essentially: maybe you aren't ready to tell your story. WHAT?!?! I still don't know if she knew what she was doing by replying that way - I took it as a challenge. I suspect she knew EXACTLY what she was doing and I set out to prove her wrong in saying that I wasn't ready. Within days, I had around 3000 words. She cut quite a bit of the story - and many of the parts that I felt made the story so powerful (I'm not upset about this - I know as an editor you have to make many decisions based on the tone of the book and legal issues). Alright then. I decided I was going to publish the WHOLE story on our blog. I was really doing this!! It took roughly a month to complete the story - and by then, the story of how Bear saved my life ballooned to over 6500 words! I was shocked at what I had in me. For months, I'd come up blank trying to put the details of how Bear saved my life into words - and yet, I managed to give Bear the honor he deserves. Telling the story, crafting my words to perfection, editing and editing ... I had to face some of the most shameful parts of my life over and over again. I'm not proud that I had an eating disorder that almost killed me - despite treatment after treatment. I'm not proud that my childhood was full of so much pain, not proud that I cut myself along with starving myself, and certainly not proud of the years of PTSD, anxiety and depression. But I am proud of the story I managed to tell. The anthology, Second-Chance Cats, including the much shorter version of how Bear saved my life will be released on September 15, 2020.


Without BlogPaws, I would've quit blogging (and never experienced three BlogPaws Conferences that short tracked meeting brands and learning about all the aspects of blogging that would take a person a lifetime to learn on her own), I never would've found the Cat Blogosphere or the Cat Writer's Association (and made so many amazing, wonderful and inspirational friends), I never would've met Lonnie Hull DuPont whose call for rescue stories got me to sit down and attempt to share our journey ... and the story of how Bear saved my life would still be a bunch of nebulous ideas floating around in my head. With this story of how BlogPaws was instrumental in my getting to the point where I could tell the tale of how Bear saved me, it seems oddly appropriate that Chloe (rhymes with glow) DiVita would be the judge of the category it was entered in (former Chief of Everything for BlogPaws and now the co-founder of All Pet Voices; also a dynamic force of nature whose enthusiasm is contagious!). Thank you to Chloe for choosing our story and connecting with it on such a profound level - that's the ultimate compliment on such a deeply personal story.

Thank you to "The Boy" aka my fiance. We met when he found our blog and thought it was funny. Ever since, he's encouraged me, inspired me with blog ideas and his own sense of humor and fought by my side. Together, we adopted Ellie Mae, and became a family. Thank you to all of our readers and friends as well - because I wouldn't still be writing with all of your support! When I started blogging, I envisioned a one-way relationship where I create content to be consumed by a distinct readership. I've come to learn that blogging is just as much about being part of a community - among other bloggers - and among the people who enjoy our content and interact with us regularly. Bear and my lives have been impacted and improved by all of you and we are grateful for your support and friendship. A final thank you to all our fellow cat bloggers and fellow CWA members: Thank you for all the ways you've touched our lives, the ways we've fallen in love with your cats and grieved when it was time to say good-bye (the grieving part is 100% true. The Boy has seen me super upset time and time again only to hear that another blogging cat we love dearly has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. He [only half] jokes that I seem far more upset about these cats I've never met in person than I would be if he left.), the support and friendship you've offered to the new kid on the block when you've long "made-it" in the cat world. I didn't set out to make friends in blogging - but now, I can't imagine life without our readers, our colleagues, our friends and those of you who are all three.


ps - A super special thank you to a handful of you who offered unconditional friendship and support to us without me having done anything to deserve it. You've supported us endlessly, never left us out of even the smallest tidbit of community and checked in with us regularly just because you care. I can't put the connection we share into words - but it's profound, extensive and beautiful. Thank you.


© 2020 Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat - Published by K. Kern. 
All text, pictures, images, and other content are original and copyright by Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat [K. Kern], 2015-2020. No content on Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat may be used without the owner's [K. Kern] written permission. If you see this post posted on a site that isn't Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat, please contact cats@mommakatandherbearcat.com. 

55 comments

  1. We are so proud of you, congratulations! When we first read the story about you and Bear we knew it was a winner, but of course having met you in person we already knew you were a winner!

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  2. YOU are totally epic lady! and Bear is totally EPIC BEAR! I am so proud of you all (and maybe if our new adoption works out Bear may meet a new friend....)

    Now I need to get a copy of the book!

    And if I can win Special Awards and YOU can win Special Awards - the world is now our oyster!!!

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  3. I cried along with you reading this. I’m so happy for you - that you won and that you could share your emotions about winning. Congratulations!

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  4. This is such a moving post and I can relate so much. I too am an introvert and suffer panic attacks often (and almost agoraphobic these days) and if I lived in the US I probably would not be able to visit BlogPaws at all because of this.

    Congrats on everything you've achieved. You deserve it!

    Marie x

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    1. You might surprise yourself ... because I did! Thank you :)

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  5. Huger congratulations on your success. When I first read your story I knew you were a very brave person who deserves success and happiness.

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    Replies
    1. Huge not huger! Stupid blue tooth keypad adds extra letters when it feels like it!

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  6. Congratulations to you Katherine, and Bear, Ellie Mae and The Boy. You earned every honor, and I am especially happy that you are successful. Bear and Ellie Mae are dear friends of mine and Katie's. You are a dear friend to me.

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    1. Yes! We truly cherish you and Katie. You bring so much happiness and love into our lives - and you're always there to support us. Thank YOU!

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  7. Do we rescue cats, or do they rescue us?
    Pondering...
    Concats on the win!

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    Replies
    1. We have a page of a similar name on our blog ... the jury's still out!

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  8. Congratulations! Mom has anxiety issues and she feels we are her lifesavers!

    The Florida Furkids

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  9. Congratulations! I’m so proud of the journey you’ve taken and where you are now. I know it’s hard, but you must realize that you are a unique individual who has her own challenges and successes. I’m looking forward to working with you on the CWA the next couple of years. I’m happy to call you my friend.

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    1. I can't wait to get started working together for CWA. And thank you for the rest - the pleasure of your friendship means a lot to me.

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  10. Oh my goodness what a journey you and Bear had...MOST of all you came out together. Congratulations..you are a writer with many stories to share..

    I can tell you from my daughter and son in law's traumatic experience at the Las Vegas shootings on Oct 1, 2017, my grand kitties Mia and Frisco were there to greet them when they got home, make biscuits on their laps and snuggle LOTS. The event was horrible needless to say but the after affects of anxiety and imagining all the 'what ifs', PTSD real and it takes time to overcome.
    Thank you for sharing this with your readers. My blogging friends have meant to me all these years...support, friendship and understanding; however, over the last 5 months of the pandemic..I can truthfully say having them to talk to each day, read their funny stories, be sad with them at their losses and just know they are there has been very touching. Sincere thanks and
    Hugs Cecilia

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    1. I can't even imagine what they went though! PTSD is pervasive and invades every part of your life until you realize you're not really living anymore - but just surviving. One of the hardest parts is realizing just acknowledging the problem isn't enough to defeat it. I was in therapy for years and it just wasn't enough. I don't know how many times I talked about it. With Bear, I didn't have to say a word. Heck, if I put all the money together I paid to therapists - Bear would have a state-sized tasty whole chicken farm!

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  11. GUYZ !!!! we iz BUZZED BEYOND SOOOPER HAPPEE for yur mom... how total lee kewl iz thiz :) conga ratz timez 984 on all yur awardz....itz time ta sell a brate; N joy a tastee hole chkcn....yes.....ewe hurd uz rite, N joy a..... CHKN !!! :) ♥♥♥♥♥

    K; well deserved my friend; you realize that you have; and have had, inner strength, all along ♥♥♥ L

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    1. Thank you. We are speechless that you would celebrate with us ... even if it involved a b***. We love you guys and we appreciate your friendship and support!

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  12. I'm so happy for your Muse win and your Special Award! I'm humbled that you included me and that I was able to play some tiny role in your BlogPaws and blogging journey! And how very exciting about your story coming out in the book!

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    1. I'm excited ... a little ;) Congratulations on your two Muses too!

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  13. Congratulations on your awards! You were brave to tell your story...I truly believe our pets are lifesavers...and am truly grateful for the ones that are part of my life. oxox

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  14. HUGE, HUGE, HUGE congratulations to you!!! You deserve this SO much. I didn't know you met The Boy because of the blog! That is so cool.

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    1. Most people don't know that's how we met! We've never really talked about it. Thank you. And congratulations on your Muse too!

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  15. Congratulations on your muse medallion and your certificates- all well-deserved. XO

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  16. Katherine, you are so totally deserving of this award having bared your soul in your story of your relationship with Bear. I really wish the conference had taken place so we could have spent time together as we discussed. I predict that this post (if you submit it) will win an award next year. You are an inspiration to me and so many others. I always love the photos of you and Bear together. The love radiates from them. Again, congratulations! Hugs to all of you, Janet & Kitties Blue

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    1. I would've LOVED to spend that time with you! Thank you for everything you said. I don't feel inspirational - but I'm glad if that's what I accomplish!

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  17. Congratulations, Momma Kat! You SO deserve your all the recognition you are receiving for your amazing work. We love you, and are so happy for you, and proud of you!

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  18. Oh y cod! What a wonderful post! Wes wrestles with many of the things that yous has and most likely will continues until wes can gets past our hurdles. We are so proud and happy that yous has achieved so much - purrsonally and professionally. Wes sends virtual hugs, kisses, biscuits, head butts and purrs
    Marv, Mo Jo, Kozmo, Cinnamon, Angel Nellie and Mommy

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    1. Thank you! We've been thinking about you guys a lot and wondering how you all are!

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  19. As a dog owner, I'm probably somewhat of an outlier to your group of followers but absolutely love your blog and the adventures of your fur-kids. 'Concatulations' on a very well-deserved recognition by those who love and know you best. We're so very happy for you and send our best wishes for continued success. 💖
    Hugs and tail wags from your 'fur-iends,'
    Monika, Norman & Elsa 🐾

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    1. Love comes in all forms and we don't discriminate. We fell in love with Sam and Elsa - and now Norman!

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  20. Congratulations on your awards! I'm glad I've been able to know you since the beginning of your blogging journey and that you were brave enough to attend the conference - and keep attending!

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    1. We love you and your girls! I must admit I was disappointed when the CWA Conference was canceled - we all need to find another excuse to meet up! Congratulations on your Awards as well - the Fear Free especially!

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  21. Con-cat-tulations on your well-deserved awards, from a fellow introvert (and her cats)!

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  22. Thanks so much for sharing your story! So happy you won! You all deserve it-Amarula says to give Bear an extra kiss of congrats!

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  23. Congratulations! I know how tough it is to really put yourself out there. I also consider myself an extreme introvert and going to conferences was extremely challenging for me too. I'm so glad I got to meet you at one! While my upbringing was quite different, for whatever reasons I still fear grasping happiness for fear it will be taken away immediately. I still have a story to tell that I may never get up the nerve to do....so I get how difficult it was for you to do so. You deserve every award you have gotten for that. ♥

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    1. We'd love to hear your story! Part of my problem is knowing where to start. If you ever want to talk it out or we can help, please let us know.

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  24. Ah my friend, an honor well-deserved. I'll never forget my first foray into a pet blogging conference at BlogPaws. You and Rachel saved the day for me. I may seem outgoing but I hate to put myself into situations where I know no one. I'm so proud of you! The Tribe has weighed in and wants to know when Bear's flightless chicken ranch will be opening.
    Hugs, Purrs & Head Bonks,
    Anita, Lily, Oliver & Alberto

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    1. You've always been one of the very best friends! I still laugh about Myrtle Beach when I tried to get you and Jodi to meet each other in person. You two are the funniest women I know!

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  25. Concatulations on your well-deserved awards ! We're so glad you began blogging, and it's so great it helps you in such a wonderful way, you can be proud of yourself ! The pet blogging community is amazing, and very supportive indeed. Purrs

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  26. Congratulations on your dedication! You are worth it!

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  27. Bear and Momma Kat, we are so proud of you and know that you are so-o very deserving of your certificates and MUSE awards! Mom and I watched the awards on Zoom. Mom says, "We chatted a CONCATS message to you that was meant to be seen by all 'attendees and panel', but I realized later that I had accidentally pushed the wrong button so unfortunately it was only seen by the panel. Your story was so heartwarming, sincere, and raw, and so well written. By opening yourself up and being vulnerable, you have given others the courage to do so as well. You are both an inspiration." Big hugs.

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