Online Cat Sites, Prejudice and Personal Preference

Online Cat Sites, Prejudice and Personal Preference

by Elisa Black-Taylor
(USA)

I'm leaving you for an online mate!

I'm leaving you for an online mate!

Ok friends, it's time to grab a cup of coffee and start the day with a smile. I'm happy and my cats are happy. Today I'd like to talk about online cat sites. I'm going to ramble a bit. Maybe a lot. Just bear with me. I want your opinion later.

This article isn't like most of those I write. It's based almost solely on my own opinions and personal preference to the cats I gravitate towards.

First let me say I never dreamed of all of the different sites available to meet other cat lovers. I grew up in the day when Cat Fancy magazine was all we cat lovers had. Am I the only one left in the dark ages? There are sites for cat lovers and sites for the cats personally. There are groups on human online sites for cat lovers to join. Sometimes I feel I live thru the internet. I've never met most of my friends.

Pictures-of-cats.org will always be my first love because they have welcomed me as a member of their family. I love to read all of the stories and feel I've made a lot of friends here. I did a tad of research on pictures-of-cats.org. and learned that in the U.S. alone there are over 93,000 readers monthly. I don't know how old the research on this is. Perhaps Michael can throw in a comment or two on this (see comment below). I have no doubt this is the number one cat site out there. I love the stories and I love the family atmosphere we all feel once we've visited a few times. I'm quick to find new authors with personal cat stories and welcome them aboard. Helmi is my cat photographer idol.

Now I'll move on without calling any online cat sites by name.

The cat profiles are SO cute on each of the online cat sites I checked. It reminds me of an online dating site for people. Not that I use those myself. I'm too busy living, sleeping, and breathing cats. Everything from skills to favorite cat sleeping spots are included in the biography. Also physical traits and even a personalized story. Many sites are photo only sites. I love to surf the internet and look at all the pictures and read all the information I can pack into my overworked brain. I love finding friends at these online cat sites. If someone doesn't like cats, I definitely don't want that person as a friend.

One site I checked sparked my interest in a pedigree cat. I checked out the times the profile had been viewed (967) and how many friends the cat had (7). As soon as I saw the cat was a pedigree with few friends, I decided not to befriend the cat for my cat Angel.

Which brings me to my next concern. Am I prejudiced or is the other cats owner? Did many other cat lovers want to be this cats friend and were turned away? Or did that cat receive no other requests because it's a pedigree? Do we as humans put other peoples cats into categories by breed or personality or appearance. I know this sounds crazy, but think about it. We do it with people all the time.

Personally I have a preference for stray, abandoned or feral cats. I pull for the "underdog." Does that mean I don't like pedigreed cats? Possibly. Because they seem to live the good life. People pay good money for a cat based on ancestry. Usually these cats are planned for and not just picked up on the side of the road or from under an abandoned house. Or as in my Angels case, planted under a bush in my yard for me to find. When I think of "pedigree" I think of cats who never had to struggle for anything in their life. Perhaps pedigree owners stick together the same way those of us with a moggie or feral stick together. I truly believe we're the lucky ones when the cat chooses us instead of the other way around.

This even applies to those of us who adopt from shelters. The cat still chooses the new owner. There's always that one cat you can't get out of your head when you meet it on the other side of the cage. Now back to the friend choices.

This brings me to the question of how other members of online cat sites choose friends for their pet. In a perfect world all friend requests would be accepted regardless.. Do others choose friends based on geography, breed, individual profile or cuteness. Is the "story" important. I hope it is and people are merely choosing cat friends with a similar story. Does "my cat must be prettier than your cat" apply. Or "your cat is prettier than my cat therefore it won't want to be my friend." .When I say this out loud it's comes out totally stupid and shallow.

Which is much the way society sees everything

I've personally had several cats that others would think ugly. They've been some of the sweetest cats I've ever known.

I'm including the first and only pictures I post of Angel. He's a giant beauty. Smokey's not bad either. I keep them as private as possible. I write a lot of controversial material and don't want to involve my own babies in any enemies I may make. I step on a lot of toes with some of my articles. I had to show them off just once.

Are any of you prejudiced to any particular cat for any reason? I'm just curious. One more question while I'm at it. I'm sure Michael will be interested in the answer to this one. When you go to the front page of a cat website, what are you, the reader, looking for? Does the picture, the story or the writer draw your attention into the site?

Personally I enjoy stories of cat rescues and cats who lived against all odds. I also look for articles concerning unknown dangers our cats face. There are many new dangers to our cats that weren't known a decade ago. I subscribe to 6 different cat newsletters and many of them help form my stories here on pictures-of-cats.org. I try my best, as do all of us here, to inform the readers of laws that need to be changed.

It disturbs me that I'm in any way prejudiced towards pedigreed cats as friends for my moggies. There's so reason for it. In my heart I love all cats. I've owned pedigreed cats.

I'm getting off now to try and figure myself out.

Elisa

Hi Elisa.... I think the figure you have for traffic at PoC is a bit out of date.

According to Alexa (an Amazon company) which measures website traffic PoC is the number 53,000th site in the world. As there are hundreds of millions that ain't bad. It is the top 3 of all cat sites on the internet and gets about 12,000 individual unique visitors per day (but figures are not always that accurate to be honest).

Anyway I don't want to boast. But the contributions that you make and other visitors make are vital and very important to me and all the visitors. PoC would not be what it is without the contributions of visitors.

Michael Avatar

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Online Cat Sites, Prejudice and Personal Preference

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Jun 05, 2010 Hi Kathy
by: Ruth

What a lovely message !
I love you and your posts too and if ever you come to the North of England you will be most welcome in our home.
Yes isn't it strange how real the people are on here, it's hard to believe we are in far different countries to each other.
I read all the pages here too but don't always have time to comment.
People like the one killing a cougar on sight make me angry,I'm with you on that.
Why can't they live and let live. But you just can't convince some people who are adamant they are right.I think sometimes even when they realise they are not right after all, they just won't admit it !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Jun 04, 2010 I totally agree
by: kathy

I agree with your statements. I too stumbled upon POC quite by accident and I dont even remember how. It is the only cat site I get through my E- Mail and I love it. I feel like I too have friends here and even have been drawn into a serious debate with someone over the cougar question. This person was so adamant that if you meet a cougar in the wild you should immediatly kill it. Well that was his opionion and our differences ran quite a while until we both gave up on a no win debate. I feel like the people here are real people and since I dont have my own computer I dont have a lot of computer time. I do however look at every submission on here. Some I even save for future reference. I feel like these are real people and its so amazing that some of them are from clear around the world. I find that really amazing. I cant say that I visit any other cat sites due to my time limit. But I truly love Michael, and Ruth and Maggie and everyone here even Finn Frode. I feel as if I know them personally and would welcome any of them into my home. This site has made my cry in public in the library as people share all their feelings about their furry friends and other animals as well. I now know that I am not the only Cat Lady and that there are Cat Men as well. This is truly my favorite and probaly only cat site on this web. I love all of you!!!


May 28, 2010 Cat websites and cat snobbery
by: Tracey (England)

I stumbled on PoC quite by accident (I still can't remember how) But I'm so glad I did because otherwise I wouldn't have realised that de-clawing happens and I wouldn't have met (by email) Kattadora and Babz. I also wouldn't have met the rest of you guys and last but not least Michael.

We've always had cats in the family and I've never really thought about their looks; I've just always known that I love them. (We've been graced with 2 cats with only one eye so trust me we've never been bothered!)

I've had pedigrees more recently but more so because of what I've read about their personality more than their looks however I'm sorry in advance to the Elf Cat fanciers but I don't think I could love this type of cat no matter how charismatic they are! Those ears! Just awful what breeders will do; can't be right surely!!

We've had cats in the past of varying colours and coat types but ever since we had Tasha (given to us by someone who no longer wanted her, then sadly run over age 3) I've had a weakness for semi long haired or long haired cats (Tasha was semi long haired) In fact we now have Ozzie because we stumbled on a Maine Coon cat show years ago. We were attracted to it because of the pictures outside which were so like our adopted stray Basil of the time (sadly also run over) We went into the show because we realised that Basil was so like a Maine Coon (however he did have a face 'only a mammy could love') After showing a breeder a photo it seemed that Basil with his rangey body and long coat could indeed have been Maine Coon mix.

I do really feel that those of us who genuinely love cats (unless its an Elf! - sorry again!) aren't bothered about their cats looks; they just love them for who they are.

Perhaps its those that have a cat so that they can tell everyone 'oh he's a pedigree and he cost X amount' who are the cat snobs and don't really love their cats for who they are but what they are and also they possibly feel that their status has been elevated because they own a pegigree.

For me pedigree or not its that unconditional love they have for you and the look that says 'love you mammy now gimme my tea!' that I could never live without.

A friend of mine once said to me 'if you werent married you'd just be 'that mad cat woman from down the street!' Yep! probably spot on!

Elisa keep posting! I love your article, promise I'll comment in future!


May 25, 2010 Elisa
by: Maggie Sharp

I think I know what you mean, but from my experience it seems that a cat is cat, cats don't descriminate against each other based on who is pedigree and who is not, do they? Chilli and Wilson were like brothers, they had only known each other for less than a month, Wilson was a feral cat, whereas Chilli was pedigree. The same goes for Mae, she was a feral, Chilli doesn't care that she's not pedigree, he loves her just because she is a cat. She is a friend for him.

Perhaps the reason that the cat only had 7 friends was because of the cat owner? Some people think that because their cat has a pedigree their cat is therefore superior to non-pedigree cats. Some people are like this, but the vast majority are not.

I'll have a read through your articles now, and I will leave a comment on a few of them too. I know that it's nice to get feedback on articles, as a lot of effort is put into them... And having a looked at some some of the titles, I think I'm in for quite a good read. =)

Also, thank you so much for you kind words on Chilli.


May 25, 2010 Maggie
by: Elisa Black-Taylor

That's what I mean. I love all cats. I've had pedigree Maine Coons before. I think I've been influenced by the media about them. I believe a part of me believes my cat wouldn't make as good a friend to a pedigreed cat because its a moggie. In my head none of this makes any sense because it's not who I am. I never meet a stranger in the real cat world. I still wonder why the cat on the website only has 7 friends. In a way its sad.

I don't know what influence belonging to the cat writers association will have on me. I still plan to do the cat news stories here. If nothing else I'll get more recognition.

One strange thing about my writing. I've written a lot of important, fact filled articles and not gotten the first comment on them. If you google Elisa Black and Elisa Black-Taylor they'll all show up. I wrote this article because it upset me about my feelings and I was rambling trying to psychoanalyze myself and already have more comments that many of the articles I believe were more important.

I keep up on Chili. I love your kitty. Keep writing about him. I always look for your stories.


May 25, 2010 Hi Elisa
by: Maggie Sharp

Hi Elisa, I have to agree with everything you said in regard to PoC. It has a wonderful atmosphere and is a great place to come to express one's opinion.

Though, I don't so much agree with what you said about pedigree cats. I do respect your opinions a lot, but I own a pedigree cat and I am good friends with many cat breeders. My cat is a beautiful Abyssinian named Chilli. He is my whole world, I didn't buy him because I wanted to breed him and I didn't buy him to show him. I bought him because I wanted a cat that was just right for me. I looked in shelters and other breeder's websites, but no cats that I met or saw felt right, until I saw Chilli's photo, he was just what I imagined, I had never met him but it sort felt like we'd always known each other. It's hard to explain... Anyway, I'm getting a bit off topic, I don't regard Chilli as superior because he's a pedigree cat, and I certainly don't regard ferals and moggies as a lower class to him. I believe that every living thing in this world is equal, the kittens in the shelters are equal to the lions in Africa. In my opinion there is no such thing as superiority or inferiority.

What is the Cat Writers Association? Now I'm going to have to search PoC and read the rest of your articles, Elisa! Hehe. I hope you do get your professional writers status. I also love writing, so this is the best place to come to do what we love about who we love, isn't it?

And Michael, as Elisa said, don't hesitate to brag! This is a wonderful website and we have you to thank for it! Keep up the good work! I didn't know you helped cats (though, I am not surprised) you should write the things you do Michael, I would be very interested to hear about it.


May 24, 2010 another reason I love POC
by: Elisa Black-Taylor

I love it that I can go to the little Google box on the POC site and type in the cat subject I'm looking for. I know the information will be true and accurate. If it's a subject not yet covered here and it's something I'm interested in, I'll write it. That's how you see so many new topics on my stories. The comments are also easier to keep up with here.

Sometimes one of my cat newsletters will mention something I'm interested and I'll look it up on POC. Many times I end up writing about something totally different than what I planned. I suffered a major concussion in 2004 and it left me a little loopy. I'll dig into a subject and become obsessed with it. For the 3-4- hours it takes me to write a story no one can get my attention away from that subject. I love informing my readers.

And Michael, you should be bragging. I know you never sleep. Did everyone here know that Michael gets started at about 4a.m.? He works 20 hrs a day helping cats. At least it seems that long.

You guys have another surprise coming. Hopefully it is going thru with no glitches. Michael is helping me get into Cat Writers Association. Thru all of my articles here I now qualify for professional writer status.


May 24, 2010 Cat sites
by: Ruth

Hi Elisa, thanks for another wonderful article !
I used to visit many cat sites until I got so involved with helping educate and fight for a declawing ban in the USA on top of my other animal welfare stuff. But since then I have to be very choosy as I just don't have much time to browse now and since I came across Michaels's PoC it has been my priority site.
The main reason is that he donates so much to cat welfare and rescue, but also he never moderates our articles or comments,in fact he helps make my anti declaw articles more eye catching by processing the picture bit for me so it is larger.He also respects everyones opinion(even though reading between the lines he finds it difficult with pro declaws)
I didn't know there is sites for cats to have friends. Don't tell our boyz or they'll want my computer to have a look !
I visit some cat sites where I posted our petition, to post an update, but I don't feel at home in them as I do here.
I love all cats, from ferals to pedigree and even the ones with faces only a mother could love.Some pedigrees are not priveliged,Kizzy a Persian who is almost 16 and lives next door was going to be PTS as he was no good for breeding or showing, Larry lives there too, a cream Persian,he's now about 5,and apparently this happens a lot.
Cats have come to us for 36 years now, each and every one beautiful and made welcome and much loved.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


May 24, 2010 PoC vs. other Cat Sites
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

Hi Elisa, Thank you again for such a wonderful article and food for thought.

Please don't think pedigreed cats have it over the others. Our local shelter has seen more than their fair share of 'pedigreed' cats who were abandoned, through no fault of their own. The economy, moving/landlord, loss of interest, abuse and a plethora of other reasons still apply - even to the pedigreed felines.

PoC is by far the finest example of cat info I've seen in some time. I also subscribe to a few other sites, but keep returning to this one.

What I glean from other sites are the cat stories/rescues, info on feral cat houses, latest legal issues and the general 'feeling' of the site. Poc is still my #1 favorite! I've given the PoC web address to several people and they've expressed their delight as well.

Nice work Elisa...you too, Michael.



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