Monday, July 13, 2020

Waffles and Glogirly's Sabbatical

WAFFLES:  So Glogirly?

GLOGIRLY:  Waffles?

WAFFLES:  So Glogirly? What's this sabbatical stuff you've been talking about?

GLOGIRLY:  It's like a break, Waffles.

WAFFLES:  Like a lunch break?

GLOGIRLY:  It's a little longer than just a lunch break, Waffles. A sabbatical is a time for reflection on the past, a chance to live and appreciate the present, and it's an opportunity to plan our next chapter. Our future.

WAFFLES:  Do we get to do this sabbatical thing together?

GLOGIRLY:  Yes, of course, Waffles. Think of it like hitting the pause button so we can find our path for expression and joy as we move forward. Together.

WAFFLES:  Ok then. As long as we're together...

GLOGIRLY:  ...we have everything we need.

Waffles & Glogirly's Sabbatical
We're taking a little bit of a pause from our weekly blog postings so we can spend time together playing with feathers, watching the hummingbirds, and reflecting on our precious time with Katie and how she has helped shape our lives. 

At the same time, we want to look ahead to find our joy, our laughter, and promises of dreams. 

This sabbatical is not a goodbye, but rather a brief break. A respite. We have every intention of returning to share our smiles, conversations, and photos with you. Waffles will most certainly have a LOT to say and we don't want you to miss a single meow. 

If you're already subscribed to our blog with your email, you'll get an alert just as soon as we're back. If you're not, please sign up below. We won't send you junk or spam, we never share emails either. 

We'll still be around on Facebook during our sabbatical, so please feel free to say hello there. 

With love, gratitude, and smiles,

Glogirly & Waffles

Monday, July 6, 2020

Remembering Katie - A Tribute to an Unforgettable Tuxedo Cat

Did you know that this is the photo that started it all? It was one of the very first photos that Gloman took of us that first weekend when Katie joined our family. Little did any of us know how much this tiny tuxedo kitten would change our lives, and the lives of so many wonderful cat loving people around the world, when we published our first blog post on June 16, 2009. 

In Katie's words, "I was an anniversary present. A nice man with kind brown eyes and a deep, velvety voice picked me out from all the other kittens at the shelter. He adopted me for someone he said was very, very special. This special someone had no idea what he was up to. I was going to be a HUGE surprise." 

Love at First Sight
Not only was it a huge surprise, it was love at first sight. For both the kitten and the girl. While Glogirly was folding towels on the bed, she caught a glimpse of something darting through the house just outside the bedroom door. It didn't take long for her to discover it was a kitten, with a small purple ribbon tied around her neck and a tag that read, "Happy Anniversary, Baby!" She named the sweet kitten, Katie.

Just a few years later, Glogirly decided to dip her toes in the blogging water. She'd been laid off from her 20-year career in design and visual merchandising from a major department store company. Thinking about the next chapter, she decided it might be a good idea to learn and thing or two about blogging and social media. 

Gloman noticed her staring at a blank screen when she was searching for the right words to start that first posting, and he made a suggestion that changed the course of history almost as much as the day he brought Katie home to his girl. "Why don't you have Katie introduce the blog?" 

And so it began. Our cat blog was born. Glogirly fell in love with writing in Katie's voice. It was WAY more fun than writing in her own. From day one, she always felt as if she could read Katie's mind. Sarcastic and cheeky with a dry wit, but at the same time, wise and insightful. The voice Glogirly imagined and put to words was completely inspired by Katie's personality, the way she moved with such grace, and her classic deadpan stare. Even as a kitten, Katie's expression was a little bit serious. 

"Hi everyone, Katie here."
That's how we began our first blog post and each post after that. (Until Waffles, that is...more on that later!)  

Some of the things we hold dearest are the hundreds of blog posts and thousands of photos we have. It's impossible to share all our favorites, but there are a couple that stand out in our memory bank.

Ribbons and Shoelaces, oh MY
Ever since Katie was a kitten, she had an insatiable fascination with ribbons and strings. We learned that the hard way when, unbeknownst to us, she ate a three-foot piece of tiny mesh ribbon. Yes, it was pink. After a high-speed trip to the hospital, emergency surgery, and some eventual tears of relief, any sort of ribbon or string was at that point considered illegal contraband in our home. 

A year or so later, the list of off-limits items was expanded to include shoelaces for reasons Katie would vehemently deny. The shoelace incident inspired what is probably the most iconic photo of Katie, as well as one of her very early videos which was a finalist in The Friskies competition. 

In Katie's words, "The evidence is clearly circumstantial. I did NOT have inappropriate contact with those shoelaces. I've been framed."

Helping Shelter Cats with Win-Wins
In the fall of 2012, Katie was invited to participate in a fundraising event called The Cat Ruler of the World and Campaign for a Cause Contest. Created by our dear friend Deb Barnes, from The Chronicles of Zee and Zoey, the contest brought together an incredible lineup of talented cat bloggers and generous sponsors. It was a presidential election year, which inspired the purposefully lighthearted political theme. Each cat candidate stumped on their own blog by publishing a variety of posts featuring their "platform" (cause), the rescue shelter they were supporting, and plenty of just-for-fun topics. 

The winner of the contest, chosen by reader votes, would not only win the title of Cat Ruler of the World, but more importantly, over $7,500.00 in cash and supplies for the rescue shelter of their choice. We are incredibly proud to have won the grand prize for the deserving kitties of Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary in North Carolina. 

This accomplishment launched a string of wins and donations. Since 2012, just by making people laugh... we've received over 45 awards from numerous organizations which has allowed us to donate over $50,000 in cash, supplies, toys, and food for homeless cats.

And it all started with a sassy tuxedo cat named Katie.

And Then Came Waffles
Thanksgiving weekend 2012 marks the date ALL our lives changed. That's when a silly orange kitten named Waffles joined our family and our blog. It was quite an adjustment for Katie, who for seven years was the lone queen of her townhouse castle.

Waffles' silly and fun-loving personality was a perfect compliment to Katie's reserved and often sarcastic sense of humor. Their personalities were and are exactly how Glogirly wrote them. Waffles adored Katie, wanted so badly to engage and play, wanted her food over his, her toys over his. But Waffles never forgot who the boss was. Even when Waffles grew bigger and taller than her, Katie was always large and in charge. 

Despite their complicated relationship, Katie really cared about Waffles. When he was just a year or two old, he had a very serious reaction to a vaccine. He spent an entire day and night on a blanket just outside Glogirly's bedroom. When we got up the next morning, we couldn't believe our eyes. There was Katie, laying right next to Waffles on the blanket. She'd probably been there all night. Even more surprising, she wouldn't come downstairs for breakfast. She wouldn't leave his side. We brought each of their food dishes upstairs to the blanket. Katie waited for Waffles to eat before she would even touch her own food. 

Win-Wins for Readers and Shelters
Between 2012 and 2017 we had an opportunity to host over 125 giveaways for our readers. Brands fell in love with the funny conversations between Katie and Waffles and realized they could help get the word out about their products and services in a unique and fun way. 

We were one of the first cat blogs to encourage these brands to double the prizes so that each winner could select a shelter to receive a matching prize or donation. The brands loved this and many increased their donations to even greater amounts. Well over 100 shelters received donations of food, toys, supplies, carriers, t-shirts, gift packages for families adopting cats, and even a custom pet portrait of a senior cat awaiting their forever home.

It warms our hearts to know that this beautiful, loved, tuxedo cat with her sassy personality inspired so many brands we worked with to help shelter cats and the families that gave them forever homes. 

Giggles & Photoshop Fun 
Some of our most popular and memorable blog posts were weekly features called TV Trips. We ran the series from 2014-2017. It was a chance for Glogirly to practice her Photoshop skills by recreating iconic television shows from the 70s and 80s by inserting Katie, Waffles, and often adoptable cats from PAWS Pet Animal Welfare Society into the photos and storylines. 

Glogirly was a child of the 70s, so she grew up with shows like Giligan's Island, Brady Bunch, Little House on the Praire, Starsky & Hutch...

...and of course, reruns of I Love Lucy.

Sometimes we'd rewrite the theme song lyrics, sometimes create a funny storyline with Katie and Waffles playing the show's main characters. The TV Trip posts were all about taking a fun ride down a sitcom memory lane. 

Not all of our favorite shows were from the 70s and 80s though. 

Our Downton Abbey post will remain one of our all-time favorites. 

"Keep your paws on the wheel and your eyes on the road, Waffles!!!"  –Katie

Road Trip! 
Most people would never believe it, but Katie was an incredible road-tripper. Once we were past the exit for the vet, she settled into her Sleepypod and enjoyed the ride. In March of 2015, we took a road trip to Northern Minnesota and stayed at a pet-friendly resort called Bluefin Bay right on the shores of Lake Superior to celebrate Gloman's birthday.

It was our first big vacation with Katie and Waffles, so we didn't know what to expect. We started out slow by putting them both in a small bedroom to get comfortable. But Katie's intention was to take full command of the entire condo... which she did. She was incredibly comfortable and within minutes was right at home.  

Katie and Gloman had the most beautiful bond. They shared many special conversations as he'd whisper in her ear. And when he brought out his camera, she'd immediately walk towards him. 

We brought a large catio enclosure to put outside on the deck. Katie was fascinated by the seagulls flying overhead and the sound of the crashing waves. It was an eye-opening trip and made us realize that Katie could go anywhere!

On the Road Again! 
Just two months later, we had an opportunity to attend the Blog Paws Social Media and Pet Blogging Conference in Nashville, TN. Glogirly had been to a few of these conferences in previous years, including one year when she flew to Las Vegas with Waffles. 

Everyone thought she was crazy, but Glogirly thought it would be a fun adventure to drive with Katie and Waffles all the way to Nashville and back for the conference. After all, Katie had never had an opportunity to meet and greet her fangirls before. 

So off we went! We stopped in Kansas City on the way and stayed with the kitties of A Tonk's Tail. We took off the next day, bringing the Tonks' cat-mom with us. 

Katie did SO great in the car. Once we checked into the hotel, she and Waffles settled right in. We brought a cat stroller with us so Katie could take a ride through the conference areas for her meet and greets. Waffles got a few spins in too. We brought home lots of souvenirs, but the biggest one was the Nose-to-Nose award for Best Cat Blog. 

A Grand Adventure 
Just a couple of months after we returned home from Nashville, the Great Dishwasher Flood of 2015 caused a massive amount of destruction in our townhouse. So much so that for the last leg of the reconstruction, we had to move out for ten days. But when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade by finding a hip and posh pet-friendly hotel to call home for a couple of weeks. 

We had the pleasure of staying in a beautiful suite at Kimpton's Grand Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. To say Katie loved it is truly an understatement. She settled in like a queen in her castle.  She loved looking out the big windows at the hustle and bustle of the city below. 

We had the cat stroller with us so we could take a few excursions to the swanky lobby. It's unbelievably easy in the outside world to make friends when you're a beautiful tuxedo cat wearing your pink rhinestone harness in one of the hippest hotels in the city.

A New Forever Home in the Rockies
In early 2017, we left our Minneapolis townhouse behind and headed west to a beautiful canyon tucked in the rocky mountains of Colorado. This little slice of heaven will be where Glogirly and Gloman eventually retire. 

Katie and Waffles took to the road again on a cross country adventure. When we arrived, Katie was the first to settle in. She took to the mountain landscape right away. With neighbors like hummingbirds, deer, chipmunks, and fox, our windows are a constant stream of Cat TV entertainment. 

Katie LOVED it when the snow would begin to fall. We'd open up the double doors on the deck to give her and Waffles a chance to dip their toes in it. Waffles was always a little bit of a chicken, but Katie never shied away from the white stuff. 

During our first winter, we lost power (and therefore water) for a number of days. We had to bring snow inside to melt for use in the house. Waffles wouldn't go near the big plastic totes filled with snow, but Katie wanted to jump inside and play.

Our first Christmas in the mountains was a special one. With our whole family gathered together, we were rich with love. It was the first of three Christmases in the mountains for Katie. Her stocking will hang with care for all the Christmases to come. 

Katie's Greatest Gift
Thank you for sharing your love for Katie with us. Your heartfelt messages, notes, and comments have touched us so deeply. To know that Katie has left her delicate paw prints on so many hearts gives us not only comfort, but a very special joy we will carry with us forever.