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. 


46 comments:

  1. Thank you for those memories.

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  2. I had forgotten how tiny she was 💗

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  3. Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of Katie and for sharing her with us through the amazing blog posts. She will be remembered for a long time. I'm thankful to say I was able to meet Katie in person! Love you!

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  4. Oh, Katie... I'm going to miss you.

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  5. I just saw this and am writing this as I'm crying for your loss. Your posts of Katie and Waffles always made me smile and laugh as they truly felt authentic. They made a bad day good and a good day better. It is always hard when that time comes when we must say goodbye to our beloved fur babies and let them cross the rainbow bridge but knowing that never makes it any easier. I have a 16 year in my life who I'm cherishing each day as I know that time is coming closer by each passing month and year. Sending healing and loving purrs and hugs from all of us to all of you. Katie will be missed and never forgotten.

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  6. I will always miss our Katie girl. All tuxies have a special place in my heart.
    I wish I had known Katie and Glogirly back at the beginning. Maybe you can repost some of them?

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  7. So many awesome and amazing memories! Katie was a wonderful muse, and my human is proud that she is one of the few strangers who was able to get on her good side on her BlogPaws trip.

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  8. Katie was a wonderful and extraordinary cat. We loved her blog back in the day, and reading about all her adventures. We can only imagine the headache of her loss to you. HUGS. Rip little one.

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  9. What a wonderful tribute. You've been on my mind a lot, and I hope putting this post together was healing for you as you remembered Katie's remarkable life.

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  10. Thank you for sharing these so wonderful memories. Many of them I remember from the blog. I know how hard this will have been to write for you but I think that looking back on so many wonderful memories and photographs will have helped just a little. Sending you lots of love . I hope Katie met up with my GJ when she arrived at the bridge.

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  11. Thank you for so many adorable memories.

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  12. I haven't belonged to your blog since the beginning but I do remember when you brought Waffles home to Katy and I've been reading it ever since. Hugs to you Gloman and Waffles.

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  13. What an amazing life she had. It was so much fun sending you pictures of the shelter cats at PAWS. You always amazed and entertained with your creative mind and Photoshop skills.
    Thank you for sharing Katie with the world.
    xxoo

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  14. *sniffle...snuffle...* Thank you for making so many dark days bearable, and for making so many days start out with a laugh. Most of all, thank you for your friendship. ❤️

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  15. Loved reading this and seeing again some of my favorite pictures. Katie will be missed. She set the blogging world on fire, and set the bar high. {{{{hugs}}}} from the humans, and the furries.

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  16. What a tribute to a wonderful girl and her love. Katie was so special. Thank you for sharing her with all of us.

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  17. They we go crying again. That was a most loving tribute to your most beautiful girl Katie.

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  18. Beautiful tribute and wonderful memories. Katie was so special and we will miss her.

    The Florida Furkids

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  19. What a beautiful tribute to your special girl. I was lucky enough to meet Katie...although she always didn't warm up to strangers. Thank you for sharing her with all of us. She will be missed. ♥

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  20. I'd say, that Gloman gave you the bestest gift ever, when he chose Katie!

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  21. Such a wonderful tribute to a beautiful and very loved girl. Did Katie know how lucky she was to be chosen by Gloman that day?

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  22. What a beautiful tribute to Katie ! Thank you for sharing with us those wonderful memories. Purrs

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  23. What tremendous memories. Katie had a very full life. I am sure it has been extremely rewarding to give back as part of the blogging experience. One thing you didn't reflect on was your cardboard Waffles before you got real Waffles. Those posts were such fun, and also the TV memories. I hope in time you will get another kitty so Waffles can have another Boss. Or BE the Boss.

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  24. A major treasury of the finest of wonderful memories to cherish forever!

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  25. Oh Deb how beautiful this was!!! What an incredible life Katie lived (and YOU TOO!!) So happy we have been with you every step of the way. This was just incredible and so beautiful as well as FUN!! You know I'm here........I still haven't been able to bring myself to post about Cody yet, but I will!!!!! Sending bunches of love!! xoxo

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  26. What a purrfectly beautiful and heartfelt walk down memory lane. One of our all-time favorite features were those TV Trips. Katie was always the straight cat to goofy Waffles, and we loved it! We had no idea the amount of money and products you have been able to donate to shelters. That is amazing. Katie was a wonderful spokescat. We know she will always be missed and loved, not only by you, Gloman and Waffles, but by all of us as well. Thank you for sharing her with us. XOCK, angel Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo, Cooper Murphy and Sawyer

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  27. Such a wonderful tribute. Thank you for sharing her with us.

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  28. thank you so much for sharing her with us. as soon as I saw broken hearts, my heart dropped. I was almost afraid to read the post. she was a beauty, an will live on in all of us. hugs.…

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  29. Reading this post was such a dear trip down memory lane and I had forgotten just how much a part of my life Katie was (and the Glogirly family). I think it started with Zee and Zoey being featured in one of your infamous Real HouseCats Series. They were in Season 2, Episode 2, and it was such a hoot. And the Cat Ruler of the World Contest – the joy we brought so many people with that campaign and all the money we raised for shelters was incredible. I had no idea it would take off like it did, but it’s one of my proudest accomplishments and I’m so honored Katie was crowned the winner. Waffles was a fictional part of that story, and how fun it was to reveal your orange baby to the world after the fact (and how cool that my Kizmet was an integral part of Waffle’s adoption).
    My Zoey was one of the jurors in Katie is Accused and Katie and Waffles were prominent cats in my Makin’ Biscuits book. You inspired me so much in how you brought Katie to life through pictures and words. Your humorous storytelling skills are a credit to your huge talent and the world was made a better place with the smiles Katie helped bring to us all.

    Thank you for sharing your precious girl with us. She will be missed, but never forgotten in our hearts.

    Purrs from Deb and the Zee/Zoey gang

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  30. Today we write; without trout speech, so glogirly and gloman understand how AWESOME
    this tribute post is.

    Katie would say it's awesome too.

    Katie would also say,

    "THANKS mom, dad, and waffles too, for everything.... never forget, I love you all, I always have, I always will" ♥♥♥♥♥

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  31. Katie had such a huge impact on the cat blogging world. It's going to seem a lot emptier without her in it. Purrs of comfort and paws of sympathy to all of you.

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  32. Your story of how Katie stayed close to Waffles when he had a bad reaction to a vaccine formed the circle that closed with the picture, in Katie's last official post, of Waffles laying next to her to comfort her.

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  33. Such a beautiful tribute to Katie. She built so many happy memories with you.

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  34. What a cat, what an amazing cat. Reading this tribute I have been crying and laughing. Katie, Waffles, Glogirly and Gloman have been a part of my life for so long. Hugs to all.

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  35. A beautiful tribute thank you so much!
    Big hugs to you all
    VickyC Inky & Toots

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  36. Tears all over again 😥 Such a beautiful tribute - she was lovely, special and a lucky kitty to have had you all in her life. May her memory be a blessing. 💐

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  37. Oh Debbie...I just found out about Katie and I am sitting here crying my eyes out..what a beautiful wonderful sweet girl..you shared so much of her with us that it feels almost like losing one of my own...Blessings to you and Glowman and Waffles..may your love for each other get you through this sad sad time...Hugs

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  38. A wonderful tribute to your sweet, wonderful Queen of the Abode. Reading it, I realized I've been following the blog almost as long as you've been publishing it. Wow! Time flies! I remember nearly everything you mentioned, and laughed and smiled as I remembered the blog entries detailing Katie's (and, later, Waffles') two cents on everything. I wish I could have met Katie.

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  39. Such a beautiful tribute to your sweet girl. XO

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  40. What a poignant tribute to your beautiful Katie. She will live on in our hearts forever and ever. Purrs to you, Glogirly, Gloman and Waffles. XO

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  41. We send you continued purrs. <3

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  42. Oh, the magic and the fun that you've created on this blog, all with Katie as the centerpiece and the inspiration. I loved lacing back through time and space to remember where I was when I first discovered Katie, how Waffles landed on the scene and having a connection on a regular basis to a story line that mostly made me giggle, and at times allowed me to pause and reflect on an important topic. I fell in love with Katie's photos and of course her witty voice and stumbled into a whole special world where I met new people, made friends and learned how to join forces to make a difference-- all because I saw Katie's gorgeous face one cold winter evening. You've allowed us to jump in the jeep with you and trip through all kinds of adventures--so well written and cleverly illustrated with photos and fun photoshop adds that I felt like I was a participant in the events! And of course I had the chance to be with Katie twice, visits to the mountain house that I'll always cherish. I'm heartbroken for you and Gloman, for us fans. For Waffles. This is a truly brilliant tribute to Katie. Thank you for letting us be a part of paying homage to her, too. Sending lots of love from the Squeedunk Gang. XO Laura

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  43. A lovely tribute to a wonderful ladycat. Farewell Miss Katie, we love you.

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  44. Thank you for sharing your memories of Katie - she will live on through your blog posts and in all of our hearts.

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  45. Beautiful. Sorry I didn't comment sooner. It was hard to read. I am heartbroken for you. And I fell in love with her too.
    Sue

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