When asked to describe me using an animal, most people choose a feline. Throughout my lifetime, I’ve been called everything from a black panther to a kitten, even in intimate relationships.
I take pride in that reference, because it signifies a strength and grace that is only ever found in the feline community. I also enjoy the reference as my connection to my four-legged womb fruit: Shadow the PR Cat.
If you’ve never heard of Shadow, then you must not have been following this blog for very long – and my pesky little PR puss will be sorely offended.
But not to worry, we will remedy that in just a moment by covering the seven things I have in common with Shadow the PR Cat.
1. PR Worker
As many of you know, on December 13, 2016, I adopted Shadow on behalf of Alexis Chateau PR. We meant to make him an Office Cat, but his love for being at the computer desk while I worked soon earned him a promotion to Goodwill Ambassador.
Thus, the coolest thing I have in common with my cat is that we work together in public relations, at my firm.
When I was 9 years old, my parents gave me a professional planner to use as my mini-journal. By the time I hit 13, I was writing full length novels, and had built a fan base on campus.
A year later, I discovered the internet and launched my first blog. In truth, I launched one blog experiment after the other, before finally settling on this one. But no worries. This blog is no experiment, and isn’t going anywhere!
So would it surprise you to know that Shadow blogs, as well? His first blog post was published on College Mate earlier this month. It’s entitled: What I Would Study if Cats Went to College.
He’s also currently gathering sources for a piece to be published on a major kitty publication. This one is entitled, How an Office Cat Can Improve Employee Morale. If you would like to be cited for the article, or know an expert who would love the opportunity, you can find his guidelines here.
3. Fierce Independence
Last year, I experimented with sacrificing some of my independence for family life. That’s what women are expected to do, right? In a few months, I came to my senses. I was never built for submission, or interdependence.
Not only am I an only child, but I am one who had no interest in having siblings. I told my mother, in kindergarten, that I wanted no brothers or sisters. She was kind enough to oblige.
A child learns a lot about independence and personal accountability when she has no little brother or sister to throw the blame on.
4. Animal Rights Supporters
As Goodwill Ambassador, Shadow’s main purpose at the firm is to support animal rights, especially as it relates to the adoption of shelter animals. He is, after all, a rescue kitty.
The animal shelter that rescued Shadow found him dumped at a feral colony. They snatched him right before the cold winter hit. A week or two later, I took the hour-long trip out to his foster mom’s home, and fell in love with his cute little face.
Together, Shadow and I try to raise awareness for shelter dogs and cats. It’s a big job for a 7 month-old kitten, but he’s a natural!
I know, I know. There is a wicked irony in writing that I love seafood right after talking about animal rights.
I was born with an aversion to meat. I have never liked it, and always found a way out of eating it, even as a child. Seafood, however, has always enjoyed an exception in my diet.
Of all the many ways to eat seafood, I love steamed fish from back home the most. But since Jamaica is feeling more and more like a world away, separated by sea and republican policies, I have to find a replacement. In America, that replacement is sushi.
I haven’t allowed Shadow to try sushi, but I let him nibble on some shrimp when I make my lunches for work. He loves it. Like any cat, he loves all things seafood – maybe even more than catnip.
6. The Outdoors
Last year, our first office cat went missing, while I was away for the weekend. It was heartbreaking. She was an indoor cat with limited access to the outdoors.
We trained her to come when called, and she did 100 percent of the time, no matter how far away she was. On November 13, 2016, when my grandmother called, she did not come; and has not been home since.
When I adopted Shadow a month later, I made the decision that he would not set foot outside unsupervised – and neither would she, when she returned home. Shadow may receive leash access after we purchase his GPS tracker. I haven’t found one yet with good enough reviews to persuade me.
UPDATE – July 2022: Shadow and I have now been traveling and camping across North America for two years. He now enjoys the great outdoors from the big picture window in the RV, the RV doorstep or via his leash and harness.
7. Both Black
I may be a shade or two lighter than some, and Shadow may be many shades darker than most, but we are both Black. We also share the same types of discrimination that come with the shade.
Shadow is perceived in a negative way in many cultures on account of the colour of his coat. His kind also suffers a lower adoption rate and higher kill rate in animal shelters, than kitties of other colours.
Our efforts to change that perception involve leading by example, rather than throwing around words and empty promises. This makes him the ideal ally, especially for the current socio-political climate in America.
What are some of the strange and hilarious things you have in common with your pets? I’m sure once you start to think about it, you’ll find a similarity or two!