Can a Leopard Lady Change Her Spots? Author Deb Barnes Plans on Finding Out at the Cat Writers’ Association Conference

I’ll be heading out at o’dark hundred this coming Thursday morning en route to Houston for our annual Cat Writers’ Association Conference that will be held June 7 -9. I’m not a fan of packing at the last minute, so I took my time doing it this weekend. Right off the bat, something was different from my normal routine – a copious absence of leopard attire. Before you get all up in arms, don’t panic. I still brought my trademark leopard cat ears and I will be wearing a leopard-themed outfit here and there, but this year I decided to show off my new line of custom-designed cat T-shirts instead.

Jazmine nailed it from the get-go. While I was packing, she promptly fell asleep; completely bored with what I was doing. Seems apt, considering she did it next to the T-shirt with the bored cat, stating “I’m Busy. How About You Catch That Red Dot?” I love this shirt – it’s actually my favorite of the line and I’m going to be wearing it at a book signing event we have scheduled at the El Gato Coffeehouse Cat Café on Friday night.

Jazmine is quite busy…busy napping!

The conference is going to be a whirlwind of activity. We have Dr. Marty Becker as our Keynote Speaker on Friday and I’ll be moderating our first-panel discussion that day, too (nerve-wracking – I’m a writer, not a speaker). We have seminars on Friday and Saturday, along with more book signing events, and the Cat Fanciers’ Association Gulf Shore Regional Cat Show will also be taking place during our conference.

Saturday night will be our awards banquet in which we recognize the best in writing, video, photography, and illustrations from the entries we received. I had already shared on Facebook I was having trouble finding a leopard dress for the occasion, but I’m so excited with what I finally found to wear!! You’ll just have to wait and see after I share pictures when I get back!

Mia and Rolz are guarding my suitcases lock and key. Wouldn’t want my outfit to leak out to the press or paparazzi….

And most nerve-wracking of all, I’ll be taking over the reigns as the new President of the Cat Writers’ Association. We’re all going to miss our current President, Marci Kladnik, very much and I’m so grateful for all she’s done for our organization. I’m quite nervous about the whole thing, but I know with Council by my side that somehow we’ll get through it together!

Happy Sunday and I hope everyone has a great upcoming week. Zee, he sums up his feelings quite succinctly. He slept the entire time I packed and he’ll probably nap nearly 90% of the time I’m gone and not even miss me. And P.S., if you’d like to peak at my new T-shirt line, please visit my shop at Zee and Zoey’s Cat Creations. I’m quite confident you’ll find something that will tickle your feline fancy from these great captions:

Cats are the Sunshine of My Heart

Cat Lover From Meow to Eternity

I’m Busy. How About You Catch that Red Dot?

Unless You’re Talking About Cats, I’ve Already Lost Interest

I Might Not Remember Your Name After We Meet, But I Will Remember the Name of Your Cat


While I call this image of Zee “Vintage Sunday,” I feel it could be “Any Day of the Week” vintage with him!


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  1. Brian Frum says:

    Have a safe trip and a fun time, we know you’ll still be rockin’ those cat ears!

  2. It’s great that you can start to pack so close to event, I know Mrs H would be starting now for next year, even then she would miss something, MOL
    You have a great time, and I’m sure all will go well, and far too quickly, as all the fun things do!
    Toodle pips and purrs
    PS don’t forget those ears!

  3. I hope you have a wonderful conference! I wish I could’ve gone, but hopefully next year. Can’t wait to read all the post-conference wrap-ups.

  4. jmuhj says:

    Safe journeys and hurry home to those precious felines!

  5. Moving up in the cat world I see! We are happy for you. Love the new shirts! Safe journey!

  6. Ellen Pilch says:

    I hope you have a great time.

  7. Jo Singer says:

    ConCATulations Deb! That is totally pawsome. You will be great. I am so happy for you… what a great honor- but certainly WELL WELL deserved.

    Kitty hugs and love from Marty and me and Aki and Edgar Allen Poe >^..^<

  8. Those t-shirt sayings are cute! Have fun at the conference.

  9. First off, we KNOW you will be a great President. You follow in committed and illustrious footsteps and will be fantastic. Well done!

    I am sorry I will miss meeting so many of my cat blogging friends. The CWA is vitally important and winning my first Certificate of Excellence this year was a truly proud moment.

  10. meowmeowmans says:

    We think it’s so awesome that you’re going to be the new president of the CWA, Deb. Congratulations, and safe travels!

  11. We think even in the T-shirt you will look like a cat and the T-shirt is cute.

  12. Holly says:

    I LOVE those tshirts. Not financially possible for me at the moment but I put the link on my wishlist. They would fantastic for wearing to shows this summer.

    Enjoy the conference and especially enjoy the cat show. Two of mine will be show in the NE this weekend.

    You will be great leading the CWI

  13. OMC!!! I’m now catching up with emails and notices…Ms PRESIDENT!!! If I wasn’t so ill right now bedridden for 5 days, I would do back flips!!!

    This is truly great news. I am so very proud of you Deb!!! You definitely deserve this and I know you will advance the CWA. I’m here for advice at least.

    Congratulations!! Now you definitely have to come to Miami to celebrate. 😉

  14. Congratulations on becoming the new president of the CWA! Bet those t-shirts were a hit.