Sunday Sermon – My Keynote to You…

Even if no one else is listening, my voice is important to me. But, chances are, someone is listening. Now that BlogPaws has officially come and gone, whether through comments on my blog, posts other bloggers have done, personal emails to me, comments I have made on other blogs, photos, facebook chat, and so much more, I noticed a subliminal undercurrent of conversation this past week and decided I wanted my own keynote speech to all of you.

I can assure you when I first started Zee & Zoey’s Chronicle Connection, it would be an exaggeration if even crickets were paying attention. I spent a lot of time blogging to myself but never entertained the thought that maybe I should stop because no one was listening. I once read an insightful post from renowned blogger, Seth Godin, that if you are blogging for the comments and the attention, then you might as well just stop now. It is a fact that a lot of people who read your blog will never comment, but that does not mean they are not listening, or caring, or learning, or being entertained, or whatever.

I know that in the scheme of things, there are many more cat blogs that are far more popular than mine in terms of fans, comments and statistical traffic. But, truthfully, I also know that my blog is important, has made a difference, and does inspire. Even if it is only me it inspires, that in and of itself is important because it has made me a better guardian for the well-being of cats and my own personal self. But, I do know for a fact that my blog and my thoughts have given a voice and strength to other people, not just to help cats, but to help find the courage to follow dreams they have been hesitant about before.

Positive thinking and believing in yourself is both powerful and contagious – all of that only benefits the animals we are trying to help. And that is an important point too – wolves, bears, seals, dogs, frogs, and more. I get dozens of emails a day asking for my help with these causes. While I don’t want to see any creature suffer and I give and help where I can, I have come to grips with the fact that I can’t help them all with proper justice. It is just too overwhelming, so I have picked my one true passion, cats, and I give to it with everything I’ve got. That just works best for me.

And that is one of the messages I have learned this week listening to you  – some of you are not quite certain of your voice yet and what works best for you. Some have alluded that their blog is humorous, so that doesn’t help cats, or some  feel they are too new to blogging, so their story isn’t that  important to tell. Or some say, it’s just a blog about my cat, so who really cares? I’m here to tell you that each and every blog about cats is important, each for its own unique reason. Whether the blog be funny, or serious, or educational, or just a daily account of your cat Fluffy, it helps convey the message that cats matter and that if we so chose, we can help make the world a better place for them. What doesn’t help cats, is not talking about them at all. Trust me, people are listening and we can be vehicles for change if we accept and embrace that responsibility.

For me, my voice is one of constant growth. I strive to continuously educate myself so that I can educate others in my own unique style. And don’t get me wrong – I would love to win awards and have more facebook fans. I would love for my book to be selling better and I would like to be able to quit my day job so I could spend more time writing about cats. I would like to have more comments on my blog and I wish I could be on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. I’m human and we all like to be appreciated and recognized for what we do. But honestly, at the end of the day, it’s not about any of that. It’s about getting up the next day and starting all over again with the intention to make it the best day you can. We are all important, we all have a voice, and together, we can make a difference. Clearly the goal of making sure each and every adoptable cat has a home one day  is one that we can achieve if we collectively persevere…

This beautiful photo was a sunset shot taken by Dan one evening while we were at the Florida Everglades, which is only a few minutes away from our house. He utilized a technique called “tonal mapping” to bring the colors to such a vivid display. It was the perfect image to convey my message and I am so blessed to have this talented man in my life!

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  1. Marg says:

    Those are a lot of good thoughts. I enjoy doing the blogging and writing about the many cats that live here because I feel like it puts them in the spotlight for a few minutes. And I so like reading other blogs and like learning things and just enjoying all the kitties.

    • Deb says:

      That’s how I feel Marg – it’s just nice to be able to spotlight the cats we care about. I always enjoy reading about your gang and I know many others do as well.

  2. Karen French says:

    You are right. I read your blog but for some reason I never comment. I’m sure there are lots of us. I enjoy & also learn from your blog.

    • Deb says:

      Karen – thank you so much for taking the time to drop by and comment for the first time today. You helped make the point I was trying to make and I appreciate it! I am also very happy to hear you enjoy the blog and are learning from it!

  3. This is so you, Deb. And in your words I hear a hope and peace and patience and heart…not frustration or sadness…As they say “Saving the life of one animal may not change the world, but the world will surely change for that one animal”

    • Deb says:

      What a wonderful quote Teri! I completely agree with that premise, and if we all helped one animal, can you imagine the change we could collectively make! Thank you also for appreciating the tone of my post – you hit the nail on the head with how I perceive myself and it is nice to know it projects that way to others…

  4. Well done, Deb. Never fear that your blog does not inspire because it definitely does. It inspires me as I’m sure it does many others. You always seem to have a positive outlook which is refreshing.

    • Deb says:

      Thank you Lorie – I have long since learned that it is actually more difficult to live when you surround yourself with anger and negative feelings – that actually takes far more energy than being positve, inspiring, and encouraging.

  5. Deb this was beautifully stated and oh so true!!! While many of us (myself DEFINITELY included) aren’t the “biggest” “the best” “the most popular”, etc….we share one common denominator….our love of CATS……….we are all worthwhile, we are all important……..we love cats and love sharing cat info and our love of cats…….and to me…….that is what ultimately matters!

    If we were all the same, wouldn’t life be BORING????!!!

  6. Deb I wholeheatedly agree!

    It doesn’t matter what angle a cat blogger chooses, whether’s its humorous, or cute or educational, or serious (ie. animal rescue). Why? Because our blogs are out there for anyone to read and LEARN and hopefully appreciate the true essence of cats. Any cat blogger is educating the world that cats are unique, special, intelligent and worthy of homes and care whether they are indoor cats or feral cats who are happy outdoors with regular food and shelter. But there is something else more powerful. By reading other cat blogs, and commenting, and more importantly by the simple act of clicking “SHARE” on a Facebook post, we are sharing these fabulous stories and information beyond the cat circles which is critical to reversing homeless cat population. Not all Facebook users realize that when they click “Share” it shows up on their timeline for their FB friends to read. (Although you don’t want to overshare so friends don’t get sick of constant cat stories).

    You know I too was frustrated when I started blogging and didn’t receive many comments and still don’t. But when I studied the analytics and number of hits, people were visiting. Eventually I learned they were neighbors and friends. But I also learned these readers don’t comment at all. I preached to my friends about blogging etiquette and to leave a comment-if only two or three words. I said it one, said it twice and nothing. So I can’t let that bother me and it’s up to me to keep learning, keep blogging, keep improving, and never give up.

    My favorite line is from Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind–“Tomorrow I’ll think of something. After all, Tomorrow is another day”

    • Christine Hi!

      i happen to agree with what you said but I have to tell you, I used to share like a crazy person, both on Facebook AND twitter…then I discovered that few to none shared ME……..(and yep….it was the people I shared who didn’t) Guess what I do when that happens? Sorry, but I stop sharing. Why should I sit and constantly promote someone else if it isn’t being reciprocated? (even ONCE if nothing else just to be nice!)

      I am gonna put it out there and be honest (cause hey, that’s how I roll) there are some who will ONLY share those blogs that are huge…….why? You guessed it, to attach THEIR name and THEIR followers to the large blog…….

      I still share (when I have the time and inclination) but it is a two way street…… Deb said we ALL like recognition and being noticed……..we ALL have done at least some sort of post that is “share worthy’……

      I will continue to share posts from large and small blogs but I will be selfish in the respect that if I never see my posts shared even once…..that’s it!

    • Deb says:

      You took the words right out of my mouth, Christine, and that was my point. Cats are so wonderfully unique and complex – happy cats, fat cats, silly cats, and more. Each blog is a celebration in one way or another of the species – some are done in complete seriousness, with statistics and research, and some are just cute pictures of cat tummies!! Some will break your heart with the focus on rescue or animal cruelty and some will cause you to smile all day long. All serve a purpose.

      As far as getting frustrated, I know what you mean. Sometimes I will write a post that I feel has so much merit and worth, that I feel the message should be shouted from rooftops and I get barely a reaction. I just try to not let it get be down or be my yardstick to judge who I am. Just gotta keep on going… I try to share other posts and I admit sometimes I don’t do it as much as I want to. I also get frustrated because I just don’t know how to get my message to a larger audience outside of our cat circle.

  7. Hi Caren. Good Sunday morning!

    Yes that will happen. There will always be those who have selfish interests. That’s anywehre.
    But in fairness to some popular bloggers, I see some have thousands of followers it’s impossible to share FB posts for each follower or fellow cat blogger. But they should make an effort to retweet, and share a post of ones that appear on their screen whenever they log in, which only takes a click.

    I admit my posts and retweets and Shares are sporadic but that is because I work over 80 hours a week. But there is a solution! Since my goal, my passion is to educate the masses about homeless cats I know I can’t do it by myself, and hence why I’m starting a nonprofit. Teamwork and consistency makes all the difference. I’m really excited.

    Hugs to you and Cody!

  8. Cheysuli says:

    Well I know that I am the most important cat in the world. I do notice the new look, although really the Woman shouldn’t open her mouth or she should at least think. If she had given my advice it would not have been to change your blog but to change the award to most beautiful blog design which has an obvious meaning and not “best blog design” where you might get a bunch of stupid webmasters… Then you would have been a shoe in and changed nothing. I mean, make them work to give you that award…

  9. Wendy S. says:

    I love your message, Deb of really honoring our own voice despite those voices in our heads that tell us people won’t care if they don’t comment on our blog. I have to remind myself of this constantly. And I’m so glad you stuck it out with your blog because you certainly have touched my heart with all the things you do for cats. Bravo!

    • Deb says:

      Wendy – I am so glad I have touched your heart, because you have touched mine as well. Thoses voices in our heads can be quite pesky sometimes and we just have to remind ourselves every now and again just how important we are.

  10. Vicki Cook says:

    Great post – Deb! I love your blog, your voice, and your message. I also love hearing about your cats and the work you do to help homeless cats. Sometimes it seems like we’re just blogging for ourselves – and that’s okay too. You have something you want to share with the world – so share it!

    I think spending too much time looking at our stats can be discouraging – how many comments have I had? How many page views, Likes or Retweets? God put you here to tell a story. Put it out there and trust that it’s reaching the people it needs to reach.

    • Deb says:

      I like your comment a lot Vicki. I know we were told at BlogPaws how important those stats are, but I find that I just can’t let that be the gatekeeper to who I am or I will lose the truthfulness and passion of my voice. I’m glad you enjoy my blog, cats, and message – that means a lot to me, because I know you are out there fighting hard to help kitties as well!

  11. Carolyn says:

    Hi Deb, when I first started blogging those many years ago, I reckon I wrote for myself and one or two others (it was before stats!), but gradually more people started to read and comment and that was nice. I’ve always considered you as one of the big guys because you’ve published a book! But obviously you don’t (or didn’t) think that about yourself. When one considers pet blogs, I think people do them either for the funny/cute pictures or to raise awareness of issues, or for some it is about the actual writing process. I think you started your blog for one reason, but now have realised that maybe you have other reasons for continuing. I’ve said before that it has been a joy to see how you have developed your interests and embraced new and different things.

    For me I just want to amuse people and leave them a little more cheered. Life is too serious to be taken seriously! But as I’ve been blogging I have definitely become much more aware of the plight of animals and the need for education and sometimes intervention when things are not right! So I have a lot to thank you and others who blog for, or on behalf of, their pets xox

    • Deb says:

      Carolyn – I fell in love with your blog the moment I discovered it and you remain true to the voice of Austin. That is why I enjoy your blog so much – I know exactly what I will get – a wonderfully witty and brilliant story that will not only make me smile, but grab the dictionary to figure out just what the heck you were saying!! That is the purpose of your voice and thankfully not all blogs are about education or serious issues. And you are so correct in that regard, blogging for me has been a life changing experience that I have yet to figure out… and probably never will. Whether it be lush photographs, silly posts, serious posts, educational posts, entertaining videos, or anything in between, I just want to be a voice for cats in whatever capacity hits me at the moment!

  12. RumpyDog! says:

    Amen! We each have our voice, but it’s up to us to use it. I subscribe to Mother Teresa’s belief that, “We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.”

  13. Deb, you brighten up many lives including mine! You echo much of what I feel 🙂 Please stop by and pick up your award from us on Monday!

    • Deb says:

      Thank you for the award Layla and congratulations on getting yours!! I am so glad I can brighten up your day a bit… that is important to me!

  14. Carolyn says:

    I am just putting together things for my furry guys blog, and you addressed some of the fears I have had, and cemented the reasons I wanted to do it in the first place. Thank you so much!

    • Deb says:

      Carolyn – Holding back the tears, you are exactly the reason it all matters. I am so happy to hear that you are putting together your furry guys blog and that I could inspire you enough to make you realize we all have a reason and a voice… Good Luck with it and stop by again to let us know how it is progressing!!