Tuesday, May 28, 2013

BlogPaws 2013

Christine and Deb with Triscuit, the kitten

BlogPaws 2013 came and went like a passing summer shower in Miami--all the thunderous preparations and anticipation (except there are no dark clouds), a downpour of bloggers and "pawties" (aka networking events), and then we cleared the Sheraton hotel like rays of sunshine, and headed back home to improve upon our efforts and continue educating and/or entertaining readers about all things pets.

This was my second BlogPaws conference and I was even more excited to attend than the previous year for several reasons--Reuniting with friends, meeting other bloggers for the first time, making new connections with other bloggers and major pet vendors and organizations, and attending seminars eating meals with pets--dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets and baby chicks.

What started as a one-person effort to manage community cats and educate neighbors with a simple blog, Riverfront Cats has grown to a fully operational nonprofit with followers nationwide. While we are still relatively small (four volunteers), the progress of Riverfront Cats would not be possible without harnessing the technology of the internet and social media. BlogPaws 2013 brings it all together --people and technology.

Triscuit, a rescue kitten from Random Felines,
attended seminars all day with her foster mother Jeanne

In 2012, I had met other bloggers online and to meet them in person and have an actual conversation more than 100 characters long was sheer delight--squeals, big hugs and broken record refrains ad nauseam "Oh my gosh, I can't believe I finally get to meet you!!!" The blossoming of a new friendship is not only a benefit of the conference, it's a treasure.  Pictured below are Terry Frum (Brian's Home) and Caren Gittleman (of Cat Chat and Dakota's Den)  Terry and Caren are the two of the most genuine people, loyal blogging friends and passionate supporters of all cats, especially our Riverfront stray and feral Cats. I am over the moon to have finally met them. Check out their blogs!

Deb Barnes, Terry Frum, Caren Gittleman, and Christine Michaels (me)

Teamwork or the collaboration of residents, neighbors, organizations, schools, and corporations can make a difference in improving the welfare of pets.  We see it everyday as bloggers, small and large non-profit organizations and companies unite to educate the public about the benefits of adopting shelter pets, the latest science in pet health and nutrition, property training techniques...the list goes on. A personal highlight was meeting Olivia Melikhov, Social Media Manager from the ASPCA. One of their goals is to work with small local nonprofits like Pawsitively Humane/Riverfront Cats for reversing the rate of homeless pets in Miami. Super exciting!

Olivia Melikhov (ASPCA), Christine Michaels, Deb Barnes

Earlier last year, I developed new relationships online with famous cat bloggers thanks to a difficult situation (the Loews Hotel cat saga) that willingly came together for a common good. I met them at BlogPaws 2012 and throughout the year we have kept in contact via comments on blogs and Facebook. The mutual support is a blessing and I am most grateful.  Reuniting at BlogPaws 2013,  was a definite highlight. Our presence was visible and dog owners and hotel guests took notice. Note most cat bloggers were not wearing cat ears. Our bond of sisterhood, our creativity and our talent were evident, especially at the award ceremony.

Pictured below is Deb Barnes, she is the author of  The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey book and blog. Deb was nominated for a Nose-to-Nose award for best writer. She is a true professional, a talented writer with a genuine heart and I am honored that she has joined the board of directors of our nonprofit.
Deb Barnes and Christine Michaels

 Love these ladies--talented, down-to-earth and so much fun! Tamar's witty and fabulous blog I Have Cat and Angie's humorous blog CatLadyLand are wildly popular.  (Hey where's my tan? Yes we were under special lighting--I suppose so we glow).
Glam Cat Ladies: Tamar Arslanian, Christine Michaels, Angie Holland Bailey
Another highlight was the award ceremony. Many of my friends (cat bloggers) were nominated.  I was tickled to sit at their table and cheer them on like a borderline rock star groupie. The modern cat writer is here and we're making a difference!

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners of the Nose-to-Nose awards!

Nominees of the Nose-to-Nose Blog Awards
[click on photo to view in actual larger size]

To view more photos, 
(and catch up on a little scandal at BlogPaws) 
visit our big brother site, Pawsitively Humane, Inc.

It's the camaraderie with pet owners, the sisterhood with cat bloggers, the inspiration from award-winning writers and social media mavens and the sight of so many cute pets that make BlogPaws paws and shoulders above any other conference. 

See you all at next year's conference in Vegas! 


  1. Looks like a fun time!! I hope I can make it to the Vegas BP next year!! I bet it's fun to meet all the bloggers in real-time! How does a blogger introduce themselves when we all go by our secret identities?!

  2. My Dad says it was such a thrill to meet you in purrson and we all admire the great things you do for kitties! Hey, he is no longer a newbie now!!!!

  3. Glad you had a good time and could me up with friends,xx Rachel

  4. Gosh! Vegas is even further from Wales lol. Glad you had such a fruitful time :)

  5. Sounds like much was accomplished and fun too : ) Thank you for the update and hope to be able to join in on one of these conferences soon.

  6. This was such a great recap! Thanks for the shout out and meeting YOU FINALLY, was a definite highlight! You are just as nice in person as you are online, you are a TRUE GEM!
    Love you!

  7. It was such a fun conference and I'm so glad we got to hang out! Hope you had fun with your sister. :)


  8. I'm glad you had a good time at BlogPaws. I'd love to be able to go.

  9. Great recap--loved the pictures. Next year hope to have more time to actually TALK with everyone!

  10. What a wonderful recap! I echo your sentiments and it is always such a treat to share the conference with you. As time goes by, I feel like we are blood sisters and I always feel so renewed with hope and inspiration after BlogPaws that we can truly make a difference to help animals have a better life.

  11. Triscuit is so cute. So many great memories each year from attending Blog Paws, you got to meet a lot of interesting people.