Today’s guest on Who are the Cat Writers’ Association is Stacy LeBaron, a podcaster who has dedicated her work to helping cats.
Tell us a bit about your writing/blogging/podcasting. (Is “podcasting” a word?)
I am the “Head Cat” at the Community Cats Podcast. We started in 2016 with a show that was released 5 days a week. Since then, we have released almost 500 shows and had over 300,000 downloads. In addition to the podcast, we have launched 26 annual events including the Online Cat Conference, Online Kitten Conference, United Spay Alliance Conference and several one day events, Online Behavior Day and Online Feline Leukemia Day. We have a bi-weekly blog that currently features the work of many guest bloggers, but I have written several posts, and one of my favorites is about the Community Cat Pyramid. The goal of the Community Cats Podcast is to help folks “Turn their passion for Cats in Action.”
How do cats inspire your creativity?
I believe that we connect with cats in so many different ways, and we spend our lives trying to “hear” them. As a dreamer and optimist, I want to do what I can to make every community a humane place for cats. My background in Urban Studies and Non-Profit Management helps me to think outside of the box to problem-solve so that we can elevate the quality of life for cats.
What do you enjoy about of belonging to the CWA?
I will be honest, and for quite a while I didn’t think a podcaster could be a member; then I was introduced to CWA by Mary Tan of Whisker Media. I enjoy the online networking amongst the members. The team at the Community Cats Podcast is very excited to win five awards from the CWA. One of the awards was for our “Stay Feral” t-shirt design.
Now for some completely arbitrary questions.
- Did you grow up with cats?
- What is your earliest memory of being around cats?
We had a grumpy cat, Duncan, growing up. She taught me very early on about the needs of personal space and cats. She lived to be 20 years old and would only let me pet her head.
- What crosses your mind when someone tells you they don’t like cats?
It isn’t a question of like or dislike, but more understanding them and how varied the personalities of cats can be. It also makes me wonder if folks sometimes think that cats are like small dogs (and they aren’t).
- Tell us a true cat story.
Nala is a cat that I met in 1996. This was early on in my tenure with the Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society. I was in charge of operations, and we took Nala in with her kittens and placed them in foster care. One of our trappers found some small kittens, and Nala adopted them and treated them like they were her own. Once the kittens were of age (8 weeks or 2 lbs) they went to the veterinarian to get tested and spayed or neutered. The orphan kittens tested positive for Feline Leukemia and the veterinarian immediately euthanized them. The foster home arrived at the end of the day to pick up the kittens, found out this information, and was understandably devastated. She immediately called me to say we needed a different plan.
Nala and her kittens all appeared healthy to me, but they tested positive. Thus began the journey in 1996 to change our protocols to always adopt out healthy cats with Feline Leukemia. Nala was my first FeLV+ adoption.
Nala was adopted by a family that had a seven year old girl who bonded right away with her. I asked the girl’s mother why she was okay knowing that Nala’s life may be shortened due to FeLV. The mother said it is the connection that is most important, and that we all need to learn about how to handle the death of a loved one. I almost started crying then and there…
- Does cat love run in your family?
Yes! My daughter Rachel has a wonderful Maine Coon kitty, Maggie. We just drove from Chicago to Providence in July with Maggie, and she was a star traveler. My niece Hannah has an “adventure cat”, Lily, who has her own Instagram page.
- Have you taken a cat first aid course?
Yes, with Arden Moore- it was fantastic. I did it with my daughter and niece virtually.
- “Adopt, Foster, Volunteer, Donate, Educate” is a common slogan for animal rescue. What do you like to do?
“Turn my passion for cats into Action.”
Please give us the names and short descriptions of your cats.
I don’t have any cats at this time. I used to have quite a few. My last cat, Hooch, passed away in April of 2020.
For further information about Cat Writer Stacy LeBaron, check out her links here:
Enjoyed reading and learning about fellow CWA member, Stacy Lebaron. Thanks.
Thanks for reading!
That was such a cool interview. I recently attended two of the Community Cats Workshops and they do a terrific job.