While at the Cat Writers Conference last week, I met a lot of cat experts—experts in cat travel, cat safety, cat training, veterinary care, healthy diets for cats, cat rescue, specific cat breeds, the cat show circuit, judging cat shows, and so forth. But I like to think of myself as a cat expert. After all, I write about cats and most importantly I own cats.
Like many of you, I’ve lived with cats for most of my life and I’ve loved them forever. Certainly that makes me an expert on certain issues related to the cats I’ve cared for. I became an expert in my relationship with each of my cats. No one knew Katy, Max, Winfield, Daisy, Molly, Pom-Pom or any of the rest of my cats like I did. And no one knows Lily and Sophie as intimately as Dennis and I do. In my mind that makes us experts on Lily and Sophie and the issues that come up with them.
This is not to say that we don’t call in experts in specific fields when we need to, such as veterinarians and second-third-fourth opinion veterinarians where it makes sense. I’ve done a lot of research over the years to resolve and understand issues that have come up. And I’ve called on professionals in many areas—behavior, holistic remedies, ordinary cat owners who’ve experienced similar problems, groomers, cat dietary experts, and even a cat psychic.
It seems to me that while our cats are personal to us—they’re our babies, our source of comfort, our companions—it takes a village to keep them happy and healthy. Don’t be hesitant to reach out in order to learn more about caring for the cats you love. They depend on you.