As most of you already know, The Conscious Cat won the 2011 Pettie for Best Pet Blog this past weekend. The winners were announced on Friday during a virtual ceremony hosted by DogTime Media. If you missed it, you can watch it at the end of this post.
I watched the ceremony at BlogPaws, surrounded by my fellow nominees and cat blogging friends. As category after category was announced, the excitement and the cheering increased with each win. With the exception of two categories (Best Dog Blog and Best Cause Related Blog), where all the nominees were dog blogs, the cats swept the Petties! Congratulations to all the feline winners!
Moderncat – Best Blog Design
Catsparella – Best Social Integration Blog
Catladyland– Funniest Blog or Blogger
Sparkle Cat – Best Blog Post
Covered in Cat Hair – Best Cat Blog
I was particularly delighted that Covered in Cat Hair won Best Cat Blog. Robin is a dear friend, and we both hated being pitted against each other in this category. We couldn’t have asked for a more purrfect outcome, with both of us winning!
Ultimately, the real winners are the rescue groups who will receive donations from the Pettie winners. Each category will be awarded $1000, some bloggers, like me, split their prize money between several rescue groups. My $1000 will be split between Casey’s House and Kitten Associates. And I even got to meet some Kitten Associates kittens at BlogPaws! Maria and Bobbie, two of Robin’s rescue contacts in Georgia, drove a litter of kittens and their mom to the conference hotel so Robin could take them back to Connecticut, where they’ll be in foster homes until they’re ready for adoption. You can find absolutely adorable photos of the kittens on Robin’s blog.
And even though we’re a cat blog, we love all animals, and would like to congratulate Fido-Friendly for winning for Best Dog Blog, and Be the Change for Animals for winning for Best Cause Related Blog!
I encourage you to visit all of the winners’ blogs if you’re not already following them.
I had a wonderful time at BlogPaws. For three days, bloggers, sponsors and animal lovers from around the country gathered at the Sheraton Premiere at Tyson’s Corner, VA for outstanding educational seminars, inspirational keynote speeches, fabulous networking, and plain old fun.
One of the unexpected higlights for me was listening to Joe Panz and Big Ant from Resuce Ink talk about their work. I have to admit, I never watched the show and was only vaguely aware of what they do. I had no idea how far reaching their work is, and how dangerous. I was moved to tears several times during their speech.
The best part about BlogPaws was meeting so many of my blogging friends in person for the first time, including the amazing Kate Benjamin of Moderncat, the lovely Deb Barnes of Zee & Zoey’s Chronicle Connection, the joyful and warm Caren Gittleman of Cat Chat with Caren & Cody, Sachie Tani of My Himalayan Cat Goma, Angie Holland Bailey of CatLadyLand, Joanne McGonagle of The Tiniest Tiger, Janea Kelly of Paws & Effect, and so many more! It was also wonderful to reconnect with Tamar Arslanian of I Have Cat, Stephanie Harwin of Catsparella, Karen Nichols of Mouse Breath, Rachel Shubin of We Have a Situation, and Ann Dziemianowicz of Paper Bag and String.
I once again marveled at the power of the internet when it comes to making connections and forging friendships. I spend so much time online each day that at times, I feel closer to some of my online friends than I do to my real life friends. I treasure these online friendships, but you still can’t help but wonder whether the relationship will “translate” to real life. There is nothing better than meeting an online friend for the first time and instantly realizing that the connection does, indeeed, translate. The real life meeting simply adds another layer of depth.
Allegra and Ruby were less than thrilled with BlogPaws (no, they didn’t attend!). They did not care for me leaving the house at first light and not getting back home until close to midnight, only to repeat it again for the next two days. They were, however, mollified when I opened the huge swag bag on Sunday morning. They were particularly delighted with a personal swag bag I received from Teri of Curlz and Swirlz and Carol of Coffee, Cats and Yarn – a lovely, and completely unexpected surprise.
I’ll be spending the next few days going through the huge stack of business cards I collected at BlogPaws, and writing follow up notes. I’ll be spending a lot longer than that remembering the wonderful three days spent in the company of friends, old and new. There is nothing better than spending time in the company of others who are united in being passionate about the same thing: making a difference for animals.
2011 DogTime Media Pet Blog Awards