April Member Spotlight: Christine Michaels

Christine Michaels at one of her feeding stations
Christine Michaels at one of her feeding stations

Thank you for this honor to introduce myself and share my work in the CWA spotlight. I’m in awe to join this talented and exclusive membership and learn from your experience and insights.

So what makes me purr, tick and thump (or jump) for joy? Well I’m a tortie of four passions—dance, marketing, Art Deco and blogging about cats!

My love for the arts and performing ballet started very young but I knew at age 23 a “starving artist” would not sustain a lifestyle of travel and modern comforts. Dance remains a cherished hobby so I chose marketing as my career path. It came as natural as ballet and marketing remains my secret weapon in helping the cat community.

However, after four job layoffs in 20 years it was time to reinvent myself as “an educator with flair”. At the ripe age of 40 I launched a small business. The Art Deco Walking Tour and Cocktail tour showcase the history and architecture of Miami Beach and I became known as the South Beach Deco Lady before…

My affinity for cats materialized by accident. When I stumbled upon homeless cats in my new neighborhood along the Miami River, I could not ignore their plight and dove into action–learning hands on about capturing kittens, trapping, deworming, bottle feeding, recuperating after spay/neuter, socializing, etc. As a strategist I realized the number of homeless cats against a small army of volunteers was a constant losing battle. Community awareness was nonexistent. Education and communication were critical to reverse the trend. Thus the Riverfront Cats blog was born as I put my efforts into words in hopes to stir reaction and motivate action.

A proud moment was conceptualizing and chairing the inaugural Black Cat gala in Miami to overturn the misconception of black cats and increase adoptions. Le Chat Noir was conceived to showcase the elegance and intelligence of black cats. Against a backdrop theme of old Hollywood black and silver, fine wine and food, and trained black cats strutting down the cat walk adorned with diamond collars, the event elevated black cats and dazzled attendees. We also flew in Otto, the celebrity black cat that rides a motorcycle in Los Angeles. Otto confidently walked the red carpet in his black top hat and didn’t blink an eye in the face of flashing cameras. The 2010 event was featured in a luxury Miami magazine. Mission accomplished!

Now in its fifth year, the Riverfront Cats blog and nonprofit has received media attention for efforts related to community, feral and black cats. My hard work, sweat and tears is paying off. It’s not just a paw print in the beach sand. The blog is leaving tracks and forging ahead and I thank my new cat friends, neighbors and mother for their valuable contributions. I could not do this alone.

Now for my next goal, it’s ambitious. To combine cats, Art Deco, dance, writing all in one– To host the next CWA conference in Miami with an “Art Deco Alley Cat walking and dance tour in South Beach!” Livin’ la cat vida loca!

You can connect with Christine in any of her social media platforms:
Riverfront Cats on Facebook
Riverfront Cats on Twitter
Riverfront Cats on Pinterest
Riverfront Cats on Instagram

CWA Member Spotlight Contest

CWA member spotlight contest

Get into the spotlight! To honor and celebrate our talented members we’re proud to announce the CWA Member Spotlight Contest. With so many diverse members in the arts from writers, journalists, bloggers, editors, photographers, designers, broadcasters and so on, the contest offers an opportunity to showcase their unique achievements. The monthly spotlight winner will be selected in a random drawing to spotlight here on our blog. 

  • The Spotlight Contest is open to Professional and Associate CWA members
  •  If chosen, we will contact you via email and invite you to share your cat-related interests and your professional achievements. This is your place to show off. Tell us, in 300-500 words (and up to to five images) what you would like us know about yourself, your career and any cat-related news.
  • Please feel free to include relevant links to your book, website, blog, or social media accounts. You are welcome to include (up to three links) to cat-related causes as well. 
  • The first Member Spotlight draw will be on March 1, 2014.
  • The winner will have 14 days to submit their word, images and links for publication mid-month.
  • If for any reason the winner is not available, another winner will be selected via a random draw.
 Good luck!
We hope our members enjoy this new feature that will give all of us a chance to get to know one another a little better. A new drawing will take place each month and each member will be featured only one time. Once all members have had the opportunity to be in the spotlight, we will restart the drawing with all members again eligible to be chosen. 
  • Don’t miss any of member spotlights and other news. If you’re not already a CWA blog subscriber, there is a handy sign up form below the comment box.
  • Do follow us on Facebook, and other social media. The follow buttons are at the top of the page.
  • Your comments are welcome.