An interview with CWA member Anita Aurit, by Mollie Hunt.
Who are the Cat Writers’ Association is a series of interviews with CWA members, but not your usual who, what, and where discussion. I like to ask a different set of questions and am always amazed by the answers. I hope you are too.
Our guest today on Who are the Cat Writers’ Association? is award-winning blogger Anita Aurit of FelineOpines, the World from a Feline Point of View.
Anita, tell us a bit about your writing/blogging career.
I had been published in several genres, but when I was published in Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s Soul, my cat writing career took off. The Chicken Soup PR people told me that I needed a blog. I did some research and didn’t want to be another cat advice blog; then I thought, “I’m a fiction writer. I love creating characters. My cats are characters.” This was the birth of FelineOpines, the world from a feline point of view. I have won awards for the blog and the blog inspired the Felines Opine book series. So far there are three books with the fourth in the works. My cats inspired me to write my first cozy mystery which will be published in 2023 and features two of my felines, Alberto and Oliver.
How do cats inspire your creativity?
Each of my three cats inspires me. Their personalities are so different, and their antics delight me every day. Since I began on this cat writing journey, I’ve received diplomas in Feline Behavior & Anxiety as well as certification as a pet bereavement counselor. Even my beloved felines who recently crossed the Rainbow Bridge inspired me to write a book about grief at the loss of a cat (Are There Head Bonks in Heaven?).
What do you enjoy about belonging to CWA?
As a CWA member I am connected with a professional group of content creators (authors, photographers, videographers, etc.) who inspire me. Many of the CWA members that I’ve met over the years have become friends. And the CWA Communications Contest is a way to have my work critiqued and recognized by a group of my peers. The CWA Certificates of Excellence and Muse Medallions I have been awarded are the highest praise I could receive for my cat writing/blogging/video work.
Now for a few arbitrary questions:
1. Did you grow up with cats?
Anita: Yes, my mother liked cats. My dad, hard boiled Army Green Beret, loved cats. We have a photo in our family album of one of our cats named Smokey. My dad noted below the photo, “Smokey, went AWOL” and he noted the date.
2. Is your cat an unofficial (or official) emotional support animal?
Anita: I went through one of the worst emotional traumas of my life 3 years ago. My cats sensed it, and they applied purr therapy every night and helped me through days that I thought I’d never get through. There were days I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I needed to feed my fur kids, clean their litter boxes, and make sure they were properly cared for. Was it not for them, I would have wallowed in my situation far too long. When I come home from work, they always come to greet me. They make my house a home.
3. “Adopt, Foster, Volunteer, Donate, Educate” is a common slogan for animal rescue. What do you like to do?
Anita: I promote TNR, rescue, adoption, and fostering on my blog and in my community. I (or rather my felines) participate in Remember Me Thursday, and I have fostered and am a happy foster failure. I donate to my shelter monthly.
4. What’s the craziest thing your cat’s ever done?
Anita: Alberto once went through a period when he would knock things off the counter or drop things into my purse for me to discover later in the day. The only item that disturbed me a bit was the knife I found at the bottom of my bag.
Please give us the names and short descriptions of your cats.
Alberto – one of my foster failures. He demands that I turn the bathroom faucet on in the morning, then he sticks his head under the wet stream. It’s his version of a shower. He looks like a Siamese but comes from a multi-species background. He is 22 pounds but is long so doesn’t show his weight. He can reach my waist when he stretches from the floor.
Oliver – Oliver was part of the foster failure as I fostered him and his brother Alberto. His name is Oliver because he was the runt of the litter and always hungry. (Oliver Twist, “more porridge please”) He has since blossomed into 22 pounds of feline but, unlike his brother who looks sleek and muscular, Ollie is rotund and has a bit of a waddle to his walk. He is a cat that lives to eat, and his diet is going not so well.
Lily – Lily is an 8 pound bundle of sass. Her nickname is Princess Stabby Toes. She is also a shelter kitty, and although I’ve had her all 8 years of her life, there is still a bit of feral in her when I pick her up to put her in the carrier or try to clip her claws. She is a love bug and sleeps next to me every night in the crook of my arm. She brooks no nonsense from her big brothers (who sometimes chase her around the house or try to steal her treats) and will give each one a random “whacky paw” when she walks by them, just for good measure.
Find out more about Anita Aurit at these fun sites: