Layla Morgan Wilde/ March 6, 2019/ Cats, Reviews & interviews/ 114 comments

Cat Blog Hiatus or Farewell Is In The Stars aka expert cat blogger calls it quits by Layla Morgan Wilde.

After 8 years, 2000+ posts, numerous accolades and milestones, I’ve reached a blogging crossroads. It’s not the first time but this time feels different. It reminds of the time I stopped being a vegetarian after 7 years.

Fair warning. This is a long and unusual post for me. It’s my hope that it illuminates a tiny sliver of the blogging world and my role in it.

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I’d spent most of my twenties vegan, then vegetarian. After seven years, it no longer felt right. One day without any deliberation, I wanted of things, a hot dog. Not a tofu dog but an all beef, all dressed hot dog from Harvey’s, a Canadian burger chain. There was no debate with my inner foodie. Logic would have dictated a more luxurious choice like a juicy steak grilled to perfection. No, I only wanted that hot dog. But what about that poor cow and mystery meat bits? What about my commitment to animal welfare and planetary ecology?

Perhaps a compromise could be reached but then a more powerful voice spoke. Listen to your body. You’re done. Without a moment’s notice, I high-tailed to my nearest Harvey’s and without an ounce of guilt I chomped down on my hot dog. It was good and I’ve never regretted it. In fact, I’d love one right now.

  • (Blogging lesson # 398: Don’t blog when starving.) Since then, I indulge in the occasional meat or fish meal and I continue to listen to my body. Usually.

It may have been a humble hot dog but it was a defining moment in my life. I could no longer call myself vegan or vegetarian. By the same token, if I stopped blogging, I could no longer call myself a blogger. Life is full of cycles, of defining moments. Sometimes the line in drawn in the sand forever while sometimes we fall off our path but can return.

Dreams, Stars and the Great Void.

 

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Possibly Clyde’s last appearance may evolve into a book cover or ?

If I’m to believe my astrology transits, a it’s pivotal point of no return. Btw, many of us may feel out of sorts this month. Mercury turned retrograde today and lasts until the end of the month signaling communication, travel and tech confusion. The new moon tomorrow is a key point of new beginnings with Uranus, the planet of sudden changes moves into Taurus when it’ll sit for the next seven years. In my case, it’s in my 10th house of career and social status.

I highly recommend learning more about your astro transits to help prepare for and navigate the inevitable change. If you enjoy astrology, podcasts and some free advice, I suggest The Leo King or Astro Shaman. They also have helpful YouTube videos.

I had a dream on the weekend with a clear directive to quit Cat Wisdom 101, just like that.

As the dream faded and reality set in, so did doubt. Could I just stop after all these years. Wasn’t that career suicide? Perhaps but if an infected leg needs amputation, a band-aid won’t do. I thought if I blogged less often and spend less time on social media I’d be saved. You know keep my foot in the door.  My blogging dwindled over the years from 7 days a week to once a week but there was more social media, SEO and algorithms to worry about.

It would be utter folly to throw away my 24/7 cat life but like they say, “You can’t cross a chasm in two small steps.” Unlike a cat, I don’t have nine lives. Wait, neither do they but I feel like I’ve lived through least 19.

A compromise might be to pare back and just do my monthly calendar in one big blog post. And what about the gazillion photo quotes and unedited posts  waiting in the wings to be published? Oh, those cute graphics I can’t wait to share for St. Patrick’s Day and Mother’s Day. See, this is why blogging is addictive. I could take another blogging break but I need more than a break. A hiatus feels bogus. I know lots of bloggers who go on hiatus and never return.

What’s the worst that can happen? I lose everything I’ve worked years non-stop for but find my sanity?

No matter what happens, I will keep creating in multiple modalities. It’s still a joy when I find an old photo to use in a blog post like today’s featured image. I’d taken it at the Rubin Museum in New York three years ago. Visitors were asked to write on a piece of paper what sacred space meant to them before tossing it into a collective bowl. While paper is analog, the concept to use it for this post fit. Curious to find out what happened to the interactive exhibit, I Googled it and found a video about it. Wow,  it made me remember why I loved blogging. Who knew 8,000 people felt compelled to write on those little pieces of paper.

I don’t know what the sacred space of the blogosphere is. It’s not all peace, love and purrs.The underbelly truth about blogging in a niche like cats or dogs, is dog eat dog. Yeah, there a few kind bloggers who care but just because someone loves cats, doesn’t mean they’re warm and fuzzy.  They’re still human with human foibles and a wild variety of agendas. Sorry for kicking the sacred cow. To the uninitiated, it’s a mix of fun and doing good. It’s more like a catty mix of high school and the Housewives TV show of whatever city you prefer. Funny in retrospect and frankly unbelievable.

Some bloggers and readers vanish but many who used to comment no longer do. Did I do something to diss them? Who knows but the main reason is likely tit for tat. Once I stopped commenting as often, other bloggers stopped visiting. None of it matters. Every blogging niche has their own cliques and hierarchy.

Blogging lesson #22. Behind every blog is a human even if the blogger is a cat. Humans aren’t purrfect so don’t take anything another blogger says personally. That goes for compliments and critiques. Take it all with a grain of salt. Blogging is not for the thin-skinned. I used to get angsty why some bloggers seemed to be better or luckier until I found out the backstory. There is always a backstory. There is always a price for every success. It’s easy to hide online. To hide pain behind smiles or cute cat videos. It’s not worth being jealous of any blogger, person or cat. That includes me.

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So, here I am standing at a precipice about to jump into the void. There is no turning back. I may stand wavering for a bit at the edge but I will have to take that next leap into the unknown soon. The decision will determine and define my identity. If I’m not in the cat blogging world any more, who or what am I? Ironically, I never wanted to be a blogger. I wanted to be a writer, an author and blogging helped bridge the two. I’m a published author now but so what? Blogging snatched precious time away from book writing and drove a wedge into my creativity. I have a dozen incomplete writing projects collecting dust to show for it.

  • Blogging lesson #99. If you want to be an author: WRITE don’t blog. And if you’re already a writer don’t get bamboozled into writing a blog because someone said it’s a good way to grow your platform. You’d be better off guest posting at another blog. Stick to one social media platform and master it.
  • Blogging lesson #188. If you’re sitting on the fence about blogging for the hell of it, don’t bother. The world doesn’t need another blog unless you’re Seth Godin’s clone. If so, please do. If you have an interesting pet, hobby or lifestyle do Instagram instead. Curate things you love to write about on Pinterest.
  • Blogging lesson #57. Blogging is addictive. Don’t be fooled by the dopamine reward hits. Wow, I hit my first 10,000 blog views or wow, 100,000 monthly views bing, bing, bing. Aw, aren’t I loved getting 50 comments. I must really be loved if the comments aren’t from fellow bloggers. Bing, bing, bing. Maybe you are a rockstar/guru after all. Maybe not. Eventually, none of it matters. There will always be someone with bigger numbers.
  • Blogging lesson #8. The Internet is limitless but contrary to motivational quotes, you are not. Know your limits. Set healthy boundaries and goals. I’ve waved dreams of really making a difference to cats good-bye. I know I’ve made a difference and every life counts but my passion cost me my health and almost my life. Yes, really. Now, that’s a book.
  • Blogging lesson # 29. Blogging is about creating content online which is virtual reality and often fake. It may have aspects of reality like your words or photos being be printed and held in your hand, for real. Don’t automatically believe anything you see or read online. Chances are it’s smoke and mirrors or Photo-shopped at best.
  • Blogging Lesson #171. Don’t expect your fellow bloggers or readers to be real friends. In my book, real friends still require a face-to-face, let’s have dinner, talk on the phone to gradually build a level of trust. I’ve said had to say good-bye to many blogger “friends” over broken trust. That said: there are some  bloggers who click and become genuine friends. Count yourself very fortunate to have even one blogger in your niche to call a friend.

I could go on and on but it would lapse into an e-book diatribe about the dark side of blogging and I have enough unfinished projects. Besides, Clyde needs his insulin shot and I need some sleep.

I’m not asking for your support, commiseration or suggestions or God forbid, pity, but I am *waving wildly* with thanks to all my constant readers. I especially want to acknowledge all the long time subscribers who have rode the ups and downs of this long journey. You are the best. Thank you! Without you I would have quit years ago.

If you’d like to know what happens next in my blogging/writing/life adventure, please be or stay a subscriber. Any updates will only happen via email. I’m guarding my energy and will not be able to respond to comments, messages or emails. Thanks in advance. See you (I hope) on the other side of the leap.

With much love and gratitude,

Layla

P.S.

I’ve been wading through the blog archives, updating SEO, editing posts plus uploading new images. It’s painstaking, time consuming but weirdly satisfying. It’s a useful exercise whether I end up selling the domain (unlikely), re-purposing content or whatever. While digging through individual posts, I forgotten how massive and all-encompassing the body of work is. There is enough content to edit and create more than one book or something entirely new. It’s a lot of housekeeping regardless. There are tons of spam comments to manually pick through and remove (ugh, before we implemented more rigorous anti-spam filters) and then there is the question of what to do with all my social media accounts.

I’ve been virtually a ghost online, tardy returning email, but grateful for my Instagram volunteer admin who keeps things at least @blackcatsofig afloat. A giveaway on Instagram ends this week. It may be the last one ever and it will be a very nice surprise for the winner.

WHAT! Are you still reading? The details of wrapping up blogging life is like the prep work required before taking a long vacation or a organizing a funeral — exhausting. As tempting as it is to drop everything and vanish, it’s not in my Nordic DNA is shirk responsibility. I feel bad enough for not returning many emails.

P.P.S.

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I’ve changed the blog header to include a photo of Merlin who was there at the beginning of Cat Wisdom 101 and in my life for 21 years. It looks better on mobile that desktop but I got tired of fiddling. The photo above is one of my favorites and a harbinger of change.  When I originally posted it, Merlin was still kicking as was the author of the poem, Mary Oliver. Both are now dead and lovely patch of green by Gris Gris’s cat grave is Merlin’s mossy memorial garden.

The mossy wheel of life keeps rolling with or without us.

The cats are all getting old and require 24/7 care which has hampered my health and ability to work. Plus it looks like we will be moving house after 18 years. Where and when exactly is up in the air. My plate is and has been way too full for far too long. Hello, Universe, a miracle would be welcome right about now 🙂

Hang in there, spring is on the way!

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114 Comments

  1. Hi, Layla. You have been here on the internet far longer than I and must have seen many changes both good and bad, as you say. I for one will miss seeing your articles out there, but pray you do not give up completely and have a presence for us all to enjoy.
    I have and continue to have increasing problems commenting on folks posts, and sometimes your own too. It seems the world doesn’t want us any longer to share our cat lives with even our pals. It is horrid and drives us to not communicate, which I guess is what the powers that be really want?
    I hope whatever happens next for you will bring you as much joy and wellbeing as your blogging has given us.
    Love and purrs to you from Erin and I
    PS I hope we will be able to contact you through site if the need arises as it is great to have friends to say hello to and visit.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by with your kind words! I’m glad you were able to leave a message and please email or message me anytime xoxo

  2. Layla, I just found this while doing an online search for information o n fostering cats. What a wonderful treasure of information you have here. I see that you are needing to move on to other things, but I am so thankful for the information, experience and wisdom you have shared here. It is ageless and priceless.
    Best Wishes,
    Brenda
    Cats Meow Cat Rescue
    Oregon

  3. From one cat mama to another, I wish you all the very best in the days ahead for your life. It is sad how petty and conniving some people in this life can be. I’m sorry you had to face that. We’d all be better off if we wished each other well and encouraged one another’s success. *sigh*

    Blessings!

  4. Best of luck to you on the next chapter. I loved hearing from Merlin and then Clyde on Mondays. Sending you warm thoughts, and many purrs.
    Hugs
    VickyC, Inky & Toots

    1. Vicky, many thanks for good wishes and purrs xox

  5. I wish you well with whatever you decide to do and I do agree that your health and that of your kitties comes first. For myself, after taking a long 5-week break visiting my parents in South Africa, I’ve returned with a renewed sense of the things that are important to me: my cats, family, health and getting more darn sleep! I’ve realized I can’t do everything unless I clone myself 10 times over!

    I hope our paths cross someday, who knows we might meet up right here in your hometown of Montreal!
    P.S I thank you for allowing me to guest post on your blog!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and glad to know your hiatus was refreshing xox

  6. I love what you wrote. And love your cat images. We love cats and dogs!!

  7. I confess I’m not a reader but only just found my way here from the Black Cats Tell All Kickstarter. I was hoping to track down a copy of the ebook that I never got around to downloading all those months ago (surprising myself since I was one of the first 20 backers and was partly raised by a black cat). Obviously you have many things on your plate amid this major transition, but if there’s some easy (for you) way to connect me to the e-book, that would be purriffic! Best wishes on this next part of your journey!

    1. Hi Bill, thanks for your good wishes and understanding. I’m not responsible if you didn’t bookmark the e-book I sent you. There is a special 99 cent e-book version at Gumroad as an alternative. The formatting for the Kindle version proved too complicated.

  8. Whatever you decide, we wish you all the best ; we know that you do what you think is the best for you right now, and it’s ok. We love you, and we love your blog : good luck for the next step ! Purrs and hugs

    1. Many thanks, Claire. You’re support is much appreciated. Hugs back and furry kisses xox

  9. MEWOH say it isn’t so!! We do follow you and have since day one, how will we know what’s going on in the world completely if you leave? I understand everything you say and feel, you must do what you feel is best for you. Please do not throw in the towel all at once- give yourself a break and slow down if you need to. You have so many who love you and your fur kids that would be open to you taking on a lighter schedule rather than disappearing entirely. Pearl and I being two of them.
    I especially need your advice with this tortimese terror and her curtain ruining behavior! NOTHING deters this one and her determination/stubbornness.
    Please keep us updated as to your decision and know you are appreciated.

    1. Aw, thanks dears but we tried blogging less every year and it wasn’t helping. You’ll be the first to know any news and thanks for being there from the beginning! You know a tortimese must rule so just accept it 🙂 xoxox

  10. I wish you all the best with whatever you decide to do going forward. I love your blog and all the things that went along with it. If you decide to come back, I think you will find a whole lot of fans cheering the day! At this point, you have freed yourself to do what is best for you, and sometimes we get to that point. In my case, I had a major health issue just two years ago, and I said goodbye to my career so I could take care of myself. Fortunately, I am well again, and I have learned a lot since my diagnosis, especially how to do the things you love to do. You will be missed, but you can always come back to where you left off.

    1. Cindy, thanks for sharing. It mean a lot to know life can bounce back. I don’t believe after great transitions we can ever return to where we left off but we can return transformed. I’m curious if you found a new career? xox

  11. You will be greatly missed! Reading this post made me so sad. Thank you so much for all your support for Furball Fables and Crafty Kitty Cats. You are one of the few bloggers who have supported us. (Also RIP Life with Cats which also shut down with no announcement.) I totally understand what you mean by the cat world not being all warm and fuzzy and somewhat Catty. Why others do not support each other in this field has always baffled me. Your post made me so sad because I am also at a crossroads and not sure what direction I will go. It must be so hard and incredibly brave of you to take this step. I wish I could have a dream that made it so clear! However, you my dear YOU should be writing books. Black Cats Tell All was so great and such a pawsitive influence for black cats everywhere. You learned so much from that process and could now move forward with other books easily. You have been a major force in the Cat world. Look up almost any subject on cats and one of your blog posts is sure to appear near the top of any google search. But to be totally honest my intuition tells me you will be back. This is just a break. In order to resurrect you need to bury the old first and see what the rebirth with be. You will have something that will excite you so much that you will need to come back! I do hope it’s cats but I am not sure. Now about the move. California is very nice! Perhaps the desert? Please always count me as one of your friends regardless if you are blogging or not. And THANK YOU so much for all that you have contributed to the cat world! And Buddha wants to purrsonally thank you for all you have done to help and support black cats! (hi Clyde) Big Hugs! Chase, Merlin, Fairy, Elfin, Buddha and Yogi! xoxox

    1. Oh Chase, thanks for being true blue and simply the best. Lots of love and talk soon xoxox

  12. Layla, we are sorry to read this, but we understand. We will miss you, your insightful musings, and knowing on a regular basis how you and the cats (especially our buddy Clydie) are doing. But you must take care of you. I hope this is not goodbye, but know that no matter what, we will think of you with love, and gratitude for your friendship.

    1. Thanks so much Kevin, you and Tracey are good people. Keep fighting the good furry fight and I’ll stay in touch for sure. Lots of love and Clyde who is by my side sends a whisker kiss xox

  13. Huge thanks everyone. Apologies for the comments not showing up. I ended up changing the theme and thankfully they popped up. I’m very moved by some of the comments and will reply soon xx

  14. Oh yea….I also use your memes on Teddy’s FB page. I used one this morning that read “Don’t judge a cat by it’s color” ♥

  15. Layla ~ I hope you don’t disappear all together. I have enjoyed reading your blog and seeing your photos & memes. It’s hard to keep up on IG, but receiving your emails and updates are great!

    Your friend ~
    Cindy
    Mollie, Teddy, Charli, & Timmy
    @jones_fids

    1. Hi Cindy, I hope I won’t disappear all together either 🙂 Thanks so much for your kind words xox

  16. I get itI have been out of sorts too with blogging and social media too and I know why to much emotional stuff going on at home with My mother in-law but she is in a nursing home now and her house is ready to rent out so it’s all starting to settle down at home,I’ve just been doing some jobs in the garden which are nearly done too so I’m now just basically thinking what’s next and letting Speedy’s blog tick along and I’ve realized that there are some friends I need to take a step back from because they are draining the life out of me with their mental health problems and I am just tired of it all dealing with their problems and not looking after me….selfish it is?Yes but I need to do it to get back to being me.Sometimes we need to step back and take stock of our lives and just get back to being ourselves so that we can carry on doing what we love and make time for that so that we just enjoy it all rather than it all becoming a chore to do,xx Rachel and Speedy

    1. Dear Rachel and Speedy, there is nothing selfish about taking care of what truly matters. Thanks for always being there at the most important times xoxo

      1. We got your comment. I thought you would like to know. Bless you. I think the last year or two has been hard for everyone. Go live your life and enjoy it… You deserve it, just stay in touch from time to time, I know I would like to see how you are doing from time to time and how all the Kitties are doing and you don’t need to blog to do that I will try the cbd oil I just need to check with someone I know on the use in bunnies, xx

      2. Oh good! I’ll stay in touch for sure. I so wanted to meet Speedy in person one day xo

  17. Layla run straight to your new life..do not stop just go..change at our stage of life is indeed life…social media is an anathema..i also am defunct as far as blogs go..i could care less..so many aspects of my life have been trashed and the veneer of blogging holds little joy..i wish you health peace and inner harmony..be kind to YOU..

    1. Oh Bev, I love you for getting it and not mincing words. Yes, yes and I’m wishing you the same. It’s time, dear friend xoxo

  18. I get your email ntices for posts you put up, and I look at them even if I do not coment. For me, too, blogging has tried to take over my life…so I put up a post once a week…but with my work and other things a mom, wife and pet owner has to do, well, I find it very hard to visit/comment anywhre of late.And I spend way to much time making ‘cards’ for others, all the more since I am on a borrowed computer, my own having been stolen…I can’t wait to get a new Mac!

    But I find in my heart that I have gotten fond of my fellow bloggers, and If I would stop, I feel like I would be abandnng them all. So I try to keep up,a bit each day…today was your turn! How timely:)

    I still have that unfinished draft about my feelings and such after Minko left the earth…sorry, but I just didn’t have the time to do it proper justice! Oops, I should have let you know…sigh…

    If you leave, you will be missed, but never forgotten.
    ((((( ♥ )))))

    1. Thanks so much and I sure do understand. I used to feel the pressure to keep up until it became too much. Whenever you feel like finishing the draft,I’ll still be around 🙂 Thanks so much xox

  19. I will miss you of course if you go, but times and things change . Sometimes slowly, others in the blink of an eye.
    You have always been special to me. I will never ever forget you because of so many things. My most loving nod to Clyde, but my Mondays either started or ended with Merlin.

    You made Punchy who was a stray cat famous……. and David and I hold it in our hearts and always will. You made so many days better.

    I will stay a subscriber, I want to hear from you, but I understand change……………… we either grow or shrivel without it.

    Whatever you do, wherever life takes you, I wish you only the very best, I know we have never met, but I hope you do not go away totally (selfish isn’t it?) I wish I could have met you. I wish so many things these days.

    1. Dear, dear Ellen, I’ll miss you too but we will continue to stay in touch! Much love always and eternal thanks for your kind support xoxo

  20. We read your farewell post several different times today.

    We can’t seem to read anny of the previous comments (we don’t do anny social media other than blogger). And we were only occasional visitors.

    But we understand that ending things can be difficult and often involves some harsh thoughts.

    We agree with some of what you said, but not all of it. That being said, we do agree that when you tire of one way of communicating, it is time to change to another (or none depending on why you stop one).

    Wishing you happiness in the future…

    1. Mark, not sure if you saw the update about comment. Thanks so much for stopping by and your kind wishes xo

  21. This makes me very sad. I am hoping that maybe you will take a break and come back. I have enjoyed your blogs.

    1. Andy, thanks for sharing and you never know what the future holds. Enjoy the archives xo

  22. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for all this time. Sorry that I didn’t comment more, but it’s always been a wonderful read. You have to do what’s best for you, and if the feeling is that it’s time to move on, then I completely understand! Best wishes and positive vibes to you and all of your future endeavors <3

    1. Thanks so much Danielle. Stay tuned for news xo

  23. I am sorry to read this, that you have been going through so much and are hanging up your blogging “pen”. But I understand. I have been blogging since 2005, been reduced to posting twice a week, can’t even begin to keep up with visiting and commenting for such a long time … My furries have been dying off, my health has been going downhill, and I haven’t posted in a couple of months. My blogging days are most likely over. 🙁 But our health and the health of our furries is more important. I’m sorry I haven’t visited or left comments in a while. I wish you the best at whatever you do and have enjoyed Cat Wisdom 101 over the years. Things/circumstances change for all of us. Be happy and healthy.

    1. Jan, I bow my head to you as a true blogging veteran. If anyone knows the ups and downs, it’s you. Thanks for your good wishes and I extend the same to you xoxo

  24. Totally understand your desire to quit blogging. It is time consuming.
    I blog for myself as a kind of online diary.
    After 11 years, I blog 2 days a week. Getting around to all the bloggers is time consuming and time is precious as you know.
    It is important to do what is good for you and health and happiness come first.I hope you find both.
    I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.Wishing you happiness,health and peace.
    Purrs Georgia,Julie and JJ
    and Nancy(the human)

    1. Nancy, thanks kindly and wow, you’ve been blogging 11 years!? So you really understand. Purrs to you and the kitties xoxo

  25. I’ve been remiss in visiting many blogs over the past year. Between two jobs I barely find the time to write a post, let alone visit others, which I really miss doing. I hope you find happiness and peace of mind in your next venture and blog hiatus.

    1. Thanks for stopping by with your kind wishes I and fully understand what you’ve been through with work, blogging, CWA etc. Being spread too thin serves no one well. xo

  26. Well, I hate to see you disappear into the blogosphere so to speak but I certainly wish you well. When I decided to quit it was because Mewdy Blue died and I just couldn’t face a blog without him, nor relating to anyone. I only recently got back into reading blogs again but I cannot go back to my own blog. I’m sorry to hear also that you might be moving. That is very hard as well. Please do what you must to care for yourself.

    1. Hi Andrea, thanks so much for your support. I will do what has to be done. Stay in touch. We need to discuss editing xoxo

  27. Layla,

    Sorry to see you go but I can totally relate to the time consuming job of maintaining blogs and platforms.
    I enjoy your content and many blessings to your future!