“Hi! You don’t know me,” the email said, “but I’ve been reading your blog and I love it! I have a petblog, too! Mine is about raising funds for shelters,” and so it began, a friendship that would spawn a successful business and bring hundreds of pet people together for a little fun, education and networking.
When I first received that note above, from Caroline Golon, I didn’t know what to think. Her note went on to say, “We should do something together.” Neither of us knew what that was, but we saw kindred spirits and it brought us together for a higher purpose.
Back then, Scratchings and Sniffings, my petblog, was sponsored by Nestle Purina® , and while Tom and I were devoted not only to our pets, and to helping Purina enter the blogosphere, we also continued to run our publishing business. We were passionate about both and not sure where either was going to take us. Caroline got us thinking bigger. When we finally met IRL (in real life) at a BlogHer conference, it was love at first sight, so to speak. We loved that our passion for pets brought us together and underlying it all, we were sure there was more to do!
There were a number of pet bloggers at that conference, way back in 2009. They inspired us to start what has become the premier pet blogger community and educational conference on the planet!
And, the face of it all was Romeo the Cat and Wabby Wibby. Romeo is Caroline’s rescue boy; Wabby Wibby is my rescue girl. These two felines, who never actually met in person, sad to say, were the most visible pets on the BlogPaws site. They were the heartbeat and Romeo, as the star of Caroline’s first blog, Romeo the Cat, was often the voice of BlogPaws.
Last Saturday, our beloved Romeo left us. As I write this I find it hard to hold back the tears. Somewhere in my heart, I never imagined losing Romeo. His sweet face and stories, as told by Mom Caroline, are as embedded in everything BlogPaws, as any of our pets. You see some of our pets on a daily basis – Carol loves sharing the ever photogenic Dexter, and I share my Olive and Emily, and sometimes the regal Molly, we all dote on our pets as none have ever done before (so we all think!), but when it comes to our Romeo, he is more than a story, a comment, an image, shared to showcase a topic we’re writing about – he is as much a PART of BlogPaws, as any of the humans who type words into a program on a computer, for other humans to see. He is why BlogPaws exists.
Celebrating Romeo’s life does not diminish any of our other precious pets. On the contrary, Romeo was and will forever be the celebratory fur-kid who brought laughter, tears, and inspiration to Caroline’s family which they brought to the bigger world… because… they could. And because it was necessary. Because this cat was more than a meow with big eyes and a funny face; he was a representative of the power of the human-animal bond, and you see it proud and loud on the blog Caroline wrote in his name.
“Since 2009, www.romeothecat.com has been dedicated to raising money for pets in need through our FURPOWER program. With your help, we’ve raised over $85,000!
We strive to bring you funny, silly, sweet and inspiring posts that we hope you enjoy.
While we’ve experimented with different ways to raise money over the last few years, we now focus on raising money through sponsorships, advertising and affiliate programs on the site. The money that this site earns goes to the pets!”
Romeo, we know you’re at the Rainbow Bridge with so many of our heart-pulse pets; we know you remember us and your Earthly family, who grieve but do not suffer because the memories are always alive and full of smiles; we know you understand how you will never be forgotten and how BlogPaws, especially, wishes you much happiness on your journey to tomorrow – the one that brings all of us together, someday.
There was never a cat like you, Romeo. And there never will be again.
RIP – p.s. BlogPaws thanks you for sharing Caroline with us.