Having seen it all, Pamela not only wanted people to benefit from her experience but she also wanted more cats in more homes.
According to Pamela, "I know many people just don't have the tools to get the most from their cats... until they know a little bit more about these most fascinating, intelligent, and affectionate pets."
Pamela's blog talks about everything under the sun in respect to cat care taking, food-water-litter training, understanding and accepting one's cat better. Apart from blogging, Pamela also features herbal cat toys and other related unique products for cats and cat lovers like Littermint.
The Way of Cats is an award wining blog. It was also named in the WorldWideLearn.com list of top 50 sites for pet owners. Read on to know more about Pamela and The Way of Cats in our exclusive interview with her.
1. Hi Pamela, please introduce yourself to our readers.
I'm a Cat Appreciator who wanted to share what I've discovered in thirty years of rescue. So far, I've become a blogger, book author, e-retailer, and video producer.
2. What is ‘the Ways of Cats’? What inspired you to come up with it? Have you always been a cat loving person?
I came to cats as an adult. This turned out to be an advantage, because if anything I read or was told contradicted my own experience, I felt free to disregard it. I fell in love with cats when I realized that I had to boss children, and needed to boss dogs, but cats work best as our friends. It makes them so easy to enjoy!
As a long-time student of the Tao, I try to bend with the wind, not fight against it. This turned out to be the key to cat care and training. Our cat's natural instincts are still operating in our home, dictating their behavior, and working to get their needs met.
Once we meet their needs, cats will work very hard to please us and make us happy. That is the part the world either does not understand... or has trouble explaining. Which is where I come in.
3. Tell us about your 4 cats. Who amongst them is the naughtiest? Do you try your products first on your cats before listing them in your shop?All rescues: seventeen year old James Bond whose problem was taming, five year old Reverend Jim whose severe neglect had challenged his development, three year old Olwyn, who almost died from failure-to-thrive, and two year old Tristan, who was found as a three week old, and needed around-the-clock fostering.
None of them are naughty! I will admit Tristan gets into things the most. James Bond is having some troubles from old age. RJ is our big heart, and Olwyn is The Boss. But each of them are adorable and affectionate, offer teaching moments for my readers, and make excellent testers for all our cat products.
4. 'Littermint' is a life-saving product for any cat owner. Is its creation inspired by your own personal needs?We have a small apartment, a family member with a chronic illness, and four cats. Our Litter Robots are wonderful appliances to keep everyone, including myself, happy and satisfied. But the Robot is so efficient at cleaning it can make the remaining litter smell less than fresh. We developed Littermint as the natural litter freshening solution. It has the tremendous added benefit of being a cat attractant, too.
Chemical fresheners and cleaners can actually repel our cats, even when the litter looks clean. Littermint is a great way to signal any cat that "this litter is fresh!" and it smells great to humans, too.
5. What’s your eBook 'Cat 911' all about? What prompted you to work on it?
So many of the problems people share with me are what I call Care Problems. Some aspect of the cat's care is not being addressed, and cats cannot ignore their instincts. So they will "misbehave" in an attempt to get their care handled the way they need.
Once we have their care working properly, we eliminate most of these problems. This will lay the essential foundation for the rest of their training, so we wind up with a delightful pet.
6. How do you promote your store? What do you think is the ideal mix of social, online and offline promotion? What about word-of-mouth promotion?My blog is still the engine that drives everything else, and it has grown by word of mouth - I've never advertised. For over five years, at least three times a week, I post an article on some aspect of cats. My Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest accounts are ways I share both old and new posts. Cats haven't changed in thousands of years, so my advice is still fresh to anyone coming by.
There are so many social platforms that I have to pick the ones of most interest to my readers. Otherwise, there's no time for the interaction that is the whole point of social media. I see it as a vital part of the landscape now, something expected of a company. The good part is, when people love what you have to say, they can't wait (and it's so easy) to share with their friends.
7. How do you see the advent of eCommerce and now mCommerce? Share with us your experience as an etailer.
The Internet is the ultimate in low overhead; that is how someone like me can get started with a minimal investment compared to renting a storefront or creating a catalog. There is already a surge in such small businesses, and I see them as having marked advantages over giant, impersonal, corporations.
After all, don't these huge business expend a lot of money and effort to create a close, trusting, relationship with their customers? Someone like me has the angle of actually being someone close and someone trusted.
When a fan tries my advice, and sees it works, they will buy one of my products with confidence. The explosion of devices like smart phones and tablets that lets people bring the Internet with them means they can encounter my site, and my store, from anywhere. They don't have to wait until they get home to decide to try my products. We all lead such busy lives it's great that any form of "taking care of the cats" can take place on the go.
To acknowledge the increasing number of my fans who are mobile, I have based my blog on WordPress, which has plugins to detect almost any device, and generate a mobile-friendly version of my site for them. I recently redid the main site to also be a Wordpress site, with a mini-blog and targeted feeds that show fresh content, pull in new readers, and make the site easy to manage.
8. What other entrepreneurs do you look up to personally? If you could spend some time with one of them who would it be and why?
In my own field, I admire multi-media approaches such as Cesar Mulan, the dog trainer. He has a TV show, books, videos, and does personal consulting. It helped me realize that not every person is going to learn the same way. Some like short articles, some want to sit down with a book, while others like to watch a video.
The direction I'd like to take my company in would be modeled after Ben & Jerry's. They are the only ones with such wild ice cream flavors, and support humanitarian causes, too. I see myself advancing Cat Public Relations as much as I'm selling myself as a brand and a method.
9. What leisure activities do you like to participate in when you are not working? What do you find most relaxing?
Funny question! Because I currently have a full time job and Way of Cats IS my "leisure activities." I do write with a cat in my lap and a movie going; that lets me keep up this pace because a lot of it is play. But that's the core of "love what you do," isn't it?
10. What are your future plans for yourself and for ‘the Way of Cats’?
This year I want to finish a series of books, based on my fresh approach to cats. I've done care, so I'll follow up with training, communication, multiple cats, affection, and kitten raising. Then we'll move to a new batch of products we are currently developing, aimed at cats with tough problems, like anxiety or old age. I'd like to start podcasting, for people who like to listen and learn.
At this point, we've been re-investing any profits back into the business. This pays for increased site usage, security, advanced versions of services we've been using at an introductory level, and new software or equipment. At some point, the business will demand more than self-capitalization can cover, but not jumping ahead until we reach certain goals keeps our "monthly nut" at a sustainable level.
11. One piece of advice that you would like to give to budding and aspiring sellers/entrepreneurs?
Be the only source for whatever it is you are selling.
This is the Internet. If it is someone else's product, you are not going to stand out. But if you develop one-of-a-kind advice or products, you will get people to seek you out, keep them coming back, and encourage them to tell their friends.
That is a solid foundation well worth the effort and resources you will need to put into any business.
Thank you Pamela, for taking out the time and doing this interview with us. We'd like to wish you the very best for future.
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