Crying at the Networking Dinner

Talking about cat issues is a sure way to become emotional.

By Susan Logan | Posted: December 4, 2009, 3 a.m. EST

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Susan Logan
Here I am speaking at the conference dinner.
I’ve heard it said that pet people are sensitive. I certainly fit that stereotype and so do many of my friends and colleagues. Let’s face it, sometimes the inability to hold back the tears can be pretty embarrassing. I’ve cried in some awkward situations before, but never while giving a speech … that is, until this year’s annual Cat Writers' Association conference networking dinner.

I talked about Kari Winters and Kathryn Hopper, two cat rescuers and CWA members who passed away this year. I told the group what a great organization they were part of and that it would be interesting to figure out how many cats have been saved by all the people in the room. I mentioned one member, Dusty Rainbolt, who was sitting at a table right in front of me and who alone saved more than 200 cats through fostering. I looked at her and she started to cry. I had to look away and move on to the rest of my speech.

So I shared with the group my dreams for a better future for cats: First, that the United States will become a no-kill nation, meaning that healthy pets will not be euthanized just because they’re homeless; second, that animal cruelty will end; and third, that the status of cats will be raised in our culture.

As I looked around the room, I saw other eyes tearing up. I suddenly felt so overwhelmed with gratitude to work among such compassionate people, that I started crying too. I managed to keep talking, but I knew I had to end my speech quickly. Afterward I noticed other people wiping their eyes. When the dinner was over, people were sticking around and communicating a little more openly. Isn’t that what networking is all about?

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Reader Comments

sandy    Irvine, CA

12/11/2009 12:40:22 AM

Waterproof mascara -- a must have ....

Sandy    Prineville, OR

12/7/2009 6:49:40 PM

It was a heart wrenching article. So terrific to know how many other people are like I am, my husband belittles me because I love my cats and all other animals so much. I cry talking about pets who went to the bridge as long ago as 1973, because they were so much a part of me. You can't know what it means to me to know I'm normal! My husband has nearly convinced me I'm not -- he's the one who is not. I will continue to talk to my two boy cats Shadow and Boo who mean the world to me. Thanks for printing the article to show me and so many others that we share this deep love and devotion of animals with so many other people in this troubled world. And the idea of a no-kill America is so appealing. the cruelty to animals is atrocious and it has to stop. Those offenders should have to have prison time for cruelty to animals, And if Michael Vick thinks he has paid enough for the cruel acts he allowed to happen to dogs on his place he is wrong, I will never ever forget what he has done nor will any other animal lover. How about sharing some of that vast wealth you acquired in taking care of homeless animals, that might start to make amends - start. thanks for the opportunity to speak my piece. God bless all his little creatures he created in love for us to love. I'm proud of all that is being done to save all domestic animals. I also believe in saving our wild animals too.

Joy    Ionia, MI

12/7/2009 5:04:02 PM

The reason people stayed around and "networked" was the approval you gave for them to care about cats and what happens to them. Once we are given approval (verbal or implied) it lets us know we are okay for feeling what we do, for why we do, when we do! I have never felt so free to express my love and fascination with cats as I have since I joined FaceBook and saw how many other people are like me! They love cats! The laugh at cats! They cry for the pain of a cat! They anger to see a human disrespect a cat! I wasn't shocked or amazed or anything like that but I was so happy to see so many of us in one place AT THE SAME TIME!!!!! MOL It was okay to be silly and have my ulter persona be a kittycat. I can see why your talk released tears and why people felt free to share, Your message freed them, vocal or implied. Thank you!

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