Season’s greetings friends, I hope you’re all looking forward to Christmas? I am! It’s the party season and with that in mind I think it’s the perfect time to tell you all about my social life.
Or rather, my ‘virtual’ social life. About six months ago I tentatively dipped a toe in the water and got myself a Twitter account. Hadn’t a clue what I was doing of course, but I blundered on and bit by bit immersed myself in the world of social networking.
It’s been a blast!
I had no idea just how many tweeting cats there are out there, there must be tens or probably hundreds of thousands. I’ve made many friends all over the world and continue to make more daily. I have some wonderful pals; Rusty, Benny, Fancy, Jaffa, Nutmeg, Purrbot, Cinnamon, SC and others far too numerous to mention, I love them all. We are all what we call ‘anipals’ and my anipals are not only cats. My anipals include dogs, ferrets, a toy teddy bear and a walrus.
There’s so much for a cat to do on Twitter. Of course we just chat a lot of the time but if someone is going through a tough time with illness or the loss of a friend, or something similar, then all their friends are there to ‘suppawt’ them.
There a clubs and organisations to join. Nipclub meets on a regular basis for ‘nip, high jinks and general silliness. The dancing, carousing and camaraderie go on until the wee small hours and it’s lots of fun! There’s the WLF (Whiskers Liberation Front) which is a huge underground movement dedicated to the brotherhood, lives and needs of cats and miscellaneous other animals that may be permitted to join. The WLF operate according to a set of strict ‘revolutionary socialist ideals’ and kitties, I strongly recommend that you join. If you pledge to ‘uphold the code of conduct’ and include the hashtag #wlf regularly in tweets then you will be awarded the ultimate badge of honour; your WLF beret. If you find my profile on Twitter (@SquirtTheCat) you will see that most of the time I am proudly wearing my beret.
However, there are other times which require a change of avi (your profile photo). From time to time throughout the year there are ‘virtual’ days or nights out requiring a bit of special dressing up. These occasions are known as ‘pawties’ or ‘anipal events’ and are tremendous fun! I love a good pawty. Each one has its own unique hashtag so that we can all follow the goings on and join in. There are DJ’s who keep the dance floor full of revellers, caterers who post pictures of the most amazing food (or ‘noms’ as we call it), a bar tended by ‘bark-keepers’ and there are real ‘pwizes’ to be won. I recently won a new laptop sleeve.
In the summer we had a Jolly Day Out when we all climbed aboard the Mogbus for a day trip to the English seaside town of Scarborough. The sun shone (the weather wouldn’t dare be less than perfect), all the cats wore their trunks and bikinis and we had a ‘pawsome’ time splashing in the sea and gorging ourselves on ice cream. Not to mention the copious amounts of nipbeer that were consumed on the bus!
There are so many events to attend that sometimes it’s hard to keep track of them. Earlier this year I was devastated to miss the Nipclub Highland Games where all the animals dressed in tartan and competed in the various sports. Being a Scotsman I really wish I’d been able to be there, but I missed it and was extremely angry with Staff for weeks since she hadn’t told me about it.
I forgave her by Halloween because she booked me a place on the Ghost Train to visit the Bloody Tower in London. Oh that was spooky and scary! Cats jumping out of their skins everywhere and clinging to each other for dear life as they faced monsters, ghouls and ghosts. Surprisingly (or not), we all drank nipbeer for courage and after a few of those the horrors that confronted us didn’t seem quite so terrifying. My good friend SC made me the most fantastic outfit. Here I am, dressed in a black robe and carrying a scary lantern.
Life is a whirl of pawties! I’ve been to a stag pawty, a wedding, and a renewal of wedding vows which was held recently at Hampton Court. I think you’ll agree I look rather dashing in my suit. Just before Christmas we’re having a skating pawty for which I’ll be wearing a very fetching purple jumper. No doubt the number of falls on the ice will rise along with the nipbeer consumption!
I now have special duties at some of the pawties or events. When so many anipals get together things can go wrong so there is an official ‘sekurity’ team which I have joined as a cadet. Recently we held The Marine Club Ball to celebrate the anniversary of the US Marines. Wearing my sekurity uniform I patrolled the ball on my official sekurity tricycle and, to my delight, found some cats running an illegal gambling den, so I busted them! A sekurity officer or cadet’s duties include making sure pawty goers behave appropriately (more or less) and reminding anipals that they may make donations to a good cause. These get-togethers do have a serious side. Every month a bona fide animal rescue charity is chosen and we make donations to that cause in return for all the fun we have. We raise quite a lot of money each month for these charities so do, please, come and join us as we raise the roof and raise funds for animals in need.
We pals on Twitter don’t just have lots of fun and laughter. As well as raising funds for good causes we occasionally get together to let the world know about something we feel strongly about. Recently there has been, sadly, a mass disappearance of cats in Ipswich in the UK. Most have not been seen again but some have come home injured, obviously the victims of vile mistreatment. We felt we needed to make cat owners aware of this so we organised a Tweet-storm where as many people as possible tweeted at the same time and used a hashtag to draw attention to our tweets. We did this with #IpswichMissingCats and managed to top the trending lists in the UK and America. It was a lot of hard work but worth it since we managed to draw attention to what was going on. My good friend Jaffa coined the phrase ‘Paw Power’. Let me tell you, Paw Power is very strong when anipals all join together to support something.
So you see, we have a lot of fun on Twitter and we have a serious side too. I’m so glad Staff agreed to open a Twitter account for me (like she had a choice!) because I’ve met the most wonderful friends all over the world.
Before I sign off I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and I wish you good health and happiness for 2015. I invite you to follow me, @SquirtTheCat, to meet some of my pals and join in my adventures. I look forward to making friends with you all!
Do catch up with Squirt on Twitter - @SquirtTheCat
And don't forget to download his fantastic book: Reservoir Cats: True Stories and Cat's Eye Views from Squirt