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4

Cat Writing Is Totally A Real Profession, Says this Dallas Conference

Had I known that "cat writer" was a legit title I wouldn't be here, chained to this newsroom desk. I'd be out in the wild grabbing life by the scruff. Chasing my dreams like they were goddamn laser pens on curtains.

I'd bask in Internet sunbeams and let that money pour in.

But the CWA's 20th Annual Cat Writer's Conference happens in Irving next weekend, and is completely real. Now, I question everything.

Had things gone a little differently, party introductions would be art: "Have you met Jamie? She's a cat writer. Yes, a fucking 'cat writer'."

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At first they'd pause, mistaking the term for 'Cat Dancers,' that alarming television movie about three degraded souls who were eaten by giant cats, post-orgy.

I'd wave my fabulous cheetah print business cards, flip my hair-mane and assure them, "It's 'cat writer'. I write -- exclusively -- about cats."

This is the 20th Annual Cat Writer's Conference. 20 years. That was the dial-up era, at best. Back when cats were just a twinkle in the Internet's eye, CWA dug its claws in and waited. Now for its two-decade anniversary "Cat Writing: Reinventing Yourself for the Digital Age," offers fledgling and established cat writers opportunities to visit with "top names in the field of pet communications," and maybe make a little money off of all that cat erotica, slam poetry and Garfield fanfiction they've been drafting.

The conference is loaded up with writer's workshops, editor meet-and-greets and lectures on how to monetize that blog. There's also a costume party on Halloween night; cat stretch yoga on Friday morning; and a special performance of STRAYS, the musical. Told from the pets' perspective, the musical dramedy "seeks to edu-tain audiences about normal pet behavior while honoring the bond we share with them." Presumably production rights to Cats were too expensive.

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