Late nights. Celebrity. Intrigue.

Yes, I speak of BlogPaws 2010.

My friends encouraged me, dare I say some even admired me, for spending a weekend (in Ohio) with strangers. I “knew” a few people from the internet but only by name – or cat’s name. Parents and co-workers were a different matter.

Why couldn’t I just say I was attending a blogging convention and left it at that? But nooooooo. Let’s not forget I’m the girl who when complimented on an article of clothing or jewelry trips over herself to divulges what a steal they were at Target or T.J. Maxx. Of course I had to tell them it was a convention for pet bloggers.

Columbus Ohio Pet Blogging Convention

Following the paw path to welcome cocktail!


I’m not ashamed of my love for cats (animals in general) or my blog.  All my friends and co-workers proudly received my I HAVE CAT cards. But attending a pet blogging convention apparently raises the “crazy cat lady” flag up the pole significantly.

We let me say I don’t regret my decision to attend for a minute. Not even after realizing messed up my return flight and I had to pay an extra $250 to change it (while Columbus is lovely, I will not be spending an entire month there thank-you-very-much).

Columbus Ohio Pet Blogging Convention

Photo courtesy of


Upon arriving at The Westin, a pet friendly hotel (and yes, there were a few cats present), I noticed a cute boy in the lobby. I managed my expectations by telling myself chances were he was in Columbus for some other purpose, grabbed schwag bag and went to my room to fresh up before cocktails

Schwag I paid $25 to check-in on the way back (I couldn't leave the liquids behind!)


Bad news? Not a lot of guys. Good news? I sat next to “lobby boy“ who, as it turned out, was in fact there for BlogPaws (he’s a dog guy but I let’s not get too picky people).

Bad news? Only one complimentary drink ticket (what?). Good news? Drinks at the bar were only $5! Drinks on me!

The Westin Columbus Ohio

Toto, we're not in NYC anymore...


Bad news? No dinner. Good news? Ended up going out to the oldest 4-Star restaurant in the city on an adorable cobblestone street in Germantown drinking bottles of Veuve (Cliquot) with a celebrity blogger Lynn Haigh of Frugal Dougal and Pawpawty fame, Helin and Esther (two lovely hip chicks from NYC who work for and..yup… lobby-boy!

The sessions were informative but the opportunity to meet other pet lovers and bloggers was for me, the best part of all. There were animal-world celebrities there like the very cute Dorian Wagner (, Robin Olson (, Bernadette Kazmarski (The Creative Cat), Andrea Arden (Underdog to Wonder Dog) and Janiss Garza (Sparkle the Designer Cat) just to name a few.


Lynn Haigh, the woman behind Frugal Dugal and


There were even a few non-animal celebs like Eddie Griffin the comedian of “Deuce Bigalow” fame.  Okay, he wasn’t really with us but he was staying at The Westin and was overheard telling his crew that  “the whiteys closed down the bar.”  He seemed surprised and impressed. Imagine if he’d known the whiteys were also pet bloggers!  But there was another “celebrity” among us of whom I was unaware.

At one of the panel discussions Natalie Malaszenko, the Director of Social Media & Commerce at PETCO, gave an amazing presentation and I decided to go introduce myself.

Natalie Malaszenko, the Director of Social Media & Commerce at PETCO

Natalie Malaszenko, the Director of Social Media & Commerce at PETCO


At a pet blogger convention introductions can be rather involved. First introduce yourself, then your blog/pet followed by a short description of why you are at BlogPaws (work for a corporation, blogger etc). As I launched into “Hi, Tamar from I HAVE CAT, a blog about living in NYC as a…” Natalie stopped me and says  “of course we know I HAVE CAT at PETCO.” Um. What?!?!

She then proceeded to call over her co-worker Lisa Epstein who had apparently been talking about me on their plane ride over (what?!) who began telling me what a fan she was and how much she enjoyed my latest post (“Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush“).

Me and my fan.


OMG – or OMC as the pet cat people say – my very own celebrity moment! This must be what fame feels like!

There is so much more I could say about BlogPaws, and there have been many posts written about the weekend (I’m lagging) but let me just say it was impressive, motivating and affirming and I can’t wait to go next year. The founders of BlogPaws Caroline Golden ( I can’t believe she lives in Charlotte!), Yvonne DiVita and Tom Collin did a terrific job pulling it all together without a hitch.

If I may make a suggestion to them for next year – let’s continue keep BlogPaws interspecies conference. Don’t split up the cat and dog people.

Pet Friendly Westin Hotel in COlumbus Ohio

Guapo the Guinea Pig (I told you the Westin's pet friendly!)


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  • Split up the cats and dogs? No way! Where would a duck go then? It was a great experience for us. Glad you had a good one too!

    • Ihavecat

      Very very good point George! Thanks for reading and posting a comment too!

  • Hey Tamar,

    Hope to be able to join you next year with scale in hand!


    • Ihavecat

      yeh baby! for real! can’t wait!

  • Momma says it was furry good to meets you in person! It was so eggciting to be recognized and feels likes a celebrity huh.

    Dis is a great post, not only does it tells what you experienced but you mentioned somefing dat momma has struggled wif as well….you are going to a WHAT conference…Yes people its a Pet Blogging Conference! MOL


    • Ihavecat

      Thanks so much for the encouragement! So nice to hear! I

  • Sounds like a great meeting. Mom wants to save up her green papers to go to the next one.

    • Ihavecat

      Yes she should! It was fun and so many great people – hard to meet everyone though!

  • Not even a mention of our shared live tweeting experience with spotty internet access? I felt like we really shared a moment there. 🙂

    • Ihavecat

      You know what?! I totally had a part i there about the tweeting! Sorry, i feel l let you down – i’m sure there will be follow-up blogpaw posts and i will include! please don’t give up on me! 🙂

  • It sounds like you had a lot of fun. And we love your blog; we predict it will get very big.

    • Ihavecat

      Aw, thanks so much Cathy 🙂 Means a lot, and thanks for taking the time to post a comment!

  • This is a great post. It is good to get the real story from Blog Paws. Sounds like you had a wonderful time.
    The blogging world is it’s own little world. People that don’t do it, don’t understand it at all. All my friends that I had before starting blogging do not read my blog or know what it even is. But the blogging world is just terrific. I have met so many really nice people but after all anyone that likes animals is a good person.
    Have a great day.

    • Ihavecat

      It is pretty neat that I’ve met so many new people from all over the world! And people who are quick to provide encouragement and advice at the drop of a hat without even “knowing” you. In a way, not ever having met in person makes it almost easier to “approach” someone. And if they don’t respond then that’s fine, but if they do it’s a lovely treat!

  • Mommy is sorry that you two did not meet each other. She was only there on Saturday but had a blast!

    • Ihavecat

      Bummer! But I just took a look at your blog and LOVE all the BlogPaws updates she posted – very thorough! I can’t believe I didn’t meet Flat Skeezix until I was back in NEW YORK! I saw Flat Skeezix from a distance at BlogPaws but must admit I wasn’t in the “know” yet (didn’t make the Catster connection!). Sorry I didn’t get one of your cards but next year for sure! I just realized you have 2 dif color eyes! I think that’s very rare for your kind of cat isn’t it? How special!

  • Very entertaining read :0)

    • Ihavecat

      Thanks Cherrie! Glad you enjoyed it! The single gal’s take on BlogPaws! LOL

  • VERY entertaining, my dear. Imagine what my friends, family and co-workers said when I told them I was PUTTING ON a conference for pet bloggers! “For Who?” Yes, mother, for people who blog about their pets. Sigh.

    AND despite the fact you were able to party on the cheap in Columbus after all, I solemnly swear that next time we will provide more drink tickets. 🙂

    • Ihavecat

      Good point Caroline! I can only imagine! And I thought I had it bad! LOL! I can’t wait for next time and I hope I can be of help with the planning/executing etc! Have you considered NYC for your location?

      • Oh, I have to put my $0.02 in here – please consider NYC for next year! I love any excuse to go there!

  • We’re so jealous! Mom really wanted to go to BlogPaws. She hopes she can go next year. We’re anxiously awaiting the location for 2011. We think Florida would be purrfect!

    Sniffie and the Florida Furkids

    • Ihavecat

      Ohhh, Florida sounds lovely! I’d come for sure!

  • We are planning on sending our mom next year! She pouted when she couldn’t go…

    • Ihavecat

      Cory, maybe you can help collect some of the green papers for her – hide them in a special place when you find them and maybe it will add up to enough for next year?!

  • The event sounds like it was great. Thanks for sharing. Maybe next year I take the plunge (I actually live 40 minutes north of Columbus…but I had to work).

    • Ihavecat

      You should definitely come next year – lots of fun and good people!

  • Well, we will certainly meet each next year because I wouldn’t miss BlogPaws for anything! The only questionable thing is whether Shamus, the Newf, is coming with me or not. 🙂

    • Ihavecat

      The doggies were very popular I must say. The only bummer is that you have to keep them in the play area when food is being served. But I”ll bet you can go to the BlogPaws facebook page and ask people how their experience was having their dogs there this year.

      • Good news, re: dogs at the next BlogPaws. We will have a different set up where dogs can be at almost all events except meals. In other words, in exhibit area, in general sessions, etc.

        • Ihavecat

          So it sounds like you might have a location in mind already. Hmmmm???? 🙂

  • Sounds like you had a great time. Loved the Petco moment. BlogPaws is definitely on my list for next year!

    • Ihavecat

      I almost fainted I swear! They were so sweet! The People Pet girls were awesome too! Made lots of new friends! Come next year for sure!

  • Glad you enjoyed Ohio. You should have stayed for the month and really seen everything; from the Titanic exhibit at COSI to our topiary interpretation of George Seurat’s
    famous painting.

    Btw I got into the routine of saying “BlogPaws; for pet bloggers (people who blog about pets, not your favourite blogger)”.

    • Ihavecat

      I really liked Columbus and wish I’d had more time to explore. I remember after I’d been there that years ago, right after college, I spent a week there near campus for a sales internship…Joshua Bell, one of my younger-day idols went to Ohio State 🙂

  • Nancy

    Like that frisbee in your schwag bag. Maybe a good summer project–train the cats to catch?

    • Ihavecat

      Too bad it’s the one thing I left behind….likely for the best. I am sure a flying disk would send Petie to my closet for a month solid. At least.

  • mponemon

    Great to know you are a celebrity in BlogLand… I spent a month in Columbus for one night a few years back… A night was enough for me. (it felt like a week) LOL Glad it was a success for you!!!

    • Ihavecat

      Mark you always make me smile 🙂
      Thanks for the on-going support my friend – i think it’s been 10 years since i’ve seen you eh? I must see this “slimmer” Mark you speak of soon!

  • Loved reading your post about BlogPaws and wish we’d had the chance to meet at BlogPaws…hopefully next year! Please be sure to add your post to our list over on …we’ve got over 70 posts linked there so far and it has been so much fun to read about everyone’s experience!

    • Ihavecat

      Link added – thanks! We met briefly on the trolley, I got a cool dog bone key chain!

  • How wonderful, Tamar! I remembered last minute I was enrolled on an animal law conference that weekend, which was very informative. I learned a lot — unfortunately not about fun things (many subjects were on animal abuse and animal rights). Next year Ill be at BlogPaws with you!


    • Ihavecat

      Hi Daniela! Thanks as always for your comments 🙂
      Wow, sounds like you had an intense weekend. How did you end up at a law conference? Or did you go because it was about animals? Were you covering it or did you just go for yourself?

  • Misaa

    What happened to Lobby Guy?

    • Ihavecat

      LOL! Misaa, I love you for asking! I thought maybe that part wasn’t as obvious as it should have been since no one else commented on it! LOL. Let’s just say I got more action than a month in NYC but it was very chaste! 🙂

  • We think we need to send mom next year! We’ll stay home, traveling is not one of our favorite things.

    • Ihavecat

      Yes send mom for sure!

  • Great post–sounds like it was a lot of fun. Mom could not afford to go.

    She hopes the event will take turns and next year be in California for the West Coast people to have a better chance at attending

    –hopefully centrally located & NOT down in Los Angeles…make it easy for all to get to.

    Loved the article..sounds like you had a blast!

    • Ihavecat

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the post! Why not LA? Just curious!

  • OldCatsRule

    Great post! I have only known you a short time but find it amazing that you still don’t realize how talented you are. Rock on!

    • Ihavecat

      Awww Thanks Gina. You are the best 🙂
      Sorry I’ve been MIA – a blog and a real job and cats seems to be too much for me to balance! I totally wanna organize drinks before May is out for NYC Cat ladies!

  • That sounds likes an awesome convention! And you gets to meets so many peoples!

    • Ihavecat

      It was pretty cool! It was hard to get to meet people though – next year everyone should wear t-shirts of their blog!

  • Our mom’s disappointed she didn’t go this year! It sure sounded like a lot of fun as well as interesting!! She wants to go next year…and we want her to go too…we need to have a good house trashin’ party!!

    • Ihavecat

      Make sure she goes next year okay?! 🙂

  • I totally forgot about my drink ticket! Oh well. I’ll remember next year. You’re lucky you got your own celebrity moment – I think I’ll forever be known in pet blogging circles as “Sparkle’s human.”

    • Ihavecat

      What?! You are such a west-coaster! NYC ladies would never forget about their FREE drink ticket! Or perhaps I am just a wino. That could be a real possibility!
      Also, you DO know that when everyone says they love Sparkle they really mean they love YOU right?! 🙂

  • Your post was worth the wait knowing about the fun night life in Columbus! Just love those hidden gem of restaurants in a city. And jealous of that goodie bag you received as an attendee. Looking forward to attending next year for sure and meeting then if not sooner….ya never know…

    • Ihavecat

      Aw thanks, glad you enjoyed the post! Hope you do come next year! let’s stay in touch – and def discuss content exchange…so hard to have a “real” job, social life AND do the blog! Can’t imagine if I had kids! LOL And meanwhile, what a dork am i for paying $25 to check-in the goody bag!? I couldn’t stand leaving anything behind and frankly forgot they charge you for that now! annoying!

  • This is a great post! I was so envious of everyone attending, it was like a party with all my friends that I hadn’t been invited to. I’ll make sure I go next time. It’s also great to see pics of people. I don’t think dog and cat people should be split, I blog about both and love both and although I have two cats would also love a dog.
    I wanted to mention to you that I have a giveaway on Modern Cat and would love you to enter for a blanketID tag for your kitty
    I would love to get your views on the tags

    Thanks again, Cate

    • Ihavecat

      I’m glad I’m not alone in wanting to keep the conference inter-species (for more reasons than one! LOL).
      I will check out the giveaway and your tags for sure! Thanks for the heads-up!

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