“I’m a ghetto cat, who was born & raised on the street, until my arrest, along with several of my posse, on trumped-up charges,” Weehawken’s own Cathy Keisha, a.k.a. DJ CK, a.k.a. The Stunning One has written on her blog profile. “They give me three squares, but they can’t control me,” she says of her rescuers who prefer to be known only as “The Mother” and “Pop.”
Keisha is a cat.
And she’s a busy one at that. She is known and loved throughout the very extensive, very real “animal blogosphere” – an online social community created by pet owners whose love for their animals and for connecting with those who love them just as much as they do inspires them to write and post photos and videos of their pets, by their pets.
In addition to posting blog entries on Blogpaws, Cat Blogosphere, and the Anipal Times, Keisha DJs for online animal fundraising events held on pet Web sites such as Paw Pawty and the Nipclub.
“Cats don’t have to be politically correct, so through [my cat], I can be the things society may think are not quite right.” – Deborah Glovatsky
Glovatsky had her own blog dedicated to her cat, Katie, and began creating videos that featured her furry friend. She asked for ideas as to what her next cinematographic venture should be, and Keisha’s mother suggested a spin on the popular cable show “Real Housewives.”
So Glovatsky held a “cat”-sting call, chose nine out of 19 cats based on photos and biographies sent from across the globe, and “Real Housecats” was born.
The first episode, posted on Glovatsky’s YouTube channel “Glogirly” in early March, quickly amassed nearly 2,000 hits. There is even a “swag” page which sells paraphernalia bearing the show’s logo, with Keisha front and center.
“Some people read, or draw, or paint, and this is what I do,” Glovatsky said. “Katie is my alter ego. Cats don’t have to be politically correct, so through her, I can be the things society may think are not quite right.”
“Cathy got her start online, believe it or not, through the Hudson Reporter,” Keisha’s mom explained. Several years back, she read an article about Sockington, a cat with a Twitter account who had nearly two million followers. “Well if Sockington can do it, Cathy Keisha can do it too,” she said.
Keisha was rescued from Jersey City’s Liberty Humane Society animal shelter who had found the feral cat on, appropriately, Communipaw Avenue in 2006; hence the “ghetto” reference in Keisha’s blog profile.
Keisha’s mother launched her Twitter account in May of 2009, eventually friended Sockington and his Twitter friends, and started a blog: StunningKeisha.com, which now has 200 followers.
“Keisha noticed a Twitter website that raised money for animal charities called PawPawty.com and noticed they had DJs,” the mother said, “so she volunteered.” Every month the animals write in and nominate a charity, and one is selected. The site has raised over $50,000 in three years.
The themed “pawties,” which last from 3 p.m. on a Saturday and end at 3 p.m. on a Sunday, are DJ’d by specially chosen, human-backed animal avatars who create music play lists based on the pets’ profile personas (Keisha’s are mainly rap and hip hop). Members can chat, donate money through PayPal, and win prizes by answering quick quiz questions.
Keisha has a large box full of toys she’s won.
“Keisha’s character is very tough,” her mom said. “When she first came on Twitter, all the other cats were sweet and nice, and she said, ‘Hey, cats aren’t like this!’” Following Keisha’s hardcore example, more Twitter cats now are fresh.
From paw-dom to stardom
Eventually, Keisha met Katie. “Katie’s fresh too, so they got a long right away,” Keisha’s mom said. She had been commenting on Katie’s blog for a year before they collaborated on “Real Housecats.”
The video is an animated collage of nine housecats from Sweden, Canada, Wales, Weehawken, and beyond, engaging in antics captioned with cartoon-like balloons reminiscent of the not-so-savory behaviors of the cast of “Real Housewives.” There’s even a hairless cat character, who is rumored to be from outer space due to its unusual appearance.
The web series has two episodes and Glovatsky is looking for more cat actors. “The plan is to create a rotating cast,” she said. “Of course Katie will always be a part of it because she has an ‘in.’”
Glovatsky is looking to turn the series into a business venture aimed toward helping animals, similarly to the way the Paw Pawtys work. She recently was a finalist in a national pet blogging competition sponsored by Pet Smart in conjunction with Blog Paws.
“My dream would be to blog for a pet company and give them a funny online presence where people can go for a giggle,” Glovatsky said. “It makes the world just a little smaller.”
“We are not crazy cat people like some might think,” Cathy’s mother said. “Many people love animals, and many people love their privacy too. It’s a way to connect where everyone, including our pets, wins.”
Gennarose Pope may be reached at email@example.com