Seattle blogger knows why your cat keeps peeing in its crate (and many other feline foibles).

Share story

JaneA Kelley

What do you do? I have a 9-to-5 gig as a content writer for a digital brand management agency. But when I’m not doing that, I’m freelancing for and writing my award-winning cat advice blog, Paws and Effect.

How did you get started in that field? I lost my tech job in the dot-com bust of 2003. I needed something to do in order to keep my skills fresh — something that was less depressing than looking for a job in a bad economy — so I took my web design and writing skills and my love of cats and created Paws and Effect.

What’s a typical day like? Wake up. Move cats. Eat breakfast. Move cats. Type. Move cats. … Actually, most days start with checking my email from people who have questions about their cat and deciding if those questions need to be answered right away or if they can wait for a future post. A blogging day includes research, writing, editing, and taking photos — with lots of supervision from my cats.

What surprises people about what you do? Being a successful blogger requires a broad skill set. You have to be a writer, editor, photographer and social media specialist. You also have to have some “geek fu” to deal with technical problems that crop up. It’s not a field where you’re going to become a star overnight; it takes years to build an audience and become a trusted voice, so patience and persistence are virtues.

What’s the best part of the job? Hands down, my favorite part of my job is when I find out I’ve made a difference in a cat caretaker’s (and, by extension, a cat’s) life. Whether it’s by helping them understand their cat’s illness, providing tips to solve behavior problems or offering a safe place for a grieving person to deal with the loss of a beloved cat, making a difference is what motivates me to keep blogging.

Do you have a cool job or know someone in the Seattle area who does? Email us with your recommendations for people to feature in Cool Jobs.