Animal rescue came to Dawn White’s attention after she adopted two shelter cats named Lola and Lexy. Since that time, she’s been an advocate for animal rescue and rights. Dawn runs the blog Lola the Rescued Cat and a Facebook page of the same name and has written a book about Lola. In addition, she helps transport homeless animals to their new forever homes, serves on the Cat Writer’s Association committee, and writes updates on the progress of shelters in the Jackson Galaxy Project’s Cat Pawsitive Program. Dawn juggles all these responsibilities, while also working as a Behavioral Psychologist (working with adults with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism) and a Licensed Massage Therapist, and taking time to respond to interviews from bloggers like me. Read and be inspired!
ALLISON: Share your background with cats.
DAWN: I got my first cat when I was about 8 years old. My baby sitter’s cat had kittens, and I begged my parents to have one. Frisky was a huge orange Tabby who I would walk on a leash. That’s when my parents and I became “cat people”, and there was always a cat in our house. Several cats followed Frisky. First Tabitha came along, followed by Marvin, Morris and Samantha. After several years of not having a cat as an adult, I fell in love with Lexy at an adoption event, and then brought Lola home so she would have a friend.
ALLISON: What got you interested in joining the Cat Writer’s Association?
DAWN: I decided to join CWA after I published my book in 2014. I felt being a member of a writing organization would let the public know that I’m serious about my craft. I also wanted to learn more and meet similar minded people.
ALLISON: How did you land a position on the council for CWA?
DAWN: The CWA council and officer positions are all filled by members who volunteer their time to the organization. I wanted to be more involved so I could encourage more bloggers to come on board, so when Deb Barnes took over as Vice President (she is now President) I reached out to her. The current Treasurer was looking to step down, so I volunteered to take over. All prospective candidates go the the Nominating Committee, and then a vote is taken at the annual membership meeting.
ALLISON: How do you help cats in this position?
DAWN: I think being an officer of CWA brings more attention to my blog. When I speak to brands, rescues, shelters, etc., and they hear about my involvement with CWA, I feel I’m taken more seriously. The more contacts I make, the more content I can create and share with the public.
ALLISON: What interested you about Jackson Galaxy Project’s Cat Pawsitive Program?
DAWN: I love anything that can get more cats adopted! As a behavioral psychologist, I was fascinated reading about the transformations that were seen with so many shelter cats in the program. A lot of techniques used are based on theories I learned in college, and I was intrigued seeing them set into motion with cats.
ALLISON: How did you come to volunteer for the position of writing updates on the shelters’ progress?
DAWN: One of my friends, Rachel Loehner (of Three Chatty Cats ), had started writing for the project and knew I was interested as well. She made the introduction and the rest is history. Rachel is now the editor for the program, and I’m so proud of her!
ALLISON: Share a memorable moment from this position.
DAWN: The most memorable experience was getting a personal shout out from Jackson Galaxy on Facebook. He took the time to personally thank all of his writers who won Certificates of Excellence. He’s such a nice person and genuinely appreciates everything we do for the project.
ALLISON: What have you learned about cats from this position?
DAWN: I’ve learned that any cat can release their fears and learn to enjoy life. I’ve read about so many cats that were previously considered unadoptable not only come out of their shells but find their happy ever after.
ALLISON: In addition to these two roles, you have a full-time job. How you juggle these responsibilities?
DAWN: Time management! Luckily my full-time job requires good time management skills, and that carries over to writing for CPP and my blogging. My motivation to give cats the best lives they can have also keeps me going.
ALLISON: For those who aspire to help cats, what advice would you give?
DAWN: Start by finding a shelter or a rescue that they would like so support and get involved. That can be by volunteering, sharing their social media posts, or writing blog posts about them. Sharing adoptable animals on social media gets them seen by more people and increases their chances of getting adopted. Another way to help animals is by participating in transports.
ALLISON: Anything else?
DAWN: Thank you for inviting me to be interviewed. If anyone has any questions about helping animals, they can reach out to me at Lola The Rescued Cat.