9

Lone Hedgehog in a Cat-centric World

Greetings. It’s Horatio Hedgehog here. I want to share with you a rather unsettling experience I had recently while roaming the Internet. (Mom says this is an example of why I shouldn’t spend so much time on the computer.)

I decided to tour WordPress looking for fellow hedgehogs to befriend. It gets to be a bit boring talking to cats all the time. I figured there’d be a bunch of us. After all, we are rather cute.

Image result for hedgehogs cute

I found one, and he sounds like a pretty decent fellow. He is Hank the Hedgehog over at Living a Beautiful Life. He gets a lot more space on his blog than I do on mine, but I think he speaks well for us hedgehogs. And it appears that he doesn’t have to compete with two self-centered felines. (No offense, Snoops and Kommando Kitty, but you do love the limelight.)

  

The thing is, he was the only other hedgehog I could find. I used to know Alice, but she doesn’t blog anymore. It’s a shame; she was a real cutie. Where are the other hedgehogs? Snoops says it’s because cats rule the Internet. I told her she was crazy.

Then I looked for cats on WordPress. Good Grief! They are everywhere. Big cats, little cats, fluffy cats, sleek cats, real cats, cartoon cats, talking cats, posing cats, on and on. Why on earth are there so many cats? I live with two and they’re OK, but I wouldn’t want a herd of them.

I thought I would check the big Internet. That was really disturbing. It looks like we are pretty widespread (Europe, Asia, Africa). But some of those people think we’re a delicacy. That means they eat us!!

Can you believe that during the 1980’s Britain introduced “hedgehog-flavour” crisps (they’re like American potato chips)?  They didn’t actually contain hedgehog, but still. Have they also tried “badger-flavour”?

Image result for hedgehog flavour crisps

I went on to look for cats. I’m sure you guessed it. The place is overrun with them. On Google, my search for hedgehog brought back 76.4 million responses which I thought was a lot. But there were 2.25 billion for cats. Not a mention of food or medicine. Mom said cats had their bad days a few hundred years ago. That didn’t make me feel any better. Maybe I should start a hedgehog advocacy group.

Image result for prickle of hedgehogs

Apparently we African pygmies are the only ones who keep humans. Life for us is a lot easier. My humans give me food and water. And waxworms. Yummm. Waxworms are the best. And I think we’re the only ones who get to write blogs.

I guess cats are OK. Not everybody can be a hedgehog.

Image result for hedgehogs cute

 

Bittersweet Note: Snoops and Kommando wanted to thank Phoebe and her family at 15andmeowing for the cat-astic toys they sent (and a coloring book for Mom). Sadly Phoebe lost her battle with kidney disease this week and is no longer with us. We will miss her.

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4

Not Really Sure I Get this WordPress Thing

I’m not really sure how I ended up at this point in the world of blogdom. Last summer I was really bored. And as usual, more money would have been nice. So I went to Elance to see what types of freelancing jobs might be available. I didn’t really find much, except some writing work. I signed up, then realized I no longer had any portfolio of my work.

Yikes! It had been so long since I had done real business writing that if any of it had survived, it would be on a floppy disc. And the computer doesn’t have a floppy drive (and even I know that meant there wouldn’t be anything on the hard drive since it was a different computer). And I didn’t know where any of that stuff would be. And it was really hot. And I didn’t want to root through all of my ultra-unorganized piles.

So I had a brilliant idea. I would polish up my writing skills on a blog and create a new portfolio. One minor problem. I didn’t really know what a blog was. Or how to start one. So I went to Google and found WordPress. I have no idea why I chose it. It’s not at the top of the list. But its little write-up said it was easy to use. Sounded perfect. Did you know that on October 13, 2012, they counted 56.6 million blogs internationally on WordPress?

So I jumped in. Did I want to rent my own domain for greater control? Control of what? That would be a no for the moment.

What theme did I want? Looked through lots of them. It would have been a lot easier if I really knew what I wanted to write about.

What should I write about? Write about what you know. What do I know? Family? No. We’re way too private and not all that interesting. Being bipolar? No. I was stable, so there weren’t any current interesting stories. My religious studies? No. I’d been writing for that for years and it was way to intellectual to help me in the “real” world.

OK. Day-to-day life it was. Rats. Still no themes that struck me. There are not a lot of looks that scream over-educated stocker in retail store. I found something innocuous and went with it. Later I found this chocolate one. It’s a much better match for me.

How often do I write? Some say daily. Some say when inspiration hits you. It’s a discipline. It’s a hobby. Make sure however often you write to do it consistently so your followers can find you.

Followers? Who is going to want to read my attempts to get my writing skills back?

Personal Info? Family won’t want to be mentioned in detail. Nothing really exciting about me. Hmm. I still need to work on that. It’s only been eight months.

Who is my audience? Beats me. Obviously I haven’t thought this through very well. I had just wanted something that would keep track of what I was writing. You know, better than the floppy discs.

What widgets did I want? What’s a widget? I read all the descriptions. They were not particularly helpful.

What social media did I want to interface with? Ummm. Not exactly the queen of social media. Have I mentioned how introverted and private I am? Connected with Facebook and LinkedIn. Not really sure if it’s helping since I never have time to go on either.

OK. Let’s get started. Actually the writing wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be. But then there were new questions.

Who should I follow? How do they determine those “You Might Like” sites? Were the people on the Recommended List better than the others or more popular or did they know someone important?

What is Freshly Pressed? How does that happen?

Why couldn’t I really tell the difference between the “regular” bloggers and the “recommended” and the “freshly pressed”? I wandered around a little and decided to just let randomness happen.

So far, so good. The newest question is: do you want to grow your blog? I have no idea. From what I can tell, number of followers doesn’t really correlate to the quality of the blog. Guess I need to think more about that.

I love following as much as I love writing. I am learning so much.  I have humor, poetry, art, science, and intellectual stuff (and cat pictures of course). Maybe that’s why my “You Might Like” has gotten so eclectic.

By the way, thank you to anyone who’s been reading. If I know who you are, I have been to your site and probably picked up something (useful blog tips, not a disease).

So much for thinking. I need to go take a nap. Or cuddle with the cats. Oh yeah. Dinner for tomorrow.