For more than two months, my new writer friend, Kiril Kundurazieff, and I have been chatting offline about the business of writing. Throughout our conversations, I felt compelled to ask Kiril about his unique stance on blogging. Kiril calls himself a cat blogger and writes from the perspective of his cats. I found that to be fascinating because I have never seen that before and I simply did not understand the reasoning behind it.
I have always favored knowing the reasons behind peoples’ actions in order to better understand their lives and choices, so, using that philosophy, I asked Kiril some no-holds-barred questions in an attempt to understand the rationale for being a human writer and insisting on writing through his cats. The answers resulting from my questions turned into quite the interesting interview.
I hope you are as enlightened and intrigued by Kiril’s definitions of “cat blogging” as I was.
A Budding Writer Explains Himself
Hello, my name is Kiril Kundurazieff, and I am 52 years old. Over the past 14 years, to some, I was known as Sneakeasy and the Cycling Dude. Today, I am known by many names: The Mad Macedonian, Daddy Kiril, Mr. Nikita, and Elvira, Mistress of Felinity. I am a writer, poet, storyteller, humorist, commentator, amateur journalist, and photographer.
I am someone who is learning, even as I encourage others to learn. In high school, I was known as Professor K. But before all that, I was just an elementary school kid whose young imagination was being stirred in new ways – - by classroom assignments in my new school and by the books I found in thrift stores and received as birthday gifts from new friends.
My new friend, Amanda, met through the recent platform building challenge of Robert Lee Brewer, has asked me some questions regarding my style of blogging, particularly as it relates to my cat blogging. I want to try to answer those questions here.
Let me start from the beginning. Life is a journey of many steps… Some forward, some backward, but always taking you somewhere. The journey is sometimes hard, sometimes easy, and is made up of a lifetime of experiences. (My Mom raised my younger sisters and me alone, from the time I was 9 yrs. old, when our father became ill.)
Along the way, you may take some steps alone… At other times, you will encounter many different people who will affect your life in ways both small and large. I am a writer who has taken many steps in life and have reached the crossroads in my creative and personal life where I am at today – unemployed and unsure of what the future holds, especially in the short term.
As a kid, my imagination was opened up by the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators, along with John Saul and Stephen King, among others. As a teen and in college, I took creative writing classes. (Why I never got involved in campus journalism is too long a tale and something I regret.)
I discovered Star Trek and while I had written my first creative story in elementary school, it was my love of history and the adventures of the crew of the Starship Enterprise that really inspired me to set pen to paper, erase the contents of my copy of the earliest known “Starfleet History Book” and rewrite them for myself over a decade of building an unmatched Trek book collection. (Yes, I scribbled in the page margins of the novels, too, thus making my collection worthless by the time I got rid of it in my mid-30s. So sue me, hee, hee!)
Much to my surprise, I had an essay published in 1989 in a Star Trek anthology published by Pocket Books. I was not paid for my writing efforts. After I made this discovery, my creativity pretty much took a powder for about a decade.
Why are Your Cats Writers?
Why do you believe your cats are authors, writers and bloggers? As opposed to you being the sole blogger and writing ABOUT your cats. What do you obtain or achieve by humanizing your cats and declaring them to be writers (instead of you, by yourself)?
Have any of your cats ever had some sort of real experience where they “spoke” to you or otherwise indicated that they want to write? Do you see this as a fictional exercise (“my cats write for a living…”) in real life?
In the spring of 1998, I walked into an animal shelter, looking for a companion as an eventual replacement for my old orange tabby. I guess you could say the little month-old male kitten I left with, which I named Nikita, “spoke” to me, by pawing his way past his litter mates, thus getting my attention and capturing my heart. At the time, I had no computer and no thoughts of taking up writing of any sort.
By the end of that summer, I had a computer and soon went online, discovering a community of people on some message boards at the now-defunct Entertainment Weekly / Time Online website. My first post to the Howling Wolves message board was a spur-of-the-moment prank, written by my cat, Nikita.
It caught everyone by surprise and soon, my cat became as much a contributor to the discussions as me. I referred to Nikita on the Internet community boards as “Hokie,” a companion, while I was known as Sneakeasy. Hokie began writing his memoirs and turned them into a series of what eventually reached almost 25 chapters before the site unexpectedly closed down, unannounced, in 2001.
It never occurred to me to save or print out Nikita’s memoirs, so all but the last couple of chapters are lost. That hurt deeply. Though I took up blogging in 2002 and Nikita slowly became my co-blogger, until recently, I’d never really considered the notion of starting fresh with the old memoirs or other old creative story efforts meant to be expanded upon. I mean, how do you recreate one of the most creative things you have ever done?