Why an animal behaviourist likes Twitter

1. The interesting friends I follow. Where else can I follow the conversations of a moose, a capybara, a gorilla, a gerbil and her mother? Just as in real life, on Twitter I enjoy the company of cats and dogs and the most followed pet of all is Sockington (@Sockington) who comes up with some fabulous feline life statements such as:

OH DESPAIR THY NAME IS EMPTY FOOD DISH thy last name is mcglamery WELL EMPTY FOOD DISH MCGLAMERY LET’S SEE IF A YOWL WILL HELP YOU”.

Sockington’s prose has earned him over 500,000 followers.

Sockington 500,000 Followers from Jason Scott on Vimeo.

2. You can be yourself. It is tempting when you first tweet to try to emulate the style of others. At first I stuck to being a professional, recommending all things pet. Other people were tweeting about the colour of their socks! Now I know, just like real life, Twitter is a balance of both personal and professional. Now I tweet whatever I like. I tweet about how muddy my pup’s paws are or how my cat has woken me again at 5:30am. If my followers don’t like me, easy, simply unfollow. I can do likewise. How many friends can you do that to in real life?

3. Just because you think something is brilliant, doesn’t mean it is. On Twitter, it is quite a priveledge to be retweeted, Sometimes, you tweet your supposedly brilliant 140 character message and… NOTHING. Not a retweet! Not even a reply. Next, a quick comment and bingo, everyone loves it, retweets it and you get masses of replies.

I once said “Anxiety problems in our pets need to be treated with kindness for both the pets and the owner’s sake.” Nothing brilliant there I thought but the large number of endorsing responses I received showed that my tweet had touched people. Twitter helps me learn what inspires others.

4. I can find out anything I want to. When I need to know something, such as where to find a book of barking, I can just ask my followers. Yes I could Google but Twitter followers give me their personal recommendations; very valuable. I can return the favour, occasionally giving pet behaviour advice and instead of a 2hr consult and 6months of therapy, all it takes is 140 characters.

5. Twitter takes you to other worlds. Not only can I find out who twitters in my suburb, I can look for cat owners in Edinburgh or dog owners in Siberia. I can be a mythical creature (if I had the imagination); I can take on my pet’s personality. I can find joy in other’s experiences too. Here is Smudge (@Smudgebestcat), who resides with his people in England, being best cat at Australian Barney to Canadian Alley cats’ Twitter wedding. Only on Twitter?!

twitter-cat-wedding

If you need more info on pets, visit Pet Problems Solved.

 

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8 comments

  1. Hello Dr. Jo,

    The groom in the above picture is my 11 y.o. tabby Barney, the wedding took place in December last year,in my now defunct MSN Group. Smudge was the purrfect bestcat but sadly bridesmaid Adara (Alley’s doggie sister not shown above) went to Rainbow Bridge last month.

    Purrs, Maggie & Barney.

    1. So great to meet you, through Smudge’s mum, and hear about your wonderful cat wedding. Sad to hear about the bridesmaid. Pets make life fun don’t they?!

  2. I just visited your website through Facebook… would you be thinking about becoming weblog partners?

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