Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thoughts on Thursday

Purrageous Mom again. I am not sure where to begin. When I wrote yesterday's post I was hurt and I was angry. This blog was always somewhere that I could go and just have fun. Innocent fun with peole who shared my love for fuzzy, four-footed children. Then reality intruded and something was pointed out to me that while probably meant as helpful, was approached utterly the wrong way....

I had thought about just leaving and not coming back because it left such an incredibly bad taste in my mouth. As the Meowers from Missouri said, my safe harbor was invaded and that was hard to deal with. Knowing that I had done something that could be misconstrued as being antisemitic was painful - no I do not think muffinmidi was implying that I am or was being antisemitic but when I googled "Fagin as a racial slur" up popped this blog. I had this image in my head of some neo-Nazi skinhead looking up their hateful sites and finding this blog. That made me feel physically ill. I choose not to make any decisions about this blog while angry or hurt. The question of changing the kitten's name bothered me all day too. I had an image of me calling him to come to me and screaming out a racial slur. Yeah, that made me cry even harder. Needless to say yesterday was horrible.

Then today, I went shopping. The kitten needed more kitten food (he eats like a pig!) and I was wandering the cat aisle. I was looking at all of the cat toys and saw this giant fish cat bed and thought "Oh, Diamond has one like that!" and I saw a lizard like toy and thought of Daisy and then the idea "I wonder if Mu Shue and company needs anything here" and I realized how much the cat blogs had become a part of my life. You guys had purred and purrayed for Fagin to live and how wrong it would be of me to let one comment take that support base from me.

All of this over the name of a kitten who is not even 8 weeks old and who does not weigh even 5 pounds yet!! I want to thank everyone who cared enough to come by and visit and leave their love and encouragement- some even more than once. PB&J - the poem is wonderful and made me cry when I read it. And all of you anonymous posters - what you guys said mattered and meant a lot. I feel like I "know" the steady cat bloggers but seeing these perfect strangers who posted for maybe the first and only time stop lurking just to tell me how much they love the boys and me meant a heck of a lot. I have more emails than I ever imagined and I will get around to answering them all, I promise!

So yes, the Black Furrball will sail again. I am not saying we will immediately begin posting again, but we will not delete the blog. We have also decided not to change Fagin's name. Heck, even me calling their pirate ship the Black Furball (A play on the Black Pearl) could be considered racist as a pirate ship being referred to as black could be seen as neagtive towards black people (remember the whole Scar issue with the Lion King). I've also decided not to enable comment moderation at this time. I reserve the right to change that, but for now, let's hope that this blog will help to serve as a reclaiming of the name Fagin for something other than prejudice. I always hate it when I hear the phrase "the n-word" because I believe that gives the real word way too much power. Maybe this blog will take some of that prejudice power away from "Fagin" too.

Again, thank you to everyone. I never ever anticipated over 80 comments would be left and all of them but one would be positive. You guys are wonderful and I am grateful to have such good furrends!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

WE LOVE YOU! That's it, we just wanted to make sure you knew that...

Anonymous said...

Smokey and I are doing our happy dance!!!!!! Beautifully expressed; wonderfully written. God bless you and keep Black Furball sailing.

Beverly and Smokey

Mickey said...

YAY!!!I am so happy you dre not going to give others power!!!
Eleanor Roosevelt once said "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent"
This whole thing is much the same.
We cannot control what others think, so don't bother trying.
We all blog for fun and there is a lot of fun in the Blogosphere.
My Friday post will have a few things that might interest you. I hope you drop by :)

Purrs & Headbutts Mickey and the MOM ;)

Kellie The Orange Cat said...

YAY! YAY! YAY! My Mum and I are doing our happy dance too!

I thought of you often over the last 24 hours and was hoping and purraying that you would come to this decision.

Cat blogging should be all about fun! We visit each others blogs for fun and relaxation, as a way of meeting people who also love animals, and to relax and get away from "everyday" news.

I have NEVER met such a great, kind and helpful group of people as here in the cat blogosphere and I would hate for you to miss out on that.

Give Captain Jack, Dante and Fagin a nose bump for me.

Kellie the Orange Cat and Mum Shelley

Tesla said...

Hello! I dont think you should change that kittens name. You named it harmlessly. And seriously, not everyone is out to get everyone else. Some people need to stop being afraid that something is against their race.

A lot of people aren't trying to do anything. And renaming that cat is giving in. Fagin happens to be a GREAT character in that story. I LOVE the name.

Its adorable. And you should not change it because someone else is afraid of it.

Don't think about it, no need to defend yourself. Forget those who try to make you feel bad, be happy, and know that everyone else loves the name, and love you too.

Daisy said...

What a well written and thoughtful response! I am so happy and relieved that the Black Furball will sail again. If you had left, the cat blogosphere would be a little less wonderful place.

Stifler said...

Let me see if I understood, when you google it, the image of the nazi, that links to YOUR BLOG???

Out of that subject, I repeat, don't let the other's opinion change yours, and you follow it, Don't change the name, it's your opinion not her's.

Do you remember the yesterday's comment?
muffinmidi said...
Um, you know that Fagin can be an anti-Semitic slur? The Dickens character was a Jew and since the book was written the term has been use to refer toa Jew that's unethical.It's like referring to a black person as an Uncle Tom.I just thought you shoud know.

then yesterday she put:
muffinmidi said...
Please don't stop blogging. I wasn't accusing you of being anti-Semitic at all. I was merely pointing out the negative associations of the name Fagin.
What you name your cat is your business.A lot of times we use a word, not realizing that ,in some circles, it can be used as a racial or ethnic slur.Remember the controversy over Condasleeza Rice and the word 'articulate'?
Dickens himself faced charges of anti-Semitism after creating the character of Fagin. He felt terrible and apologzed, but the term caught on with anti-Semites.
I've heard the term used in three different communities that I've lived in.Prejudice operates in
its own argot.
My main reason in pointing it out to you was not to accuse you of anti-Semitism but to warn you about that shadowy world of jargon
and symbols that the word fagin can be a part of.If something on my blog could accidently be construed as connected with a hate group I'd certainly want to
be warned.

Yes I observe too much, remenber that hamster that someone tells:
"how stupid was you thinking Stifler for a poor hamster's name, that's totally absurd." .
That's me, that was mommy's decision and anyone in this world can change it
PS: Black furball, is cool! if it's racism, why? just a nice name

TT said...

Happy Dance!!

Catnip for everyone!

We loves you!!

The Meezers said...

YAY!! me wants to be pirate!!! Me loves my new furriend Fagin!!!!! WOOO HOOOOO! - Billy

MoMo said...

We are so happy that you made a considered, rational decision and not to leave blogging and the CB. This is a very supportive community. We all love you and enjoy having you as our friends. Do not let one single comment deprive us of you and vice versa.

Sunny's Mommy said...

Now that's more like it!!

Over 80 comments left and only 1 is not positive? Keep in mind the source and give them the consideration they deserve.

PB & J said...

Mommy is a bit leaky eyed after your post, it was beautiful. She says she's just so happy to have you all back - that's crazy you don't cry when your sooooo happy!

We're all doing the happy dance here and there's even talk of niptinis - YOU'RE STAYING!!!! Pearl is relieved that she will still have her dashing pirate and she is getting all her favorite blankies and toys read for Dante's next visit.

Purrs and Hugs,
Pearl, Bert, Jake, George and Mommy & Daddy

SophieKitty said...

I'm so glad the Black Furrball will continue to sail!

Samantha & Tigger said...

Yippee! Yippee!! We are so glad you are not leaving. We would miss you lots!! We love you guys!! We are ready for our next pirate adventure!
Your FL furiends.

Anonymous said...

Oh,happy dancing going on here too! I think the only thing needed is Monty Q's patented "Spot 13 Salute" to anyone who tries to Grinch on our blogs!!

Purrs and headbutts to all--

Meepsie, Smokey and Mumma Jan

Pablo said...

Fagin gets to keep his name!! You're going to keep blogging!! These are both great, great things. A lady that my mum works with has a coffee mug with the slogan 'Don't let the turkeys get you down'. There will always be turkeys in life, but your blog and the naming of Fagin are/were done in love and good will (and in reference to highbrow literature, no less!) and we can all see that. Sail on, Black Furball!!

Anonymous said...

Just switch on the computer & hope can see your blog again. Very happy

chin wan

Astrid, Kashim & Othello said...

we are glad you are coming back. WE LOVE YOU ALL!!
We would miss our purrageous pirates and little Fagin (momma says somehow he will always stay the "Little Kitten" in her heart).

Now we do have a very happy weekend.
love and hugs!

DK & The Fluffies said...


DEBRA said...

Oh my first stop this morning was to see you my sweet Captain. You and Dante, Fagin and your Mom have been in my thoughts over the past 48 hours. We are soooooooooo happy that you have decided to continue sailing the Black Furball. Do not let one lone voice deter you from this enjoyment. I think you can see by the outpouring of affection and care that you are all well loved here and this community would miss your voice greatly if it was to go silent. Let's raise the flag and SAIL!

AYE aye Captain!

Your loyal first matie
Miss Boo
Your pirate lady love

Parker said...

Dear Purrageous Mom,
I am glad you will be back. I look forward to seeing my friends again!

The Taylor CatSSSSS said...

YIPPEE!!!!! We are so happy that you are staying and that the Black Furball will sail again!!!


Much love to Fagin, the little ardent one!!!

The Taylor CatSSSSS said...

Mommy just informed Google that they need to REMOVE your blog from that particular search! You can be sure that she will see that it is done!

The Taylor CatSSSSS said...

Anyone else that wants to protest having this blog show up in such an insulting search, please send an email to:

Thanks, Deb

jane said...

I'm pleased to read that The Black Furrball will sail again and that Cabin Boy Fagin is to keep his delightful name!

Anonymous said...

YEAH! You're staying!
Yipee, I LOVE reading about baby Fabin and the boys. This is one blog I read EVERY DAY!

Looking forward to reading more for a long time.
Barbara - Illinois

Anonymous said...

oops, i meant Fagin! Too early to type, I guess.


HotMBC said...

Yay!!! We's so glad yoo's staying :)
Alla Us

ML said...

Very well stated. So glad you and the boys and the Black Furball will continue to sail the seven seas.

The Crew said...

Wonderful!!!! We knew you'd make the right decision. Cat blogging is a fun hobby and shouldn't be something that causes anyone pain and anger.

And kudos to Taylor Catsssss for working to remove the link to such an awful group.

Now, let the Black Furball take sail and show us more pictures of sweet, little Fagin!

meowers from missouri said...

ahhhhhhhrrrrrrr! we is mighty glad that yer mom has the skills o' a sea-goin' lawyer to lay out the facts so true an' plain. she's seen the incursion fur what it is, an' made the right decisions. a wise one she is; hoist the flag, an' call her "admiral"!! (an' "admirable")

we salute ye all, an' welcome ye back to the bosom of yer fambly, the kitty blogosphere!! may it be smooth sailin' fur us all henceforth.

The Furry Kids said...

Yay! Yay! Yay! :happy dance:

EG even volunteered to teleport over and swab the poop deck. Or something. hee hee

The Cat Realm said...

We are so happy you will be staying! And that you will let Fagin keep his name!!!
We love the Black Furball and its pirates and we are looking forward to many more adventures!!!
Karl, Emil and Mrs.OZ

Cat Naps in Italy said...

Thanks for sticking around! We are so glad that you changed your mind. The sivler lining in this cloud is that you are now aware of just how many friends you have out there in the blogosphere! You can always count on our support when the chips are down.

Hugs from Italy,
Opus, Roscoe and their human

HRH Yao-Lin said...

I am so happy to see that you have not stopped blogging. And how on EARTH could something as cute as little Fagin be racist? As for the boat being the black furrball - I call Baby Mao the white smelly runt - is that racist too? Oh, and I regularly get called a chocolate nightmare - is that racist too?

I am really really pleased you haven't given up blogging and I do understand how hurt you were. You don't need to worry. x