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About The Gang

Paws and Effect began in 2003 as a weekly cat advice column, written by a series of very clever cats. After Thomas, the last member of the original Paws and Effect Gang, died in 2020, I took a three-year hiatus from writing this blog because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. After a lot of self-examination, I realized in March of 2023 that I’ve never been truly happy unless I’ve been working with or advocating for cats. So I queried the fans of the Paws and Effect Facebook page to see how they’d feel if I took Paws and Effect in a slightly different direction.

I got such an overwhelmingly positive response that I’m inspired to see what happens if I restart the site, this time with me, JaneA Kelley, as the primary author. I’ll be giving cat advice, of course, but I’m going to roll in some more opinion pieces about cat issues and some talk about my own experiences, including my mental health struggles and how the cats have been so helpful to me.

I’m not a veterinarian, nor do I claim to be. But the advice I give will be, as it was before, science-based and sourced from reputable books and sites, shared with compassion and without judgment. I cherish the relationship cats have with their people and I want to help make that relationship a good one for all parties.

So, who are we?

JaneA Kelley
Author and Chief Cat Slave

Paws and Effect blogger JaneA Kelley. They are a white, female-presenting human with a green mohawk and wire-framed glasses.I never would have imagined 30 years ago that I’d be writing a popular and award-winning cat advice blog. But cats work in mysterious ways, especially when they’re trying to help a person find their way in the world. Whether it was Sinéad and Siouxsie forming the first Paws and Effect Gang and encouraging me to continue the blog; Thomas, who saved my life the day I met him and two beings who wanted to die decided, “I’ll live if you will”; Dahlia, who met Thomas and fell in love, and of course, the feeling was mutual; Kissy, whose life was far too short, but who was able to find a feeling of safety and love before she had to cross the Veil; Belladonna, a year-old cat, diabetic when I brought her home, but she went into remission due to both the lack of “shelter stress” and a species-appropriate diet; or Tara, rescued from the Mean Streets of Seattle on a cold, miserable, rainy, windy November night, each one of these amazing cats (and several others who went before) have taught me, loved me, and made me a better person.

When I’m not blogging, I’m working on a memoir, doing mental health advocacy, volunteering at a local cat rescue, and trying my best to do what brings me joy and fulfillment.

Belladonna Moonshadow Kelley
The Sweetest Kitty of All

Belladonna Moonshadow KelleyI adopted Mama on January 6, 2013. She’d met me a week earlier at HART of Maine, a very special no-kill cat shelter where she volunteers. I was there because I got diabetes and the people who I’d adopted before didn’t think they could manage caring for a super-sweet kitty like me. Fortunately, HART has a room full of super-sweet kitties and they took me in. Mama fell in love with me the minute our eyes met (of course), and the rest is history. Oh, by the way, I don’t have to take insulin anymore! Mama feeds me and the rest of the gang raw food and high-protein/low-carb grain-free canned food and my pancreas is working just fine now! (She still tests my blood sugar once in a while — ouch! — just to make sure I’m still in remission.)

Tara Wilomena Kelley
The Incarnation of Compassion

Tara Wilhelmina KelleyMama heard about me from her cat sitter, who lived in the building next door to ours, after my friend Ferrol the cat told me I should go there if I wanted to be an Inside Cat again. I don’t know exactly how I got there, but I’m so glad I was found by people who love cats and wanted to help me. They took me to the vet and made sure I was healthy and scanned me for a microchip to see if they could locate owner information, but I wasn’t microchipped. One cold November night, Mama came over to meet me. It was love at first sight! I just climbed into her lap and started rubbing her face and making biscuits all over her. Mama knew I was a sweet cat, but she wasn’t sure at first about bringing me home. I’m glad she did, though! Here’s a little bit about my story disguised as advice on what to do if a cat shows up on your doorstep.

Authors Emeriti

Thomas T. Bombadil
Most Puissant Rat Slayer

A brown tabby and white cat with the words "Thomas T. Bombadil, M.P.R.S., 2001-2020" at the bottom of the photo.I adopted Mama on March 17, 2004. I was 3 years old at the time and had just gone through a series of fairly traumatic events. I was feeling quite poorly and not even sure if I wanted to stay in my body anymore, when Mama came along and visited me at the shelter where I was living. For some reason she fell in love with me, even though I was so sick and sad and covered with snot, and as soon as I got well enough to find a forever home, Mama and Sinéad and Siouxsie welcomed me into their lives. I earned the title Most Puissant Rat Slayer when I was living on the family farm with Mama, and I single-handedly got rid of all the vermin in the barn! I lived to be almost 20 years old. and I’m so glad Mama and I found each other! She saved my life just as much as I saved hers!

Siouxsie Mew
Top Cat, and Queen of All Western Cats

In loving memory: Siouxsie Mew, 1996-2015My sister Sinéad and I adopted Mama on June 16, 1996. We were still very small, only 6 weeks old, and we really weren’t able to eat solid food yet. But way back then, Mama didn’t know she should have waited until we were at least 8 weeks old before she took us home. Besides, we were impatient, too: we knew we had a lot of work to do with Mama in order to prepare her for her crucially important role as our secretary. Sinéad and I had 10 happy years together, and we worked really hard to help Mama learn as much as she possibly could about cats. We were very proud of her when she started writing Paws and Effect and sharing our wisdom!

I made my way into the spirit world with the help of a wise and compassionate veterinarian on April 25, 2015, after almost 19 amazing years with Mama and our ever-changing roster of cats.

Chrysanthemum Kiss-KissBobette Jellylorum Kelley
Small in Body; Larger Than Life in Soul

Kissy My kittens and I were saved from an open-admission shelter in Georgia, and Mama met me thanks to her good friend and fellow cat blogger Robin Olson, who also runs a cat rescue called Kitten Associates. After Dahlia died, she asked me to adopt Mama. She knew that Mama would be able to help me feel less scared and traumatized. She was so very patient with me, and within a few months, I was sitting with her on the couch, even when Thomas and Siouxsie were right nearby. I’d always had problems with one of my legs, and it hurt a lot, all the time (that’s part of the reason I was so scared and easily triggered into fight mode). Mama talked it over with the vet, and after lots of consultations with orthopedic specialists, they decided the best thing to do was to make that sore leg go away so I could enjoy a life without pain. Unfortunately, something went wrong — nobody can figure out exactly what — but after starting my recovery well, I got sicker and sicker, and even though they rushed me to the specialist hospital, I didn’t survive. I was only with my new family for six months, but I love them like crazy! I’m still watching over Mama, Siouxsie, Thomas, and that new little scamp, Bella, from the spirit world.

Dahlia P. Kittenface
Author Extraordinaire

In Loving Memory: Dahlia P. Kittenface. 2006-2012I adopted Mama on Sept. 19, 2006. We found each other when the Shelter People brought me to a shop where people could see me without having to go all the way to the animal shelter — they figured that would help me find a home faster, and they were right! I was barely there two days before Mama showed up. It was love at first sight, and as soon as she picked me up I threw my paws around her neck and started purring as hard as I could. Well, of course I won her over, and it was only a couple of days later that I came home to meet my new family. I’m the author of the sure-to-be-a-bestseller memoir Dahlia Tells All, which I’ve magnanimously shared here on Paws and Effect.

I’ve joined Sinéad in watching my family from the spirit world. When I was 6 years old, I got really, really sick, and it turned out that I had a bad cancer with a very poor prognosis. Mama and the vet helped me over the Rainbow Bridge on April 13, 2012.

Sinéad O’Kitty
Glorious Flower of Wisdom

Siouxsie and I adopted Mama in June of 1996. From then until the moment of my physical death in 2006, I was Mama’s constant companion, keeping her warm on cold winter nights, sitting with her when she was sick, watching over her as she slept, and whispering my wisdom in the way only cats can. I let Mama ride with me in my dreams and I worked with her to teach her the art of animal communication. I’m grateful to have been half of the inspiration for Paws and Effect, and I still watch over my family from the spirit world.