Monday, May 8, 2017

Interview with Bexy McFly, PUSSWEEK

Bexy McFly, pictured here with Ollie, turned a dusty old uni assignment about cats into a thriving business.

Being a veterinarian requires something of a sense of humour. The histories delivered by clients can be surprising (“your dog did what?), individual animals can have strange quirks, and there is endless potential for “miscommunication” between species. While we don’t indulge in reckless anthropomorphism, it can be fascinating considering what life is like from the point of view of the animal in the equation.

Enter Bexy McFly, a copywriter who has developed a series of books disguised as magazines, written from the point of view of the domesticated cat. I learned about PUSSWEEK when a colleague brought in a copy and we simultaneously laughed and nodded at a feature about where to deposit a fresh fur ball. Shoes? Handbag? Or just on the coffee table when you’re hosting a social gathering? Ha ha and yet…so eerily true. Like me, Bexy's career interests were influenced by her non-human companions. She turned what was a university assignment inspired by her late cat into a booming business. We asked her about it.

What is your day job?

I'm a freelance digital designer, animator and occasional copywriter. I previously spent a lot of my career in the print industry as a graphic designer and have worked all over the world progressing my career and, of course, meeting international cats!

What inspired PUSSWEEK?

I had a long conversation with my cat, Ollie, about his frustration in being a city cat - he brought to my attention that since he didn't get out much, he had no idea how to cat. He was basically winging it, hoping for the best. Was he licking properly? Was he getting the most out of his scratching post? Was he living up to his cat potential? How would he know? The only points of reference he had were humans. And humans don't know sh*t about what it's like to be a kitteh. So together we decided to create a mag for other cats in his situation to share cat knowledge, stories, and general tips & tricks. 

The late but not forgotten Noob Saibot.
It's not the first conversation I'd had like that with a cat. My beloved kitty and best friend Noob Saibot (RIP) kindly let me into his world when I was a teenager, and helped me write the first ever Pussweek years ago as part of a Uni assignment. I'd always intended to do something more with Pussweek, but I wanted to wait until I had the time and skills to do it properly and produce a high-quality book. Thankfully, Ollie gave me the purrfect excuse to pull it out of the archives, give it an overhaul and finally publish it. 

What kind of features do you cover?

Well, at Pussweek we call them flea-tures. I meet with the cats on my team regularly to discuss any issues they've faced which they want to share with the world. We don't hold back. Our fleatures cover everything from catching the red dot to uninvited belly touching to leaf attacks. The cats make sure I know exactly how they feel, since I'm the only one on the team with thumbs and the ability to type. I relate to them very well, and I find it easy to understand their problems. Cats and I have a lot in common, purrsonality wise. I think that's why they trust me. Plus, kibble.

Your articles, such as the feature on places to have a fur ball, are as funny as they are accurate. Where do you draw your inspiration?

Fresh furball placement is very impawtant. There are many places to yack up a furball, but some are better than others. It's a topic that rates high on my list, since one of the cats on my team, Trim, is especially prone to spontaneous hairball yacking. 

Can you tell us about the felines in your life, how you met and how you spend time together?

All the cats on the Pussweek team are kitties who have, at one time or another, touched my heart. Noob, as I mentioned earlier, was my best friend for many years. We grew up together, and my heart was broken when he passed away in 2010. I adopted Ollie from death row at the pound in 2011, and then Trim two years later from the Cat Protection Society. Fred Little was Noob's best friend, and Simpson and Benji are cats who own a very dear friend of mine. I'm excited to announce the addition of two new cats to the team, who you'll meet in Issue Four (meow available for pre-order).

How do you get anything published given it is likely that cats are draped over all of your computers?

Around here, draping is helping. Ollie 'helps' a lot. And I mean A LOT. He makes sure I'm doing my job properly, does regular quality control checks, and he rewards me with cuddles so I can't really complain. Of course, when there is a tight deadline I make sure his bowl is fully stocked to prevent too much 'helping'. Trim, however, doesn't like to drape. He is our sports repawter and he works around the clock to come up with new daring activities for Pussweek's Extreme Sports section. But sometimes he sits on my lap or props up documents for me if he's feeling tired.

Any tips for vets, vet students and vet nurses out there?

The thermometer is Satan's probe. Please, be gentle. Also, make sure you tell cats they're pretty when they're on your table. [There's a worldwide effort to make veterinary clinics more feline friendly, spearheaded by the International Society of Feline Medicine, and more vets are training in low stress handling, but we take your point - Ed]. They're feeling low, vulnerable and scared - a little compliment goes a long way. And don't take it purrsonally when they hate you - it's basically the law.

How do people find this publication and/or subscribe? Can they follow you on social media?

Pussweek is actually a book disguised as a magazine - it's not subscription based, and every issue is always available so your cat can collect them all and read them in the litterbox! They're not date-sensitive and they're always relevant, which makes them excellent gifts. Cats can get Pussweek online at pussweek.com (we ship to cats all over the world) or they can send their humans out to purrchase from any of the stores listed on our stockists page.

All cats are encouraged to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and get involved! We love to see pics of cats enjoying Pussweek, and we always need photos of cats of all shapes and sizes for the mag! 


Thanks, Bexy for your time. If your cat wants to be features in Pussweek, please get in touch at meow@pussweekmag.com

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