Become a Field Reporter!
(or "Remote Agent" or anything else that sounds fancy).
One of the best ways you can help out Shopcat.com is to track down all the shopcats in your little corner of the world. Bring your camera and notepad! No need to apply, just go out there and get the pictures and stories, then send them in. Here's the scoop:
This is not a paid position! It's a chance to have fun meeting all kinds of wonderful shop kitties and interesting people as well. You would need to get 10 or more pictures and a story for each cat. You can take digital pictures and send them to me via e-mail, or just take snapshots and mail me the actual photos. All the technical information about digital photo size and questions to ask, etc. are on my instructions page. Here are the kinds of photos I like to take:
Once you start taking a bunch of pictures you get the hang of it. The only things to look out for are cats that don't stand still long enough to take a picture and cats that NEVER move. It's hard to get an interesting picture of a cat who never moves from a rolled-up ball, for instance. The more varied the pictures are, the better. You'll also want to make sure there's good lighting, especially for dark cats; they can be tough.
The questions to ALWAYS ask are the age of the cat, how long they've been working there, and the name of the shop. Then you can ask for silly stories or interesting facts about the cat. It's also helpful to pick up a business card and write the name of the cat(s) on the back.
For every picture and story you send in that I use you will receive full credit on my website. Unfortunately, the only compensation beyond that is the satisfaction of seeing your name in print and having a fun time meeting new kitties. Of course, there is the added perk of being able to call yourself a "Remote Operative" or "the man from S.H.O.P.C.A.T." or something equally silly.
If this sounds like fun to you, let me know so I can put you on a list of "Field Reporters" and send you updates every once in awhile of places people tell me to check out. Or, just go out there and start! I will be appreciative of any extra help I receive. The more people get involved, the better this site will get.