Author and Cat Lady Allia Zobel Nolan
by Robert Hudson
If you have a love and devotion for everything feline, consider cats to be a representation of the love from a higher power, then you have something in common with author Allia Zobel Nolan.
Allia is a humorist that looks for the funny bone in the things that touch our lives. Cats have always had an influence on how Allia looks at life. “The first word out of my mouth wasn’t “Mama” or “Da-da.” It was “Cat.” I’ve been an ailurophile my whole life. And of course, the experts always advise: “Write what you know.” And that was easy for me, because I always had a cat(s) in my life, and I observed them religiously. Spend a month, a week, or even a day with a feline, and you can’t help but discover countless funny things they either do or get into. I also became cat-codependent, a slave to my furry children’s every whim, and that opened up hysterical anecdotes.”
Allia Zobel Nolan has had a journey with her writing that has taken her in different directions, but always with humor. “I’ve been writing since I came out of the womb. I started with poetry, just writing for myself, never dreaming it would be my ultimate career. Then I went on to newspaper writing, first as a stringer, and then as a humor columnist in two local papers. I still write the occasional humorous Op Ed when the spirit moves me.
After that, I worked as a staff writer for two corporations writing newsletters and then books. The piece that got me started was one in the The New York Times. It was called “Why Must I Have a Nice Day?” and it bemoaned the repetition of that phrase from people all day long despite the circumstances. I continued to have several more items in the NYT as well as other outlets like Cosmo, Glamour, The International Herald Tribune, The Daily News, and The Irish Independent.”
The Imagination of Allia Zobel Nolan
All total she has had close to 200 titles published. “My favorites are the books that make people laugh…and those that bring folks closer to God. Before I branched out on my own, I was Senior Editor/Religious Books at Reader’s Digest Children’s Publishing for nine years. However, my cats complained of being lonely. So I decided to be a stay-at-home mom/author so I could tend to my fur babies and write children’s and cat books. I do hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them.”
The biggest seller has been “101 Reasons a Cat Is Better Than a Man”. Allia Zobel Nolan has a sequel to it called Why a Cat Is Still Better than a Man.
No Bashing Zone!
“I always contend my book is not meant as “male-bashing,” but rather “cat enhancing.” At the time I wrote it, there were a lot of women who were throwing off the notion that they had to get married and have children to be fulfilled. Women who thought it would be better to get to know themselves before they could decide on a life’s mate. Still, these woman were looking for a relationship. But it was a different kind of companionship for this different time of their lives.
They wanted a pal who was warm and loving, and doted on their every word. Someone who brushed up against them no matter what time they came home. One who was never judgmental, who wouldn’t hang a moose head in the dining room, or wear a pinky ring. The cat was all these things and more. So I decided some women might just prefer a cat.”
I asked her why do you think the majority of cat fans on social media and the majority of cat writers are women?
“I don’t have the actual numbers. But I have a feeling that this is changing. The cat is out of the bag in many male households because men have realized what a super companion felines are. I also think there used to be the thought “out there,” that manly men don’t keep cats as pets….that real men have dogs. A quick check of cat videos show there are almost as many men in them than women. So I think that notion is hogwash. What’s more, some of Amazon’s top sellers in cat humor have been men, as in I Could Pee on This by Francesco Marciuliano.” She went on to say, “My male cat is affectionate to both my husband and myself. My female cat is a one-cat cat. She tolerates my husband, but is Velcro-ed to me”.
Not done yet
“I have a folder of ideas for cat books, so there will likely be more. Right now, I am working on a children’s Bible that will help youngsters calm their fears when they are afraid. I vacillate from the ridiculous to the sublime in my writing.”
Allia Zobel Nolan lives and writes in Connecticut with her husband, Desmond Finbarr Nolan, and their two feline children, Nolan Nolan, and Colleen Fiona Shannon Nolan.