The Pit in the Hat, Fancy That! (And Happy B-Day, Dr. Seuss!)

KOTAW Off the Clock - Adventures of the KOTAW Girl Gang laced with mini marketing tips

A Personal Branding Parable and a Rainy Day Pit Bull Pajama Party | KOTAW Content Marketing | Pit Bulls and Personal BrandingOn a (rare) rainy Los Angeles day, Ivy looked as glum as Sally and her nameless brother who looked longingly out the window at the downpour responsible for their confinement to the little red house in The Cat in the Hat.

Yes, the sun did not shine, it was too wet to play, so Ivy sat in the house, all that cold, cold wet day…causing her much dismay!

There’s no denying that Ivy, my sweet, sweet red nose pit bull, is a California girl.

My sunshine baby absolutely adores soaking up the rising rays in the morning as she lounges about, watching curiously as the off-to-workers pass by our front yard. And in the afternoon, she is usually found sleeping belly to the sun!

Staying Ahead of the Red

In fact, Ivy loves the sun so much that during summertime, her usually peanut butter-colored coat gets highlighted with bleach blonde streaks, despite the fact that I religiously massage sun-block cream onto her baby pink skin so that my red nose girl doesn’t turn really, really red!

So you can imagine how unhappy she was during LA’s recent storm in which the city experienced more rainfall in 12 hours than it had over the last eight months combined.

Ivy was going stir crazy in the house. The downpour had deprived her so! No sunbathing, no walk, no park outing, no car ride…NO FUN!

She felt cooped, cooped, cooped!

No Snuggle, No Huggle. No Pinches, Just Grinches

And I felt like I wasn’t getting any work done because her sad whimpers had me popping up from my laptop every few minutes to tend to her.

Want to (carefully!) play with your ball indoors? No.

Want to pinch your stuffed animals? No.

Want to gnaw on one of your bones? No.

Want to snuggle? No.

Want a treat? Yes! OK, good! I finally found something that would satisfy her…for the 3 ½ second intervals it took her to chew and swallow.

I had an idea!

It was an extreme idea, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

We would host a pit pajama party!

Why is this extreme, you ask?

Well, I’ll tell you!

1 Pit Times 2 Equals Chaos for You

Ivy and Pebbles Pit Bull love

Pit Bull BFFs Ivy and Pebbles playing outside in the (mostly) perennial sunshine-filled Los Angeles climate.

The pit in question – the guest of honor, if you will – would be Pebbles, a sweet-as-can-be kiss monster friend of Ivy’s.

What’s the problem, you ask?

One sweet pit plus another sweet pit equals two friends having fun, right?


Fun – TOO MUCH fun!

You see, Ivy and Pebbles have this strange — albeit, heartwarming – relationship in which they literally cannot get enough of one another!

Whenever they have playdates, it’s non-stop puppy play madness! For hours upon hours, the two of them will wrestle and roughhouse with nary a pause. They will be completely tangled up and intertwined with one another – their bodies in constant contact.

Slither and Slunk. Are Those Pits Drunk?

They’ll lie belly to belly, one on top of the other. Then do somersaults and switch positions.

Pebbles will wrap her entire body around Ivy’s back and clutch onto her like some kind of strange sea creature with tentacles.

Ivy will sit on Pebbles’s head.

They’ll slink and slither around on their bellies, one atop the other’s back. Like the Grinch when he was attempting to be stealthy during his breaking-and-entering escapades in Whoville.

Ivy has many friends she loves and that she’ll zestfully play with — including Lucy, a Maltese-poodle neighbor pal who visits on a daily basis – but she’ll play with them in a normal way; one that consists of rests and water-breaks in-between romps. With Pebbles, there’s literally non-stop, smiley pit silliness until we tear them away from one another, pleading with them to take a nap and rehydrate.

Knowing what I’d be getting myself into, but accepting that desperate times call for desperate measures, I braved the rain to pick up Pebbles and deliver her to Ivy and their weekend of fun that awaited.

Will Twenty be Plenty?

But first, I needed some supplies.

I drove to the dollar store and filled my basket with a plethora of doggie delights: squeaky toys, stuffed animals, tennis balls and braided ropes – things that would most likely be destroyed within seconds but that wouldn’t put a crimp in my budget. I thought twenty bucks for twenty playthings that would provide maybe twenty minutes of fun, was definitely worth it.

I grabbed some red vines for myself and a box of Windmill cookies (surprisingly, the dollar store is the only place in town that sells the imported biscuits that I used to get in my native Canada) then headed to the grocery store, where I picked up some marrow bones in case the pups were in the mood to gnaw.

I arrived home to Ivy with Pebbles and a giant bag filled with toys and goodies; without realizing it, I had created my own makeshift version of FUN-IN-A-BOX, like the one that housed the Cat’s Thing One and Thing Two.

The Trouble with Pups? They Stayed, Up, Up, UP!

Ivy and Pebbles’ rainy day pit pajama party commenced late Friday afternoon and, as predicted, the two girls played nonstop into the wee hours of the night. According to my daughters’ calculations, they maybe slept between the hours of 1:00 am and 2:30 am – the rest of the night at least one of us had born witness to their antics (we were frequently awoken by the pups’ various play noises – a lot of rustling and RAH-RAH-ROOs from Ivy! Also, both pitties found it amusing to run from room to room, leap onto the beds in unison, and smother us with kisses!)

In true California style, Friday’s storm, which was expected to extend throughout the weekend, ended early. By Saturday morning, there were long enough dry spells that Ivy and I were able to take a short walk around the neighborhood, and together, the two of us escorted Pebbles back to her own house.

Je t’adore, Theodor

Today (Sunday) the birds are out chirping once again, and I see no sign of rain as I look out my window, writing this blog. As you can imagine, the pit pajama party I hosted has left me most tired. But I woke up early this morning, determined to tell the story, in honor of my favorite writer, Dr. Seuss, whose real name is Theodor Geisel. His birthday, if you don’t know, is today, March 2!

PS: I tried so hard to take pictures of Ivy and Pebbles playing so I could share them here on the blog, but the two pit girls were moving around so much that they were impossible to capture with my camera! Every single photo looks like a blur or a blob, one worse than the next :)


It’s been just over nine months since I started branding KOTAW Content Marketing and me. Dr. Seuss and pit bulls have been part of the Katherine Kotaw brand since day one, and it’s extraordinarily gratifying to me that people associate my name with the king of nonsense rhyme and a much-maligned breed of dogs.

My personal brand is, well, personal. My high school friends told me I would fail English honors class when I chose Horton Hatches the Egg as the book of poetry I studied and presented. And grad school buddies told me I would never get hired if I identified Dr. Seuss as my favorite author.

They were wrong. Because I can defend my choices with as much authority (but a lot less pretentiousness) than others do when they opine about Shakespeare, Chaucer and other frequently-named favorite writers.

My brand is as distinctive as I am. And yours should be, too.

Take a risk. Make a statement. Brand yourself memorable.

How much of yourself do you reveal in your personal branding efforts? Are you cautious or bold? Insightful or nondescript? How much of your personal life should you include in your personal brand? What details are too private to share? Tell me, please!


  1. I don’t like it.

    I don’t like it that I need to be informed of a new post in #KOTAWParadise via an indirect source on a social media platform *nope nope nope* :P Why haven’t I subscribed to your newsletter yet? I need to stop everything else and do this first.

    Ms Kat – how the heck do you make me cry every time you pen an article? How the heck do you manage to pour so much heart and love into every syllable of your work? Who cares about Shakespeare and Chaucer *did I spell these correctly :P* ? I care about Kat – the BEST STORYTELLER I know with a magical brand of her own!

    Gosh – I so want to see Ivy and Pebbles slithering together #ROFL That image totally made me laugh out loud :D

    Muaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh – LOVE YOU

    This ‘mere’ mortal Kit ;)

    • Katherine Kotaw says:

      You are no “mere mortal”, Kit. You are extraordinary. You’ve got the heart, soul — and talent — of a true writer. DO NOT DOUBT this, EVER!!!

      Well, doubt it sometimes, because it will make you an even better writer. But KNOW that you are already very, very good.



  2. Hey Kat

    It was a pleasure to re-read another timeless classic. <3

    Honestly, I missed references to your #FurryKotawesomeTeam in yesterday's blog post. Silly, I know, but your family has encamped itself thoroughly in my soul. So it's always my pleasure to get reacquainted with the addictive members of Kotaw Content Marketing! #CushyHugstoAll

    Much love

    • Katherine Kotaw says:

      Thank you, Kitty!

      There’s nothing nicer than to know someone enjoys re-reading something I’ve written. Particularly someone with such high standards as you possess!

      Love today and always,


  3. […] clever rhyme was just in case any of my loyal readers happened to forget that my favorite writer is Dr. Seuss. But I […]

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