Get to know Kitty Mowmow and her Animal Expo

Who is Kitty Mowmow?

I’m MJ Schindler (a.k.a. Kitty Mowmow), creator and host of Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo. I’m a senior majoring in marketing at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, the home of WVUA-FM 90.7 The Capstone, where my radio show originated.

My dad is a veterinarian, and I grew up around animals, learning about them and interacting with them on a daily basis. We always had an assortment of pets at my parents’ house. At one time or another, in various combinations, we have owned cats (dumped at my dad’s office by people who no longer wanted them), a few dogs, a rabbit, hamsters, anoles, iguanas, fire-bellied toads, and even a tarantula (with accompanying pet crickets, which served as his meals). We also attract raccoons, opossums, and the occasional armadillo, who greedily dine upon the kibble we serve our outdoor pet cats.

Currently, as a college student without the time to properly care for a pet, my interactions with animals are limited to patting my friends’ dogs and cats on the head and watching animals on TV or at the zoo. Oh yeah, and I get to talk about them on my radio show, and write about them on my blog, and talk about them with all the cool people I meet through Kitty Mowmow’s Anima Expo.

How did Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo begin?

In the fall of 2008 I was working as promotions director at the University of Alabama’s student-run radio station, WVUA-FM 90.7 The Capstone, and heard us broadcast a song that I absolutely loved, but I didn’t know the name of it. I wasn’t physically at the radio station, and I couldn’t ask the DJ because no one was at the station, so the only way I could think of to find the name of the song was to search for it online, using a few lyrics. The song said something about ducks, so I typed D-U-C-K-S in a song search engine and clicked “search” and -BAM!- hundreds of songs about ducks popped up on my computer screen.

Who knew there were so many songs about ducks? I was intrigued and searched for songs about cats. That supplied me with even more search results. My mind started turning, thinking, “Animals… songs about animals… LOTS of songs about animals… that could be in a show about animals…THAT’S IT!”

I wrote a proposal that night for a new radio show about animals, news about animals, issues that involved animals, and songs about animals. 90.7 The Capstone’s programming director at the time probably thought I was a bit insane, but he also recognized enthusiasm and planning when he saw it, and generously allowed me to produce my show. Thus, Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo was born.

KittyMowmow.com came shortly after the creation of the radio show, to provide my listeners and those outside our listening area with some of the same animal-related content.

That was less than a year ago, and I’m still learning a lot about radio, animals, and blogging. I have a lot of long-term goals associated with Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo. I want to keep developing as a show host, researcher, investigator, interviewer, and information dispatcher. Hopefully Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo will one day be one of the best sources of information and conversation about non-human animals.

By the way, the song about ducks that started it all is “Nice Weather for Ducks” by Lemon Jelly.

What is the philosophy behind Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo?

My experiences have led me to believe that we should strive to instill in ourselves a natural respect for mankind’s relationship with non-human animals. We should take great care to share our lives and the planet’s resources with them in a mutually beneficial, sustainable manner. I believe that this is the most logical, ethical, and healthful way to live. Therefore, we should always be learning about and teaching others about the world in which we live, to equip ourselves with information that will allow us to make the best possible personal and policy decisions that involve people, animals, and the rest of the natural world.

With few exceptions, Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo strives to be a unbiased purveyor of all kinds of information about animals.

Who have you interviewed on Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo?

I’m glad you asked. Many people have generously offered their time and knowledge to contribute to the show, and I can’t thank them enough for it. So far I’ve interviewed the following people (not all of their interviews have aired yet, so stay tuned):

Dr. Sian Evans – DuMond Conservancy for Primates and Tropical Forests, Miami, FL

Kirk Forslund – Bull Terrier Owner, Kansas City, MO

Kirsten Knap – International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), UK

Allen G. Parton, owner of Endal, the most decorated dog in the word

Darryl Rawlings – Founder/CEO of Trupanion/Vetinsurance/American Pet Insurance Company

Dr. Ron Schindler, DVM – Eastern Shore Pet Hospital, Fairhope, AL

Jim Thykeson – Retired, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Glen Rose, T

What’s next for Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo?

Soon we will have an updated website, brand image, and (I’m especially excited about this) podcasts available for all episodes of the show. What do YOU want next from Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo? Email me to let me know!

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