It’s been a convergence of many landmark numbers at Punching Kitty over the last couple of months. To name a few: We won a second RFT Web Award, we hit our 4th birthday, and this is our 2,000th post.
Now, we’re adding another: The end of regular posting on Punching Kitty.
(No pressure, but if you want to have this playing the background while you continue to read, we think it would really make the moment.)
The number #2 question we’re asked when it comes to Punching Kitty is: “How long are you going to keep writing?” (#1 is “Where did you come up with that name?”). It’s a question I’ve always answered with “I’ll stop when it’s no longer fun, or people stop reading.” but in the back of my mind I had always targeted five years as the end date even if the other two conditions never proved true. Why? Things need an ending, especially things like Punching Kitty. If this was a “blog” in the vein of a “Here’s what I had for breakfast…” and “What’s with the rude people at the bank?!” then there wouldn’t need to be an ending per se, but Punching Kitty is more like a series and those definitely need endings because if the moment comes where I no longer enjoy writing it or you’ve stopped reading, it’s already too late.
So why now? Why a full year earlier than my original schedule?
I’m leaving St. Louis. In fact, I’ve already left. It wasn’t because of the crime, or any of the other things I pick on everyday, but those things did make it a little easier. I moved for a new day job and because the idea of living somewhere else was attractive for a variety of other reasons. Those that knew of this move tend to ask “Can’t you just still post from the new place? You don’t need to live in St. Louis to write about it.” They aren’t wrong, but not entirely correct either. While you can certainly pull up STLToday or KMOV.com and write about the latest face-shooting from anywhere, it’s difficult to write about it well. You need to be in the area to get the pulse of what people are talking about, and the character that was “The Editor” has always been essentially an amplified version of a St. Louisan. Not being there living the news, makes it very difficult to hit the standard we set for ourselves (Yeah, believe it or not, we had standards!).
Won’t you miss it?
Yes and no. Punching Kitty is a lot of work, and there will be nights where I definitely don’t miss having to drag my ass home early to look for a joke amongst the different news sources, but it was also a lot of fun to write. It’s always fun to write jokes when you know it will be actually read by a significant amount of people, and because Punching Kitty prided itself on having no boundaries or allegiances, it was even better. We won’t claim to have made a lot of friends because of our “no one is safe” mind set, but we did make some, and interacting with those people, from regular tipsters to fellow writers, will also be missed. I love the end result of what I built here from the kitty-decorated self posts, to the weird Editor backstory was crafted for various parts of my own life and complete bullshit, and the readers that hated us we turned it to the most hard-core fans (or vice-versa). I’ll be thrilled to repeat it again some day, if I can.
So now what?
Well we aren’t just going to turn out the lights. The site will remain up, all old stories and comments will be left and active. The only change will the lack of daily updated and maybe a reconfiguration of the home page to reflect the change and to focus on archived content (like our This Day in PK History feature). That being said I wouldn’t unlike/unfollow us too quickly. Twitter and Facebook will still be maned by us to answer questions, post quick comments and respond to a few things…and we’re leaving the door open to the occasional post when something is just too big to ignore, if we do, that’s where we’ll post a link.
Though I have my doubts on my ability to stay a way from my keyboard, taking a break from the “night job” is currently my focus. I have no idea what my next project will be, maybe more writing, maybe something with video or audio, but I can tell you it won’t be “Punching Kitty in a new town”. Punching Kitty was for St. Louis, my hometown, and so St. Louis gets to keep what I’ve done so far and anything I may do with it in the future.
Hopefully we’ve left our mark and will continue to do so as people find older posts that still have the same impact as when we originally wrote them (that’s the one benefit of the city not getting much better in significant areas).
…and who knows…maybe I’ll move back to St. Louis some day and pick back up regular posting! In the meantime, continue sending us your tips and news links! A good one might coax us out of retirement for a day or at least get us to pass the story along to other sources.
tl;dr – I will no longer be regularly writing on Punching Kitty, though the site will stay up, and I may write occasionally.
As always, thanks for reading!
– The Editor / Mike Flynn
Follow @punchingkitty, @mikeflynn_, or facebook.com/punchingkitty for updates or announcements on any future projects. For questions or tributes to our greatness: firstname.lastname@example.org