Karla Keffer


With all due respect, what the hell does “ohbutmeow” mean?

The summer between eighth and ninth grade, I spent a week at my best friend’s farm. It was great, but there wasn’t much to do except eat, swim, make mix tapes (she had a CD player, which, in 1990, just blew my thirteen-year-old mind) and play teenage mind games on each other. The mind game that sticks with me is the one where my friend up and decided to follow everything I said with the phrase, “Oh, but you DO,” as in, “You know, I don’t think I really like listening to Poison anymore.” “Oh, but you DO.” At some point, her doddering, toothless old cat wandered into the room and commenced meowing at us, which prompted my friend to respond, “Oh, but MEOW. OH, but meOW,” and variations on a theme of until the cat got sick of us and went off to do cat things.

I mostly forgot about the incident until 2008, when I joined Twitter and had to pick a user name, and for whatever reason, “ohbutmeow” started flashing through my head. I’m a crazy cat lady, so I figured “ohbutmeow” was as good a user name as any, and probably much closer to who I am than any other screen name I’ve used.

And…The Journal of All Items Various and Sundry?

It’s a good catch-all. No more, no less.

Who are you, anyway?

I am a human. My name is Karla Keffer.  I am a writer and actor.  I am in recovery from a disastrous graduate fiction writing experience.  My MFA hangs on the wall of my loo, which is quite the best place for it to be.

And are you and this, um, cat whisperer still friends?

Yep! We certainly are, and we’re both crazy cat ladies and pretty damn happy about it.

What is her name, and where does she keep her keys?

None of your business. Also, I don’t know, and again, none of your business.


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