Rocky Mount native launches cat magazine


Rocky Mount native Molly Bales, left, has co-launched a publication called Feline Magazine. At right are Art Director Renessa Ciampa and Operations Director Jonathan Lansey.


Staff Writer

Monday, January 28, 2019

A Rocky Mount native who's a graduate of Harvard University – and who also holds a master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – is having a bit of fun as a cat lover living in New England.

Molly Bales, 30, of Boston, and two others have co-launched a humorous fashion publication, called Feline Magazine, which Bales emphasized is written by cats for cats and seeks to help cats be able to interact better with their human caretakers.

The plan is for Feline to be published and posted online twice yearly, with the magazine proclaiming to be, "The most trusted source of fashion, beauty and furnalism for the sophisticated feline."

"The idea here is that my cat, actually, is a real founder of the magazine because she felt like her voice wasn't heard in print media," Bales said in a recent telephone interview. "So she decided that instead of all of these fashion magazines that have all these humans on the front, that she thought that felines should be at the forefront."

Bales was referring to a 5-year-old domestic shorthair named Clawdia Beauchat, who has full editorial control of Feline.

The magazine contains articles and photographs illustrating the perspective of cats.

They include what their owners really do when they leave their respective apartments for the day, what hairballs say about cats and the top three tips for maintaining a luxurious coat.

The "contributing private incatsigator" is "Walter Clawnkite," a play on the late CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite. "Scout Clawnkite" is serving Feline as an intern.

As for how Clawdia made known she wanted a publication for her and other cats, Bales said Clawdia was chewing on a copy of Vogue magazine in her apartment one day.

"And she realized that she wanted this kind of medium to be able to tell her story," Bales said. "She wanted this to be a feline-human collaboration."

"Fortunately, I speak cat," Bales said. "Being fluent in cat is very important to me as a feline employer."

As for the meaning of speaking cat, Bales said, "When my cat speaks to me (when meowing), I understand what she's saying."

"A lot of people don't realize that cats can understand human languages, which is why Feline is written in English," Bales said.

Of course, Bales said Feline is for humans to enjoy, too.

"And it's a great publication to have on your coffee table," she said.

In addition to Bales, Feline's supporting team of humans includes Art Director Renessa Ciampa and Operations Director Jonathan Lansey.

Bales said Feline presently has approximately 60 subscribers, with the first print copies delivered at Christmas time.

The digital image of the magazine is also on the Internet at https://www.felinemag.com/

Bales grew up with cats when she was in the Twin Counties.

"At one point, we had too many animals — four cats and three dogs, much to my dad's chagrin," she recalled.

Bales' parents are Dr. Donald Bales, who's a general internist locally with Boice-Willis Clinic, and Dr. Margaret Sowerwine, who's retired but who's active in community life. Her parents also went to Harvard.

With such a high standard set for her, Bales worked hard in school.

She also said growing up in a small community, she was ready to get out and see more of the world.

She graduated from Harvard in 2010 with a degree in the history of science, with her subfield being earth and planetary science.

She worked approximately four years for a clean energy business, Harvest Power, before being accepted into the MIT Sloan School of Management.

By 2016, she graduated from MIT with a master's degree in business administration.

She co-founded Adappt Intelligence, which is a company in the business of using high technology to help plan and manage office spaces.

Bales also has a sister, Katy, 32, who was once an intern with the Telegram and who's presently a physical therapist in Chapel Hill.