Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ten things my cat is teaching me about writing and about life.

Ten things my cat is teaching me about writing and about life.

1. S**t happens. Apparently, it happens more often than we think.
2. Everyone should have a cozy, safe place to go to once in a while. One that is beyond anyone else’s reach.
3. Trick me once, shame on you. Trick me twice, and I’ll hide under the bed.
4. I’m smarter and I’m faster. Go ahead, make my day—get out the pet carrier.
5. Okay, I’m only here for you. Go ahead, feed that fiction if it makes you happy.
6. Uh, you do know they only removed my front claws—right?
7. I’ll come out when I’m good and ready.
8. Catnip? I don’t need no stinkin’ catnip!
9. Of course I sleep all day. How else am I supposed to be able to annoy you all night?
10. Um…excuse me…my litter box needs cleaning. Now! And while you’re at it, would you refill my food dish and toss me a treat?

How might some of these lessons apply to writing?

1. Rejections happen.
2. Every writer needs a quiet space to cozy up with their characters.
5. We don’t always have as much control over our characters as we may think.
7. Our characters and their stories will reveal themselves when they are ready. Like the cat, you can’t drag them out from under the bed. And if you do, they just won’t cooperate.
10. Every so often we need to edit and rewrite—filter out the crap and refresh the story.

The rest pretty much apply to life.

3. If we’re smart, we learn the first time.
4. Be alert and be prepared.
6. Know your strengths.
8. Don’t be lured in by false promises of happiness.
9. Get enough rest and make time for play.
* Number 1 also applies here: S**t happens.
I'm either going to be very smart at the end of this relationship with Olivia, or I'm going to be locked in the pet carrier.


Infogypsy said...

Cute Picture - like those glasses - great blog content - judi

Carol McPhee said...

This is hysterical. Slow day at the office? CarolCarol McPhee: http://www.geocities.com/carolmcphee2003

linda_rettstatt said...

Actually, I have the day off. I had planned a visit to the vet. But Olivia had other plans--like bolting from the carrier and hiding under the bed. :)

And now we clearly know who is in charge.

Donica Covey said...

I'm not a cat person. My best friends, my son all have cats--which I have nicknamed Nasty Cat--and the horrid beasts know I dont like them...No matter where they hide, they know I'm there and they annoy me all night long. That being said...Olivia is pretty--for a cat...(LOL) I LOVE the life lessons you learned from her. I also have to say that I think what you've done is AWESOME.

Some people would rather go an buy a brand new kitten--adoption is the most awesome thing I think a person can do. Good for you, bringing in a frightened and I'm sure heart broken (nasty) creature and helping her find love and comfort once again.

Now, if it had just been a dog...(ROFL)

Have a fabu rest of the week and enjoy Olivia!


linda_rettstatt said...


Olivia read your post. She says she knows everyone is not a cat person and she accepts that. She also said I should invite you for a visit--so she can sleep on your face. Ha, ha.

I thought I wanted a younger cat, but I couldn't get Olivia's story out of my mind for four days. One owner--getting married--fiancees kids allergic. Well, what else could I do? So, she's under my bed right now.

I like, dogs, too, but I'm gone all day and can't leave a dog alone that long.

Angelica Hart and Zi said...

This was such a delightful blog. As a cat's pet (Angelica) and as prvious cat's pet (Zi) we can certainly relate. It had us grinning throughout. We especially appreciated how you likened the experience to writing and to life. Best of luck with all three, your writing, your life and especially your new addtion, Olivia. She is a BEAUTY!

Regan Taylor said...

So true, so totally true. My cats "help" me do just about everything. They take things as they come, have their rules for living and as long as you follow them, life is good.

Miss Molly will be 21 in September and her rules for living seem to have paid off well for her!

elaine cantrell said...

Hi, Linda,

I'm a cat person too, and I love your Olivia. She looks very much like my Brigit who died a few years ago. Brigit originally belonged to our neighbor, but she didn't want to live there. She wanted to live with me and made that very obvious. Eventually, they just gave her to us. It was funny, but everything they didn't like about her we did like. Like for example her loud meow. She sounded as if she had a touch of Siamese in her, and when she wanted your attention she got it. Thanks for such a fun post.

Verna LaBounty said...

A few days ago I heard a report from an animal researcher on the radio. She studied cat purring and made recordings. A cat's purr is different if he/she is hungry than when the cat is simply happy and content. The recordings were played and the difference could clearly be heard.

Loved your post.