Friday, May 23, 2014

Me & My Shadow by Anna J Stewart

I have so many writer friends who seem to know how to keep everything in balance and make everything work.  Oh, I'm sure they're screaming on the inside, but  I can't be the only one who has those days (or weeks) where life, family, work, friends, fun, and writing refuse to coexist, peacefully or otherwise.  Don't get me wrong...this is NOT a complaint blog. I feel incredibly fortunate for what I have.  My mom is healthy (after a bout with cancer a few years ago), I have a rewarding job (that is currently making me pull my hair out), I have the most amazing family and friends.  I've finally sold some books (yay!) and well, when I stop to think, to breathe, to listen, I am definitely a lucky girl.

But there are times when I just need to turn off, and, like a computer that's been on for too long, reboot.

Much like Snickers, my cat, seems to do every day of her life.  I love this little creature--she's the dog I've never had, my "child" so to speak (as I don't have kids) and she's ALWAYS there.  We adopted her from my cousins when they moved to Arizona.  We quickly learned why Val would sing "Me & My Shadow" whenever they were home.  Snickers is a hover cat.  The suction cup Garfield to my windshield...and there are days I don't know what I'd do without her.

Ah, the life of a cat seems so incredibly tempting.  Had I magical powers a la Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter, I'd love to transfigure myself into one.  They live in an eternal state of rebooting (when they aren't demanding to be fed or, in Snickers's case, petted). Cats (and I say cats because other than a goldfish when I was six, I've only owned felines), have a way of reminding you not to take life so seriously.  That purring sound just sinks into me to comfort me and is much less calorie laden than a pot of mac and cheese.  I've taken to picking her up at times just to have her paws drape over my shoulder and feel her nudge my chin with the top of her head, as if to say "I know. Life as a human can be hard. But I love you" only to be subsequently headbutted to the point of concussion as she demands, "Now where's my dinner?"

This was supposed to be a blog about the books I go to when I need a creative recharge, when I need to remind myself of why I write, why it's important I write--and why I HAVE to write. But I think I shall save that for my next outing here at the Heartwarming blog and just express my gratitude that comes with owning a pet.  Whatever animal you have...if you have one...I hope he or she is as fulfilling (although perhaps not as irritating when it comes to hogging the bed) as Snickers. Darling, meowling snuggly Snickers who is sitting at my arm as I write this, an odd smile on her face, as if she can read every word I'm typing.

That's right, Snickers.  It's all about you.
As it should be.

Now let's hear about you and your fabulous animal friends (currently or from the past)--and if you don't have one, I'm thinking about renting Snickers out :)

Happy almost weekend everyone.

18 comments:

  1. Anna - you are in such sympathetic company! I've blogged about Cheyenne, our Husky mix, adopted from the Shelter to keep my husband walking, but now making me walk instead. She's a wonderful companion and sleeps on the futon in my office while I'm working. We've also had cats our entire married life. Currently we have the Tabby Hoard (there are just two, but they seem like 200) Stormy took shelter in our basement in a storm, then disappeared and returned two days later with an identical little sister - Melanie. Melanie hunts and sleeps and snuggles in my lap at night to watch television. Stormy has bonded to Ron and is a little devil. Visits my office when Ron is asleep and bats things off the top shelf of my computer desk and hangs down like Snoopy in vulture-mode just to get a reaction. I adore both cats and wouldn't want to manage without them. Snickers is beautiful. Good of you to give him a home - that's why he rewards you with purring and chin butts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Muriel--I think Animals are the universe's way of making sure we remember what's important in life. Yours sound wonderful. Funny how they each have as distinct personalities as humans (sometimes even more so). :) Thanks for posting!

      Delete
  2. Anna, wonderful post! I struggle with that elusive balance thing every single day. I'm not sure it's possible for me and maybe I need to face the fact that I'm just "unbalanced" Lol. My life revolves around my pets. I have a Garfield-like wiener dog--he's literally attached to my hip or on my lap at all times. He was a rescue dog and has some issues, but he is the light of my life. My husband and I are constantly amazed at how something so small can hog so much bed space. We also have a sweetheart goofball of a border collie. Our fur-babies do indeed remind me everyday of what's really important!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fur!babies rule! And I love the the idea of a group of us going through life unbalanced together ...I'll be in good company. And rescue animals have even more of that special quality--as if they understand they've been saved. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. Anna, having heard Snickers on the other end of our Skyping critique sessions, I know she always reminds you to take a breath. My Tally is the same way. She reminds me we need to go outside, take a walk, or simply get out of the chair. I've never had a dog who was such a talker (so many different sounds - whines, sighs, groans, growls, yips). Thanks for the reminder that although the pressure builds, we've got outlets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mel, I still think we need to set up a play date with Tally and Snickers--and film it. We'd be the hit of YouTube! :)

      Delete
  4. Snickers sounds adorable! I have two dogs and a cat named Angel who is anything but! Still- they each have their own personalities and they brighten every day :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Karen! I had a cat before named Angel as well! Sadly, while she lived to almost 20, she was well, not the brightest bulb in the socket . I bet yours gets her kick out of "playing" with the dogs, right? :) Thank you for stopping by. :)

      Delete
  5. Hi Anna:) My husband had cats when I moved in-two that lived with him permanently, and two that he had visiting rights to lol:) So we sometimes had four in the house which was crazy...then I made the mistake of walking into an animal shelter with a friend one day and what do you know-I brought home a new kitten:) Unfortunately, we lost the oldest cat last month, but we still have two. However, my three year old son wanted a puppy, so he's decided to treat the kitten as a puppy. He is training him to roll over and give a paw-it's too hilarious and oddly enough-it's working. I have a kitten that actually listens to commands from my son-no one else lol:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jen, is that Lionel? I thought that was the cutest name ever. My office used to be my granddaughter's bedroom for a while and I had put up a poster for her with the photo of a kitten looking at itself in the mirror and seeing a lion. It reads "What matters most is how you see yourself." I bet the reflected kitten is Lionel!

      Delete
    2. lol, Muriel-you're probably right:) He certainly thinks that he is much bigger than he is. He's always attacking the older cat and he has the attitude that everyone should just love him and want to cuddle lol.

      Delete
    3. LOVE this story, Jennifer--and you are SO brave for walking into a shelter. I can't imagine how I could survive it without bringing them all home. My first 3 cats were shelter rescues...Taffy I had for 21 years, Angel was 20 (who came a few months after we lost Taffy) and then I had Gypsy, who was overloaded with personality, but she died at 14). We swore we wouldn't do another one, then encountered Snickers at a Thanksgiving get together, LOL. I think she claimed us--much like your cat has with your son. :) Sounds like you ahve quite the menagerie! Thanks for stopping by today.

      Delete
  6. I love to hear about other peoples animals. We have a special little dog who goes everywhere with us. He even has a bar stool at the local pub. Your Snickers sounds lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww, Eleanor! He has his own bar stool! That's so funny and fun! They really do become like our kids, don't they? Thanks for posting. :))

      Delete
  7. Anna, I tried to leave a comment earlier, but after I had it all typed it said error and got eaten. I love your kitty's name--so cute as is the photo. I haven't had animals since I lost my last cat. It's just too hard. I'm content, now, to put them in my books for my characters to enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Roz! Thanks for posting again (sorry the blog ate your previous comments). It is devastating to lose one, isn't it? I remember the day we had to put Taffy (my first cat down) after having her for 21 years--I was in college and had just had to read a book where a character killed a cat...can you say devastated?! We often worry how hard it will be when we lose Snickers, but for now, the joy of having her outweighs the worry. I wouldn't miss these days for anything. In fact, she was sitting by the front door waiting for me to come home this afternoon--not only does she come running at the can opener, but also the garage door, LOL.

      Delete
  8. Hi, Anna, My current pet pal is Billy, a wire-haired fox terrier. He's the 7th one I've owned of this breed. I am totally hooked on them and would have no other. He's an older dog, adopted from the kennel where he spent the first 10 years of his life being a show dog. He's very sweet and follows me around the house keeping me company in whatever I'm doing. Pets are wonderful. I'm so thankful for mine.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I LOVE this post! Both because of all the great pet stories and also because you had me sighing with relief that I'm not the only one who needs to just turn off sometimes (a lot lately lol). My life and writing don't coexist peacefully at all...especially the past few months...but I agree with you about feeling so lucky and blessed to have both.

    As for pets...LOL. It's no secret that I have quite a few and each one helps me either decompress or see things from a different perspective (hmmm...through the eyes of a dog ;). But my latest additons, the chicks I got in March, have really helped me to relax and they got me through some recent stressful events. There's just something about fluffy baby chicks...and even now that they've grown...watching them forage and interact with one another somehow helps a person that the important things in life are simple and basic and that so much that clutters our minds doesn't really matter. Of course, deadlines do LOL ;).

    ReplyDelete