Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Life Imitates Art by Leigh Riker



I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend. After a lovely trip East to see family several weeks ago, my holiday at home was relatively quiet—even with the nightly displays of fireworks from across the valley on the opposite ridge from my little mountain. It’s quite a show. I love fireworks! And, for some reason, although many pets are traumatized by them, my cat doesn’t seem to mind the noise.
           

Which brings me to Daisy again. A few months ago I blogged about her near-brush with death after taking medication that didn’t agree with her. Since then, she has been feeling much better—except for some disturbing tremors and quick seizures. An MRI showed nothing abnormal. More blood work was done too. Daisy’s first lab work a few months ago had returned negative for a common parasite. But this time the test came back positive for toxoplasmosis.

This is where the old saying “art imitates life” gets turned around. I’m writing a new miniseries for Heartwarming called Kansas Cowboys, and I recently delivered the first book to my editor. In The Reluctant Rancher, when my pregnant heroine befriends an abandoned kitten—wait for it—someone warns her that she and her baby are at risk of getting the same parasite that now, in real life, has infected my Daisy. The tremors can be part of that.

In my first draft of the book, I’d forgotten that pregnant women shouldn’t clean a litter box; but they can also pick up the parasite from, among other things, infected garden soil. Of course there’s a planting flowers scene in my book so I had to adjust that too. Maybe the information from my research—an added feature—will alert someone else to the dangers of toxoplasmosis.

In the meantime, Daisy is on a month-long course of antibiotics, which I hope will take care of the problem. Whether she will still have those tremors and brief seizures remains to be seen but they’re already less frequent.



Was this all a coincidence? Or, as Oscar Wilde once said, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” I can’t say but I’m feeling a bit spooked. From now on, I’m going to be more careful about the troubles I give my fictional characters. I don’t want that entering my real life! I think Daisy agrees. See her now enjoying a sunbath.

Have you ever experienced a “coincidence” that was just too close for comfort?


The Reluctant Rancher will be released in October. I’ll give a signed copy, either paperback or e-book of my current title, Lost and Found Family, to someone who leaves a comment here. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

25 comments:

  1. Oh, Leigh, I am so happy to hear that Daisy is feeling better, and I hope she will be back to 100% health once she finishes with the antibiotics.

    Best wishes with your work in progress!

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    1. Thanks, Kate. I'm very relieved that she's doing so much better.

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  2. Of course, now that I'm trying to think of one, I can't, but I always enjoy what coincidences can bring to a story. Oh, I do remember one time when I was a kid... Our phone was "out" for whatever reason. No dial tone. No nothing. We had a party line with eight or nine people on it. It was the weekend and the weather was bad and all was boring. At the very same time, my friend a mile or so away and I picked up our phones and said "Hello?" We talked all afternoon and didn't bother anyone because no one could dial out.

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    1. Ha. A party line!! Wow, instant flashback. My first phone number just flashed in my mind. Hadn't thought of that in a long time.You were ahead of your time, Liz, two friends chatting all day without iPhones.😀

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    2. Lol. And I should have added and didn't that I hope Daisy's doing fine. It sounds as though she's making progress.

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  3. Aw...I'm so sorry to hear about, Daisy. I hope she continues to show improvement with the antibiotics. Good luck with your new series, Leigh!

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    1. Thanks twice, Jill. I'm very excited to start this new series.

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  4. Hoping and Praying that the meds work for her and can not wait for a new cowboy series to hit the shelves!!

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    1. Your prayers are very welcome, thanks. Hope you like the series and those Kansas Cowboys.

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  5. Hi, Leigh! Daisy's beautiful! So happy you found the problem and that the medication is helping with it. If you recall my stuck-in-the-dog-door blog of a year or more ago, I'd just recently written about a heroine whose grandfather's house was all locked up and she couldn't get a response to her knocks or calls - so she went in through the dog door to make sure he was okay. So, when I was locked out of our house, I went in through the dog door with less success than my heroine had. Of course, she was about a size 6, and I'm . . . not. Will ask St. Francis to take care of Daisy.

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    1. Love your dog door story, Muriel! What a creative solution to getting locked out. ☺️

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  6. I’d heard of the problem but never the name of the parasite. Scary. Hope Daisy’s condition improves.

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    1. Thank you, Marion. She is sitting on my lap right now, purring up a storm.

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  7. Leigh, I'm so glad to hear that Daisy is seemingly doing better with the medications. I have a friend who is dealing with cat scratch fever. A neighbor's cat she was holding got spooked and dug in claws for about six inches along her arm. Of course they don't sew these up even though one was very deep. She cleaned out the wounds and day by day they got worse. She's on third set of antibiotics and still loves the cat. Will be happy to read new cowboy stories.

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  8. Roz, your friend's condition is worrisome. I almost lost my younger son to cat scratch fever. It went to his brain. He went into a coma, alone in his house, and was lying there for days. A friend saved his life--and my son kept his cat for the rest of her life. He's fine. Hope your friend's third round of antibiotics cures her. Make sure it's the right med.

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  9. Leigh, I'm praying for Daisy that these antibiotics do the trick. I agree with Roz that Cat Scratch Fever is very dangerous. Even though I had cats nearly all my life and my son has had cats for nearly 20 years. Just love those little kitties.
    Anyway, I DO have a story. In KATIA'S PROMISE, I had Katia's boss move to Indian Lake and set up his insurance firm in a building on the corner of Main and Maple Boulevard. In the story, Jack's Insurance company's office was on the second floor. In real life there was a cardiologist's office up there. A year later, the cardiologist moved to Arizona and the second floor was vacant. However, on the first floor was a brand new STATE FARM INSURANCE OFFICE! I immediately emailed Claire, my editor, and told her. THAT was life imitating art. So, I'm saying Oscar was right.
    Good luck with your new series! I can't wait to read it.

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  10. Great story, Catherine! I bet Claire enjoyed it. I should tell her this one. Thanks for the prayers for Daisy. I keep posting about her but she keeps coming with problems. I hope you'll like the new series.

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  11. Beautiful cat! Is she a Ragdoll? I know you've probably said but I've slept since then. :-) I hope she gets better, too! Don't have a story...at least one I can remember, but I'm looking forward to reading your book.

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    1. Not a Ragdoll but I thought a Maine Coon. But maybe not that either. Probably just a longhair.

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  12. Daisy is so cute. I hope the antibiotics help her. My cat isn't bothered by fireworks either. I think maybe dogs are affected more. They probably sound extraordinarily loud to them.
    I can't think of a story of life imitating art at the moment, but if I think of one I'll come back and comment again. ( :

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    1. Thanks, Laurie. She does seem to feel better, judging by her appetite. 😌

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  13. One of my cats looks just like her! I hope she feels better soon!

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  14. Thank you, Rula. The doctor today said she is doing well. Maybe our cats are twins!

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  15. T Fordice, you're the winner! Message or post here your contact info and whether you want a paperback or ebook and I'll get it right to you.

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