11 November 2013

Tips for Staying On The Writing Track...Oh, Look! A Kitty.

We all know how hard it is to stay on ANY track during the holidays.

The Eating Right train jumps right off the rails.

Making Daily Word-Count train hits all sorts of delays. Hey, Eating Right train, move your sluggish caboose!

Exercise to Fit in the Skinny Jeans train is held back at the station on account of weather and it's too flippin' cold to put the miles in.

For me, keeping to a writing schedule is going to be even harder this holiday season due to the addition of a new family member. Her name? The Cat. I know, highly original. I've called her many things like Monkey (when she's in one of her crazy moods and climbs up my leg), Devil (for the times she attacks me), Pretty Girl, Goofball, and Mystery. My boys call her The Cat and that name stuck.

The Cat used to be wild. She showed up one day, hunting in the field behind our house. Early in the morning, she'd wander into our fenced yard and our old dog would chase her out. When we tried to get near her, she took off. She was a true scaredy cat. But this was a good thing. Being cautious had kept her alive in the wilds of our neighborhood.

One day, my youngest son told me that he wanted to try to make friends with the wild cat. This is the same boy who has wanted a cat his entire life, but because our front yard butts up to a busy street and because we have coyotes in the area, we have always told him "sorry, no." It's a dangerous place for a cat.

I was worried about the kitty in the field.

We put dog food in a plate. The Cat was hungry, but she was also afraid. She wouldn't come when we were outside. We went in and watched her from the window. She woolfed the dog food like it was going out of style. Slowly we opened the door, but when she saw us, she skeedaddled. Here is a picture of her that's blurry because she was in a constant state of  motion. The shoes give you and idea of how small she was.

A little while later we put more food out and my son and I sat down near the plate. She ate quickly, keeping her eyes on us. Slowly, she approached. I didn't reach out to touch her, but I spoke softly. Several minutes later, she touched me. I petted her head. She jerked back, but came in again. We got to know one another and she let me pick her up.  I wish I had video of this because I have never seen anything like it. In my arms, she wouldn't hold still--love me, stroke me, here, now here, and here...Don't stop! She was starved for love and physical contact.

She curled up into me so tight, purring like a machine. She was amazingly light. With all that fur, I had no idea she was so skinny. I could feel her bones. I called my husband and told him we had a cat. My son was overjoyed.

We didn't bring her in at first. She was really afraid of going inside. But with lots of love and encouragement, she eventually did venture in for a few minutes as long as we kept the door open. And now? Well, see for yourself.

This is The Cat asleep on my hubby.

Here she is asleep on her favorite soft blanket on the couch.

And here she is awake.

I wanted to show you this one so that you could see her long ear hair. Amazing, right? 

She sleeps in the garage at night right next to....drum roll....The Dog. Seriously, this wild cat who used to be terrified of the dog who chased her everyday is now sleeping next to him. Sometimes they rub noses.

Is she still a scaredy cat? Yes. Loud noises completely freak her out. And if anyone visits us she won't come into the house. She peeks her nose through the door, smells foreigners and disappears for days. The vet agreed that she was a wild cat. 

But with us? She's family.

So how will I stay on track and keep writing during the holiday season? With The Cat on my lap.

Kimberley Troutte

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