journal

Cractpot Cat Lady

I started this blog over a year ago now.  For a lot of different reason initially.  I’ve always loved words.  I love to read them, I love to play with them, I love their power but I also love their beauty.  To use them to spin a story that inspired laughter brought the same kind of fulfillment I imagine artists feel when a painting pulls a smile out of the dark, or a musical instrument moves someone to tears. To create something that then creates something else; an emotion, a conversation or an idea?  Well, it’s a heady feeling.

StarryNight
The Starry Night, by Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh painted in June 1889, depicts the view from the window of his asylum room at Saint-Remy-de-Provence.

Of course originally, before I had any readers it was just me, scribbling stories all alone.  Then again, as parents, we’re never really alone, are we?  My thoughts are forever filled with these other phenomenal pieces of art that I created, that absolutely will go on to create something else, something wonderful.  The three people that embody the best parts of myself. A beautiful legacy.  My way of leaving the world a little brighter than I found it. 

 

My posts became the tangible evidence of something accomplished in a job where personal milestones and value are hard to hold onto.  Something measurable when all the rooms that I’ve cleaned inevitably fall back into disrepair.  Something that remained after the meals I’ve cooked are consumed and forgotten.  Something that would last when the injuries I’ve kissed have long since healed and the scars faded.

When I first started writing my memoirs I  worried if people would like them.  I sent them out into the world like I was throwing them off a cliff.  Closed eyes, deep breath and a little push without really knowing what I was getting into. With practice, like parenting, publishing has gotten a little easier. Time has introduced an amazing community with a wonderful support group with their arms outstretched, waiting to catch whatever I threw.

Unfortunately, like most things in my life,  when one part gets easier, I find a way to make another part harder.  The more accepting the blogging community was the more anxious I became.  The more praise  I received, the more I would spend the time between posting, panicking.  What if my last idea, was the very last good idea I ever had?  What if I never said anything funny ever again?  What if I ran out of meaningful words?  What if I ran out of value?

 Luckily my family always stepped in.  These brilliant amazing inspiring people that I have the privilege of raising were constantly providing writing material.  Just the other day we decided to head down to the animal shelter to adopt a feline friend.  The kids had been begging for a while, making solemn vows and offering to write up contracts that outlined their responsibilities  and their commitments to them.  Truth be told, I was definitely interested in inviting someone new into the house to love.  A brand new baby for me to raise and cuddle?  It wasn’t a hard sell.  On the morning we decided to go, the Cractpot teenager was disgruntled that the plan was being implemented before noon.  She also expressed concern over having to wear pants.  It’s funny.  I can remember as a toddler she went through a stage where we couldn’t keep clothes on her body and somehow we’ve ended up back in the same place.  I worry sometimes that she’s going to become a hippie who runs off to join a nudist colony to spread peace, love and potentially sexually transmitted diseases until I remember how high her standards are …in people, and in hygiene (as demonstrated by her hour long showers).  I rest a little easier even if I do spend just a moment longer worrying about our rising hydro bills.  200_sThe point is, she decided not to come choose the newest member of our family and trusted us to find the perfect new Cractpot whom she promised to love unconditionally.  A little perturbed, I rallied the rest of the crew to try to convince her to take part, but to no avail. 

“So let me get this straight.  You, who have spent weeks pleading for a kitten, promising to care for said kitten, and be responsible for said kitten, cannot even get herself out of bed to go choose said kitten?  I’m very disappointed!”

“You’re disappointed?”, youngest Cractpot piped up, “I’m disappointed! How come I never get to help choose the name of our new pet and who came up with Sed?”

As usual, there were  a few moments of confusion.  I tried to explain that I had used the word Said, S_A_I_D,  as in “she said”, which of course led to the question, “who said?”  Before falling into an Abbott and Costello act of “Who’s on First” I explained that in that context, said was a synonym for aforementioned, or something mentioned before, which then evolved into a conversation about how many words our vocabulary provides for us to say what we mean, and yet how many times what we mean can still be misinterpreted. 

 As we lay on the bed giggling, I thought about how easy my kids make my job.  The problem is, parenting is a long game of strategy and when you win, you realize you’re not even on the field.   You’re a coach on the sidelines just trying your best to get your star athletes to recognize their potential.  Hopefully, when my team goes on to accomplish amazing things, my posts will be like photographs reminding the world that I was there, where it all started.   Or a play book that I can pass down to inspire other teams and future coaches as they try to figure out what works, and what doesn’t. 

Still, most days I feel less like a parent and more like a tour guide just pointing out places of interest along this incredible path they’ve chosen and the fact is, we’ve almost reached the end of our itinerary.  We’re getting to the stage when you send them out to explore on their own, and then what? What happens to the tour guide then? 

Of course I will always be here if they have a question and they will always have this handy brochure I have created in the form of a blog that I can pass around if they’ve forgotten any of my words of wisdom, but that still leaves a whole lot of time on my hands.

Maybe a kitten is just what I need, but then again, they have a word for a woman who get’s too invested in her cats so maybe I need something else as well.  All I know is that I still have this desire to leave the world a little brighter than I found it and while a cute kitten or two might be a good start, there has to be something more.  So if anybody has any light to shed on the subject, I’ll be here, sipping tea, feeling philosophical, pondering the meaning of life and trying to think of a name that’s a little cuter than Sed.  Until then, keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times…

and enjoy the ride…

T. 

 On my fortieth birthday, rather than merely bore my friends by having anything as mundane as a midlife crisis I decided it might be more interesting to actually terrify them by going completely mad and declaring myself to be a magician~Alan Moore 

 

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22 thoughts on “Cractpot Cat Lady

    1. Thank you! I love them! Unfortunately we’re all getting a little older, and I think it might be time to give up the ‘fan’ girl routine and find MY raison d’etre…or adopt a whole lot of animals…one of the two lol

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  1. I am way ahead of you in the Life stakes and I am *still* trying to find my raison d’être, I too thought I was leaving something behind for my children and grandchildren, until my son said that by then there probably won’t be an internet! Back to the drawing board…

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  2. Ps we got a lovely gentle rescue cat. They loved it. They left to go to university. I missed them terribly. The cat became my companion. They met and married their partners. The cat died. I was devastated all over again!

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  3. Oh good heavens that is a whole lot of devastating news to digest…I’d better go get some cookies if this is where the conversation is heading! Double chocolate fudge by the sounds of it :s

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  4. Wow! So glad you’re back. This was an incredibly well-crafted post. I can almost see the careful revisions, and decisions that went into each paragraph. I’m still enough of a rookie to deeply empathize with your fears over feedback (or worse) silence when I send my latest thoughts/creations hurtling into the abyss. I’m so glad you keep sharing with us here.

    Now, as your tour guiding responsibilities diminish, I’m looking forward to seeing what the next chapters hold. Maybe… this will mean there can be even more chapters.

    If so, I’ll be here to read and enjoy.

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  5. Thank you ❤ Sometimes it all feels a little too close to the teenage angst that I'm dealing with around here, but I find myself increasingly staring out the window and wondering what the next step is? I read your posts and smile wistfully at the thought of travelling and hiking and telling stories but I think I'm too similar to your wife in my appreciation of room service and long hot showers to really succeed at it. Any other ideas?

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  6. “My life has a superb cast, but I can’t figure out the plot.” ― Ashleigh Brilliant.
    I wonder if I’m having a midlife crisis? Or maybe it’s just spring fever…either way, I’m feeling restless…and the cookies aren’t helping *gasp*

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    1. At least now I can yell at my daughter to get her Sed out of bed and feel all scholarly. I’ll keep working on kitten names except now I’m distracted wondering if you’re fluent in Latin or did you just learn your favourite words?

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    1. We went to the shelter and we couldn’t find one that we all agreed on. There were no kittens at all which is great for the shelters but not so great for us even though rescuing a full grown cat might work too. On the bright side we did spend some time brushing and socializing some lonely cats and we’re keeping our eyes peeled for the next member of our family. Don’t you find, they seem to find you when the time is right?

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    1. You’re right. There are probably a lot of areas that would benefit from a shift of focus as well…like maybe spending a little more time trying to tame my hair instead of just throwing it up in a messy bun and a little less time agonizing over a synonym for create. I wonder what the messy bun equivalent is for writing?

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  7. Thank you! I always finish my posts with a quote. For a gal that tends to ramble quotes represent a perfect collection of concise words that summarizes what I just spend 1000 words trying to convey lol

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