I have, literally, a ton of writing to get to over here. Need to get some new pages written for the Pearl Bailey play, then do a huge amount of revisions on the TV pilot. All of it preferably done yesterday, so…
What better way to spend this busy moment than by posting more photos of my cats???
This is Scottie in various stages of kittendom last spring and summer. Scottie is one of Tommy’s babies, the sister of Francis-the-scamp.
Scottie is a sweet-natured tabby, but more on the side of feral than semi-feral. She rarely even ventures upstairs. She hangs out in the sun room, the family room, or up in the rafters in the unfinished part of the basement. She’s very, very pretty, if also very shy.
My housemate surprised me this morning. During the night he had put out a birthday cake with candles, a vase of tulips, and some Edith Head collectible paper dolls! What a COOL thing to find in the kitchen at 5 AM. Really, it made my day and the day was just getting started.
The cats got together and had a sculpture of me made out of old stinky fish parts. I will treasure it forever! It is truly amazing how much it really does look just like me!
Okay, just kidding about that particular bit, but really I am having such a nice birthday. The Monty Python show on Sunday was so fun, then lunch with my cousin yesterday, and today (my birthday — 54!!) is all about taking it easy and eating cake! (I do have to take a writing webinar this afternoon but I guess that’s a birthday gift I’m giving myself & my career, so I’ll look on it like that and not like it’s work.)
Some of you know that I am working on a one-woman musical play about Pearl Bailey for an actress in New York City, and I am sort of at an impasse with the script.
I’m not totally worried because every script, or novel, or short story, or memoir I’ve ever written has been full of impasses that I eventually worked through. Yet while one is happening, it sometimes seems oddly permanent. There will never be anything more than these few pages, etc., etc.
I’ve been a professional writer now for 33 years already, so on some level I know that no block is permanent unless I decide it’s permanent, but this little 12 minute audio on youtube, from an Abraham Hicks workshop, really did something fantastic to my psyche just now.
If you’re blocking anything, or just need inspiration for a terrific energy flow, give it a listen. 12 fun minutes that will be wisely spent!
Have a great Sunday, wherever you are. (I have been to church already, and later today, a friend is taking me to see the final performance of the Monty Python reunion being broadcast live from London today as an early birthday present! So while I’m sitting here waiting for the festivities to unfold, I’m staring at some rather empty pages of the soon-to-be manifested play…)
Okay, onward, gang!! Thanks for visiting today! See ya.
I think what I love most about this new blog is its obscurity. It has renewed my desire to blog again. I can write about anything I want to write about, which these days, is mostly my love of cats and my love of God.
My last blog averaged 1700 readers a day. This blog averages 15! I don’t know who’s reading this blog, but the last blog was read by a lot of people I personally knew, from good friends to ex-friends, lovers to ex-lovers, colleagues, family, friends of family members, and then a bunch of unknown fans of my erotic fiction from all over the world. The more personally I knew the people, the less inclined I felt to really be free with my blog post topics as time went on. I got really tired of certain people looking over my shoulder, but look, they did.
I actually fell in love with a man that I met through my blog. For 4 solid years, he was the center of my universe. But since this past March, we couldn’t be further apart. Ideologically, we really shifted away from each other. He loved my cats, but not my ministry. He couldn’t understand it at all and treated me like I was out of my mind.
Nothing endears me more to a man than to have him treat me like I’m nuts… Especially when it has to do with something as fundamental to me as my beliefs about the nature of reality. Well, on we go.
Even though it was really jarring to have GoDaddy discontinue supporting my blog software so suddenly after 7 solid years, and then have my RedRoom blog go under the following week, after 7 years, as well, it is nevertheless refreshing to be starting anew; to attract new eyes, new readers, new energy.
At the end of this year, my ministry will officially launch, and then my primary blogging will shift over to that website, and the other blogs connected to that. It will mostly be video talks with me, and podcasts — not a whole lot of blogging. Overall, I guess it is all about change. This year has been kind of amazing in that regard. From my writing projects to my ministry. I find that a lot is up in the air now, but it’s all GOOD. Good, good, stuff going on these days, gang. I could not be more at peace.
Hope you are having a peaceful Saturday, wherever you are, folks! I leave you with a shot of Francis. Francis is a veritable wild beast, trapped in a tiny body. She was the most unadoptable kitten you ever saw. She was definitely one of the kittens that I was told to have euthanized; that she was never going to be tame, never going to be adoptable, so i should just go ahead and have her killed. But here it is a year later and she’s having a wonderful life. We make do. Joyfully.
First, let go of everything you think you believe. That’s a great starting point. I’ll give you a moment to figure out how to do that…
(tick, tock, tick, tock)
Okay, got it figured out? Good! (Honestly, that part took me about 53.9 years, but I did finally figure it out.)
Next, stop reading or listening to or watching the news. Everything you need to know — trust me, the Universe is going to make sure you find out about it. The rest of the news is 99.9% bad and there is nothing you can do about it. Stop impeding your joy simply because news broadcasters want more advertising dollars than you can possibly imagine. Seriously, try it. I stopped reading and watching the news about 25 years ago and yet I still manage to be informed about the things I need to know. It just happens.
Third, learn how to say “NO” to things that don’t enrich your life or make you happy. And that includes relationships, working at a job you hate. Or even being forced to buy health insurance.
Then, drink more water, breathe more deeply, and meditate about 15 minutes a day. (If you like guided meditations, here’s one I really like.)
Also, make an effort to drink your morning tea or coffee outside under a tree or under the morning sky and commune with the Source that sustains you so joyfully. Give thanks. It’s funny how much more time you will suddenly have every morning.
And then you know what else I do that really helps me have a great day, every day? I say “yes” to life, whatever life brings. Just say “yes” and see what happens. (You might find that amazing creatures come into your world to stay! You never know, gang!)
Okay, thanks for dropping by. Have a terrific Friday, wherever you are!
I just wanted to take a minute to plug a friend’s new book, gang. If you enjoy historical fiction that’s meticulously researched, and if you love murder mysteries that just pile on more and more and MORE mystery, I really think you will enjoy this book.
It takes place during the era of Jack the Ripper in London, and there are also some really great sections in Paris that center around the Eiffel Tower, which is still under construction in the book. There are political uprisings and mysterious murders and illegal grave-digging and kidnapping and sword fighting and ghosts and madhouses and an illicit romance, and also all that gory Jack the Ripper stuff. Oh yes, and fast pursuit and gun shots on a train!
It got off to kind of a slow start, because it is completely written in the tone of a bored upper class Englishman from the 19th Century. It took a chapter for me to get into that voice. But all of the sudden, the story just took off and then I couldn’t put it down. It was a really FUN read to get lost in. And it is the first in a trilogy, so I am really looking forward to the next installment, which I heard is due in March 2015.
Heirs of Glory just came out this week. You can buy it in paperback, hardcover or Kindle at this link.
As promised!! A much-anticipated photo of another one of my cats!!
Wait, no. That wasn’t what I promised, was it? But let me first tell you how ridiculously hard it is to get a photo of Lucie, so you are really blessed today. She is semi-feral and will run like the blazes from anyone holding a camera, even if the camera looks like a harmless iPhone.
The above photo was taken with said iPhone, from pretty far away, which is why it is so blurry, blown up like this. You’ll probably just have to take my word for it that Lucie is one gorgeous cat. She is 15 months old, and I’m hoping that as the years go by, she might grow to be tame. I’m not holding my breath, but we can always hope. Because hope is what, gang? That’s right: It is 100% FREE!!
A quick update on the halogen lamp. It appears to be completely dead. So one of these days here soon, I will have to break down and buy a new floor lamp. I hate to do it because I will be moving to a new house sometime within the next year and I hate to decorate an entire house around a single floor lamp, so my other option is to just spend good money on a really boring lamp that will blend into any future decor down the road.
In the meantime, though, I have a ton of reading to do for school this week, not to mention I have a play I have to write, and I really can barely see a thing here in this cave of a room.
Okay, I promised yesterday to help you with the flea problem you might be having right now with either your feral colony, or just your regular house cats. There are two ways to go: chemical or natural, and I recommend combining both if you can tolerate chemicals at all.
First, if the problem is indoors, vacuum. Then, use this miracle spray!!
It is a little expensive so check online for a good price. Right now, California Pet Pharmacy has it on sale for $14.50 plus shipping, for 16 oz., which is a great price. My vet charges $27 plus tax. But this stuff is the BEST. You spray it on everything, let it dry (about 20 minutes or so) and then everyone, including pets, can go back into the sprayed area. You don’t need to cover things, you don’t need to vacate the premises for hours. It lasts for 7 MONTHS, and even if eggs hatch in the area, new fleas will not live.
It is not an overpowering chemical smell, either. The smell goes away pretty quickly. If you are dealing with an indoor infestation, it is still best to vacuum at least once a week.
Next, dealing with fleas on cats. With ferals, I recommend Capstar Pills, crushed up in wet food, at least once a week. They are flavorless. The cats will eat the food and not eat around the medication. (Here is a link to 1800petmeds, but they are slightly higher than what my vet charges, so check with yours.)
This will get expensive, but these pills kill any living fleas on the cats within an hour. It does not kill eggs or prevent further infestation, which is why it gets expensive. But if you can afford to give them the pills once a week, within 6 to 8 weeks you can get the infestation under control. But you have to make sure that the area they live in has also been sprayed, to help prevent further infestation.
I also recommend crushing up a brewer’s yeast w/garlic tablet for cats in their food everyday. A lot of people will warn against the garlic, but the garlic is in trace amounts, and really what you’re weighing it against is a constant flea and/or tick infestation on the cats for the rest of their lives, which isn’t any healthier. The tablets are really affordable and the cats love the taste of them.
These things work, gang. But you’ve got to be vigilant with a long-term repellent method, like the brewer’s yeast w/garlic pills daily. The reason I can only recommend the chemical approach with ferals is because the spray and the capstar pills do not require getting anywhere near the cats themselves. If you deal with ferals you know that it is impossible to get close enough to them to apply anything to their fur, let alone –[insertuproarious laughter here] — give them a bath!
Tomorrow, I’ll post about the natural products that work well for my tame house cats. In the meantime, have a terrific Tuesday, gang, wherever you are!! Thanks for visiting.
I know that in many ways, I am a hopeless cliche. I am a writer, a female, and I love cats. (I love all animals, but that inches outside of the cliche, for the moment.)
If you are new to this new blog that I’ve had for about 6 minutes, you don’t know the history of why I have so many darn cats. I’m not going to go into the whole drama of it right now, but to sum it up: A neighbor abandoned a litter of three kittens and then moved away. The kittens took up residence in my backyard 2 summers ago. I was finally able to rescue the kittens and bring them indoors just before Christmas that year, but they used the cozy warmth of being indoors at Christmas to surprise me with two litters of feral kittens before I could trap them and get them to the vet to be fixed.
Last summer was a nightmare of feral, mostly unadoptable kittens. Even though I had gotten all of them fixed, gotten them all their shots, got them injected with those chips in case they got loose, etc., feral kittens, in constant contact with feral parents, become feral the longer you keep them, no matter how much you handled them as babies. Okay. Very long story short; rather than opting to have them all euthanized, I chose to keep the unadoptable ones with me and give them a loving home and a good life.
Now, of course, I can’t imagine life without them. They are beautiful, personable, and whacky. And all are in various stages of becoming less feral. It occurred to me, though, that since this is the height of unadoptable-kitten season, maybe I should post some of the sanity-saving things I learned about life with feral kittens and cats.
Over the next couple days, I will post things I’ve learned that could make your life a lot easier if you are in that situation of having a bunch of kittens you weren’t planning on, especially feral ones.
I will start by saying : RESIST THE URGE TO PUT KITTENS (or any other small animals) UP FOR FREE ADOPTION ON CRAIGSLIST!! Please, please, please investigate any and all other agencies . Kittens and other small animals are used as bait in illegal dogfights. Keep them clear of craigslist, unless you personally screen every single person wanting to adopt a kitten, and get check-able references, then check them. Preferably, even take the kitten to its new home yourself, to be extra sure it is going to a real new home.
That said… Today, I’ll start with the most important step: Trapping. Either go to Home Depot and buy a raccoon-sized humane trap, or see if you have an animal hospital or cat rescue agency in your area that will let you borrow traps from them. Each trap costs about $50, so if you borrow a trap from someone, return it when you’re done.
Don’t feed the kittens or cats. Place the trap in an area where they commonly go. Bait the trap — what worked best for me were pieces of rotisserie chicken, or boneless sardines packed in oil or water. Set the trap and place the bait at the far inside end.
I had the most luck when I draped the trap with a bed sheet. Cover the entire trap, except the entryway, with an old sheet. This helps keep the cat from becoming completely terrified once the trap springs and they are stuck inside it. It also keeps them from lashing out at you from inside the cage. I learned this the hard way. I absolutely recommend a bed sheet.
You know, even if you have tame house cats that are afraid to go to the vet, draping a sheet or towel completely over their carrier once you get them in it, will calm them way down, right away.
Hopefully, you have an ASPCA or cat rescue agency in your area that can help you get the cats fixed at little or no cost to you. Usually they include rabies shots and ear tipping for ferals. The ear tipping is for ferals that will be returned to the wild. A tiny nick in their ear will let people know those cats have already been spayed/neutered and will not reproduce.
That’s the basic first step. My next post will be about fleas. If you’re dealing with fleas right now, you’re probably wishing I was already posting about it, but I will come back ASAP and do that! I do actually have a life beyond my cats.
Meanwhile, keep calm and check out this most recent photo of Huckleberry — the first kitten who came to visit 2 years ago, and the cause of it all!
Of course I’m referring to the much-needed, very bright halogen floor lamp that I desperately need to see by while I sit here at my otherwise dark little desk — and, as all halogen floor lamps go, they eventually get to that stage where they come on when and if they feel like it!
Mine is at that stage. I say prayers over this thing: “Please, God, let the light come on. I need it so badly right this very minute!” And then it either comes on or it doesn’t. But mostly, it comes on, and it is the best light to write by. Which is why I keep putting off buying a new one.
But today, when I had a whole day set aside to work on the Pearl Bailey play I’m writing, did it come on? Did I pray a lot? Did I get very frustrated and then try calming down and ignoring it, to see if ignoring it would work better? Did it stay overcast and rainy today, to make it doubly-hard to see anything at my desk? Has the light yet come on??
Answers: No. Yes. Yes. And yes. And no.
It doesn’t keep me from working on the play, but not being able to see does add a bit of tension that I could do without. I’m at one of those spots in the play where I sit and stare at blank space on the page, wondering what the heck is going to fill it. Some sort of English language words, no doubt, but that’s about as much as I can guess right now. So any additional tension is not exactly welcome right this minute.
On other writing fronts, though, the TV pilot I wrote seems to really have some legs. I will of course keep you posted, gang, but it really is starting to look like it is going to get made. Honestly.
And on that happy note, have a great rest of your Sunday, wherever you are! Thanks for visiting, gang. See ya real soon.
Oh, I leave you with a photo of a cat — just ’cause I’ve got an awful lot of them!