Category Archives: cats

Serendipity teaser



I’m having a tough time writing the sequel to Serendipity & Me. Not sure if it’s because I’m doubtful of its publication chances, or what. But maybe by posting one of the first poems in the new manuscript I’ll get motivated. So here it is, (although I can’t get the correct indentations to work here):

I ask Dad,

Does Lola hate animals?


Of course not, he says.

Who really hates animals?

            But I saw a dog approach her once

            and she went the other way.


I guess they’ve never had the conversation.

The one I expect to have someday with anyone

who will be important in my life.

The one about What Is Your Favorite Animal

and How Many of Them Do You Plan on Caring for?


My answer right now would be cats

and a gazillion.

But maybe when I’m older

I’ll be more realistic about the number.



Dad takes my silence

for disapproval.

It’s just that I think she might be nervous

                        about animals.

            I don’t want to scare her off.


The thought of Lola

makes me nervous.

I wonder if he gave any thought

to that.






Cat poem for fall






This picture is actually of Murray, and the poem was written about him. But as I was trying to get a poetry collection together, the name “Tigger” seemed to fit this poem better. I did have a cat named Tigger when I was a child. He was the only offspring of our cat, Thomasina, who we kept. For awhile. Until Thomasina decided it was time for him to leave the nest.

This is fall in Indiana in my neighborhood. I wish I could have snapped a picture of Murray being his crazy leaf-chasing tornado self. He looks rather staid here.



Serendipity Sequel: Part Two


For my readers who are excited about a sequel–thanks so much for your enthusiasm. It motivates me to get this written. Your keenness inspires me to do my best so that hopefully I can give you another story that you will love.


I can’t look at your ideas for a sequel, though. It needs to come from a clear space within me. But just the idea that someone is so eager to know what happens next that they start writing it themselves is very gratifying.


Writing prompt?

Feel free to write your own sequel and post it on your own space. And I’ll do my best to get my version of what happens next to Sara and Serendipity into the world as soon as possible.

Stirred to work harder….


Serendipity Sequel?


Some readers in the past have asked me to write a sequel to Serendipity and Me. I didn’t say no, but I didn’t say yes, either. Until recently, I didn’t feel any compulsion to write a sequel.

Now, suddenly, I do. I don’t know why or where it came from. I think I just woke up one morning and went, “Oh, that’s what happens next.” And because it’s a story with characters that I love, they are goading me forward. They are telling me, “This is our story. Make sure you write it down.” And so I’ve started.

The kitten that arrived after Serendipity was already written is making writing easier. She is such a wild, weird creature that there’s all sorts of new cat material to incorporate into this manuscript.


When will I be a media star?

I don’t know how many of her antics I’ll use, but I’m happy for the inspiration.



What? You said you needed inspiration….

The problem with getting a novel published…


The problem with getting a novel published, finally, is you can’t revise it anymore. There comes a time when the editor says, “Okay, that’s it. Off to the printer.” And everything you might want to change that you haven’t thought of yet will never get changed. That’s it, baby. You are finished.


Serendipity & Me, Viking, 2013

Serendipity & Me, Viking, 2013

The kitten that arrived months after my kitten novel was released really brings home this point. I wrote that novel based on many memories of ghosts of Cats-mas past, plus the ones that lived with me at the time. But it had been a few years since any of them were kittens.

Three of the four cats at the time...

Three of the four cats at the time…

This new kitten not only brought the essence of kitten-ness much closer, but she is such a wild child that the kitten in the book could have been so much more….I hesitate to fill in that blank. Because I love my fictional kitten Serendipity. But my new kitten (now almost a cat) Katniss, well. Let me give you an example.

If I can just squeeze in here...

If I can just squeeze in here…

...a little more...

…a little more…

Ta dah!

Ta dah!

What are YOU lookin' at?

What are YOU lookin’ at?

This isn’t even a very good example. It’s just the only one I was able to get semi-action pictures of. (Although you can see a video of Katniss rescuing her stuffed mammoth from the top of a dresser on my Facebook page here.)

Katniss is like no other cat I’ve ever known. She carries stuffed animals half her size around in her mouth, drags them upstairs and down. She has this strange motion when she’s drinking water from a cup–left paw to the right lower side of the cup, batting at who knows what. She’s quite adept at catching flies between her two paws. And apparently her dream is to fly, evidenced by the height to which she jumps whenever the mood takes her.

So now I have the perfect cat to base an intriguing cat character on.  But unfortunately, that novel ship has already sailed.

Or maybe another novel about a cat isn’t too much…?

You talkin' about me?

You talkin’ about me?





Kitten update


It’s time to continue the kitten saga….

I got lucky–the college boy didn’t take the new kitten away. He did name her, however. He didn’t like “Skitters,” but he found a name that was close enough in sound to match the skitteriness of this kitty, and it’s literary. Katniss.

Am I not adorable?

Am I not adorable?

She’s also called Rumba because when she was smaller she’d get in every possible tiny place (including scary basement ones) and come out with spiderwebs on her whiskers. She doesn’t fit in as many spaces anymore.

Yes, I got up here all by myself. I've got ups.

Yes, I got up here all by myself. I’ve got ups.

The cornfield boys have gotten more than used to her–they might think she’s a diversion we got just for their amusement. It’s not unusual to see them staring wide-eyed as she gets up to her antics…things they never thought of (like digging for treasure in the porcelain sink or jumping up six feet to cling to the curtains), or things they know they can’t get away with (like traversing all the surfaces that might hold food in the kitchen or demanding to sleep under our covers with us).

Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of her doing her wild stuff. She moves too fast. But here is proof that she’s in with the boys.

It's okay if I hang out with you guys, right?

It’s okay if I hang out with you guys, right?

katniss and max



Like Sara with Serendipity, there’s a new baby in the house.


We were on the porch eating dinner when we heard the sounds of a kitten in distress. My son (Corey), his friend and I raced outside and found her across the street, in the bushes leading down to the river. She was far from any houses on that side of the street. We came to the conclusion (from the scrape on her chin) that she’d been thrown from a car, left to fend for herself. She seemed scared to be alone and came to us gratefully.

We brought her in the house and she made herself at home. My son said he’d take her to college with him. I thought that was a good idea. At the time. Now she’s been here a week and I can’t imagine how it will feel to have her gone.


I would tell you her name, but my son has yet to name her and he won’t let me do it. (Her name is Skitters. Don’t tell him I said that.)

Here is an odd thing: Corey’s cat died of extreme old age in May. Princess was an unusual-looking cat. Technically a calico, but with less white than they usually have. This new kitten, except for her face, could be a twin to Princess. She even walks the same way.


We miss Princess and we’re very grateful for such a perfect replacement.

Although the cornfield boys aren’t too happy about it….