an only child no more …

When I was four years old my mother had an ectopic pregnancy. Although it’s unusual she couldn’t conceive after that. It seems her remaining fallopian tube had been badly damaged in the process and was permanently blocked.

My parents had always wanted more children and, after giving it a lot of thought, considered adopting. They asked me if I’d like a brother or sister.

Instead, I asked for a dog.

Alas it took many years and a lot of emotional blackmail before my mother gave in to my request. If you must know I played the “poor-me-the-only-child” card. My father pled Continue reading

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A little shameless self promotion …

Forgive me, I don’t often do this (self promote). But I’ve wanted to do more logo-footer
editorial writing for years. And as many of you know, it’s easier said than done for all kinds of reasons.

What I’ve discovered is, there’s a separation between church and state — in other words, the editors of most magazines and newspapers don’t care how long you’ve been writing advertising copy, it doesn’t make you a Continue reading

Why can’t we be more like animals?

Animals are so uncomplicated. They don’t ask for much. They needpals fresh food and water every day. They have to be walked. Their litter boxes have to be clean (or God help you.) And it goes without saying they need their annual physicals and shots.

But that’s just about it when it comes to maintenance.

All they really ask is that you love them. And they love you right back. Their love is simple Continue reading

I’m in the dog house …

Bartlett, one of my cats, is pissed off with me.  Majorly so; and he’s giving me the cold shoulder.  I catch him giving me dirty looks BartlettBlogMay23sometimes, too.  Trust me, he’s very good at letting me know where I stand.  Which at this moment in time is very low on his top-ten list of favourites.

I didn’t do anything per se, I swear.

Thing is, when I worked full time he was used to not having me around all the time.  But in the six or so years I’ve been freelancing he’s become accustomed to me being home a lot more.

If I was going to be really honest with you, which apparently I am, I’d admit there are some days I don’t go out at all.  There are some days I’m so busy writing I don’t ever get out of my Continue reading

What is it about some people?

Have you ever wondered why it is you like some people and can’t stand others?  And vice versa, I’m sure.  I’m not talking about people you know pretty well dislikeand develop an aversion to at some point, for some reason.  The answer to that is obvious.  I’m talking about people you barely know, or even those you’ve never met– and still, they rub you the wrong way.

You know, dislike on first sight.  Or even without sight.  Just plain dislike.

Do they send off some sort of scent that’s off-putting?  Or pheromones?  Really bad vibes?  Do they have an aura about them?

Logically it makes no sense.  How can you not like someone you don’t know?  And yet
it happens, at least to me.

Take Margaret Wente, for example.  She’s an OpEd columnist for the Toronto Globe Continue reading

On a very short leash …

If you’ve got any four-legged family members living at your house you know very well I’m not talking about me keeping my animals on a tight rein. Absolutely myboysnot. Au contraire. In fact it is my two furry little beasts who have me on the leash. And a short one at that. Over a barrel. At their mercy. At their beck and call.

Yes. These two. Bartlett, on the left. Dark grey with the interesting white markings. And Sundance. Ginger and the more svelte of the two. I’m being kind. Bartlett is the size of an adult racoon. He weighs in at more than thirty pounds. Probably much more, but I can’t pick him up to put him on the scale. He’s way too heavy. And much as he loves to cuddle, he does not — I repeat NOT — like being picked up. By anyone. Even me.

I know, they look like butter would melt in their mouths. In all fairness, sometimes it would. “Some” being

Continue reading

Day 274. Writers’ Pets

James Joyce, Gay Talese and T.S. Elliot were inspired by cats.  While Rupert Pole, one of Anais Nin’s husbands, was inseparable from his beloved spaniel, Tavi.  He petswas so devoted to the dog, he (the dog) was the subject of many letters between them.  He (the husband), and the dog, lived on the west coast, while she was in New York.  Actually she was a very naughty girl.  She had two husbands at the same time.  Pole was one, Hugh Parker Guiler, the other.

Dickens had a raven named Grip, who sometimes showed up in the writer’s fiction.  Unfortunately he (the bird) swallowed a paint chip and died soon thereafter.

There must be something to it, because I write about my cats often.  And God knows, I’m devoted to them.  I’ve been called “crazy” more than a few times, I should tell you.  But reading “Literary Pets:  The Cats, Dogs, and Continue reading

Day 185. Cat Tales

How do you know when you’re delirious?  Are there tell-tale signs?  Because I think there’s some cause for alarm here.  I may finally have toppled over the edge.  Yup. talking cats One teeter too many.  And I tottered.  At least I think so.  You tell me.

I’ve got two cats.  Silly me.  You know that already.  From reading my blog.

Well, they’re both very different from each other.  Not surprising, really.  They didn’t even know each other before they came to live with me.  Why would they be alike?  That’s a misconception people have about cats, you know.  But it’s a topic for another day.

So.  One of my cats, Sundance, talks to himself all the time.  You know.  He mutters under his breath.  Except it’s quite loud.  And, depending on his mood or level of frustration it can get quite high-pitched.  The tone changes Continue reading

Day 90. Best Friends

I’ve written so many posts about cats, I’m wondering if, perhaps, you think that I don’t like dogs.  So I decided I’d set the record straight. Considering that today is “D”-day, this seems like the perfect time to tell you about my much-loved pooch, Tosca.

When I was four years old my mother had an ectopic pregnancy.  As a result of some damage to her remaining fallopian tube, she was unable to have more children.  My mom and dad, who were wonderful parents, had always wanted more than one child.  So thinking they might adopt, they asked me if I’d like a brother or a sister.  I told them I wanted a dog.

In the end, I remained an only child.  And it took three more years, until I was seven, to convince my mother to let me have a pet.  She knew, although both my dad and I both Continue reading