You need it more than you think

Harper sleeping rough / Photo courtesy of the Author

We are a society of stressed-out people. There’s no doubt about it. Granted, a global pandemic hasn’t helped our stress levels. As a society, we put in a ton of hours at work and often come home exhausted. And we’ve spent over a year working from home, stressing out about the state of our health, the health of our wallets, and the health of our planet.

When it comes to relaxing, we could learn a thing or three from cats. I’m a self-professed cat lady and therefore have casually studied the napping habits of felines for over twenty years. This…

The World War I era through the eyes of those who lived it

Photo by Fraizer Dunleavy on Unsplash

Years ago, after my grandparents passed away, my mom went through the love letters they wrote during their courtship and the first year of their marriage. My grandparents met during the summer of 1917. My grandfather had just finished his first year at the Colgate Rochester Divinity School, He was in Bradford, Pennsylvania assisting with vacation bible school (VBS) at the church where my grandmother attended and she volunteered with the VBS.

They met and fell in love amid the gaslight-lined streets of Bradford, Pennsylvania. By the end of the summer, they were secretly engaged as my grandfather went back…

It will make you a better writer

Photo by Gunnar Ridderström on Unsplash

I’m currently working on a young adult novel that I hope to see published. I’m also an avid reader. I’ve found as I read books — novels to be specific — I read with a writer’s eye. I carefully study things like plot and character development. Sometimes if the book really sucks, I struggle to finish it. I do try to finish it though. I often learn more from bad books than I do from good ones.

These books usually have a few things in common that make it hard to finish. …

We never painted by the numbers, baby / but we were making it count

Taylor Swift singing into microphone
Taylor Swift singing into microphone
Image: Jana Zills, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The name Taylor Swift conjures up all different emotions. At times, she’s been known for who she’s dating as much as her music. Taylor’s been in and out of the news in recent years. She rose to popularity as a teenage country star, and at the height of that popularity, she switched to pop music. Her new indie album, Folklore, has sold 1.3 million copies in 24 hours. Through it all, Taylor Swift’s fans have remained devoted to her.

Her fans’ loyalty is something all creatives can learn from and attempt to emulate.

Take the Time to Work on Your Craft

Taylor set a goal at an early…

And what I did to fix them

Scout, photo courtesy of the author

In January, I adopted a blind kitten. I had gone with a friend to yoga at a kitty café. I hadn’t planned to adopt that day. We attended so my friend could scope out the kitties and perhaps find some kittens she might be interested in adopting. Instead, I fell in love with a blind kitten. I adopted Scout the next day. I’ve learned a lot from that experience.

I adopted on a whim and didn’t do any due diligence

I failed to do any research before I adopted Scout. As a result, I had no idea how different life with a blind kitten would be. Although I quarantined Scout in…

Blaming our pets for our own misfires, missteps, and shenanigans

Photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash

Our beloved pets are an important part of the family. We spend time with them, we pet and love them. We also lavish them with toys, treats, and cute beds. Sometimes, we use them as our excuse for things we did, things we forgot to do, and things we don’t want to do. Maybe we do this because we’re embarrassed to tell people what we’re really doing or we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.

Blaming a feline or canine friend is often an easy way to get out of things we don’t want to do. They are innocent bystanders…


What to do when your favorite felines don’t get along

Scout post quarantine / Photo courtesy of the Author

This is a little-known fact and I don’t talk about it very often. When I first adopted Scout, I worried I’d made a mistake adopting another cat — a special needs one at that. Scout is blind so that presented unique challenges.

When I first adopted her, I kept Scout in quarantine for some health issues for about a month. My other cats were incredibly interested in the creature on the side of the door. They slid their paws under the door and played the kitty equivalent of “footsy” with her.

I thought I’d have no trouble introducing her to…

They’d tell you if they could

Photo by Erica Leong on Unsplash

There was a great meme I saw recently that had a cat staring at its owner and the caption just said “Ever wonder what your cat calls you?” That led me to wonder are there things cats would tell us if they could speak? I suspect there are and this intrepid researcher uncovered (by looking at my own cats) a few things.

1. Stop poking them when they sleep

If you have a cat, you’ve done this before. And who can blame you? Cats are notoriously cute when they sleep. Sometimes, they position a paw over their head or contort their body in such a way that…


What your pet’s name says about you and them.

Hermione Granger the Cat / Courtesy of the Author

Where do pet names come from? How do you choose the name for your pet and does that choice set the tone for that pet’s life? That’s something I’ve always wondered about.

When I adopted Nicky, my first cat, she followed my brother into the house when he was coming home on Christmas day. She was named Nicky for St. Nick. Her name was totally spontaneous. Had we found her on Arbor Day, who knows what name we would have called her. I guess she was lucky we found her on Christmas.

I named another cat Murphy because the name…


It was easier than you’d think

Scout playing with her mouse/ Courtesy of the author

Cats aren’t known to be good at fetching toys. They bat at catnip mice and chase after balls, but they don’t usually bring them back where they got them. Scout, my blind kitten, changed all that. She learned to fetch her catnip mouse.

When I adopted Scout, I kept her quarantined in my office for the first month. I have other cats and needed to introduce her to them slowly. She also had a nasty upper respiratory infection which further necessitated the quarantine.

One thing I learned pretty early in Scout’s quarantine, even blind kittens get bored. It only took…

Nancy Parish

Writer, Midwesterner, Amateur Cat Herder, Nap Enthusiast. Previously, Contributing Editor for CWIM.

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