A Looking Glass Moment of Time for a Cat Writer


A quintessential moment in time captured – this is me.

We’ve all seen questions like this, whether in social media, magazines, interviews, etc. where you’re asked what three words best describe who you are. I’ve seen numerous variations of the question and despite the simplicity of it; it’s actually a difficult question. As human beings, we have so many different facets of our life that determine who were are, and often they can change like the direction of the wind. I’m typically coined creative, compassionate, and determined, but that’s only scratching the surface. The same with a photograph – a photograph captures an image in time, but depending on who is looking at the picture; it will conjure up different connotations. And then there are the moments where the sun and the moon perfectly align and purity is revealed. That’s what happened to me when Dan took a random picture of me. I looked at it and realized in an instant that it captured the essence of me.

Nothing about the picture is perfect. If you look closely, everything about it is askew. But it’s me. My life. Who I am. My hair is a mess and my office is completely cluttered, but it’s real. It was about 5:30 pm when the picture was taken – hence the glass of wine. It was also a Saturday – I know that because of the pizza menu next to me. Saturday is when I order pizza for dinner. And yup, right next to me, as always is my cell phone. Jazmine is napping over the computer, supervising me, as she does from the moment I enter the office in the morning until I leave to fix her and the other kitty’s dinner around 6:00 pm.


A rarely seen image – yes, sometimes my office can be clean! This was back in 2010 – clearly I wasn’t writing a book at the moment!!

My office is cluttered with books (most of them cat related) and you will see leopard print everywhere. There is a “flat pet” Zee and Zoey on one of my computer shelves and my bulletin board is peppered with memorabilia from other bloggers and past pet conferences I’ve gone to. I’m on the computer doing something in Photoshop. Whether I’m writing a book, or a blog post, or creating art work, I nearly live on the computer 24/7 when I’m at home. I won’t lie to you, my office is messy. Not out of control, slobby messy, it’s actually what I call “organized chaos.” I harken back to the days of the old journalists like Andy Rooney of the television show 60 Minutes, who lived in a delightful world of disarray. But, despite that, I have my own system and I know where everything is.


The other side of my office is much neater than where the computer is. This is Kizmet on his wave shelf and Peanut sitting on a box. There is also a photo of my angel Harley on the wall. The last spot in the house that I saw Harley when she was with us, was in my office, so perhaps her spirit is here with me, making the room all the more special.

Writing and publishing Makin’ Biscuits distracted me for months – I went into a zone and blocked nearly everything else out in my life, including keeping my office neat and tidy. Now that the book is finished, I’ll be catching up on things like straightening out my accounting and putting away the mountains of papers that have collected around me. But honestly, I love my office. I love being surrounded by all my stuff that means so much to me. So much of my blood, sweat, and tears lives in this office. And my cats all have their favorite spots in here too (often being my chair), so I’m never alone. I also have a window in the office that entertains me (and the cats) with the birds and squirrels I feed outside The room is me – it keeps me grounded, it keeps me calm, and it gives me my creative energy.


One of my favorite chapters in Makin’ Biscuits is called “Is This Seat Taken?” in which I share the tendency cats have to steal our chairs!

What about you all – what kind of office do you have? Do you have a favorite picture that has captured something that defines who you are?

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  1. Dear friend, I loved the photos and the post!

    Years ago, living in a larger apartment, I had room for bookshelves and making a small, creativity friendly, space for my desk….the last 2 years, just a desk in a not so friendly space…it matters so much, especially as I have struggled with taking new steps creatively during a difficult time in my life.

    Years ago I wrote a lengthy series of creative writing prompts 2 of which, I think, are relevant to your great essay and the birth of your new book…

    In Jan. 2008 I shared the 1st 4 paragraphs of the introduction to The Writer’s Idea Book by Jack Heffron…the point of it was to define writing as “an act of Hope”.

    My response to it was “Blogging is one such experiment, and is full of risk as you open yourself up to the scrutiny of a potentially limitless readership.

    As a Blogger you are expressing your joy in writing and celebrating your ability to laugh in the face of Writer’s Block.”


    That month I also wrote a piece that began with instructions for writing a piece describing “your ideal writing space” in detail and questions to answer once you have done so….

    Sad to say I’ve yet to bring the actual space to life and, even sadder, Mr. Nikita, my original creative muse will not be there to share in it….


    Hope you find these pieces interesting and that your readers who are creative find them of interest and use.

    Daddy Kiril of The Opinionated Pussycat (http://www.opinionatedpussycat.com)

  2. Brian frum says:

    Clean? What’s that? We’ll go with cluttered any old day!

  3. I LOVE this post! My “office” is CLUTTERED, CLUTTERED, CLUTTERED…but….my desk isn’t. Ready for this? I also work at the dining room table (that is my FAVORITE place to work because I can see/hear the TV and it is by the kitchen lol)………….the dining room table is a complete nightmare!!! All sorts of stuff, books, papers, calendars. It’s just terrible.

  4. Claire’s office is decluttered, and so is her desk. She hates clutter. She can have tons of stuff out while she’s working, on the desk or even on the floor, but before or after her work session everything is cleaned up. Purrs

  5. jmuhj says:

    I think your office — both sides — is gorgeous! Mine is pretty cluttered right now, it being time to pay bills, past time to deal with a camera software issue, and way past time to tear down some tech and liine up a pickup of some ewaste. I much prefer neat to cluttered, but this is what is, right now. There are always spots for cats, whether on the lap, on cushions, or beside me on a seat.

  6. Well, I have to be honest. My office…or computer room as I call it…is pretty clean. There might be a lot of stuff in it, but everything is in its place. That’s how I like it…it keeps my mind from being cluttered. And when my mind is cluttered…I get nothing done. ~Island Cat Mom

  7. Ellen Pilch says:

    It all looks good to me.

  8. Sally Bahner says:

    My office is my sanctuary. Piles of books and papers. Two computers. Several cat beds in front of the picture window, which has a great view. Two walls of built-in bookcases stuffed with books. I do need to do some serious excavation…

  9. I don’t have a dedicated office … but Bear claims my desk chair anytime I stand up (and I mean ANYTIME … it’s like he has seat vacancy radar and he’s there in less than 5 seconds). I love that Jazmine is front and center … and I love that everything you do is a reflection of who you are and what matters to you 🙂

  10. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    no office in my house, and the one at work definitely says; I NEED A RAISE !!! ☺☺☺♥♥♥

  11. It’s amazing how a picture can say so much. It’s also fun seeing a peek at life behind the computer! I work from home and have a dedicated office. I try to keep it tidy, but that doesn’t always work out.