Inspiration & Happiness

The Spirit of a Callie Cat Christmas

Back in the fall of 2015, I was laid off. I’d been laid off before, so I was experienced with the “it’s not you, you’re great, but we’re just going in a different direction,” scenario. Regardless of how they sugarcoat the blow, it’s demoralizing, and it hurts, especially considering I was living from paycheck to paycheck, so any negative change in income was bad news. Like grief, one tends to process the pain in various stages, and for me, one of the ways that helped get me through the days as I struggled to look for new employment was taking early morning walks around the neighborhood to clear my head and start each day with a positive outlook. Read more

It’s Jazmine’s 6th Birthday, but She’s the Gift to Me!

Sleep in? Not on my watch, you won’t!

I’m a very early riser. Some due to the fact I have a day job, requiring I get up to make it to work by 8:30 a.m., and some due to seven restless cats with persistent paws to my face and demanding meows to my ear who insist a minute past 5:30 a.m. is bordering on abuse, because how dare I not have fed them breakfast yet? A lot of it is also simple mathematics – I have too much to do nowadays and getting up early gives me an extra hour or so to get personal things done (i.e., things involving my cat writing world) before I head to work. Read more

What’s Your Cattism Count? Our 20 Favorites in the Ultimate Reference Guide for Cat Lovers

My love of leopard and cats knows no bounds…

Considering I wear cat ears at nearly any occasion that will allow it, even being reprimanded by a fellow cat lover at one event where I could have worn cats ears and didn’t (she indignantly claimed she didn’t recognize me), and considering I’m officially known as the leopard lady (hence every leopard item on earth being forwarded to me to see via email and social media) it’s clearly not a secret I’m a bonafide cat lover. Read more

Remembering the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Victims and Some Kindness for Valentine’s Day

Enjoying an absolutely gorgeous day last year in Parkland, Florida, with this stunning horse, Sunny.

While a lovely sentiment and I don’t begrudge anyone who enjoys celebrating the day, for me, Valentine’s Day is not a day I’m prone to embrace. I don’t particularly want or need a specific day to have gifts, flowers, chocolates, etc. bestowed on me, but living a mere minutes away from Parkland, Florida, the city where the horrific shooting took place on February 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in which a gunman opened fire and killed seventeen students and staff members and injured seventeen others,  I’ve had a change of heart and perspective.

My heart will forever be tied to these precious souls who lost their lives on February 14, 2018.

It’s difficult not to be reflective and feel a tremendous malaise in the air. Being the anniversary of the incident, it’s on the news all the time and my heart breaks all over again each time I hear something about it, bringing me to tears at the senselessness of it all. I Dan and I were in the vicinity of the shooting a few days before it happened, enjoying the quiet beauty of the day as we watched a horse competition. Parkland is a gorgeous community – peaceful, beautifully landscaped and idyllic in nearly every way. It’s hard to grasp something so evil was living within, grappling to come out in such a violent and premeditated way.

Paying my respects to the shooting victims at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

After the incident, the students rallied, parents rallied, the community rallied, as did the nation and the whole world, trying to make sense of it in the throes of grief. I’m not sure how one ever moves on, but we try. We have to. If nothing else, Valentine’s Day, and really every day, needs to be a reminder that we simply must try harder as people to love. Not the romantic love associated with Valentine’s Day hearts and Cupid’s arrow, but the love that comes from kindness, tolerance, and acceptance. We need to listen more, we need to care more, and we need to love more. We don’t know the shoes or path another walks, but perhaps if we were more invested in the small spec of the world each of us inhabits, many of the tragedies of today could have been avoided had we paid attention to all the little signs that were really big cries for help.

Every creature on this earth serves a purpose. Love, respect, cherish and embrace that purpose.

So give all those in your life you care about an extra hug, kiss, or smile. Pay someone a compliment – maybe even a complete stranger, as you don’t know how perhaps that small act could brighten their day in a moment when they really need it. Be less angry in traffic and more patient waiting in line at the grocery store. Extend that kindness to all living creatures great and small, including our earth that gives us the beautiful world in which we live. Be respectful of nature and be respectful of one another. Life is fleeting for all of us, that much I know for sure, so why not make it one in which every day is Valentine’s Day.

Mia, Peanut, Rolz, and Zeuss Catt Turn 10 Years Old!

Happy 10th Birthday to my precious feline companions, Mia, Peanut, and Rolz!

No, no, no!!! How can it be that 10 years have gone by? Zoey’s sweet little kittens, four of them born on February 12, 2009, are now TEN YEARS OLD!! My goodness, such a blessing and privilege to witness every moment – from their birth (two of them were born on my lap!), to seeing their eyes open for the first time as they took in the amazing world around them (albeit a tiny box in a closet at the moment) and all the other sacred firsts. Their first wobbly steps. Their first taste of cat food. Their first playtime interactions. Their first exploration outside of the closet. Their first hisses and so many more cherished milestone moments. Read more