Dr. Watson

As most of you know, I lost my sweet Mrs. Hudson at the end of January. She was older than the hills, on full-time medication, and finally reached the point where we knew it was time to let her go.

I held her while she got the shot, we buried her on our back property with a big white stone over her grave, and I swore that was it. We were done with cats, we had a puppy now, and no cat could ever replace Mrs. Hudson. To be honest, I was afraid of never finding another cat with a personality I liked as much as hers.

Six days later, I caved.

A cat brings something into a house, guys. It fills a hole. I kept thinking I saw her dart past my feet, or heard her meowing outside at night. It nearly drove me bonkers.

So, six days after she died, on a complete whim, we went to visit the humane society.

Just to look.

Pro-tip, if you ever go to the humane society just to look, you’re not going to just look. I can promise you that.

They only had two cats when we came in, which kind of shocked me. When I picked up Mrs. Hudson, there were probably thirty cats waiting to be adopted. This time, nothing but empty cages. One had a tortoise-shell female who was labeled an ‘overstimulated’ cat (a cat who will play or enjoy petting, but will quickly become overstimulated and bite or scratch.) Obviously, not a cat for us.

And . . . there was Dr. Watson.

They had a label for him too. Shy, anxious, going to need lots of time to adjust to his new home. Since Mrs. Hudson was the same way, I figured he was perfect. I know how to deal with shy cats.

I’m very shy myself, you know.

So . . . after a lot of agonizing, we brought him home. He spent the first two weeks hiding in our closet with a nasty bout of a kitty cold he picked up at the kennel. We saw him only at night, when, promptly at nine o’clock, he came to join us in bed and sneeze in our faces while we slept.

Snuggling is always mandatory, even with a cold.

Since then, he’s come out of his shell, gotten rid of the sniffles, and become the perfect addition to our little family. He gets along famously with our puppy—who is delighted to have a cat that finally is young enough to want to play—is quiet and mannerly, and always up for a good cuddle. Even if he is already three, I’m pretty sure he’s actually Mrs. Hudson on another of her nine lives, back to reclaim her queendom and boss us around for another ten years. I still miss her terribly, but am relieved to have another cat in the house.

Every writer needs a cat, right?

Have you ever welcomed a new animal after the loss of a beloved older pet? What was your experience like? Tell me about it in the comments!

Woodpiles, FREE Books, and Snowy Mornings

My house has a wood burning stove.

It’s beautiful. I love it. In the evenings before I go to bed, I light a fire and turn off all the lights and watch the firelight flicker on my wood floor and let all the heaviness of the day slid off.

Then, if it’s cold enough, I wake up every two hours in the middle of the night to keep the fire burning.

Because if I don’t, I will freeze.

Correction. I will not freeze. My cat would never allow that, simply because if I freeze, she’s going to freeze too, and that would be a tragedy of epic proportions. If I miss the alarm, she screams at me until I wake up, because I have the responsibility of keeping her warm.

I love her so much.

Thus, my wood burning stove, and, consequently, my woodpile is very important. I spent a good part of my afternoon yesterday chopping wood, and because I am kind and love you all, I did not take pictures.

You do not want to see me chop wood. It’s embarrassing. I do it because it must be done, but I do not claim to be good at it.

So now, my woodpile is stacked high, and life is good. We are not going to dwell on the fact that I had to run outside in my shorts and snow boots this morning because it was snowing rather hard and the wind had knocked the tarp off the wood. Wet, freezing wood is no good to anyone.

But, as I said, we are not going to dwell on that.

So, because it is snowing—and I love snow—and because today is Saturday and the weekend, and because I have a full woodpile, I would like to remind all of you lovely people that my books—Of Mice and Fairies and The Birdwoman—are both FREE on Amazon this week. I cannot invite you all to my house for a cup of hot chocolate in front of my wood burning stove, so this will have to be the next best thing. Brew a cup of tea (or coffee), snuggle up with a good blanket, and enjoy one of these books on me.

Happy Saturday, my friends! Stay warm!


I Live With A Cat

I live with a cat. Her name is Mrs. Hudson.


She is not my housekeeper.

I might be hers, though. Housekeeper, servant, devoted slave. Something.

Mrs. Hudson came into my life about a year and a half ago. I found her in a small cage in the humane society.

Okay, my mum found her.

I was there to see a different cat, one that caught my eye in the pictures of her on the humane society’s website. I went to see her and found, rather sadly, that she was most definitely not the cat for me.

Some cats aren’t, you know.


But my mum, not one to give up as easily as that, walked around and found another cat that she liked very much. We sat with her for a few minutes while she loudly proclaimed her displeasure at our interference in her daily life, and decided that yes, this was the perfect cat for me.

I, too, dislike having my daily life disturbed.


Since then, Mrs. Hudson and I have gotten very close. She is something of an old lady, already ten years old, and—well—a bit crotchety. She sleeps on my couch, eats too much food, runs from one end of my small house to the other when she is excited or frightened, leaves dead mice in the middle of my floor, and throws up in my hallway when she is deeply displeased with me. She scolds me when I come home late from

work, refuses to eat the human food I drop on the floor, (because really, what do I think she is, a dog?) sneaks outside when I leave the door open—even though she has no claws and would last .2 minutes on her own—and wakes me up in the middle of the night to inform me that the fire in my wood stove has gone out, and we are both about to freeze to death if I do not get up right this moment and do something about it.

I love her so much.