Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hysteria

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Nelson Mandela

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I stood in front of the door to the music room, my hand held in midair over the doorknob ready to push the door open. With a weary sigh, I let my hand drop to my side and walk over to the stairs and sit down, sorely disappointed with myself.

Shut in the room sat my latest rescue cat. Never in all the years, of saving these abandoned animals had I feared one. Nutmeg – so named for her coloring, had found me not long after she had gotten pregnant. Nothing but skin and bones, Paul and I had made the decision to have her pregnancy terminated in order to save this tiny cat - who wove around our legs while we decided her fate. Gentle, loving, wanting to please, and be held Nutmeg, came back a very different animal.

Paul gave up his music room and his lessons for two weeks in order to give her time to heal and recover - twelve long days to be exact. Two days later she bit deep into the meat of my hand. She’s nervous and afraid I reasoned and didn’t think much of it. The next day she lashed into my leg so violently, I bled and would sport bruises for over a week. Paul joked, "Must be you." She appeared fine for him. That same day she left three scratches across his face.

So, I sat on the steps, embarrassed this tiny tyrant had gotten the best of me. In an act of bravado, I strode to the door and went in and dared to approach my nemesis. She purred and curled up in my lap. I cried, I didn’t trust her and wanted so much to make her right again. Slowly but surely Meg as she came to be known in her gentler times, healed. The day we had to cut her stitches and remove them (due to the nature of her health the vet chose not to put in dissolvable stitches) both Paul and I, anticipated a few scars. Much to our chagrin and surprise, she gave us little resistance.

We now have one last hurdle - find her a home, where she’s the only pet. Our (not so) gentle Meg, isn’t so kind to other animals. She fights for everything and anything. Alone she’s the gentlest creature around. If she appears to be a kitten in the above photo, she is. I still believe there is a home, a place where she belongs, and I’ll find it. I haven’t given up on her.

I came to realize over the past three weeks, dealing with her is not much different than writing. The courage it takes to open a door and risk what lies on the other side; is the same courage that continued to spur me on as I wrote the final pages of my current book. I’m in awe of what I accomplished (animal and book). I left the last thousand or so words until yesterday…I wanted to keep them close and refused to let them go, languishing in the ending.

In a year and some odd months, I’ve written three books – Close to 232,000 words. If that isn’t practice and determination, I don’t know what is. There are still revisions to be made on my latest work in progress. But not unlike working with Nutmeg, I’m resolved and passionate enough about what I do – someday a book of mine, will find its way into a publishing house. Courage is the single step you take, one in front of the other, into your dreams. I can’t/won’t be one of those people who sit back and wonder about the ‘what if’s’. I plan to finish what I started, and go on to start another and another…Because dreams were never one dimensional.

*In a side note: We have rescued pregnant cats before and watched over them full term, finding homes for the kittens after they were old enough to be weaned. This decision wasn't made lightly. The health of the mother, overrode all else. Everything we do with these rescues is out of pocket. We’re making a difference one animal at a time and I’ll continue writing one page at a time. Life, it's about those things we are most passionate about.


47 comments:

  1. That was heartwarming and inspirational. It always seems like someone out here in the 'sphere knows just what to say to get my butt in gear. Thanks for that!

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  2. I understand the hardship that comes with rescuing animals, and maybe not as deeply but the hardship and rewards that come with writing.

    You are a master at it my friend so perservere.

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  3. This is lovely, Indigo, and very brave.

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  4. Lucky Kitties to have someone like you. My aunt also rescues cats. I think she loves them more than me, but then again, they need her more than I do.

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  5. I take comfort that someone rescues the cats and fights for the babies and fixes the dogs. Me, I cross out extraneous Es at the end of tomato in restaurants. I guess I do good things, too. But the last bit about passion—I'm most good at that. You are excellent, too.

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  6. Lucky kitten to have found you - lucky me, too.

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  7. Seems like Nutmeg had a little 'ginger' in her too!

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  8. Poor kitty! People are rare who would go through such lengths to care for a creature like her, unfortunately. I hope you find her home soon.

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  9. I know there is a perfect home with the perfect person. one cat house. keep holding positive thoughts and prayers and in no time her special person will arrive. she is wild and free besides loving. in time she will trust totally. I give thanks that you rescued her and I'm sure she thanks you too. You are a great gift to all those you rescue. Bless you!!!

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  10. You're very compassionate and persistent. I hope Nutmeg finds a good home.

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  11. I loved to read about your compassion for animals. God bless you :) The metaphor of writing which laced the story was nice.

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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  12. that poor pretty kitty. i wish i was closer-- i would so take her! i want a kitty SO BADLY but curty is on the fence!

    xo

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  13. You're such a caring person, Indigo. Your compassion bleeds through your writing.

    I hope Meg finds a home.

    Sharde

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  14. you are such a beautiful person. what you are doing is commendable.

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  15. You're so lovely :) I'm so gald the cat is getting stronger & doing better. I hope you find her a home.

    Great attitude with the writing - one step at a time!

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  16. Nice post!!! Takes a lot of heart to open your home to homeless animals, especially the more, er, dangerous ones! I love how you compare it to writing.

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  17. You are by far one of the most inspirational spirits I have ever read,Indigo.Thank you for sharing.
    xo

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  18. You're doing a job, taking care of cats, that needs doing and is not often recognized. You're also doing a job, writing, that needs to be done and will someday be recognized.

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  19. Beautifully written as always! I can't believe you've written three books in a year, I'm closing in on the first draft of my first book after 10 months! Congrats on that, I can't wait for you to be published so I can read them!

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  20. What a wonderfully written piece about that little kitty, poor wee thing. I do hope you can find a kind loving home for her after her hard start in life.
    As for your book writing you are a star in my opinion and look forwrad to the time when I can go into a book store and proudly ask for my FRIENDS book..
    Love Always Sybil

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  21. You wrote about this so eloquently! I believe that you weighed all options heavily and I hope it all works out.

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  22. I hope feisty Meg finds a good home where she can be the Alpha Cat to her heart's content.

    Some of us are fighters and we don't know what to do with love (or grief) at first. We lash out at the world because we're scared of being alone. But given enough time, space, and love...slowly but surely, we come around.

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  23. I am so impressed...with the cat and the writing.

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  24. Very wise words, Indigo. A terrible situation you found yourself in, with an animal you loved - but had lost trust in. But I agree, sometimes, you have to open that door, and face up to whatever lurks inside.

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  25. So glad that the second effort resulted in a lap curl, and that the stitches were event-less. Congrats on finishing the book

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  26. Aww, another animal lover. :)
    Both of my dogs are rescues and I've fostered and volunteered for quite a few organizations so I can relate to your heartfelt passion. Kudos to you.

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  27. What a wonderful story, Indigo. Thank you so much for the reminder to keep going!

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  28. Thank you for taking on this young lady's struggles as your own for a while. I hope she finds the right home.
    Many hugs,
    Russ

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  29. Hi Indigo,
    I love your analogy of Meg and your book. Yes, you are brave to have finished 3 books in a year. That's amazing! Some of us are still struggling with one :(
    I really admire what you do for these abandoned animals that are in need (not only of food and shelter but also love as they're broken spirits). My hats off to you! The love you give to these needy creatures is the love you get in return from your friends and peers (we're all connected in some way). I have two cats myself that I rescued from the streets. They are our babies ;) My husband volunteers at our local SPCA.
    I'm sending you positive energy so that you can find the right publisher for your books.
    Keep spreading love!
    Claudia
    www.claudiadelbalso.blogspot.com

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  30. I like the way you compare your writing to the kitty. It is comendable that you are doing so much for her even after she has been mean to you. Thanks for your visits to my blog. I always enjoy your input.

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  31. My MIL's cat is like that, fights with every animal around but loving with us. Your writing is so wonderful I know it will just be a matter of time before your published.

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  32. I think it's beautiful that you stuck by the cat that bit you twice. And, I love the analogy you make to caring for her and writing.

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  33. Excellent post Indigo. I once had a cat, a wonderful, gentle, intelligent fellow who would sit and watch the birds and never bother them, dealt with dogs and other critters but would not abide another cat on the property.

    Interesting that you wrote about courage. My Vagabond Journey tomorrow is also about courqage. Mine is from an actor's point of view. But I also relate very much to what you say about writing. I'm working on my third novel. If I'm not at the keyboard my brain is writing anyway. And I love my stories.
    DB

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  34. Awww poor Nutmeg. I know she must have been so frightened when she came to you, & yet she has came such a long way! Congrats on your books.

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  35. You have one of the best blog banners I've seen in Blogdom. That's classic. And good blog. I just saw a clip on the news about the Bunny Lady who rescues little bunnies in L.A. from street vendors. They sell three day old bunnies to people, but ultimately they will die because they are taken away from their mommie bunnies too soon.

    Stephen Tremp

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  36. wonderful story! I love that you rescue cats! It takes a very special person to do this - we fostered a dog. Once. Though it was rewarding, I found it WAY to hard to let him go. So I learned some people just aren't meant to do it.
    Bravo to you! And Bravo for all that writing! Holy bleep!

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  37. Writing and saving those unwanted by others are both acts of courage. I liken writing to slashing a vein and watching it bleed -- what else could be so intimate, so personal and painful?

    My son used his last money gift from my father to save a cat from a local shelter. I cannot imagine my son without his feline sidekick beside him. Peace...

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  38. Beautiful post.

    That's wonderful that you rescue cats.

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  39. Well, bravo for you two...three, actually since Meg is a product of your resources (money, patience, blood, love). I am so thrilled that you brought her 'round and I will hope/pray that her forever home lies just around the corner, if not literally then ...... and speaking of lit--so amazed that you have written three books in such a short time. In your case I am positive that quantity equals quality.

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  40. Indigo, I love how compassionate you are about Nutmeg. It's never a good idea to keep someone close who'd rather be somewhere else.

    Congratulations on your third book in one year! I'd love to read at least one!

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  41. Indigo, I have an award waiting for you at my blog.

    Won't you come?

    Sharde

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  42. Holy holy. Could I have forgotten your indomitable spirit?

    Naw, not for one second, Indigo. It is so very good to read you again.

    Go get 'em tiger just doesn't seem to fit with this post, or perhaps it does.

    xo
    erin

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  43. 232,000 words is A LOT!

    Congrats on that, and good luck with the cat rescue!

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  44. All of our cats are rescues. Luckily, none has been pregnant. I hope that Nutmeg finds a forever home.
    Good luck with your writing and publishing. Sometimes it seems the rewards are few, but writers must write.

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  45. i sure hope nutmeg (best name ever!) finds a good home where she can dominate the roost. sweet little meg. doesn't play well with others. ((i say this with so much love because my cat is much the same. is very much the alpha cat.))

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  46. I'm sure you'll find a home for Meg! She sounds like a sweetheart as long as she is by herself. You did a good job with her.

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Thank you for giving my silence a voice, my muse your words, and taking the time to discover my prose.