My cat, Ollie, has seen me through the loss of my husband, John, the pandemic, and my recent move to the Pacific Northwest. After John passed in 2016, I moved to New Orleans where my daughter Kate lived, settled into a cozy apartment in a former ice house with hardwood floors, an airy second story bedroom with a view, and a tree-shaded porch. At first, I couldn't imagine taking care of a plant, let alone a pet. In about six months, I bought two hibiscus trees. They didn't die.
In a year, Kate persuaded me to get a cat. Living with John in our thirties aboard Phaedrus, a fifty-ton Norwegian oak sailboat, we had a scrappy gray cat who chased dogs, caught rats, perched on the mainsail boom while we sailed, and hung on when the thick wooden boom swung to the other side of the boat as we tacked. Kate and I went to Zeus' Rescue in New Orleans and I asked for an affectionate, mild-mannered cat. "I know just the one, " the tech said, and reached for a ginger kitten, who purred contentedly when I petted him. As it turned out, Ollie is spirited, curious, very funny, and can't get enough affection. A cat sitter called him Mr. Needypants.
I hope that 2024 brings everyone joy, good health, peace, and inspiration! Thank you for reading my rambling posts, and being there as I labor on the new book.
Mr. Needypants predicts a banner year of catnip toys and treats on his new lick mat!
If you would like to learn more about my three-year sailing adventure with my husband and young daughter, go here to find my memoir, Holding Fast: A Memoir of Sailing, Love, and Loss.