open letter, pets

To My Cat With Cancer

My Dearest Buttercup,

 

The doctors tell me this is it. Your time is near. I’m angry, so very angry. They say that by the time you presented your disease, it was too late. It’s not fair. They say it was most likely a genetic predisposition, that logically there was nothing I could do to save you. Not, now. Not, then. Sure, there are treatment options, but the doctor assures me that they would only diminish what little quality of life you still have. I’m not ready to see the light go out in your eyes. It’s still there, I see it. I feel it. You’re not any more ready to let go at this point than I am. But we have time… A little, anyway. And I’m going to do my best to show you how much you mean to me.

 

I remember when you were just a kitten. So tiny you fit in the palm of my hand. Always ready to go, to explore, to climb, to be the cattiest cat you could be. And you were. Oh, God, you were. You used to climb up my legs like I was your own personal tree when you were just a tiny thing. Your claws hadn’t yet developed into the razor blades they would grow to be. It amused me, and made you happy. As they began to grow and sharpen, I had to break you and your siblings of that habit.

 

Do you remember walking through the woods? You always wanted to be high up. You climbed a tree and I was so scared you were going to get stuck, but you didn’t. You were so free, so happy that day. Whenever I called you, you would come romping back to me. You will have so many more days like that when you cross the bridge to what comes next. That is how I will picture you, how I will remember you.

 

You’ve always been a stubborn little thing, full of attitude. I love that about you. You were always sure of what you wanted, and found a way to get it, whatever it was.

 

But your heart is pure, molten gold. The heart of a lion, like your hero, Nala. Remember laying at the foot of the bed with Gizmo watching The Lion King? I don’t care what anyone says, you two would be glued to the movie any time I put it in. Afterwards, you would play- my little Nala and Simba. He’s going to miss you, too, ya know?

 

You’re my princess. You always have been. You always will be. I will miss you every day and I will remember you always. I will do my best to make the rest of your days as pleasant as I can and when you are ready, I will be with you, helping you cross the Rainbow Bridge.

 

All my love, now and always.

authors, books, children's literature, fiction, interviews, kids books

In the Words of an Author: An Interview with Margaret Segal

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Margaret Segal, Author of “The Adventures of Harry the Inside-Outside Cat”
Children’s Books

 

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

Even though my writing isn’t remotely like his, I’ve always been inspired by William Shakespeare. His massive writing skill, and the sheer volume of what he’s created, are mind-boggling. His grasp on the vicissitudes of human nature and behavior, which comes through so well in the dialogue of his plays, is amazing. Perhaps because I enjoy writing about real life – the good, the evil, the pain and joy, the ugliness and the beauty – his writing sings to me.

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

My favorite character is Harry the Cat, who isn’t completely my “creation”, because he is a real, live cat. He never fails to entertain me with his unique and sweet personality.

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What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

Seeing your work in print, and hearing from readers that they really enjoyed your writing and/or were positively affected, touched, or moved by it.

What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

Take your time, and try not to push yourself too hard. But at the same time, find a way to keep yourself motivated, but don’t drive yourself crazy over it. Writing, like, medicine or meteorology, isn’t an exact science, and it moves at its own pace sometimes. Try to go with it.

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

I work writing into my everyday life, so I don’t really have what you’d call a specific “ritual”. But I DO need silence in order to write.

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Not always, but it has come to the fore in recent years. Personal and family health challenges were a huge part of my life for many years – only now that those challenges have been overcome has writing become more a part of my life.

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

My mother. I would share with her the thoughts unsaid before her passing.

Where can readers go to find out about you and your books?

My website: http://www.harrytheinsideoutsidecat.com

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