My love of language and words began as a small child while listening to my mother practice her presentations as a member of the Texas Storytellers Association. Later, the King James language of the Bible and Shakespeare’s works increased my fascination. Lonely as a child, I entertained myself by making up stories and plays, first writing them down when I was eight. This interest evolved into a love of books, and I’m a voracious reader of hardbacks and ebooks. I always have an audio book playing when I do chores or prepare meals.
Now an award winning, multi-published author in fiction and non-fiction, my focus in recent years has been on tales of romance, murder and suspense.
I hold bachelors and masters degrees in nursing and when I left that career to complete my first novel, I thought I would miss talking medicine with others in that field. Oh, I still enjoy this when I’m in a medical location, but now I find talking about writing and marketing with other writers one of the most engaging experiences I’ve ever known. That’s why I’m an active member of the Orange County, California, and PAN chapters of Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles.
I’m married to my college sweetheart, and we live with Ella, an adored older cat, in wonderful southern California.
My books can usually be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks, Apple’s iBooks, Kobo and Smashwords.
STILL GRIEVING THE DEATH OF ELLA, OUR PRECIOUS DARK TORTOISESHELL CAT ON AN APRIL EVENING. SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN TWELVE IN MAY.
RIP, DEAREST KITTY. FOR TWO YEARS YOU GRACED OUR LIVES WITH SUNSHINE AND LOVE. WHEN YOU BECAME ILL WE LOVED CARING FOR YOU AND PROVIDING EVERYTHING YOU NEEDED. YES, YOUR ABSENCE IS INCREDIBLY PAINFUL, BUT YOUR LITTLE BODY GAVE OUT, AND TO PROLONG IT BECAUSE WE NEEDED YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN CRUEL.
One of the veterinarians who had cared for Ella was Michael Sueda, DVM, an internal medicine specialist with California Veterinary Specialists, about a forty minute drive from our home. I’d call at his request each week to report on Ella and get his advice. This message was enclosed in the sympathy card we received, and it spoke to my heart.
“We who chose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan.”
Ella came to us because our daughter-in-law developed a life-threatening allergy to cats after having had her for ten years. We knew Ella would end her life with us and thereby break our hearts, but our son and his wife needed us. Ella needed us. And we already loved her.
Everywhere we turn there are memories of Ella. This morning I opened a closet in our den, and my throat tightened because she was not in one of her usual spots in it — on top of the bedside unit used for storage, on the floor on papers or high up, crouched on my sewing box.
She was a house cat, and every day she’d jump up to a window, meow for us to open it and settle in to watch for birds, studying anything that moved, even if it were only a leaf shifting and rattling in the breeze.
We’ve made a small cache under a table in our living room of things that remind us of her presence. They will not always be necessary, but, for now, they keep her image alive for us as we recover from her absence. Her pink food dish and favorite water bowls, some toys, the plastic food container clearly marked ELLA’S FOOD, her brush and the prescription bottle once containing her daily medication chronicle her time with us.
After her nap, she would sit on the carpet beside the table and meow to be brushed. The moment I picked the brushes up a wonderful purr rumbled in her throat. It was a special time for the two of us, and it is important that her brushes be in this small collection.
The last few hours of her life, she stayed in a box filled with computer program boxes covered with a huge red T-shirt none of the men in our family claim. After her death, I found her brown mouse in it. Even weak and tired, with a cone protecting her face, she had found the mouse and brought it into the box. She always slept between our pillows at night, and, because she was brown and because she had taken it with her that night, it rests now between our pillows at night.
“If you are very lucky, at some point in your life you will have been owned by a cat.”
I would say – if you have been loved by a cat.