Rosanna’s feeder hung stationary against a marshy grey sky but no birds came. The neighbouring garden; however, separated by a red cedar fence attracted all manner of birds. Swooping from great heights to land on a bird table in the centre, blackbirds, robins and even the odd green parrot would jostle for position as they pecked, squawked and nibbled their way through countless supplies of bird feed.
Rosanna watched the scene with sadness, wondering why the birds remained absent from her side. It seemed so unfair. Her neighbours were a couple with three lively kids and a dog while she was old and alone. She’d imagined the birds would be company of sorts, but perhaps it was her loneliness that put them off somehow. Nevertheless, every week she would empty and refill the feeder with seeds, in the hope that the birds might eventually have a change of heart.
One day, Rosanna heard a little whimper coming from the back of the garden so she ambled down to have a look. There, snuggled together on an old sweatshirt of her husband’s was a tabby cat and five black kittens, each mottled with white. When they saw Rosanna, they lifted their little heads and mewed in harmony. Rosanna laughed and gathered them up in her apron. And from that day she never felt lonely again.
This post was written for Sunday Photo Fiction
My A to Z Challenge theme is rather broad – anything to do with my writing practice really; be it the peaks, troughs or simply the things which have made a difference. Today I want to extol the virtues of having a cat and the effect it has had on my writing!
Last October after much deliberation, I decided to buy a kitten (Polly). I would have got one much earlier but for the fact that I live in a top floor flat with no garden access and I wasn’t sure whether it would be cruel to keep a cat indoors. Anyway, I went ahead in the end and have no regrets whatsoever.
Having Polly has grounded me, fulfilled (in part!) my maternal instincts and also helped immensely with my writing. Before I got her I socialised a lot and spent few evenings at home, and yet I continued to have this aching feeling that I needed to be in solitude as I wanted to develop my writing. I suppose by going out so much, I was running away from what I now feel I was born to do, partly out of fear that I wasn’t good enough and so I’d be wasting my time, and also because I recognised the amount of work involved, and wasn’t sure whether I was up to it. Now, however; I no longer feel that way. When I see Polly sitting all Zen-like on her kitten tree, it makes me want to slow down and spend time with her. Now I like nothing better than to open my laptop and get going on a short story, piece of flash or blog post, with her snoozing nearby.
My way of life has changed significantly over the last few months and even though I’ll never stop socialising, my priorities are definitely different now, and Polly has helped a great deal.
Meet Polly, my baby :-).
One weekend last October, I decided to get a kitten. Although I’d grown up with cats, I’d never had my own but for some reason it felt right – it was a completely spontaneous decision.
Although I’m single, I wouldn’t say I was lonely, but I’d felt for a while that something was missing from my life, something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Once I got Polly though, I realised immediately. It was the feeling of being able to give unconditional love, the feeling that a living being needed me and I hadn’t experienced that for a long time.
I’ve always been a very sociable person with many friends and interests but having Polly has grounded me and made me more mindful. It’s also made me think about how I choose to spend my time. Consequently, I stay in and write a lot more now and I no longer feel the necessity to go out just because it’s a Friday or Saturday night and it’s what everyone else does. Polly even helped me win my first NaNoWriMo, something I’d tried several times before, and I’ll be forever grateful to her for that!