Writer of Soul-Searching Snark

Seems like I need to introduce myself to everyone again. It has been months since I have blogged. Trust me, the reasons/excuses are many and legitimate, but I can’t help recalling the words of the wise, talented, and divine Mrs Velda Brotherton. Early on, during one of my first meetings with the Northwest Arkansas Writers’ Workshop, someone commented, “I haven’t written this week. Who has time?”

To which Velda replied, “You WRITE. Everything else goes to the wayside.”

Dusty Richards piped up and said, “No husband has ever died from making his own sandwich for dinner.”

Velda added, “And no one has ever been killed by a dust bunny.”

??????????????????????Clearly, Velda has never been to my house. A dust bunny ran out from under the couch the other day and tried to choke the dog.  Then again, house cleaning has NEVER been an excuse for me not to write. Good lord. You should see it now. Hideously disgusting. I keep the kitchen clean since I cook a lot, but the rest of the house is a disaster. Yes, it bothers me. Yes, I do clean, but this past week has been particularly difficult. Instead of sweeping, mopping, slaying dust bunnies and folding laundry, I’ve spent every moment with my cat, Dax.

Prior to this past week with Dax, I’d finally gotten back to my writing schedule. Petty, little things had impeded my creative process such as organizing the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. Conference, establishing Sunflower Heritage Farms, and assisting in the births of rabbits, lambs and pigs (trust me, you do NOT want to now about that particular experience!)

Finally, back on my writing schedule and Dax gets sick. Some folks don’t get it, but my pets are like my family. I love them. I care for them. I cherish them. Dax moved with me from Alaska along with Leo (who passed in February 2009,) Cedric and Jasmine.  Dax was diagnosed with cancer last week, but was too weak to do a biopsy to determine treatment. Dr. Larsen at The All Cats Clinic in Fayetteville was very kind when she informed me that the blood test results came back and the only thing we could do was keep Dax comfortable until he passed.

So instead of writing, cleaning, cooking, eating, breathing, I held Dax. Mama would come up and sit with him while I fed critters. I didn’t want him to be alone.  Yesterday, my other brother, Darryl and I were supposed to go to Cove, AR to get a load of goats. I refused to go. There was no way I was going to leave Dax. My other brother, Darryl, agreed to meet the goat lady on his own and take notes.

Dax Hugs CedricAbout 4 PM yesterday afternoon, I knew Dax wasn’t going to be with us much longer. I took him into the bedroom and we laid on the bed together, his furry back pressed against my stomach. My hand barely touching his hip, not wanting to hurt him, but needing to touch him. His breathing slowed. My tears increased. For fourteen years, that little guy brought me joy and happiness. There was no way I was going to do anything other than provide him solace as he had for me for so many years.

He passed peacefully in his sleep, in my arms.

Did I write last week? Not a word.  Do I regret it? Not for a second.

This week though, no excuses. The hero from Loch Lonnie (God, he’s hot) has been yelling at me. The heroine in Desert Dreams, Grace, is really, really mad at me because I left her hanging.  Desert Dreams is a Luna Zega story and stopping in the middle of a sex scene is just cruel–or at least Grace keeps telling me that.

So, look out world. Claire Croxton and Luna Zega are back to their writing schedule. Great literature is on its way!!

Thank you to all my friends who have been so very supportive and kind during this trying time.

Giant furry, gray, Dax hugs to you all.




Comments on: "The One Legitimate Excuse" (24)

  1. I’ll take those hugs. I’m sorry about Dax, but know he was just the coolest cat and you’ll see him again.
    Write, woman. Welcome back.

    • Yes, Pam, he was indeed one cool cat. I gave him permission to go. Told him Daddy and Leo were fishing in heaven and needed his help. I know I’ll see him again. I’m fairly certain the next cat that moseys into my life will be him incarnate, like Milo is Leo. Funny how God works, isn’t it?

  2. I’m so sorry to hear about Dax. I’m glad I got to meet him while he was in this world.

    • Thanks Madison. You know he’s having a great time in the other realm. I can’t wait to hear what all he’s been up to when we meet again. 😉

  3. So sorry. Those cats just get in there and steal our hearts when we aren’t looking.

    • Yes, Christine. They wiggle their way in and take hold pretty quickly. I’ll miss the big guy, but I know he had a happy life and he brought joy to everyone who ever met him. 😉

  4. OMG! I got up and put on “Joy” because my body was bellyaching about all the yard work I did…and you made me cry!

    I am so sad to hear about Dax. But you know, he’ll be handing around, mewing now and again to encourage you in your endeavors.


    Linda Joyce

    • Linda Joyce, I know he’s hanging around. He’s part of the farm just like Daddy and Leo, who passed before. Dax was a staunch supporter of anything I did that provided a lap, so he loved my writing career!

  5. Oh hon, I’m sorry you’ve lost Dax. He’s a part of my Alaska memories. Hugs to you!

  6. So sorry. Dax was a super cool cat!

    • Thanks Jay and thank you for the phone call. I will definitely miss him. He sure looked good laying in that big window sill in Barrow. The neighborhood kids would stop and stare trying to figure out if he was real or not. No one had ever seen such a huge cat.

  7. Bradley Ramsey said:

    Hey Sweet P, You have my deepest sympathy. Dax was a great cat! I could tell by his photos that he rolled with class. Brad

    • Thanks Brad, he was a sweet guy. Super cool and keeper of the peace. When the other cats got out of line, he’d show them who was boss, otherwise, he’d just hang out on the back of the couch. 😉

  8. I had no idea, Patty. I’m so sorry. But I know how well-loved Dax was and what a good life you gave him. Wish I could be there, but I’m sending lots of hugs and love.

    • Jan, you don’t have to be here to hug me. I feel your hugs from wherever you are. Thank you for your love and kindness. Enjoy your time with Andrea.

  9. I’m crying. Dax wasn’t my cat, but I petted him many times, and even brushed his thick, furry coat, and I loved him too. He was cool! The cycle of life sucks the big one at times. How special that you were with him when he crossed. He thanks you for that because even the bravest needs their Mama. Leo came back to you. and so will Dax. Until then, we will cry, grirve and remember.
    RIP Dax. You are loved.

    • Dax loved it when Auntie Ruth visited. She’d pet and brush him! Goodness, didn’t he sleep with you every time you were here? He’s still here. He, Daddy and Leo are hanging out on the pond bank fishing. 😉

  10. I knew his crossing was near, but I just read this and my heart is breaking. Nothing can ever prepare us for the loss of loved ones. Prayers for comfort for you and Kevin during the weeks ahead. You will never regret your time spent with him, and the comfort you gave is inspiring. I love you sis.

    • I appreciated your call this morning, but I didn’t have the strength to call you back. I’m much better now. Got my mind around it. It was a peaceful, loving way for him to pass. I’m thankful for every second I spent with him. He was truly a precious soul. Love you too, sis!

  11. I’m sitting here crying and I didn’t even get to meet Dax, but clearly he was a gem. You obviously have have wonderful friends that love you, hurt with you and for you. I wish I had some profound words to ease the sadness, but losing a family member is just tough, tough, tough. Please know that you have an unmet friend out here who also hurts for you and your loss and is rooting for you as you get back into your writing groove.

    • Hi Shel! We’re not unmet friends. I’m your bestie from OWFI a couple of years ago–Patty–in charge of the Agent/Editors at the time. 😉 Now, past (thank you Jesus) president. Thank you for the kind words. Dax was a beautiful soul and I was blessed to have him in my life. Looking forward to seeing you at the 2014 conference.

      • Well, don’t I feel silly! That explains why when I hit your post I got to Claire – I was confused but sad. Really? I have to wait until 2014 to see a BFF? We should be able to do better than that!

  12. Big, big hugs to you, my friend!

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