I was happy publishing Romantic Suspense for more than five years. I wrote about women I’d like to hang out with–kickass women just as comfortable riding in a limo as piloting a helicopter or riding a racehorse. Women who didn’t need a handsome prince to save them.
Then, after being a part of a local cat rescue’s fixathon, I couldn’t help but write about the cats. (The fixathon was one full day of trapping, followed by transporting about thirty wild and wooly felines to be spayed and neutered. Several days later they were all returned to the forest they call home, where volunteers supply food and shelter to those not interested in living with people.)
I was hooked, my imagination ran wild, and I followed my heart.
I’ve now penned over thirty short stories about the adventures of cats living outside, on their own, and surviving in spite of the odds stacked against them–and sometimes with the help of guardian cats.
They are all feel-good stories with guaranteed happy endings–fairy tales for adults perhaps.
Last week, I published the 6th Volume of stories. Here’s a taste…
Jonathon found two-legged creatures intriguing, and unlike most of the cats living wild on the tree-covered hills, he liked to hang out close to the house and watch the goings-on.
Today, he was mesmerized by the man, Kevin, doing the oddest thing.
Climbing up and down and up and down a small structure, while moving in a circle around the base of a small evergreen tree, he wrapped it with a string that appeared to have odd, colorful lumps attached.
Up, down, shift. Up, down, shift. It went on for ages, and was occasionally accompanied by words or sounds that seemed annoyed—Jonathon learned early about annoyed because the lady who lived here before didn’t like cats in her garden and, after much yelling and waving, would spray them with water from the big black hose.
No water today, though. Even the hose was gone—dragged away to the garage when the days grew shorter and the weather got colder. Much, much, colder, which meant the gardens were empty of plants and the people rarely came outdoors.
Except for now.
The man was at the top of the structure, with arms stretched high above him when Pru—the lady that lived there with Kevin—called from an open window.
“Maybe you need a broomstick or something to get them up to the top.”
“What happened to just doing the bottom half?”
“You have lights left, right?”
He climbed down and headed for the garage, muttering something about trickery, but Jonathon didn’t think Pru heard him.
When he returned with one of the garden thingys Jonathon thought was called a hoe, the process continued. Up, down, shift. Up, down, shift.
Then he laid another long string on the ground from the tree to the house and used the hoe to pass the end to Pru.
When she disappeared inside, he called out, “Go ahead,” and suddenly all the lumps on the string came to life as bright, glowing colors.
“Unplug it,” he shouted, and the magic was gone as quickly as it had come.
Pru came to the window. “I didn’t get to see,” she said.
“It’s too light out. Wait until later for the full effect.”
Hmmm. Later. And what was a “full effect?”
Jonathon watched Kevin fold up the structure he’d been climbing on and carry it somewhere behind the house. Then the sound of booted feet clomping on steps was followed by the creak of the back door.
Supposing that was the end of the hoomin entertainment, Jonathon decided to take a closer look.
Moving from bush to bush for cover, he made his way to the tree, ducked under the low-hanging branches, and sat for a minute, gazing up through the tangle of limbs. He’d hidden under this tree many times before and was always at the ready to climb up inside if a predator came by, but never needed to.
Today, however, determined to check out the magical blobs on the string, he was going to climb up.
The trees Jonathon was most used to climbing had much fatter trunks with fewer branches, but thicker, so a cat could easily get into a handy leg-hanging position and have a nice snooze.
These skinny branches were very different, but served well as steps, and he was able to get quite a way up before they became too dense to maneuver.
That’s when he stopped and remembered his purpose for climbing and had to back down until he found a branch able to hold his weight while he crept closer to a dark red blob.
He gave it a good smack, and it shot to one side for just an instant before settling right back where it had been. He whacked it a few more times, and it always went right back to the same place—which for some silly reason made Jonathon happy.
He leaned down to test a yellow one and, delighted with the result, was soon bouncing through the tangle of limbs, making the colored blobs dance.
To read more of Jonathon’s story, and find out what kind of adventure had a guardian cat coming to his rescue, you can find the stories in CATS: Volume Six ~ a collection of heartwarming furry tales.
What about you? Have you followed your heart lately and perhaps made a left turn or two? Changed genres? Tried other creative ways to express yourself?
Kathryn Jane’s creative endeavors–from Christmas cards to short stories and full-length novels–can be found here.