“Do not even think about getting down on that floor and stretching. I want my coffee!” my brain whined as the last furball dragged his lazy self off of my body this morning.
“You can’t be serious!” shouted my back. “Do you not appreciate the fact that I have not been sending pain signals to you for the last few days?”
“La, la, la, la. I can’t hear you!” My brain is far from mature before coffee.
“Don’t listen to her. Get on that floor with the ball under your neck and stretch me. You know you want to.” wheedled my back.
Meanwhile, sensing movement the cats got into the act.
“Meow. Feed me now!”
“Readying sharp spasm of pain.” My back warned, sensing me wavering.
“Go back to sleep for a few, brain.” I said as I assumed the position on the floor next to my bed, green Miracle Ball tucked beneath my neck and began to breathe. A fluffy tail wafted across my face while Patches pushed her face into the hand next to the bed, never leaving the sanctuary beneath the box spring while skritching her cheek against my fingernails.
“Mmmm, that feels so good, dearie” my neck chimed in. “Could you do that circling thing you do? I sure could use a wee bit of a massage this morning.”
As I moved to accommodate my neck, furry bodies bracketed my legs, reminding me that a human’s place is in the kitchen, dishing up some stinky mess cat’s seem to adore.
“Just a little longer” I assure them as I move my neck back and forth once more before removing the ball and moving on to shoulder stretches.
Sitting up, I place my feet together and bend over as far as I can, which, this morning isn’t very far.
“Coffee?” my brain inquires hopefully.
“Not yet” I reply. “You know the routine. And even if I was done stretching, the furry little bodies making figure 8’s around my legs have to be fed first. We’re only staff.”
My brain heaves a huge sigh and wanders off again. I know it will return when it smells coffee.

Stretching done, I run the morning obstacle course between my bedroom and the kitchen. “You’ll get your food faster if you get out from under my feet.” It’s the same thing every morning. You’d think I’d know by now that they don’t listen. Pyewacket, unable to ever move in a straight line weaves back and forth down the hallway, forcing me to walk like I’m running a tire maze. Toby blocks the door to the garage, despite the fact that he knows I have to go out there to get his food, and feed the garage cats who are the only ones who actually earn their keep around here (unless you figure in snuggles, stress relief and unconditional love, of course.).

Back in the house, Toby again runs interference as I move between counter and refrigerator with Patches’ special food. Scrappy Doo tries to climb my leg as I finally get food and fish oil vitamins into the bowls and turn to put Toby’s bowl down.

“Go to your room” I say, knowing Scrappy and Pye understand. They run in front of me reaching their room a nanosecond before I get there with their bowls, but act as if they’ve been waiting for hours.
“Meow. What’s taking you so long? Put the bowls down already.”
Three down. Back to the kitchen to get Munchkin’s and Patches’ bowls and Dylan’s teaspoon of vitamins. Patches meets me halfway down the hall, doing her arthritic little dance. Munchkin scolds and Dylan ignores me in favor of the dry food bowl.

Munchkin’s bowl goes in it’s usual spot on the ledge in front of the window in my office where she, as usual, ignores it until I come back with my own breakfast and lift her up. Never mind that she can jump from the middle of my living room to the top of the cat tree in a single bound when she’s so inclined.

Finally, Patches gets her special food, doctored with vitamins and Cosequin and the doors are closed to keep out little boys who think any bowl of food is fair game (hence a closed door for the two youngest to give Munchkin a fighting chance at her share.)

“Coffee now?” I hear from what appears to be a great distance.
“Yes, coffee now” I reply. Love washes over me with the power of a stormy sea forcing me to take a step back for balance as the scent of coffee fills my nose and wakes up my brain.
“I love you, bringer of caffeine.” I’m wrapped in the sincere but awkward embrace of a small, sleepy child.

And so, the day begins. On days like this when errands and chores are behind me, I’m free to write or, as is the case at the moment, edit, revise, re-edit and try to move on. Progress is slow, but I do have 9 chapters behind me now and only need to repeat the process 46 more times, assuming, of course, I don’t delete entire chapters as I did with the first 2 or 3. Such deletions, I’ve found, alter the story considerably and in some cases a previously writ chapter doesn’t even make sense any more, either because of the change in direction or because characters ended up on what filmmakers refer to as ‘the cutting room floor’.

This writing stuff is, despite years of thinking I could write, a serious learning experience. I learn both by doing and by reading what others are doing, but also by reading less for pure enjoyment and more to see how those who are already published ply their craft. In fact, writing is a lot like life. You practice, you learn, you discard and you revisit. Each time, with a little more understanding, a little more knowledge and a few more bruises. Yet, for some of us, it is as necessary as breathing. I’ve seen more than one writer mention that their writing has saved them, healed them or simply helped work through a problem or a tough time. I’ve had my share of challenges in this human existence and I don’t think I’d have weathered them as well if I hadn’t been able to sit down and write about them until my mind was able to deal with the feelings, the disappointments and the lessons in a critical, supportive and constructive manner.

Tonight, I will share gratitudes even though this is not my normal blog space:
1. I am grateful for my writing. It has been teacher, therapist and friend for the better part of my life, and is an inherent part of the person I have become and will continue to grow into.
2. I am grateful for the voices in my head which feed my need to write.
3. I am grateful for a vivid and often bizarre imagination which fills my dreams with ‘aha moments’ as well as moments which have me sitting up in bed saying “WTH?”
4. I am grateful for my furry companions who keep me from ever feeling lonely even when I spend days on end not alone, but cut off from humanity.
5. I am grateful for abundance: ideas, creativity, imagination, inspiration, love, friendship, health, peace, harmony, philanthropy and prosperity.

Write On!