What exactly is an artist’s colony of cats? How did I come to form one? Who are the writers-in-residence? And what the hell is wrong with me?

In my next couple of posts, I hope to answer the first three questions…as for the fourth, if you really want to know the answer, I think you will have to follow the blog and see for yourself. I don’t suppose it is an answer that you can easily arrive at, but if say you are a fan of watching reality tv shows so that you can come away with a sense that at least your life isn’t that bad, and you are waaayyy more normal than you once thought, then I think you will be satisfied with the return on your investment of time spent reading this blog.

And now to the questions…

What exactly is an artist’s colony of cats?

Well…in this instance, I, Laurie, am the artist. What makes me an artist? I guess you could say that I’m a writer afflicted with ADD perhaps ADHD, self- diagnosed mind you, trying desperately to finish my memoir titled, My life…In Txt Msgs… Self discovery on a Smartphone. It’s always been a dream of mine-but now that I have interested editors, and agents, I’m trying to stay on track and work towards a self-imposed deadline. Stay tuned for developments on the book. And same principle of return on investment applies …except, actually in the book I share some things along the way about why the hell none of us can put down our phones. So that’s a bonus.

I moved into my apartment in November after a pretty heart- wrenching, broken engagement. I left my job as a stock broker to pursue my dream. Because pretty much everyone, with a few notable and well-loved exceptions, I know thought I went mad out of my mind and because I was in need of support, I marched my butt down to the ASPCA and got my beloved orange, female kitty.

She is six years old and as my 8 year old daughter, Tasha, would say I wanted to save her from ” the death chambers.” Of course when she says this she whispers it because we don’t want to bring up any repressed traumatic memories. In any case, her name was Sugar, which to me sounds like a stripper name. Nothing against strippers, but I wanted better for my cat.

Around the same time as of all of this ridiculousness was going on, I lost a bag with my laptop, tons of notes and a bunch of books. When I am stressed, I tend to lose things. Don’t read into that. The only book that I didn’t lose was my copy of Shirley Jackson’s compilation of stories called Come Alone With Me. By chance? I had taken that out of my work bag and put it into my purse. I was feeling very much like a lost child and that book was like my blankie. I had to keep it closer to me than the rest. Shirley Jackson believed in spirits and the like; I like to believe that sometimes coincidences are more than coincidence. Put that together with the title of the book, and the cat I got to help me on my journey, and it seemed obvious that her new name had to be ShirleyJacksonCat.

Yes that’s all one word. My oldest daughter, Sierra, warned that I could potentially be locked up in an asylum if I told the vet that name, but another friend assured me that alone wouldn’t do it. He didn’t tell me what would, so I have to tread lightly these days.

Now before I go any further with the questions, if you are asking the question, who is Shirley Jackson? and I only bring this up because I thought certain everyone knew her, but field experience has taught me otherwise- she was an American Author who lived from 1916-1965. She is most well known for her short story, The Lottery, which was originally published in The New Yorker Magazine and set all kinds of publication records. She is less known for her memoirs: Life Among The Savages, and Raising Demons, which describe her life as probably one of the first “working”mothers of our time. She had four children, and lived in Vermont with her husband, who was a professor at Bennington College. We read her stories here all of the time at the colony. Pretty much every word she ever wrote is genius…

That’s all I have for you this Friday. Come back next week for some more soul-lifting, awe-inspiring info, and more cat pics.

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