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Tap tap tap… is this thing on?

After ongoing nagging spasms of guilt over NOT writing, characterized by agonies over what on earth I should DO (beyond “just write!”) to get back in the groove of creativity, and culminating in an inspiration-seeking Facebook post reaching out to my fellow writers for solutions and input, I am tentatively dipping a toe back into the long-neglected ocean of blogging.

I’m still not sure exactly how I’m going to do it, or what I’m going to say, but I’m here!

As a start, a Note To Self: This doesn’t have to be great literature – it just has to be. Alphabet Salad is just a little ol’ nicheless, non-money-making, personal blog, after all… no pressure, no expectations, and no agenda, other than whatever I choose to heap upon myself.

And as of today, I choose to quit the heaping.

Because I miss writing. I miss connecting with others in the blogosphere. I miss being creative. I miss my blog!

So, by way of getting my feet wet again, let me catch you up on one of the major changes in my life since you last saw me around these parts.

Drumroll, please…

Peter and I have had an addition to our family… in the form of three wonderful cats. Yes, I did say three! After saying goodbye to our beautiful Spidercat last October, the place just wasn’t the same… partly because Spider was such an important part of our little household, but also because Peter and I both feel that for us, a house just isn’t a home without at least one furry creature in residence. Well, forget one… when we decide to do a thing, we really do it!

How did it happen? Well, one morning back in February a good friend messaged me with the information that a mama cat and her two three-month-old kittens were in what had developed into a rather sad situation and needed to be re-homed ASAP. Though the timing wasn’t totally perfect for us – we’d planned to wait until Peter was fully up and around after his second surgery – we discussed the situation and decided to jump in with both feet. We’re so very glad we did – we haven’t once regretted our decision and haven’t looked back for a moment… except perhaps to wonder how it’s possible that the three little monsters ever weren’t part of our life!

My Instagram account is chock-full of their photos if you’d like to check them out (I’m sure my Instagram friends are wondering if I’m ever going to stop posting kitty pics already!), but by way of introduction, here are a few of my favourites.

Meet mama cat, who came with the name Grizabella (from “Cats”) – we modified the spelling to Grisabella and added Rossellini for good measure! We rarely use her full name, of course – most of the time she’s Momma, Mom, Grizz, Grizzly Bear, and sometimes Bella.

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Grisabella Rossellini!

Grisabella Rossellini

Grisabella was a pregnant stray who was taken in, cleaned up, and brought back to health by her previous person sometime last fall/winter, and gave birth to four kittens (three born alive, two of which survived) at the end of November, 2012. We’re not sure how old she is – we took her to the vet shortly after they all moved in with us, and she received a clean bill of health, but he wasn’t able to give us any indication of age other than a range of perhaps three to five years (based on the tartar buildup on her teeth, believe it or not!). She seems pretty young to us, though – very playful and energetic. She’s not a cuddler, but very affectionate – she loves head and ear scritches and regularly flops down on her back at your feet in search of pats and love. We love our Grizzly Bear!

Felix & Oscar, peering over the cliff. #catsofinstagram

Felix and Oscar

The two boys came with names which we abandoned in favour of choosing our own. I suggested Oscar for the smaller kitten, as I felt that with his sleek tuxedo, he was all dressed up and ready for the Academy Awards Ceremony the next day (I was going to an Oscar party, so it was on my mind!)… and Peter immediately said that of course the other one had to be Felix, as the other half of our own little odd couple!

Oscar, helping me work. #catsofinstagram


Oscar is an absolute doll – my own little lap cat. He’s cuddly, and affectionate, and playful, and has a purr you can hear across the room!

Felix. This little one has a terrific motor on him!


Felix is a tiny bit more standoffish than Oscar – not a lap cat, but still a little darling – and so very fluffy! I have a feeling he’s going to grow up to be a big, beautiful cat.

So now we are a family of five.

Of course, no one could ever replace my Spider, or Peter’s Zeke – nor would we ever try to make that happen. But these dear little creatures are making their own place in our home and hearts – and our lives are the better for it.

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.