Sunday, September 12, 2010

Life is Like Herding Cats...

Have you ever tried to herd cats? Have you ever stood back and watched someone ELSE try to herd cats? (If you're smart, this is the way to go, less sweat, no fur on your clothes and the only lasting side effect is aching sides the next day from your hysterical laughter) I have had the incomparable experience of trying to herd cats. It involved diabolical plans of entrapment (none of which even came close to working) extensive maneuvering (forget the 'four legs versus two thing' I couldn't outrun a cat if I had eight legs) and enough moments of physical insanity to net me the million dollars on America's Funniest Home Videos. No, the cat's never went where they were supposed to. They're cats. And cats don't go where they're supposed to. If they did, they'd be dogs.

Anyway, the point of all that was to say that life is a lot like herding cats. You can plan. You can plot. You can run around waving your arms over your head squalling like a bimbo. But life is going to ignore you and do what it pleases. That's just the way it goes. Recently, my life has been completely ignoring me. It's just been doing its own thing, dragging me along like a sock on a string. Like a cat, it apparently only claims me when there's food involved.

I've at least been writing, between obsessively checking my email and mud wresting with my logline and pitch, which are entered in the contest that's been going on over at Adventures in Children's Publishing. And of course, I've been running mad at the farm. It's show season. And now the owner (who's in her late eighties) has decided to breed a mare... never mind that the stallion is thirty (the equivalent to a ninety year old man) and it's so late in the year that the mare isn't cycling like she ought to be. It makes for one long, never-ending adventure to be sure. And I've had no control over it. But sometimes not having control over things is good. Sometimes, you need to be a little out of control. Out of control puts you out of the box, because you're no longer bound by 'normal' circumstances.

It's a little tiring though... I'm looking forward to Sirens, which is coming up in October. I'll be staying with friends for the week following the conference. They live in Montrose and will drive up to fetch me from Vail and haul me off into the unknown for Jeeping, camping, rock climbing and bananas only know what else. I can't wait. I told them, 'As soon as that car door shuts, my tuchus belongs to you. Do with me what you will'. They're plotting even as we speak. That's what friends do. They kidnap each other from reality, when reality needs to take a hike, and they don't return you until you're ready to deal with that pesky thing called 'life' again.

Just remember, if you ever decide to attempt herding cats: 100% cotton clothes, less fur will stick to them. Rubber soled shoes, they'll give you more grip for all of those cutting horse moves you'll be doing. And catnip. Sometimes cats - and life - respond better to bribes than outright chasing...


  1. You're life (the bits we see on your blog) is a constant source of facination for me. It's always interesting to hear what's going on in your world. I can't even imagine trying to herd cats, since I can barely keep the two I have in line. Mitchell Lafayette, however, is not difficult to catch or chase down, owing to his bulk, and his inablilty to jump higher than two and a half feet.

  2. Oh what a great story and analogy! As long as you continue writing, who cares what life throws at you (to a certain extent)?

  3. Catnip to cats like throwing positive energy to life...

  4. thank you for your sweet comments on my dog. I appreciate you sharing your experience!