Indoor Cat

Prompt: Treat


Dear Wednesday,

What a treat it was to have bright sunshine, clean powder snow, and boys playing hockey on a makeshift frozen-lake skating rink (It’s hard to get more Canadian than that)! Warmer temps are forecast for later in the week, and it will be a shame when the snow turns to grey mush… but for today, a treat!

Our back patio reveals all the surreptitious guests we’ve had over the past few days, because of cat paw prints, quail prints, and mystery creature prints in the snow.  I hope the timing was such that none of them were making prints at the same time (I believe in indoor cats precisely because wild birds are so vulnerable).

Anyway, not related to treats but related to cat paw prints, is this small collection of favourite feline cartoons, which I present to you now:

cartoon two lions

cartoon indoor-cat

cartoon perfect dog

I adore dogs, but I respect cats!




Prompt: Brave

Dear Wednesday,

What day is it? Are we close to Nanowrimo? I’m not ready to write my 1600 words per day. This takes courage. I don’t have any!

As in, I’m not brave, which is the daily prompt.

Why am I scared of a laptop and a keyboard and a story half-formed in my head? There are killers and monsters of all kinds out there roaming the earth, most disguised as human beings. Every time we step outside our door we risk being struck by lightning, attacked by a vicious dog, being in the line of fire when our neighbour cleans his rifle, looking up to see a nuclear warhead directed towards our front porch, or, sure, getting hit by a runaway bus. Yet I am ‘asceered’ of a number (albeit a large number) of words.

I forgot to mention other perils when we set forth into the world, which include failure, falling on our face, trailing toilet paper under our shoe, tucking our skirt into our undies, getting publicly caught in a lie, losing an ethical battle, being unable to pick up the fragments of our shattered lives and… well, you get the picture.

National Novel Writing Month challenges us to face failure– and win, or at least die trying. Not die exactly, but expend as much toil and angst as if he had written the full complement of 50,000 words. Which, they tell us, is an accomplishment, too!

Sure it is. Fine.

But I am a competitive person. Not with you, your him, or them, but with myself. It’s how I quit smoking! It’s how I managed to ‘win’ all previous Nanos. A better word might be stubborn. And, I love the couple of days after completing the challenge, when family and friends are so damn proud, even though they have not yet seen a word I’ve written and are taking my achievement on faith.

So to lessen the anxiety of the swiftly approaching November 1st, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, precisely none of which relate to today’s word prompt:

cartoon book of sunblock

cartoon Cat-Guru

cartoon image lineup

Have a happy, productive, courageous week.



Before Prozac

Prompt: Polish

Dear Wednesday,

When I attended my niece’s wedding in May, I thought it was appropriate to have a pedicure and manicure as the finishing touches to my outfit. Some women wear polish all the time… I wear toe polish in the summer, and finger nail polish for weddings. When I die, my surviving family will have no need to dress me up. Weddings only.

Now the nail polish is chipping and it looks dreadful, like an old house with peeling paint.

When I remove it, my nails will breath– literally. Apparently polish suffocates the poor blobs of keratin. We should be kinder to keratin.

And with polish out of the way, here are a few of my favourite cartoons:

cartoon licking plate

cartoon prozac cat

cartoon not bad for art

Have a happy week!


Dinosaur Family Unit

Prompt: Qualm

dinosaur family

I have qualms. You have qualms. Everyone has qualms. When we look at the word, the letters of the word, we realize that qualm is a word that is illegitimate because it is misunderstood.

If qualm was a real word, it would be like a crusty fungus. It would a hymn sung in Latvian. Qualm would be the clump of grass that gets stuck under your shoe. Or what the friend does who lies and then pretends it was to protect you.

A qualm is a line of verse in a free form poem that does not stand alone. It is an oak barrel used too many times to age wine. It is a mysterious lump on the back of your dog that feels like a tick but isn’t. It’s that slight breath of air from the bathroom when someone didn’t turn the fan on. A qualm is a mathematical term, meaning the flaw in the formula no one wants to recognize.

Have you ever watched a movie, and then forgot the ending? That is a qualm. A qualm is what a dinosaur family unit was called. It is that part of outer space that looks empty, but only because our telescopes aren’t strong enough.

A qualm is a reassurance from a double agent. A qualm is the unit of salt you put on the rim of a Margarita glass. It’s the sum of the ages of all your closest friends.

It is the shape of a lightning bolt, the smell of a firecracker, the velvety touch of the inside of a cat’s ear, an echo in a small room, a bullet meant for someone else.



Prompt: Roots

Wednesday! Here you are again.

It is spring, and here at home we are cleaning up last year’s weeds and debris, including those insidious roots that run under the grass and sand. We human beings think we are so smart, but roots are smarter. They come back no matter what we do to prevent them, so I have to give roots a lot of credit. We should devote more study to roots and other persistent indestructibles, like cockroaches.

Moving on from nightmare insects, another kind of root is our ancestry… we all have roots in the same primitive family that may have had the very conversation as the first of a group of my favourite cartoons:

cartoon they're all neanderthals

The other cartoons have no connection to the prompt “roots”, but it’s Wednesday, and they are about cats and dogs.

cartoon cat exec with string

cartoon dogs overthinking

Happy Wednesday!


Walking into Traffic

Prompt: Instinct

Dear Wednesday,

When I think of instinct, I think about how people don’t rely on theirs enough. Think about how much sensory data we absorb in a day, or a week, or a year— far too much for our feeble, impressionable conscious minds to decipher. But our brain still tucks away all the bits and bobs of information, filters out the truly irrelevant while looking for patterns, and then regurgitates them back to us in the form of instinct or “intuition”. But with so many daily, persistent distractions we seem to listen to our instincts less and less.

This doesn’t seem like a good idea. Instinct is an evolutionary and necessary skill in the same way that common sense is. Without them, we’d be walking into traffic, falling off cliffs, dating psychopaths, and sending all our money to Nigeria. Is it just me, or does it seem like people are doing exactly those types of things more and more?

When we ignore a random comment from a new acquaintance, our instinct does not. Our instinct notices a light switch that suddenly doesn’t work. A creak in a floorboard… when there aren’t any floorboards. A stranger who is too kind. When a child says, “I’m fine” our idiot conscious mind says, oh great! Our instinct analyses differences in posture, expression, voice, and circumstance and says, something is wrong! While we consciously rationalize and deny, our instinct notices and alerts, all with the goal of informing us and protecting us from harm.

It takes only seconds to stop and listen to that little niggling feeling. Facebook can wait for a few seconds, can’t it? It is far better to face an unpleasant thought or inconvenience immediately than allow it to gather mass like a snowball until it smothers us.

On that light note, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, loosely connected to the day’s prompt, instinct, by way of animal instinct, featuring humans, tigers, kitty cats, and a dog.

cartoon tiger 2

cartoon new cat

cartoon grr

Happy week!


Focus Group

Prompt: Nervous

Hello Wednesday,

A little while ago I listened to a sample lesson from an online course about meditation. It was the usual routine (from what I’ve sampled): starting with the relaxing of every body part, and steps deeper and deeper, a scene by a lake, drifting in a boat…

Hello? Oh right, anyway this lesson also had me slowly clench my right fist, and then suggested that I could reach the same ultra relaxed state in the future quickly by simply forming the same fist. Guess what? It works.

If I’m feeling a bit stressed or nervous, it is a good relaxation technique, providing I’m not driving or operating heavy machinery.

Relating to the theme of nervous, may I present a favourite cartoon, followed by two others that are not related, but tickled my stressless funny bone anyway:

nervous cat

dog walk

focus group

Have a healthy, stress-free week!