I've been thinking about writing this post for a while, even though at the time I wasn't sure what the outcome of this story would be. You see, when I was in the Seattle area a couple of weeks ago, my muse disappeared. Literally. And it nearly broke me.
When I refer to my Muse, I am not describing that ever present voice in my head creating stories from every day life events. No, I am talking about my kitten, Bitsy. After having a particularly devastating year of losing pets, both young and old, she came into my life and began to heal the huge hole that had developed in my heart. Instead of crying every time I thought about my beloved Toby and shifter-cat Tiny Plee, I had a new focus and a new responsibility.
As an abandoned street kitten, Bitsy quickly adapted to our home and gave me every bit of love that I needed. She spent many evenings on my lap while I wrote Betrayal and has been an integral part of my writing projects since. She is my muse in every sense of the word.
So after a few days away from home, and halfway through the trip, my husband called to tell me that he lost Bitsy. It was his fault and it was not the first time he lost one of my cats while I was travelling for my job (we never found him). Needless to say, I was furious, devastated, shocked...you name it. I gave my presentations, participated in excursions, and tried to get through all of my obligations the best I could without being completely depressed.
But it was impossible. And even more troublesome was trying to figure out how to deal with my husband when I got home. We've been together for a decade now, but it pains me to say that I didn't really know if I even wanted to be around him when I got back. Not necessarily because I was furious, but in hindsight I think it was just the sheer disappointment in his inability to keep our "children" safe. We don't have human children and we never will, so my unconditional love is reserved for every pet that comes into my life and accepts me as part of their world. We owe it to them to take the time and make sure they haven't escaped out the open door before we lock up and go to bed for the night.
So the evening before I was getting on my 6am flight to come back home and deal with the loss of yet another pet, I got a text from my husband telling me to check my email. It was titled "Guess who's back" and there was a blurry, but wonderful picture of my Bitsy cat inside the house safe and sound. She was gone for three whole days but found her way back and called out to my husband just as he was getting ready to close everything up for the night.
We don't know where she was and she appeared to be just fine - no cuts, broken bones, or babies inside (since she was not quite old enough to be fixed).
Fortunately, for the first time in a long time, this story ended well. My muse has returned to me. I've been working on Arise and writing other short stories on the side. As I sit here tonight, Bitsy is causing havoc, driving my husband crazy, and bringing a smile to my face.