It seemed as if every time I turned around, my writing was interrupted. I expected some but not all the interruptions. Most were brief, from a few days to a few weeks, but one shut me down for much longer. All were frustrating. I feared I would never finish my novels. The words churned in my head, desperate to get out.

Tax preparation took time out of each February and March. Vacations and trips took equally as long, but unlike taxes, they were fun.

The longest interruption was seven months of waiting for surgery, recovery and rehabilitation. It sorely tested my patience. The physical therapist warned me up front that she would cause me pain and that I should not expect any sympathy because she wouldn’t give it. She kept her word in spades, but when she was done, my joint worked well, and we were both pleased, as was my orthopod. And the long break was probably good for The Pig Parts Series, allowing me to return to it with fresh eyes.

And then, of course, the Coronavirus Pandemic and lockdown descended upon all of us. While it caused only minor interruptions to my editing, it disrupted my life. Things changed drastically. Plans and priorities changed. Long established routines changed. Suddenly, acquiring new and different skill sets became a matter of life and death. Like everyone else on the planet, I had to find ways to accept the changes and cope with deadly threats from invisible, ill-defined and unwelcome intruders.


While I have always been a dog person, there has almost always been a cat in my life. In spite of not currently “owning” a cat (if any human can ever rightfully claim to “own” a cat,) my life has been full of them over the last couple of years.

They have given me a thousand belly laughs during a time when any laugh was appreciated. They are some of the most amusing and charming creatures on earth, and to the many YouTubers who produce videos and still pictures featuring our beautiful furry friends, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Cats come in endless varieties, sizes, shapes, colors, patterns and pelts. They are supremely graceful. They slink, they stalk, they fly through the air and skate across slick floors. They insert themselves into impossibly small spaces, find a fit and promptly nod off. Almost everything they do is fascinating, even sleeping.

The videos have taught me a few things: All these years, I mistakenly “owned” a single cat at a time. Now I learn that’s not right. One should own at least two cats, not only for all they give to you, but for what they do for each other. It turns out that cats utterly adore other cats. Just as humans love to stroke a cat, enjoying the tranquility it brings, cats do the same for each other. They cuddle and snuggle. They sleep intertwined. They play together, stalk and race each other. They adopt strays: kittens, adult cats and even other species. They turn big strapping alpha human males into tenderhearted motherly creatures. Who knew?

Cats may have single-handedly saved childhood for an entire generation of young school children during the lockdown. YouTube is rife with credible stories of six and seven year-olds hijacking Zoom classrooms. Typically, at the end of a presentation, the teacher asks if anyone has a question. Invariably a sweet young voice pipes up, “Do you want to see my kitty cat?” And they’re off… the subject that is. All of them. Not only does the teacher have to show off his cat, but so do each of the students, providing every one of them with the best part of their school day, the part that they will remember when the school subject is long forgotten.

And if that isn’t enough to warm one’s heart, after way too many days of finding no survivors in the grotesque rubble of the collapsed condominium building in South Florida, a miracle suddenly appeared. Binx, one of the precious missing pets was found wandering near the rubble. Judging by TV video, he’s a big strong cat, but that doesn’t explain how he survived crashing to the earth from nine floors above, riding pancaking layers of concrete and steel down to the ground and escaping before another layer came down on top of him. But he did. And we are all so grateful. He warms many heavy hearts.