I’m thinking quite a few cat owners–and feline haters–can sympathize with this after a brief explanation. Meet my kitty cat, Tober (aka; October [official name of birth], Toby, Toby Woby, Tobies, Evil Kitty and Psycho Cat). The phrase, “I heard a strange noise and all of a sudden my face was bleeding,” has been heard a time or two. No my house is not haunted with evil-doing poltergeists from a secret Indian burial site under my home…that’s just the rumor we tell people who are attacked lest the local animal authorities be called in.
What does this have to do with being trained for rejection? I’ll get there. So my bipolar cat does not like to be picked up, held, patted, or anything else she has not previously approved of. And even when she gets into her strange “polar” moods, I pat her with extreme caution (and sometimes were leather work gloves). She’s like the Sour Patch Kids commercial…first their sour then their sweet, except she is the opposite: sweet then sour. Or attack!
I have had to work for the love of this cat, all six bittersweet years. For the most part anytime I pat her she attacks my hand–while purring! It is all quite strange, yet everyday I stop to give her a 15 second cuddle (all she allows for before glistening claws emerge). I don’t argue with the claws, but occasionally and quite infrequently she will give off a soft pur and look at me through contented eyes and let me have a 20 second cuddle. I cherish these times, yet I have had to endure years of prissy, diabolic feline rejection to be ecstatic during the times of momentary cuddly bliss and the feel of a cold, wet nose nudging against my cheek–without being impaled after.
My point! Because I do have one in a round-about-kind-of-way. Today I received a letter from Iuniverse stating Barnes & Noble turned down (a more polite way of saying, “REJECTED”) the opportunity to place, “Be Still,” in their actual physical stores. Talk about major bummer and suffering through a metaphorical hanging of my psyche. This has been my greatest fear, the biggest road block keeping me from publishing all these years: Rejection. It sucks. I’m no Patterson, Rice, or Wilde but dadgum I don’t deserve to be tossed in the rejection pile, and for what? “A narrow market,” according to them. Sigh.
Guess you’re wondering how my cat ties in? Well, as I was reading this declination email first thing in the morning, I was feeling pretty bummed. Not a whole bunch of depression or self-defeat; nothing like that, but kind of upset nonetheless. As I was thinking what I should do next, avoiding that pesky little word “loser” that kept trying to creep into my forefront thought, what to my wondering eyes should appear? Tobers, my bipolar, wound inflicting, cat jumped into my window and leapt onto my bed, then crawled on my belly and my rubbed against my chin. I hesitated to pat her–you would too–but she just purred and poked her cold nose on my forehead. And I thought: Hell, if I could survive six years of rejection from own my kitty cat then I could push past this minor inconvenience. Besides, after six years she finally came to me looking for a little attention and so will those opportunities, someday. Then she bit my nose and I felt all was right with world once again.
Dedicated to October who has a quirk for putting things in perspective. I’ve also decided to start a feline-rejection program for future authors. If you fear rejection, if rejection is holding you back, then contact me for your free two week trial of the feline-rejection program where you will be sent one evil kitty for a two week trial so you to can learn to accept rejection. (hospital bills, cat scratch fever, depression, desolation, and the fear of sleeping in the same room with this cat may occur as a result of use…just saying).
Thank you for indulging my insanity.