I was fortunate to raise one of them.

Photo by Kym Ellis on Unsplash

I don’t think it’s possible not to be smitten by an orange kitten. There’s something about them that draws you in and melts your heart. At least that was my experience when I innocently showed up at the shelter over twenty-five years ago to have a look. I was there to view “for a friend.” Fenton and I met, and our lives were never the same.

The story actually begins with Yaffa, my two-year-old Himalayan. I bought her from a run-of-the-mill lady passing herself off as a breeder, but to be honest…


It’s often the little things that mean so much

Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash

Today was typical like many other Saturdays when all I wanted to do was stay home, eat, rest, and write. Going to the nearby plaza was not on my agenda until I realized our cat was nearly out of food. To make matters worse, our television cable box was breaking down.

After I tried to convince myself all the reasons I should stay in; your husband’s recuperating from surgery, you shouldn’t drive because you’re sleep-deprived, and you should stay in due to COVID-19, I dragged my lame excuse-making butt out the door.

I had accomplished all tasks, done a little…


It’s time to focus on authenticity

Photo by Altin Ferreira on Unsplash

I’m not usually one for rants, however, in this case, I give myself a pardon. My tirade is toward drug companies and health-related organizations who choose to advertise their cause or product using actor portrayal. In a society craving inclusivity, why are they not hiring authentic people to promote their cause?

This thorn in my side first came to light over twenty-five years ago, when my daughter was seven years old and modelling. It wasn’t her lifelong vision, or mine, for her to become an actress, but rather it was a side-hobby offering us the opportunity to spend quality time…


Sometimes the past catches up with you in the strangest of ways.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I met Tyler online, and we hit it off during our first date. We talked and talked — about our occupations, our interests, and we even broached the subject of exes.

I spoke of my ex, Matt, without giving too much detail. The night ended with both of us interested in another date. Tyler said he’d call me, and we connected again within weeks.

On our next date, Tyler brought up my ex Matt again and asked me for his last name. When he had heard Matt’s full name and the fact that he was a pharmacist, he told me…


Sometimes medical crises carry a silver lining in disguise.

Image by Deedee86 from Pixabay

When Skye came into our lives, we were a two-person working family. We left early in the morning and didn’t get home until dinner time. Her ritual every morning was getting her kibble bowl refilled and receiving a fresh bowl of water. Ed dutifully took care of this. It was a routine she decided was worth getting up for. Having a schedule kept everybody on track until Ed’s liver transplant disrupted it all.

In late November 2019, Ed received the call that the hospital had found a viable organ for him. We knew at that moment life with all its…


Negative thinking was getting me nowhere.

Photo by Dmitry Shamis on Unsplash

When I was invited to write an article on optimism, it highlighted how challenging this task was for a negative mindset like mine. I’m hardwired to look at the dark side of life. It, therefore, took me great effort to imagine the positives.

To assume I have no control over my thoughts was self-defeating and uninspiring. It was negativity at its best. For many, looking at the glass half full is easy. For me, noticing what’s missing in my life felt natural. Would I always look at things through a dark lens? The choice was mine. With help from a…


It starts with you.

Photo by Ester Marie Doysabas on Unsplash

There is a common belief that selfishness and selflessness are two opposite sides of the same coin. If you’re selfless, you can’t be selfish, and the same goes for the other way around. I propose that having both traits makes us human, and they can fluctuate instantaneously. While it’s true in any given moment, you are either one or the other, let us acknowledge as thoughts are fleeting and we can’t be certain what we will think before we think it, it is best not to classify ourselves. …


Sometimes it takes, patience and time.

Photo by Rhema Kallianpur on Unsplash

When we decided to get a cat, we wanted a furry companion that could thrive in a household with two working fur-parents. We knew owning a dog was a lot of work, requiring commitment we didn’t feel ready for. Sharing our time with an animal that wouldn’t demand our attention 24/7 sounded more fitting. Then we met Skye.

At first, Skye was very shy and wanted nothing to do with us. Being a shelter kitten, we weren’t offered many answers about her upbringing. She was brought in with her sister, but nobody knew much about her seven months before arriving…


It’s time to stop making us scapegoats when others misbehave.

Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

News for those of you who are unaware, according to BBC News,

“Karen” has, in recent years, become a widespread meme referencing a specific type of middle-class white woman, who exhibits behaviours that stem from privilege.

This derogatory, offensive term embodies all women regardless of whether their name is Karen or not.

Can we really confirm all women behaving badly are alike and deserve the same name? If so, why mine? How did one of my birth year’s most popular names become a universal symbol of negativity and entitlement?

Some…


Response Letter Contest

It was never meant to be personal

Photo by Ryan Snaadt on Unsplash

Dear Christopher,

Thank you for your words of enlightenment.

Forgive me, but when I shortened your name, I was under the impression that we were what you would call, chummy.

I felt relaxed around you. You’re like an old sweatshirt that fits comfortably and is snuggly. When I shortened your name, I wasn’t lazy. I was celebrating in the presence of friends how easy it is to laze around in your company.

But I hear you.

Being referred to as anything but your birth name demeans all those days, weeks, perhaps even months your mom and dad probably spent arguing…

Karen Schwartz

Personal truth seeker, creative punster, and lover of all things chocolate.

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