Cats are women’s best friend

I’m all for Indian summer, but 96 degrees three days in a row is too much. I’m ready for autumn, and even more ready for winter. It’s time to nestle.

Ever since moving in with Brian last month, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the chillier climate. Maybe it’s because he has a working fireplace; there’s something homey and nostalgic about the smell of burning wood. But I think mostly it’s because I’m eager to write; I’ve always been more creative when there aren’t sunny distractions (i.e. my girlfriends asking if I’d like to spend the afternoon day-drinking in Central Park).

Besides the two plays and a short story I’ve been working on, my main writing project is a novel-length psychological thriller about an arachnophobic violinist living in Killington, Vermont (think Carrie meets The Fly meets Arachnophobia). The brunt of the story takes place in the backwoods during the subzero wintry days of February. It’s difficult to get in the headspace snow when beads of sweat are dripping down my face.

To counter my writer’s block, I’ve tried reading, sleeping, exercising, eating, and drinking. But it’s all been to no avail.

“I’m never going to write a book,” I told Brian Wednesday night. “Everything I write sucks.”

“It will come,” he said. So long as I stopped stressing about it, the ideas would eventually come.

I stared at a blank sheet of paper all day Thursday, willing my pen to scribble out something. Anything. By that evening the page was still blank and I began to cry.

I felt the furry tail of my cat Mooshu twirl around my legs. He let out a string of loud, meows, as per usual when he sees that I’m upset. He tends to spend his days sleeping in the cool shade underneath the bed. He must have heard that I was upset.

Unbelievably, my 20-pound tuxedo cat was the runt of the litter when I first adopted him from a friend at college. No one wanted him for that reason. But I saw he needed love, just as I did; I got Mooshu a month after my father passed away. Over the years, we have nursed each other back to health.

He’s usually happy as a clam nowadays, so long as his food bowl is full. But from time to time, I need some loving, especially when my creativity is backed up.

I scooped Mooshu up Thursday night and held him close. He purred and let me cry into his fur.

When I was through throwing a pity party, I went to the couch to read. Mooshu followed, hopped up next to me, circled a few times to find the most comfortable position, and sprawled. Winter will come soon enough, I thought. As will the writing. Until then, Mooshu and I would nestle.

Sarah T. Schwab is a Sunday OBSERVER contributor and Fredonia State graduate. Send comments to

or view her Web site at