Wednesday, February 17, 2016


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Post Copyright 2016 by Doris McCraw/Angela Raines

 I thought I'd take a break and investigate a different topic, grooming the cat. If anyone has tried this exercise, you know it is filled with challenges, frustrations and maybe a bit of laughter. Okay a lot of laughter; after the scars have healed. And how does this relate? Read on.

I can hear you saying, the cat grooms itself. Yes, they do, but sometimes they can use a bit of help. Just ask the cat owner who cleans up after a hairball has landed on the floor, bed cover or your shoes. Because the cat is used to grooming itself, they don’t like their owners manhandling them, unless of course you started when they were really young. How many people have done that?

Just like grooming a cat, anytime you try something new or challenging, there is that learning curve. The pain of getting scratched or worse, being disliked. Like the cat, you will get over it. No, you may not like it but once it’s done you do feel better.

When I started researching ‘my’ doctors, I ran into a lot of stuff, much of it did not even contribute to the overall information I was looking for. I had to clear the excess away and get to the basics. Even as I worked through the ‘women had a hard time’ scenario to get to the actual information, I found myself worrying about whether I would ever find the truth. I’m not saying women didn’t have a difficult time, but back then everyone had a difficult time compared to our lives. When we try to put our lifestyle against another it will always fall short of the other persons truth. The fiction writer can get away with some of those comparisons, but for historians it can cause problems.

So as I groom my cat, and he starts purring, then wanting to play with the comb, I find pleasure in his response. As I groom away the excess in my research, I also find a great deal of pleasure. But lest you think that excess fur, and excess information are a total waste, you can use the excess to create something new. No, I don’t usually use cat fur, but it would be fun to glue onto something creative. The excess information I don’t use, well it can end up in a story, as it has over the course of my short fiction writing career.

So you see, even grooming the cat has rewards. Until next time, here is to your own joy in grooming your ‘cat’.

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Originally from the mid-west, Doris now calls the Rocky Mountains her home. Doris is a writer, historian, actor,and teacher. An avid reader Doris loves to spend time in history archives looking for the small, unknown pieces of history. Many times these pieces end up in her stories or poems.  Like her author page to stay on top of her work: , and make sure to check out her haiku and photographs at
“One Christmas Knight” Medieval Anthology
“Angel of Salvation Valley”


  1. Doris, what a delightful metaphor you wove here! That cat looks pretty fat and sassy, and his coat just gleams. You're doing something right with him. (I sneezed just reading your post. I'm terribly allergic to cats, but I've always wanted one.)

    Keep "grooming," sweet lady. Readers look forward to your well-groomed stories. :-)

  2. Kathleen, I'm so sorry you are allergic to cats. Gabe, the model in the photos is such a sweetie. He and Gaby keep me sane. (if there is such a thing). I'm working on some new stories, hope readers will enjoy them, they just need a bit of grooming.

    Glad you enjoyed the metaphor! Doris/Angela

  3. Wonderful post, Doris/Angela--
    Your metaphor resonates with me. It makes so very much sense. So glad you shared your insights with us!

  4. Thank you Kristin. My Gabe, the subject of the photos above, can be quite fun to groom, but other times not so much. I give him credit for the idea. **Smile** Doris/Angela