by Glenys O'Connell
We've been talking a lot about the women who've inspired us, motivated us, given us an example to follow or stood up for our rights to fulfill our dreams.
This might sound a bit hokey but I believe that sometimes we can draw our greatest strengths and inspirations from sources that aren't, shall we say, human. I know many people who quietly proclaim that their pet – whether that creature is a dog, a duck, a pot-bellied pig, a horse, goat or cat (I've heard them all) - have brought comfort, friendship, and motivation at times when loneliness, grief, health problems or some other bump in life's road has brought them to the point of giving up their hopes and dreams.
When I first met Miss Martha (her Shelter name was Skittles – nowhere near dignified enough!) I was grieving deeply at the loss of my beloved LucyFur, a cat I’d adopted while in
Ireland and brought back with me when I returned to . I thought my heart would never recover from his loss, but Miss Martha seemed to sense the way I felt – she would curl up on my lap, purring loudly, and look into my eyes as if to say" "It will be all right – you'll see!" Canada
It was a look I was to see many times from her in the five years or so I was privileged to know her. As every writer – indeed, every living human being – knows, life can deal some awful curve balls. Contracts you are sure of suddenly fail to materialize; jobs you'd set your heart on don't come; people let you down. But Miss Martha knew that there is one truth in life – you lie in a sunbeam for a while thinking, then you pick yourself up, dust yourself down and go on.