Of cats and birthdays.

Today is my thirtieth birthday, and that definitely feels odd to type. I don’t feel thirty years old, nor am I sure what thirty is meant to feel like. My day began with errands (emissions test, tag renewal) and exercise (biking, aerobics). It’s closing with writing creatively, teaching myself crochet, replaying Kingdom Hearts, and a decadent Italian dinner (but with only half a tira misu). Perhaps I’ll wedge in a viewing of one or two of my birthday gifts (How to Train Your Dragon and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World).

Maybe this is what thirty feels like, this mixture of responsibility, self-respect, creativity, and silly fun. That’s not bad at all.

Happy birthday also to Mary Robinette Kowal1, Jules Verne2, John Ruskin3, Seth Green4, and Kate Chopin5!

Each and every one of you should do something awesome today, and be excellent to each other. Get excited and make things. Maybe even say it was done in the name of me. I would be amenable to that!

Here’s something both enjoyable and generous you could do:

Erin M. Underwood is raising money to donate to the Great Lakes Bengal Rescue, an organization dedicated to helping Bengal cats in need. As part of this effort, she solicited cat poems from the online community and has posted them along with images of some absolutely gorgeous Bengal cats and a donation link.

Go. Enjoy free cat poetry, and give a little if you can.

You will find a poem of mine entitled “Fae Cat Fib” in there. It was originally inspired by the Cait Sidhe in Seanan McGuire‘s October Daye series, although the final piece also drew upon the Scottish legends of the Cait Sith. The poem is also informed by the Fibonacci sequence: I set out to write a fib, but decided I wanted to mirror the structure in the end.

Brittany Warman’s “My Cat is a Collector of Stories” is one poem particularly deserving of your attention in the collection: it’s infused with an elegant fairy tale sensibility, and phrases both fully apt and startlingly resonant. Jess Mersky’s “Alice is Missing” evokes shivers of dark delight, summoning to mind the black and white kittens from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. “Reveille” by Martha Wallen makes me laugh because it’s so true, and Amanda Gannon’s turns of phrase in “Cat in the Doorway” are gorgeously constructed and perfectly evocative.

Read poetry. Help bengal cats in need, if you’re moved to do so: make a donation, or spread the word of Poetry for Cats.

And have an awesome day.


1. Who wrote the delicately enthralling Shades of Milk and Honey, one of my favorite books of 2010.

2. Who is being honored with a great interactive Google doodle!

3. Who may have inspired his friend George MacDonald, who wrote Phantastes, The Princess and the Goblin, and many other fantastic works.

4. Who made me love him as Oz in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and is stunningly well-connected in Hollywood.

5. Who wrote The Awakening, one of the more engaging books I was tasked to read in a rather intellectually painful high school English class.