Okay, so last week I was driving to parent-teacher conferences, and my friend Erin called me. She was all excited about this cat that had clawed his way back from death. I think the conversation went something like this:
Erin: Have you heard about Bart the Cat?
Me: No. I'm driving to work.
Erin: It's this cat that got hit by a car in Florida.
Me: O-kay. Great. One less cat in the world.
Erin: No! Elana! It's a great story.
Me: If you say so. Tell me about it.
Erin: So there's this cat that got hit by a car. And the owner was so upset about it that he couldn't bury the cat. So his neighbor, who was trying to be helpful, buried Bart in a shallow grave.
Erin: But then five days later, Bart the Cat showed up at his owner's door. He had clawed his way out of the grave and dragged himself home.
Me: The dead cat?
Erin: Yes! The dead cat! Only he wasn't dead! He'd survived for five days in the grave!
Erin: Don't you see what we can learn from this?
Me: That we can be buried for five days and claw our way back to the surface?
Erin: Yes!! Just like when I thought my book was dead last fall, remember? It was dead! Buried! And then that agent emailed, and it came back to life!! I'm Bart the Cat!!!
(And if you've ever met Erin, you know that all these exclamation points are warranted.)
Me: You're so right! So when we feel like we've been hit by a car and buried in our neighbor's backyard in a shallow grave, we can drag ourselves back out and try again!
(And if you haven't heard Erin's news yet, you should go over to her blog. We're dual-posting about Bart the Cat today.)
So there you go. We can all be Bart the Cat. We can pull ourselves back from the shallow grave when we feel like quitting, when our eyes have been gouged out, when we think we've had enough of this business.
I'm still not sure if I'm all the way out of the grave, but I'm not dead yet. Just like Bart the Cat.
What do you think? Are you inspired by Bart the Cat's story?