Wednesday, February 11, 2015

We Are All Bart the Cat

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.

Me: Great.

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!

Me: Okay.

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!

Erin: YES!!

(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?


Suzie F. said...

Ya'know, I kind of really needed to hear this today. My MS has been "dead" I haven't touched it in nearly 6 months. I'm terrified to get started again but really want to. If Bart can claw himself back, then maybe I can too. Thanks, Elana!

Christine Danek said...

This is great motivation. I also needed to hear this. I have many "dead" manuscripts and this gives me hope for them. Also congrats to Erin!!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

I'm sure glad that grave was shallow! Lucky Bart. But yes, it is an inspiring story.

i'm erin. said...

Ha ha ha. I still laugh when I think about what else you said during that Bart The Cat conversation. Also, I'm not sure all those exclamation points were warranted. Maybe one less? ha ha ha. You are my favorite Bart The Cat.

Jessie Humphries said...

Haha, when Erin called to tell me about Bart the cat I also reacted with a one-less cat in the world attitude. It took much exclamation point enthusiasm for me to get past my allergic reaction to the mere mention of cats to appreciate this awesome zombie-cat story. We should get tee-shirts made: "I Am Bart the Cat."

Dianne K. Salerni said...

We had a dead cat come back from the grave when I was a kid. Only not quite as literally. Someone called my mom and gave her the bad news that our cat was dead on the road. My mom was so upset, she called my grandfather to come bury him. So my grandfather buried the dead cat, and a couple of hours later, our cat sauntered home, completely unharmed.

My grandfather said for years, he wondered whose cat he buried.

But Bart is a great inspiration. I have a manuscript buried in a shallow grave that I'm planning to dig up and try to resurrect later this week.

And what's with all the cat antipathy here?

Rosalyn said...

This conversation makes me laugh. I've only recently gotten to know Erin, but that sounds about right. :) Also, thank you for not posting the very disturbing picture of Bart the Cat.

In all seriousness though, I love the idea of being able to reinvent and resurrect ourselves or our work.

Peggy Eddleman said...

Oh my gosh. Knowing the two of you, I'm pretty sure that's EXACTLY how that conversation went. I totally heard your voice and her voice while reading. You nailed it!

Rachelle Christensen said...

You two are hilarious! I love this story! So exciting and inspiring. And this story also makes me feel glad that we decided to take in the stupid stray one-eyed cat that someone dropped off in our neighborhood. Since we couldn't trap her we decided to keep her. Her name is Uno.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I read about Bart on Erin's blog. So terrible what happened to him, but he was a fighter.

Angela Brown said...

Oh, so this is the first I've heard of Bart the cat. I'm glad he wasn't dead, survived and made his way home... and most importantly that he was really, truly alive lol!

But I get this gist. I'm in a situation where things are sort of one big bowl of pits, no cherries... but I shall hold on.

And yay for Bart the cat.

Adam Johnson said...

Of course cats can come back from the dead. They're the spawn of Satan.

Anonymous said...

I rewrote an old manuscript and it was published last year.

Congrats to Erin.

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