Stories on the edge of familiarity

Why Would a Kitten Need a Psychologist?

This month, on the 15th, the final instalment of The Kitten Psychologist series comes out! You’ll be able to buy and hold all six parts in your paws :D 

Now… I want to write this in a fun, light tone, matching what you’ll find in the stories. Unfortunately, I’m in a rather stressful few months which, interestingly enough, mirrors the stress that caused me to write The Kitten Psychologist and its sequels to begin with.

You’ll be able to read more about it in the books themselves- in addition to the stories, I wrote about how I ended up writing each of them- but I figure, might as well give you some teaser material ;) 

Originally, The Kitten Psychologist was one story, written for the heck of it to send out to my email list. I say written for the heck of it, but that’s never really what happens when I do that.

At the time, I was in university, feeling stuck in my personal life. I wanted to take more risks, move forward in ways that mattered a great deal to me. But I felt like I had so many barriers hemming me in, and I was terrified of making any sort of changes.

So I wrote about a psychologist helping a kitten who was afraid of going outside. As one does.

And it helped.

It helped a lot.

Things could have stayed with that one story, too, but the ending left me with a question that would not go away- how would a kitten reasonably pay to see a psychologist? Or, really, how would the psychologist convince the kitten to pay in a way that didn’t raise conscience alarm bells?

See, the stress that had spurred the writing of the first story still remained. While I felt better, I still felt stuck, like I didn’t have what I needed to go do what I wanted most to do.

So I wrote three more stories and stopped at a cliffhanger where I didn’t even know what was going on. 

Which is terribly frustrating at the best of times, and while writing these stories helped, too, the lack of resolution left me with all kinds of questions that I kept trying and trying to answer. I’d set up a situation for my characters that was so difficult I couldn’t see a way out.

I put the stories on pause.

For a couple years.

I went on a trip around the world, during which I visited an author friend, and we talked about the story, but everything I was saying about it sounded wrong or overly complicated and nothing was working.

And, in my own life, I still felt stuck.

After returning to Canada, the stuckness, both of the story and myself, got to me more and more until one day, I knew it was time. The psychologist and the kitten both were getting out of the predicament they’d found themselves in. Somehow. Some way. 

Because, maybe, if they could get unstuck, I could, too.

I finished writing the series last year, and Inkprint Press picked it up to publish as part of Inklets, short stories by multiple authors, published twice a month starting this January.

The Kitten Psychologist series is, honestly, really funny. When you’re a writer, you’ve read your own work a lot by the time other people see it, which is normally a recipe for killing jokes, but it still makes me laugh. And, like I said, I wanted this to be funny in that style, to make you laugh about the antics of cats and their psychologists.

But I can’t, for a very simple reason: I got unstuck, too.

Or, rather, I’m in the middle of getting unstuck.

I only recently realized that this is coinciding, again, with this series. And I can’t help but both laugh and cry at how this is exactly what stories are for:

They get us places we never thought we could go.

Like the kitten who was so scared of going outside that, one day, it decided the only way through was to talk to its owners’ friend, a psychologist.

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