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Liz A. Vogel
22 December 2014 @ 10:52 am
People come around with lost pet flyers from time to time, or you see signs, and you never know how it all came out. We thought it would be nice for folks to know there's a happy ending this time, so we made up a little "Mallory is home" flyer.

Our vet has put it up on their Facebook page (I think the direct link is https://www.facebook.com/cedarcreekvet/photos/a.10150815668210055.746170.451236845054/10154985886545055/?type=1&permPage=1, yes?).

If you shared the original "lost" flyer, please share the good news, too!



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Liz A. Vogel
20 December 2014 @ 02:00 pm
Mallory is home!

Yesterday we went out and walked from our most likely sighting all the way through the woods and fields to home, dragging some smelly old clothes and with me rubbing my hand on tree trunks and such. The idea was to create a scent trail, in case he wanted to come home but didn't know the way.

This morning, a little before nine, he turned up on the back deck and meowed to come in.

He seems to be fine: One ear is a little scratched up, and he's lost some weight, but nothing he couldn't spare. (We'll probably pop him over to the vet next week just for a check.)

Other than perhaps being just a little more interested in being petting, he seems ready to step right back into his normal routine. (He even asked to go outside about an hour after his return. That, um, didn't happen.) He doesn't know what all the fuss is about. What? He's right where he should be.


Today is a very good day.



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Liz A. Vogel
18 December 2014 @ 01:18 pm
Our most promising sighting, the one about a mile away, has a wildlife camera. They showed me pictures today. It's hard to be sure, because the picture quality's not great, but I don't think the cat they've been feeding is Mallory. It looks too small, and I'm not seeing the big black spots on the side.

I feel like my... well, everything, has been kicked out from under me. And there wasn't that much there to start with.

We still have the tracking dogs' confirmation that Mallory was there at some time. But there's no guarantee it's since he went missing.

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Liz A. Vogel
16 December 2014 @ 06:48 pm
Still no kitten.

Today we had the tracking dogs in. That was actually pretty cool. One human with four dogs (and a fifth dog who isn't a tracker, but don't tell her that), so that they could rotate out for rests, and so that if one picked up a scent trail, another could confirm it.

They found plenty of sign of Mallory. At the location of our most promising sighting (some folks on the other side of the "block", i.e., about a mile away), they did confirm that Mallory has been there, with a good strong scent trail. So we are at least looking in the right area.

None of this guarantees that we're going to get him back; we are still desperately worried. But we know he was alive and okay as of three days ago, and for a cat that's been missing for a week and a half, that's non-trivial.

We have live traps out. We have lots of nice helpful folks who are leaving out food, keeping an eye out, etc. We are holding on by our fingernails, but we're holding on.

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Liz A. Vogel
11 December 2014 @ 10:35 am
Hey, folks - it occurs to me that I'm not leveraging social media properly.

Our vet's office has a copy of the "lost" flyer on their Facebook page. I can't seem to figure out how to link to an individual Facebook post, but if you go here and scroll down to December 8, you'll see Mallory.

If you're on Facebook, or Twitter or anything else for that matter, can you help spread the word? Even if you're in another part of the country; if he was lost close to home and could make it back on his own, he'd have done it by now.

(I know I'm grasping at straws here, but I don't have my kitten to hold, so I'll reach for any chance there is.)

And give whatever pets are in your life an extra pat, just because you can.



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Liz A. Vogel
10 December 2014 @ 01:10 pm
The kicker is, I was having a really good day on Saturday. I wrote first thing (700 words!), and let the kitten out and in a couple times, and got some other tasks done (can't remember what now, but they were things that needed doing). Then we put Cat3 out and went off to do some errands. Which took longer than expected, so we cut the list short to pop home and let Cat3 in (she can't be around the other cats), and let the kitten out one more time in the lovely sunshine.

He was so happy. His little face just lit right up when he realized he got to go out some more.

He went out, then came right back in for a snack. Then went out again, and nattered around with the other two cats while we unloaded the car. Then he wandered off into the neighbor's yard; I half-heartedly reminded him that he has a perfectly good yard of his own, but he goes over there a lot. He looked back over his shoulder at me as if to say, "It's fine, mom! I know what I'm doing!", then turned and headed off again. And we nipped out to finish the rest of the errands, planning to return in plenty of time to get him in before dark.

I haven't seen him since.


Understand, my cats mean the world to me. I'd be wrecked if anything happened to any of them. But the kitten is... special. Not that I love him more; it doesn't work like that, and I love them all equally. But the kitten.... When we first found him four and a half years ago, I was in a pretty dark place emotionally. He is a lot of what convinced me that the world could have brightness and joy and colors in it again. I have treasured every moment with him -- I know people always say that, but in this case it's true. I've always been able to find the energy to dangle a string or follow him to see if that squeak meant "food" or "out", even when I was sitting like a lump. And it's always been clear that he loves me.

He's never been a cuddler; he likes a pet well enough, but won't stay on a lap unless he's being pinned there. Lately, though, he's been increasingly willing to ask for cheek- and neck-scritches, and he's taken to leading one of us into the housemate's room, jumping up on her bed, and settling down for us to sit beside him and pet him. The last couple times, he held still for me to pet him like that for an hour or more.

A few days ago, I went for a walk in the woods with him, his most favorite thing ever. This cat who's dubious about being handled indoors becomes extremely demonstrative when his human is outside with him: he repeatedly came over for petting, and rubbed my ankles, and purred, and asked to be picked up; at one point he clambered over my shoulder and down my back, and I bent over to make a "table" for him, and he sat, ensconced in what felt like the meatloaf position (I couldn't quite turn to see), on my lower back for what had to be a good twenty minutes.


Today, I have nothing to do but sit in the house staring at the door, in the forlorn hope of seeing a little pink nose on the other side of it.

I've often told him, "Every day is a good day, because you're in it." Not many good days, ahead.

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Liz A. Vogel
08 December 2014 @ 03:17 pm
The kitten* didn't come home Saturday evening. Worried sick. I could use some supportive words, o internets.


*Four years old, thirteen pounds. Still "kitten". Once you've bottle-fed 'em....



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Liz A. Vogel
07 December 2014 @ 11:44 am
One agent crossed off, one agent queried. On schedule so far.

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Liz A. Vogel
03 December 2014 @ 10:06 pm
My process is weird. I get that. (Okay, no, I don't; why wouldn't everybody write in this obviously superior way? ;-) But I acknowledge it.) Which means when I run across any other writer talking about their process, it's pretty well guaranteed to sound like a foreign language to me.

So I was all the more pleased to run across this post on Make Mine Mystery today. Which sounds so much like my process that I can just point and say "That! There! Like that!"

(Okay, not so much with the outlining. I don't outline, but that's not why.

And I don't usually have four projects on the burner at one time. Three, however, is not unheard of.)

But the bits where she's talking about characters, and about keeping the story straight -- yes, that. Exactly. How else would one do it?

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Liz A. Vogel
01 December 2014 @ 11:55 am
Adrian Blissfield = 204
Falling From Ground = 802
Green Ring = 4398
Total new words in November = 5404

...about a third of which was in the last three days, which is not the way it's supposed to work. But it's still words, so, win.

And what, you might ask, is Adrian Blissfield? Well, I came up with a new series idea on the DC trip. It's a short-story series, which if it goes well will make a nice concurrent project alongside the novels. AB is a spy, in the flashier James-Bond mold; the series focuses on his long-suffering support team, who do most of the actual work. ;-)


Queries: Sent 1, crossed off two agents as not being good fits, sent 1, crossed off 1, sent 1. (Total: 3 sent, 3 crossed off.) Not exactly on the 7th-day schedule (more like the 6th, the 24th, the 29th, and, um, today (which I'm giving a one-day grace period, because it came down to getting either the words or the queries by deadline, and the words have to come first)), but they got done, so there.


All quotas met.


For December, more of the same: 5000 words, query (or two cross-offs) every 7 days.



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