I Have a Strange Muse, and She Is Called Stinker

This month I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge, blogging every day of the month of April, except Sundays, on a topic from A to Z. I’m posting short-form topics meant to get you talking and sharing! Join the discussion in the comments.

I don’t believe in the concept of a muse. I believe in showing up to do the work. You can’t wait for inspiration; you have to push past your immediate ideas and the inertia of not wanting to work and do it. That’s what it means to me to have a muse. I’m my own muse, in many ways.

In almost everything I do, I question myself. I have disappointments with myself. I don’t give myself enough credit. I have a harsh Inner Critic.

But there is one area where I have zero self-doubt. There is one area where I am able to say, without doubts, without wondering, I have done this well. I do this well. I am the best at this. It’s a refreshing change, and I believe it gives me confidence in other areas.

Want to know what it is?


Those of you who know Stinker, already know. Stinker is my cat. She is a 16-year-old black domestic longhair with the temperament of a vain, proud, and clumsy 80-year-old woman who doesn’t much like other people all up in her space.

Every day when I come home I tell her how wonderful she is. I tell her she is my favorite thing in the world. I feed her a raw meat diet that I mix with the right supplements myself, because if I hadn’t switched her to it, she might have died. At the very least she had terrible health problems before she started eating this way. I spent months researching how to do it, and since we switched, she is not only healthier but more snuggly and sweet and low-key.

Every day, I can look at that cat and know that I am the best monkey she could possibly have. No one could love her more than I do nor take better care of her than I do. I am good at being Stinker’s human. I love that cat well.

And that makes me stronger for the other stuff.

Where in your life does your self-doubt disappear? What makes you stronger for the other stuff? What do you do so well that you know no one could do it better?


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