Doris McCrawPost copyright 2015 by Doris McCraw


I thought I’d take a break from writing about individual women doctors and investigate a related topic, grooming the cat. If anyone has tried this exercise, you know it is filled with challenges, frustrations and maybe a bit of laughter. Okay a lot of laughter; after the scars have healed.

I can hear you saying, the cat grooms itself. Yes, they do, but sometimes they can use a bit of help. Just ask the cat owner who cleans up after a hairball has landed on the floor, bed cover or your shoes. Because the cat is used to grooming itself, they don’t like their owners manhandling them, unless of course you started when they were really young. How many people have done that?


Just like grooming a cat, anytime you try something new or challenging, there is that learning curve. The pain of getting scratched or worse, being disliked. Like the cat, you will get over it. No, you may not like it but once it’s done you do feel better.

When I started researching ‘my’ doctors, I ran into a lot of stuff, much of it did not even contribute to the overall information I was looking for. I had to clear the excess away and get to the basics. Even as I worked through the ‘women had a hard time’ scenario to get to the actual information, I found myself worrying about whether I would ever find the truth. I’m not saying women didn’t have a difficult time, but back then everyone had a difficult time compared to our lives. When we try to put our lifestyle against another it will always fall short of the other persons truth.  The fiction writer can get away with some of those comparisons, but for historians it can cause problems.


So as I groom my cat, and he starts purring, then wanting to play with the comb, I find pleasure in his response. As I groom away the excess in my research, I also find a great deal of pleasure. But lest you think that excess fur, and excess information are a total waste, you can use the excess to create something new. No, I don’t usually use cat fur, but it would be fun to glue onto something creative. The excess information I don’t use, well it can end up in a story. which is what I did with my latest short.  That titbit of information help me create Tom’s story, a follow up from my first novella, which will appear in an upcoming anthology.


So you see, even grooming the cat has rewards. Until next time, here is to your own joy in grooming your ‘cat’.

home for his heart angela raines

also available as an ebook on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

Doris Gardner-McCraw/Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Author Page:

Photo and Poem:



20 thoughts on “GROOMING THE CAT by Doris

  1. Nice column. Reminds me of some “cat-grooming’ tales I’ve witnessed over the decades. Back in the early ’60s, when I was probably 10 or 11, my Grandpa Frog on a visit to our home in California decided to wash our cat Harold. The cat had apparently gotten into some mischief and was quite dirty. Of course, grandpa got the job only half done before Harold escaped. He turned several times and hissed as he took off. Another time my friend Jayne — back in the 1980s — washed a kitten we’d found along the side of the road. Sweet kitty we named Blue Boy — white fur with blue eyes. She washed him in the sink to get off all the dirt and grime, and asked me, “Are you going to make him yours?” Of course, I said yes. The cats I’ve had through the decades do seem to enjoy being brushed by a grooming brush; nonetheless, they’ll let you know in no uncertain terms when they’ve had enough.


    1. They do let you know, don’t they Mike. I’ve still more than a few scars from over the years when I didn’t quite get the message. Still, I’d not give up those scars for the joy they have given me over the years.

      Thank you for sharing your stories. I loved them. Harold sounds like quite the personality, and Blue Boy-how sweet that one sounds to be. Good for you for taking them into your care. Doris


  2. That’s a wonderful way to look at it. I have tried to groom a full grown cat. And I am laughing at my pain. LOL Thanks for the post and the beautiful photo of your cat. He’s very handsome, or is it a she? Cher’ley


    1. This one is Gabriel. He will almost stay still for photos. Gabriela is another story. He is a handsome cat, with beautiful green eyes. But neither one are big fans of the grooming ritual, and if you don’t watch the clues…yep, laughing through the pain.

      Thank you for the compliments, for me and Gabriel. Doris


  3. Nice analogy. Enjoyed hearing how you have to groom your information and that it can be used for another story, and enjoyed the photos of your beautiful cat! Enjoyable read!


    1. Thank you Neva. I really do believe no good research go unused. Of course, I do love the research process.

      I also thank you for your kind words about Gabriel. He has almost learned, or has deceided not to run immediately when he sees the camera, unlike Gabriella. (Sigh). Doris


  4. I have to say that wasn’t at all what I was expecting. You caught me by surprise–a neat surprise. I really enjoyed this and the analogy is perfect. Thanks!


    1. Thank you Joe. The idea, as you can tell, hit me when I was trying to groom Gabriel. The similiarities to what I run into when I research my women doctors was to strong not to present it to the world.

      I am so glad you enjoyed and found the ‘process’ useful. Doris


  5. Enjoyed the post Doris. I liked the way compared grooming a cat to writing. Very interesting outlook and great idea for a blog post. I had a kitten I trained from birth to let me groom her. She loved the pool and we took her in often. She was very comfortable being handled and groomed. Guess if you start them young it’s easier. It is a lot like writing, isn’t it?


    1. Yes, Linda it is. Pets are so much a part of the lives of those who love them. I believe it is the same with writing. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Pets can be more than just unconditional love, they are also great inspirations. Doris


  6. Doris, great comparison! And there I was about to tell you that if you found grooming a cat difficult, you should try giving it liquid antibiotic via syringe. I don’t suppose there’s an analogy with research for that?


    1. I’ve done just that Andrea, giving a cat meds. It’s like finding a piece of information that makes all the rest you’ve done so questionable, but so necessary to get to the heart of your study. Still, if you’re going to do it well, you have to do it right.

      Thank you for the kind words about this comparison. It just seemed to be the perfect fit. Doris

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post, Doris! Like Joe, I did a re-read when you wove writing into grooming a cat — WELL DONE! I’m thankful my kitties enjoy grooming and it is something I started when they were young — now I all I have to say is “brush” and they come running TO me, whereas other cats I’ve had ran AWAY when they saw the brush (I think they ignored the word! LOL) My post scheduled for tomorrow is also pet-related (but no analogy to writing in mine!!) – thankful most if not all of us Wranglers are “pet people!” Hugs to you and your furry friends.


    1. Gabe will be happy for the hug, Gaby, well when I catch her will tolerate one. LOL Thank you for the kind words about the post, and for re-reading. It is amazing what we can learn from our multi-legged friends and the joys they give to us. Doris


  8. Nice post. You are so right. Like you save unused info, sentences and paragraphs when working on something. I have found they often come in handy later. As for cat hair, I suppose it is similar to dog hair. I have found when I brush the dog outside minutes later birds and squirrels are eagerly snatching up the hair , I think they use it for their nests.


    1. Thank you S.J.. I believe you are correct, birds and other nest builiding animals would like the ‘hair’, for it would make good insulation. I truly do believe little of the natural world goes to waste. Doris


  9. My cats sort of like to be groomed–well, brushed–but they also sort of don’t. I have to follow one of them around. She’ll stay by me for a bit, then walk away and lay down. I go to her, brush her some more, and then she gets up again after a while. The other I just have to get in small strokes as she walks by me; otherwise, she’s scared.


    1. They do have their own way of doing things, don’t they Stephanie. Gotta love them, but grooming can be time consuming. So sorry to hear the one is scared. Hopefully she’ll get over it. Doris


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.