10 Important Life Lessons My Cats Have Taught Me (and how they live on in my writing)

I’m happy to welcome author Jodi Rath to the Power of 10 series. Today, Jodi shares ten important life lessons she learned from the felines in her life and her new release, Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder.

Here’s Jodi!

10. No matter how bad life can be, learn to be resilient and love IN SPITE of it all. Our cat Stewart has one-eye from being abused as a kitten. Yet, when we adopted him, we thought we couldn’t do it because it would be too sad. Stewart doesn’t care at all that he has one eye. He loves us unconditionally and is the happiest little guy in the world. He is on the cover of book two, Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder, that comes out 6/21/19 and plays a role in the book.

9. Sleep is a good thing. Cats sleep A LOT. I’ve always been one to sleep a routine 6 to 8 hours a night. After I began my business, my sleep schedule has changed a lot. My cats remind me to take naps if I can’t get a full night sleep. No, they aren’t running a business—but they also aren’t stressed, and they sleep a lot—AND their fur is shiny and beautiful! Great for us ladies and our skin too!

8. When it’s time to play—PLAY HARD LIKE NO ONE IS WATCHING! Recently, we adopted three five-week-old kittens. We mostly have adopted adult cats because most people want kittens. Our adult cats are playful at times, but they prefer food and sleep to play. NOT THE KITTENS! They are NUTBALLS! They do love to sleep and eat, but when they play—it’s like they are partying like it’s 1999! That’s important in life—adults need to play and let loose at times—AND don’t worry about who sees you or what they think. My three little girls, Lily, Lulu, and Luna, sure don’t care!

7. Race doesn’t matter. One of the themes of my culinary mystery series, The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series, focuses on a small village where the villagers are tolerant and caring for those around them. They aren’t so much with outsiders when people from the city (politicians) begin to buy up land for urban sprawl purposes, and the villagers have to (what they think) “allow” outsiders in. Being tolerant means being tolerant to ALL—not just to those that it is easy to be tolerant to—think about it. That makes no sense anyway. Some of my cats are black; some are orange and white, some are golden brown, some are black and white mixed—they don’t look at the color of each others’ fur and judge based on that or stereotype—they equally love each other as is.

6. Stop and smell the flowers every so often. We keep fresh flowers in our house weekly. Our cats get SO excited when we bring them in, and they always are on the counter wanting to smell them and maybe be sneaky and chew on the stems too. My husband and I have bought or picked fresh flowers weekly for each other for 17 years now. It makes a HUGE difference in our relationship.

5. Good litter box manners are important. Enough said! LOL

4. Don’t sweat the small stuff. We’ve had 16 cats in 17 years—never more than nine at one time. Many passes, especially when we adopt them as adults. Our first cats, unfortunately, are the ones we learned from. They would do things, and we would punish them getting SO upset. Once we lost them, we realized how stupid we were being. Some scratched furniture here and there? Who cares? It’s things—the things do not give unconditional love and trust.

3. Keep your mouth shut when you snore. My husband snores while sleeping on his back—LOUDLY. Stewart, the one-eyed cat, did not appreciate it—he sat on Mike’s mouth while he snored. Mike freaked out in the middle of the night. I’ve never laughed so hard in my entire life!

2. Understand your place in life. We do not own our cats—we are their servants. We want it that way! They bring us joy and happiness. I’ve had a very good reason not to trust many people in my life—I’ve dealt with abuse as a child and in a first marriage. I’ve worked with many teens who have experienced horrific trauma. Not all people are bad—but animals love unconditionally.

1. Advocate for those without a voice. I learned this lesson the hard way when my 13-year-old diabetic cat was taken to a vet we typically don’t see, and she recommended we take him to the vet ER. We did; they kept him, and everything in us said not to let them. They kept him four days, and he died of a blood clot. None of that had to happen. We trusted those with an education that we didn’t have—but our hearts told us differently. Maybe he would have died anyway—but he would have at home—we spent close to 13 years loving and spoiling him, and he had diabetes for six of those years. We never left overnight to be sure he got his insulin twice a day. Because we didn’t advocate for him, he suffered for it. Trust your instincts and be willing to live with consequences.

Blurb

Welcome to Leavensport, Ohio where DEATH takes a delicious turn!

Financial fraud of elderly villagers in Leavensport, an urban sprawl threat to the community, disastrous dates, cross-sell marketing gone wrong, and another murder? Jolie Tucker is ready to try dating again. Well, she has no choice—since her family auctioned her off to the highest bidder. Her best friend, Ava, has agreed to a double date, but both friends find out hidden secrets about their partners as well as deception by one of the village’s own, who will soon be found dead. This plot is sure to be spicy!

Buy Links

Amazon | All other e-platforms

Author Bio

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her nine cats.

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A Mid-Life Revelation

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have educator and author Jodi Rath sharing her multi-act life and debut novel, Pineapple Upside Down Murder.

Here’s Jodi!

As a five-year-old, I used to “play” magazine by using my stuffed animals and my dolls as my staff while taking my mom’s old magazines and cutting them up and pasting them back together. At seven, I signed up to win a set of encyclopedias and won! I used to randomly pick an encyclopedia and a page and read the article on a topic then write a summary and pretend I was a journalist. I knew back then I wanted to be a writer.

Life happened, and I ended up married at age eighteen to my first husband. I took any jobs I could get to pay the bills at the time while pursuing an undergrad degree in English Literature. I still had dreams to write! Again, life took over, and I went from working in insurance to advertising to a vice president of a credit union. I was never fulfilled. I needed a job that paid money too. So, I pursued my M.A. in education and became a high school English teacher. I’ve been in education for twenty years now. I’ve loved every minute of teaching!

Recently, I moved from teaching high school to entering higher education on more my terms. I work for a university teaching online, self-paced courses to Ohio teachers. I found that left time for writing. I began writing for educational affiliations, and that has turned to write a book on Social and Emotional Learning titled Voices, Ghosts, Residue, Revolution: Using SEL to Breakthrough Trauma with America’s Students.

August of 2017, I began to play around with the thought of starting my own business combining education and mysteries—my two passions. As of February 2018, MYS ED LLC (Mysteries and Education) was formed. I now have the rights to the courses I create and can expand to teach to multiple universities if I’d like to do so. I write for different educational affiliations, blogs, and publishers.

My latest venture has been writing a mystery series. For Christmas in 2017, my grandma gave me her cast iron skillet that was 70-years-old, and she’s only ever made pineapple upside down cake in it. I shared it on Facebook, and it got so many likes and comments. I decided to write the cozy mystery series The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. There will be fourteen books in the series, and book one comes out this November 23, 2018, and is titled Pineapple Upside Down Murder. I’m currently working on two flash fiction pieces to offer as freebies for the book; they are based on the characters as kids and as teenagers leading into book one.

Currently, I’m 45 years old. I’m married to my second husband who is my soul mate, the man of my dreams. We have the most amazing kitty family, with seven cats. I am fulfilled in my personal life and my career. I love my business. I work hard at it, but it is all fun! I’ve heard horror stories about the mid-life crisis at this age. This is not my experience at all. I find myself going through a mid-life revelation.

Blurb

Introducing Jolie Tucker, an introverted yet passionate restaurant co-owner of Cast Iron Creations, who, at her best friend Ava’s request, steps out of her comfort zone which leads her into the shade of a killer in the small, cozy village of Leavensport, Ohio. The victim is the villages beloved Ellie Siler who runs the village sweet spot, Chocolate Capers. Jolie finds her grandma Opal is a prime suspect and goes on a search for answers only to find out that her families secret recipes may not belong to the Tucker family at all. Jolie’s job, family, and livelihood are all on the line. The answers are assuredly lethal.

buynow

Bio

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.

Where to find Jodi…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram

Joanne here!

Jodi, I love welcoming fellow teachers to this blog. Thanks for sharing your inspiring reinvention story. Best of luck with Pineapple Upside Down Murder.