All posts by Angelique Conger

I have always been a writer, as long as I can remember, I have written! Until recently, my genre was poetry. After a challenge in 2013, I started writing novels, and I find I love to discover the story of the women I have been wondering about for years! I am a wife, mother, and grandmother, once a teacher, always a friend.

Life with Sparky: Attack

It’s evening.

I’ve been writing for a few hours. Quietly lost in my mind.

Sparky has slept on my feet for the last hour, keeping them warm.

Suddenly, he wakes up and starts to bats around the back of my hands.

I’m sprinting. Trying to write as many words as I can in 20 minutes.

He doesn’t think I need to be writing. He thinks I should play with him. He bats at me, then turns toward my foot stretched out on the footrest of my easy chair.

He starts chewing on it!

Sparky! Leave me alone.

I push him away and continue to type words into my computer. I’m trying to get lots of words written. There are people I write with who can write twice as many words as I can in 20 minutes. I’m trying to keep up.

My foot is attacked again. Claws and teeth out.

Sparky! Stop!

I push him away again.

He thinks it is a game. He attacks my feet, I push him away. Sometimes he spins away backward, usually landing on his feet. He knows I will push him off, but he comes back for more.

He sits on the footrest and pokes his head beneath the blanket I’m using in an attempt to hide my feet from him. His claws poke me!

Sparky! Not now! I’m writing.

I guess attacking my feet is better than walking across my computer, pushing on keys and changing a manuscript I’m trying to prepare for publication. Nothing like odd letters showing up in the middle of the book because the cat decided he needed to walk across the keyboard.

I’ve had it. He won’t leave me alone.

“Where is that spray bottle?”

I filled a bottle with water when Sparky attacked a small grandson yesterday.

My husband picks it up and sprays the cat. Water doesn’t hurt him. It is a warning.

He stares at us.
Washes his face.
And walks away.

I’m no fun to attack when I spray him.

We’ll see if he attacks me tomorrow.

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Life with Sparky: Little Things

Little things have become more difficult since Sparky came to live in our home with us.
Things like walking down a hall without being tripped,
searching for something that fell on the floor,
or putting clean sheets on the bed.

Each week as I tug the sheets off the bed to wash them, Sparky is right there with me,
examining each sheet,
wondering why it is moving,
and racing to catch the drooping ends as I carry them to the washing machine.

He’s curious.
He’s spunky.
He’s feisty.

I get that.

But when I return later, with clean sheets to stretch across the mattress, it is a different story.

Sparky loves dark places.

When I toss the sheet up so I can pull the corners around the corners of the mattress, there is a lump in the middle, chasing after the loose ends.

Sparky crawls under each sheet as I try to spread it flat across the bed.

Then comes the quilts. He lies on the top sheet and lets me spread the warm quilt and the bedspread quilt over him, leaving a nice lump on my otherwise smooth bed.

He’ll slide out from under the quilts in time to chase the edges of the pillow cases while I stuff pillows into them.

At last, the bed is made. It looks smooth and ready for me.
It must look good to Sparky, too. He’s laying in the middle of it.

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Life With Sparky: Another Toy

A package lies at my door when I open it.
The package I’ve been waiting for!

I dance inside with it and set it on my sofa, surrounded by grandsons and …
Sparky,
Who sits on the back of the sofa.

I carefully slit the tape and open the box.

“What is it Grandma?” my grandsons ask.

Before I can lift paper or anything out, Sparky leaps into the box and curls up.

“My toy. My box.”

It’s Mine!

I lift him out and reach into the box, barely able to grab out the intended prize before Sparky reclaimed the box.

This shouldn’t be a surprise. I gave him a box when he first came to our home. Cats like boxes. I have found him in boxes, under the area rug, beneath beds, inside blankets, even inside the bathroom sink. He loves to snuggle my feet and keep them warm down at the bottom of the bed, under the covers. (No judging allowed! My son let him do it when he was tiny.)

You think you want to wash you hands?

It is no wonder that when my computer arrived he claimed the box it came in.

Another toy for Sparky.

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Life with Sparky: Screens

Sparky lies calmly on my lap, sleeping.
Until the phone rings.

It’s my daughter and grandson, calling on FaceTime.

Sparky hears the sound of people he doesn’t know and investigates. He looks in the front, he looks at the back. He doesn’t understand where the sound comes from and who are those people she is talking with?

When he first arrived, he would sit behind my computer. He liked the warmth of it.
But he’d hear my fingers bouncing on the keyboard and peek around.
His paws crept around.
And then, he’d pounce on me!

Later, he decided my keyboard is the place to sleep. He likes to lay on the keyboard close to the screen where he can change the pictures. Before I got a new computer, he managed to turn on the music almost every time.

I never did.
I’m not sure I knew where to do that.

Worst, he thinks his path into the room should include jumping onto my chair, walking across my keyboard, then on over toward Jack. Sometimes, he stops to sleep on Jack’s feet. Other times, he bounces off to play with his toys.

The problem is he always changes the document I’m working on. And when it’s taxes or a book, it can really cause problems. I’m learning to pick up my computer when he jumps up.

It was a big problem when he bumped the power cord out of my computer, and everything went off.
And I lost everything I was working on.
Because the computer battery died.
Good thing my new computer came!

Sometimes Sparky focuses on our television. It sits on a stand. He likes to jump up in front of the television and look at the picture.

He walks around it.
He knocks off the modem …
And the router.

Suddenly we don’t have internet service again!

Sparky!

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Life with Sparky: What Happened to My Clean Floor?

The red dot moves slowly past. Sparky watches as it leaps onto the sofa.

He crouches.

The dot sweeps back to his toes, then off it dances around the room. It bounces up onto the back of the sofa.

He explodes from his crouch leaping and bounding up and across the back, following the dot.

He catches it.
And somehow it slides away from his grasp

He tears after it again.
It eludes his grasp until he plops on the floor, seemingly uninterested.
Until it dances near his nose, his toes, his tail! And he is off, chasing it again.

Thanks to friends who read my blog and made the suggestion, we purchased a red dot laser light. We can now play with him without being scratched and he gets some running in.

My house looks like a 2-year-old lives here again!

Scraps and bits of things I’d never leave on the floor before now lie in wait for Sparky to attack.

Soon after he came to live with us, a stuffed rabbit made its way out of the guest bedroom into the living room. It had been waiting for a granddaughter to return and love on it. Cuddled and tortured, it became one of Sparky’s best friends.

And then the seam split and part of the stuffing came out.

Now the poor bunny waits behind a closet door where Sparky can’t get to it. I need to sew the seam back together.

A strip of paper tied to a length of yarn is a favorite toy, especially when grandchildren come to visit. They drag it around behind them and Sparky chases them. When they are not here, he finds the yarn and wraps up in it.

Yarn!

My bedroom had yarn strung from one end to the other when he found three balls of yarn. It is tangled in a tie and a strap I detached from a purse and left on the floor. When I attempt to untangle the yarn, Sparky is in the middle of it once more.

Like all other cats of all sizes, Sparky loves boxes. His favorite place to play and hide, however, is inside a paper bag. It rattles and makes a noise when he runs into it. It is dark and safe. He can hide there waiting for someone to pass by to be attacked. He plays with them long after they are shredded.

Sparky is smart. He has searched through the toys I have in another room, waiting for grandchildren to come play with them. He has claimed toys from the toy basket: a straw, a stuffed lizard, a plastic man, a piece of string, a big Lego block, anything he can get his paws or his teeth into to carry.

He found two small stuffed animals he loves to play with. One is a little cat, the other is a dog. I think it is fitting that he plays with and attacks the dog.

One morning, I sat writing in my chair. Sparky played with a stuffed animal, the paper tied to yarn, and an elastic.

All of a sudden, he raced past my feet, growling! He ran behind the chairs and around to play with his toys. Away he ran again past me. He stopped to rest. Then, up he jumped and he ran past me at top speed, growling. I think he carried the dog in his mouth.

Where did that big growl come from? He has a loud purr, but I’ve never heard him growl before. He must have decided he’s a big cat again, chasing his prey!

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What Big Cat is He?

He crouches low, creeping toward his prey. He bounds forward, leaping before it gets away. He races through the tall grasses, over a log, then hurdles the final obstacle. The female wildebeest jumps away.

He misses.
Yet again.
Next time.

Sparky thinks I’m his prey.

I have to dance away as he leaps over the sofa toward me. I heard him coming. Good thing, or he’d be dragging me down like a lion drags down a gazelle or a wildebeest.

I have to watch out for him. He hides behind the furniture and under the bed, streaking out to attack my calves as I pass. Sometimes, he manages to leap higher than my waist.

It’s a good thing he has learned to pull in his claws. Jack might be accused of abusing me with all the scratches and bites I’ve had on me.

Sparky is lucky he is a beautiful cat.

My scratches are healing.

I wonder if he descended from a lion, a tiger, or a cougar. He has beautiful stripes along his back legs like a tiger. He’s fierce like a lion. He lies in wait to attack along the back of my sofa like a cougar.

I wonder if he dreams of being a big cat?

Perhaps he does, as he lies across my keyboard.

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We Have a Problem

Early on, we knew we had a problem.

I walked into my closet to see a quilt I had stored on the top shelf now lying on the floor. The quilt, made by my mother, waits for a granddaughter to grow old enough to graduate or get married. I had to take a chair into the closet to get the quilt on the highest shelf.

Now it lay on the floor.

Sparky!

But how?

I watched him when we were there for the next day or so. It didn’t take long to learn how he did it.

He leapt up from the floor, or from my husband’s oxygen machine, crawled up the sleeves of Jack’s shirts, and on up to the shelf above the clothing.

Later, we found Sparky sleeping on the shelf.

We banned Sparky from our bathroom.

I walked into the guest bath not long after and found claw holes in the toilet paper he had unrolled, completely.

Enough!

He’d jump up on me and onto the counter by the sink. Once, I had to move him from the sink so I could wash my hands!

He’s banned from both bathrooms.

In the living room, Sparky climbed on top of the empty birdcage and starred at the moving ceiling fan.

That wasn’t going to happen.

I moved the birdcage outside. I can’t give it away yet. I can’t get another bird yet. So it sits on our back patio, waiting.

Meanwhile, Sparky jumps from the floor to the top of the printer, which rests on a bar stool. He sits on the back of my chair, higher than me.

Brat.

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Life with Sparky

Our son set the small purebred Siamese kitten into my husband’s arms. “You need something to keep you active,” he said, only a little in jest. “Besides, he is scratching the baby.”
Before Jack could do more than pet him twice, the cat leapt from his arms and raced to the back of the house.
“Sparky. His name is Sparky, like the sparks of fire. Look how fast he goes.”
With that, we inherited another animal from our sons.
We already have turtles, and their fish, (We gave them the fish to eat. They kept them as pets!) one son left home when he moved out.
We also had a love bird, left behind when he got married.
Now, we had a cat.
He’s a beautiful Siamese, but he is feisty!!!
When we pried him out from under the bed, he took an interest in the lovebird. He’d stand on his hind legs, trying to see what was in the cage.

Then, on the second or third day, he knocked the cage off the stool it had been perched on for nine years with no disasters.
The cage collapsed.
Eryl escaped.
We thought he was fine.
Wrong.
In less than a week, I found her with his wings splayed out like she was too hot.
We pulled him from his cage and loved on her for the hour we had left before she drew her last breath.
And then, we cried.
Apparently, her escape from the collapsed cage wasn’t without injury.
We are back to two kinds of pets. Turtles, and their fish, and the cat.

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Merry Christmas

In the hustle and bustle of the season, my hope is that you consider the reason for giving. The babe in the stable, God born to live on this earth, to give himself a ransom for all that we might live again, is the purpose for the joy, the anthems, the love we have for one another and God.

Consider sharing a bit of yourself with others this season. Allow the gifts, the parties, and the rush to slip into the background as you worship the Savior of the World, even Jesus Christ.

My regular blog posts, with interviews of characters in my books, will return in the new year.

Merry Christmas.

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A Conversation with Adam

We have another character from my books who stopped by for a short interview. Welcome to Adam, husband of Eve, our guest last week. As the first man on earth, and the first prophet of Jehovah, you must wonder about what has happened to the world you first settled.

ADAM: I am saddened by all the hatred and violence that pervades the earth. Father showed me what would happen to the earth and its peoples early in my life. I know how the world will end. Because of that, I can accept the challenges of today’s world. Jehovah will win the final battle against the Destroyer. Man will learn to trust and depend on God.

ME: We would love to hear your answers to the same questions we asked Eve last week. Are you ready?

ADAM: I have only a short time. I will do what I can. What is your first question?

ME: A reader asked what it was like to anger God.

ADAM: I thought I had angered him in the beginning. That is why we hid from Him in the garden. God was not angry with Eve and Me. He expected us to eat the fruit. However, not yet. The time was not right. The person who gave it to us was had no right to offer it to us. Father’s anger was for the Destroyer. For us, he felt sorrow and grief. We had to suffer, as do all of our children.
Even though Father knew this would happen, he had to allow us to make the choice on our own. He could not force it on us. It had to come from Eve and me.

ME: A connecting question, for you. What was it like to receive God’s forgiveness?

ADAM: We had to live a time in this world and prove we our obedience before Father forgave us. The day I knew I had received forgiveness came when the Spirit took me to our pond and baptized me. That was a special and sacred day. I still cannot share what happened, except to say that I received Father’s forgiveness on that day.

ME: A reader wants to know: Is God to be loved or feared?

ADAM: In the years since the words “fear God” were written, the meaning has changed. You think of fear as something painful, fearing punishment for sin. I think of fear as an awesome love. I am constantly awed by the love I receive from Father. For that reason, my answer is yes. God, my Father, is to be loved and feared as you would love and respect and hold in awe your earthly father.

ME: I know you must leave us soon. One last question before you go. Do you still like apples?

ADAM: Eve warned me that you would be asking this question. Yes. I still like apples. However, the fruit of good and evil was not an apple. Sometime in the future, when you are ready, you will know what that fruit was. Until then, enjoy your apples.

ME: Thank you for your time, Adam.

ADAM: You are welcome. Remember to obey Jehovah’s commands. I look forward to seeing you at the judgment bar. Farewell for now.

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