Nala’s Adoption Story

I believe reflection through journaling helps you become more attuned to the things that change your life. Everything, no matter how big or small, has an impact. One thing that has definitely influenced my life is when I adopted my cat, Nala, three years ago this week.

Cat Journal Page

Art Journal Page – “Crazy Cat Lady”
Supplies: watercolor, crayon, collage, gel pen, marker

 

I became a full-fledged transplant in the summer of 2011, leaving my hometown in South Jersey to live the dream in corporate America. There was a lot of excitement around this new life, but it was (and continues to be, in some ways) very lonely. A few of my co-workers and long distance friends recommended getting a cat. As someone who’s only raised goldfish, this was completely foreign territory!

I eased into it slowly and soon the extensive research progressed into compulsively visiting the animal shelter website. Every day I would check to see what new friends they had and one day I found myself inside the shelter. It was supposed to be an exploratory visit—a “look, but don’t take home” kind of visit until…

“Can I help you?” asked a shelter employee.

“No, just looking,” I replied. “I’ve been thinking about getting a cat.”

“Oh, well we have plenty! Just look around and if you have any questions, let me know. If you find one you like, we can help you meet with them.”

“Thank you! I haven’t had a pet before, so this is all new,” I admitted as I began to browse the cattery. I cheerfully peered into each cubby, every step pushing me closer to pet ownership.

Nala the Cat

I selected three cats to meet with separately. The first was a (very) large, playful white cat named Snowball and the second was a serene, blue-eyed tuxedo named Mr. Teddy. Adorable as they were, I wasn’t convinced the fit was right. And then there was Nala, a 1-2 year-old brown tabby recently surrendered to the shelter.

She caught my attention when I approached her cubby. She meowed, reached out her paw, and purred. She was friendly and affectionate as I cradled her in my arms. When I set her down, she poked around the room, stopping to warmly rub her head against my hand. I hadn’t planned on taking a cat home that day, but I’d fallen in love and it was far too late.

The next few months were definitely an adjustment for both of us. I became familiar with feeding, hairballs, and other fine aspects of cat ownership. She adapted to my constant cuddles and attention. The decision I was extremely nervous about became the decision that couldn’t have been more right.

Nala the Cat

Suddenly my days became less lonely and I felt a little more grounded. We had our home together and we were friends. Our relationship has been the subject of many art journal pages and my daily journal is filled with the crazy cat stuff she’s done. I can’t imagine my life without her and I truly consider it changed for the better.

Artfully Megan Signature

Have you adopted a pet? What was your story and how has it changed you?

Art Journal Page – Changing My Tune

Well, this is my first full week back at work! Gone are the days of living the charmed vacation life. Rather than having an abundance of free time for my creative projects, I’m back to finding the balance. As I approached this day, I worried about how things would change. Would I still be able to regularly engage my creative side? I can be quite the worrier at times! So as I often do in such situations (see my previous post on being confident!), I turned to my journal. This page is called “Changing My Tune.”

Art Journal Page - Changing My Tune

Art Journal Page – “Changing My Tune”
Supplies: crayon, Babybel cheese netting, Stabilo pens, Gelly Roll pens, washi tape, marker

I went with the musical theme on this one–even though I haven’t played the guitar in years! The idea of this was more about changing the direction in which my mind wanders. Rather than focusing on the past and factors I can’t change, I want to work on framing things more positively. Another note I added was to not say the words, but also follow through on them. It’s one thing to say you’re going to think positively, but it’s another thing to actually act upon it.

It’s been a long, slippery road and I know the challenges won’t end, but making these affirmations in my journal definitely help. I’ve definitely committed to living the life I love in 2015 and if I hold strong, I know I’ll be able to find that balance.

One of the things I want to work on this year in my journal is adding more depth and texture to my pages. For the first time, I tried using the netting from Babybel cheese bundles as a stencil. I laid the netting down over my page and simply colored between the holes using a crayon. It was an easy way to add a little something extra and I think I liked the way it turned out. I think I’m going to work with this technique a little bit more and see what other things I can do.

Artfully Megan Signature

Are you returning to work today as well? How do you plan to find the balance?