From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

March 14

Six months old and barely three pounds, Necco wasted no time establishing herself as the one in charge of our lives. The leather chair was her scratching post. The Christmas tree was her playground. It happened that her skills reached their peak just as my life reached a low point. My marriage ended, leaving me with a 10-year-old daughter and a large home to support. I soon realized I would have to work as a freelance writer just to meet expenses. That meant getting up at 4:00 A.M.

The routine lasted exactly two weeks. Depressed, I began sleeping through the alarm until finally, I quit setting it.

That’s when Necco did a curious thing. She decided that the perfect time to make the kind of noises that made a human jump was at 4:00 A.M.

Every day Necco got me up when the ideas were freshest and the world slept around us. Stories were born, polished and sold. Today, my daughter and I are fine, and the old house still surrounds us. Whenever another story is sold, I give thanks to my muse—a little cat with a mischievous grin, who kept me company in my “darkest hours.”

Cindy Podurgal Chambers

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