Tag Archive | Lessons

Lessons from a Feral Cat Father

From Christina: It’s my pleasure (I think) to have Liza O’Connor as a special guest today as part of a Father’s Day weekend celebration.  She’s here to tell us about her “feral father”.  Enjoy!

Liza O’Connor—Yes, I was raised by feral cats.

Feral Cat Dad

However, I loved my Feral Dad Cat (FDC) and wish to share a few valuable lessons I learned from him:

1) There’s no shame in frugality

My dad was the cheapest cat I ever knew. He’d buy large bags of bread, past the expiration date, meant to be sold as chicken food. To ensure humans didn’t buy it for consumption, someone would jab their hand in the middle of each loaf. While Dad once retrieved a partially eaten grapefruit from the trash and made me scrape all the flesh out better, thankfully, he allowed me to toss out the bread slices that had been finger stabbed. Even feral cats have their limits of cheapness.

2) Expect to work for anything you get and value what you earn.

Like all small children wandering through a store full of toys or candy, I would ask my feral cat if I could have something. He’d say ‘not unless you have the money to buy it.” That would provoke me to follow behind him saying ‘cheap, cheap, cheap’ like a baby chick. You might think it unsafe for a baby chick to taunt a feral cat, but he just laughed at me. However, I NEVER got the item I asked for.

Finally, after six months of chirping, I took his advice and asked for a job. He grew flowers for a living and it turns out even tiny children can carry small potted plants from one place to another. (I was paid a penny for relocating a pot to wherever my dad or grandmother said to put it.) Trudging through a hot humid greenhouse during summers was hard work. I soon learned that money could be had, but it didn’t come easy, and thus I became very selective on what I bought with my money.

3) Love can be said without words

My Dad Cat worked all the time, but since he worked ‘at home’ in the green houses, when I tired of carting pots, I would crawl upon his big foot and wrap myself around his leg and let him cart me about while I bonded with his ankle. He soon nicknamed me ‘Bug’. When I challenged my new name, he said it was short for ‘Sweet potato bug”. I loved sweet potatoes, so I became ‘Bug’. Even as an adult, he called me that. It was his way of saying he loved me. Because, let’s be frank, you have to truly love a person to let them sit on your foot while you drag them about as you try to do your work.

4) Be adventurous and brave

My feral dad cat had no sense of safety precautions. NONE. He once let me climb into the bucket of his tractor so he could carry me about. (I had gotten too old for his foot; I was about twelve). I get in the bucket, he says something, but I can’t hear him over the noisy tractor. So I look over the top to ask him what he said—just as he raised the bucket. Split my chin wide open. BTW: He’d tried to tell me to hold on tight because if I fell out of the bucket, he wouldn’t know and I’d be run over. (And still he was going to let me do this.)

He once had me walk the 6” beam across the top of the green house, dragging along thin rope, so he could attach it to the heavy plastics and pull it over the beams, creating a new roof for the greenhouse. If I had fallen, it would have been a 30’ drop.

Each summer we would go to Buffalo River. We couldn’t afford a raft, so, he taught us to ‘walk the rocks’ in the rapids. (You keep your feet out in front and walk over the rocks you meet as the water rushes you downstream.)

Having survived these adventures, I learned not to fear danger, which explains why I kayak, raft, fly planes, hand-glide, sky-dive, scuba dive, shark dive etc.

Love you, Feral Dad Cat from your kitten, Liza

These are just a few things my feral cat dad taught me. I could go on for pages. Yes, he was a flawed parent, but you don’t have to be perfect to be greatly loved by your kittens. You just have to love them and give them moments of happiness. And that he did.

Love you feral Dad Cat!







Having been raised by feral cats, Liza is a certifiable nut.  She has no manners, loves to make people laugh, and works very hard to make you laugh.

You can find her books at Amazon.


Liza O’Connor was recently featured in an Author “Quick Chat” at ABC Author Book Chat.  Check it out!

Author Quick Chat – Liza O’Connor

A Refresher in Perseverance by Ashley Nemer

From Christina: It’s always a treat when Ashley Nemer comes by Time for Love to share a few thoughts or comments. Today she’s dropping in to tell us a bit about the lessons she’s learned in 2013. Thanks, Ashley, and best wishes to you in the coming year! 

Note: The pictures included are Ashley at age 14. Great pics! 

A Refresher in Perseverance

By Ashley Nemer

I cannot believe it’s the end of the year already!! This 2013 year has flown by so fast. There have been so many changes in my life — as I’m sure you have had in your life — that it’s hard to imagine we have gone through fifty two weeks of a year.

Those that are close to me know that on February 1st I was in a car accident that left me injured with a concussion and a few neck issues. Don’t worry, I’m okay now, but for a solid six weeks of the year I can’t remember anything! And the physical therapy until July wasn’t fun either. So now you might ask yourself, okay where are you going with this? I’m going here…


Ashley 1

This is a lesson that I learned as a child through my Taekwondo upbringing. However, this year was a real refresher course in this. It has been an up and down struggle most of the year with everything from my author world to my real life. It was through the support of friends and family that I was able to pull myself out of the trenches and achieve so much.

The year started rough after the car accident happened and left me zombified for a few weeks.  I then had to make a decision. A very hard and serious decision about my craft. After a lot of reflection I pulled my two published stories (at that time) from the publisher and purchased my rights back to them and set out on a new journey.


It has been one hell of an adventure. One that for a long time I was scared was the wrong decision. At first it was very discouraging. My online sales were minimal and I was very unhappy with that. It isn’t about the sales (or rather money) that I make – but about reaching an audience. I knew that something was missing and I had no idea what it was.

In August I went to the Romance Novel Convention in Las Vegas and that is where everything began to change. I learned some tricks that I had completely gotten wrong and I started to adjust my way of thinking. So now, nine months after my first self–published novel,  I think I finally have a game plan that will work.

I am glad that I didn’t give up.  I am glad that I stopped and listened to those who had gone down this path before me. I am glad I persevered. Now, at this point – I am watching my stories bring happiness to others. Bring joy and fun into lives they never would have touched. Are they perfect? No, no one will ever be perfect. I have a unique writing style and people either love it or hate it. I respect that – but as of right now I feel safe in saying, “Hello, my name is Ashley Nemer and I’m an Author!”

It isn’t just about being published or writing a story. It’s about acceptance too. For me. Acceptance into a community of writers, an acceptance into a community of readers, and an acceptance of one’s self.

Ashley 3

As a teenager in Taekwondo, every few months we would belt test and be awarded a new ‘rank.’ This showed an outward progress of an inner strength. In this industry there isn’t any outward reward for moving forward. For sharpening your craft. For achieving 500 sales or a 1000. No, this is a self-awareness that one achieves on their own.

And I am finally there and this couldn’t have happened without the wonderful friends I have met along the way to help reteach me the most important lesson I learned through the 1990’s.

Author Bio: Ashley Nemer writes under the pen name, Niki Becker. She is married and lives in Houston with her husband, Tony, and two dogs, Toto and Doogie.  She loves to read and has been hooked on the romance genre ever since her best friend gave her “Ashes to Ashes” by Tami Hoag to read when they were younger.  She finds strength through her family, especially her parents. They have always supported her and pushed her to strive for greatness.  Her newest book, “Special Assignment”, is now available at Amazon.