Cats (and Dogs)

Since 8:00 on Monday morning, I’ve been job hunting non-stop. Because I’ve only been unemployed and off work for a couple of days, it’s still a habit to keep a To-Do list. I’ve got a big sheet of ledger paper with multiple columns all filled in with the activity areas I want to knock out this week. My columns have titles like Outreach, Proposals, Applications, Chores. Self-Care and Abnormal.

Last night I was looking into the possibility of scoring some freelance writing work—this, I believe, falls under the Abnormal heading. I’ve heard about people creating a cottage industry by writing blog posts for others. I’m assuming that these blogs are related to an esoteric area of expertise, medical prosthetics, Affordable Care Act, Real Estate Investing, etc. Content is bought for a website that a business professional has created to bolster their resume, to make them seem like a business leader, not a follower.

To me, that sort of writing sounds hard. Research is involved. And then there’s actually needing to make a point. I doubt I could write an engaging blog post about my own area of expertise (non-profit financial management), much less an accurate and readable bit about the Affordable Care Act. No, I was looking for someone who wanted a blogger like me. Someone who writes about whatever topic comes to mind. Who rambles off until he grows tired and simply stops.

I don’t know why I thought I would find this. Who would want to create a personal blog with ghost-written posts and pretend to be the author? Well someone! I found her.

I was looking at the website This is a site where people go to buy and sell freelance services for five dollars a pop. You might ask me why I, who is recently unemployed and in dire need of a job to replace the one I just gave up, is contemplating selling blog posts for $5.00. Here’s the deal: I have lots of spare time right now; I need a hobby. I need something to do with my days rather than check crap off my To-Do list and buy scratch-off lottery tickets. I need something to do besides check my blog stats.

I actually found someone who is looking for a general blogger, sort of. The woman I found wants to create a blog called Cats and Dogs. She’s looking for a writer to create  her content. I’m not sure why. Maybe she’s going to take the photos. Maybe respond to the comments. But not write the posts. That’s for someone like me to do. I paused and thought about this. I love cats. I’ve got two of them. Frequently I consider writing about them on my own blog. Maybe I can earn a little money writing about them for someone else.

My problem is the dogs. My kids are constantly going on about how they need a dog. Don’t get me wrong, I like dogs. I like them IF they don’t pee when they get excited AND they don’t lick, AND they don’t slobber AND they don’t jump up on me AND they don’t shed AND they don’t bark AND they don’t get erections at random times leaving me shocked and embarrassed.

Mostly the reason I don’t want a dog is that I’m the first one in my house to get up in the morning. I get up at 5:00 AM, even when I’m unemployed. It’s my favorite part of the day. I drink coffee and read the news. I respond to blog comments. I answer emails. What I don’t want to do at 5:00 AM is walk a dog.

My two cats are named Tommy and Roz. I’ve written about Roz before. I wrote a story comparing her to a drunk cheerleader with the same name that I remember from my high school. My story “Roz” is in my book (you all really should buy my book). I’m not sure that this is the type of story the woman had in mind for her blog, but it’s the type of story she’d get from me.

~ ~ ~

Tommy is named after Tommy Ramone. Until 2014, Tommy was the last original member of the rock band the Ramones. The other three had already died. Then Tommy died too. They all lived too hard, rocked too hard. They wore themselves out. The day Tommy Ramone died, we went to the shelter to pick out a new cat. Our cat Lilac died a few months earlier, and Roz seemed to be enjoying her independence a little too much. She was getting spoiled.

OJAt the shelter we found a lovable tabby kitten named Julius. I know you’re thinking Orange tabby (Orange Julius and all), but no, Julius was a grey tabby, just like Roz. We were all sold immediately—great personality, all purrs and head-bumps and mews. My only demand was that we had to change the name. I couldn’t envision myself sticking my head out the door at 10:00 PM and shouting “Julius, come inside, we’re going to bed!”

We’ve been through this before. When we brought Roz home from the shelter, Susan, Eli and I all wanted to change her name. Roz just doesn’t seem like a cat name… a drunk cheerleader, yes. A cat? Nope. Sophie wouldn’t have it. She dug in her heels and now we have Roz.

A couple of days later, we brought Julius home. After our shelter visit, the only remaining decision was the name. We experimented with a few: Moxie, too feminine. Bob (my kids name everything “Bob.” In the back seat of our car, we keep a severed-hand Halloween prop that the kids call Bob. Eli sometimes uses it to wave to the other drivers. We passed on the name Bob, too.

I’d been thinking hard about Tommy Ramone that weekend. That blog post I wrote really solidified my sadness. I suggested Tommy as a name, and to my surprise, everyone said yes. So now we have Tommy and Roz. And a corn snake named Sheena.

This is the post I want to sell to the Cats and Dogs lady. I’d call it “What’s in a Name?” Do you think she’d buy it for $5.00?

18 thoughts on “Cats (and Dogs)

  1. I’m unemployed as well. Has been for the last 8 months. I’m not earning anything too busy volunteering. I figured if I don’t work then volunteering is the way to go. It helps open new doors, learn new skills looks good on the resume 😊 if I ever go back to work 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  2. We call things Bob too. My daughter has a sundew plant called Bob; she’s just taken it off to university with her as she says it’ll help her stop missing the cats and dogs. We have three dogs and they do MOST of the things you listed!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought the same thing about writing for others – but the amount of time I would have to put in to figure out what I was writing about – AND make it worthwhile – way too much time and effort for such little pay. Great job finding the $5 blog lady! I say go for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Jeff, I really would like to encourage you to consider becoming a Hypnotist/NLP (programmer).
    A fellow named Scott McFall. Not sure if he is still in Florida or is he is back in North Dakota is an excellent teacher, trainer, and mentor. He has a website by the name of hypnosisconnection.
    I am not connected to him other than we did business together 8-10 years ago.
    You have been through some shit in your time and you keep it pretty real. You seem to have some of the characteristics of a great habit/life change hypnotist.
    Scott can teach you and help with the business model to make 150-300 per session.
    This note is for you personally. By all means, post if you want but really, consider it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll look up Scott. I’m intentionally exploring all avenues right now, and if nothing else, they give me great writing fodder. My wife and I have actually talked about me becoming a talk therapist. Those probably go hand in hand.


  5. given the amount of work in a post, $5 seems low. but it could be interesting. checking out options is fun, although I imagine less fun with an income ax dangling above one’s head. Hold out and keep paying attention, a right fit is there.


  6. My cat’s name is Spazz. It was something cute like Pebbles for about 3 days, but we decided to let her personality dictate instead of her fur coloring. 14 years later, it’s still the name on her collar tag. That woman should totally pay you the $5 😆

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s