Ultimate Hide and Seek

Hey there, chilly beans,

I wasnít able to get ahold of AmazingPhil for the interview, so you get to listen to me rant and ramble now. Hopefully this is a good one.

Itís finally January. 2016 is over, and 2017 is here. What does this mean for us? Initially, nothing. But we can all make goals to make ourselves better than we were last year. And what does that mean? Nothing, really. Unless you do something about it. That being said, my New Yearís Resolution is to post to the blog on a more regular basis. I will do my best to post before the seventh day of each month. What are your goals? If you donít have any, you should make some. My sisterís goal, for example, is to earn more subscribers on her YouTube channel, which is under the name PandaKittySaurus (#Spon). Realistic, but also big. Letís all make goals like that together. Cheers.

In other news, whatís happening on the home front?

The Personal Stuff

Iíve spent the last several weeks on Winter Break, and Iíve got two weeks to go before I go back. That being said, nothing much has gone on. Christmas was wonderfulófull of family, food, gifts, and Jesus. We rung in the New Year with champagne and snacks, and my boyfriend and I played Nintendo while my sister played Undertale. It was probably the shortest New Yearís Eve of my life, but it was nice. I hope all of you had nice holidays regardless of what you celebrate, and I do hope everyone had a sweet New Year. Outside of that, my sister earned her driverís license, my mom bought me a new fish tank (we upgraded from a three gallon and a five gallon and added a handful of more fish), I re-dyed my hair, and Iíve been sleeping in as much as humanly possible.

I also applied for the Master of Arts program at my university with the intent to earn my MA in English. So far I havenít received my login information, so I may have to go visit the admissions office to see what happened. If I get into the program, Iíll start that in the fall. Itís a thirty six credit hour program thatís stretched out to take two years to complete. After that, I think I may go back and get my Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing as well. Then Iíll be able to teach at the university level for a little while. I suppose Iíll worry about that when I get there.

The Professional Stuff

Youíll all be pleased to know that Iíve finished part two of my novel. Iím doing a loose edit, and hopefully it will be ready for a beta read in a couple of weeks. After that, Iíll be continuing on to part three, where hopefully I can finish the entire draft before mid-June. The next semester is going to be a rocky one, so Iím going to do my best to keep up with my chapter count, but I cannot make any promises. That being said, Iím sixteen weeks away from my bachelorís degree. After this final stretch, Iíll have the entire summer to finish everything up, do a deep edit, and begin the hunt for agent representation.

Iíve also entered a contest with my short story that is based off my novel series. Itís titled Before the Son, and it follows Alekís father before Alek was ever even a thought, perhaps even before Jess was born (see my novel descriptions if youíre lost). I submitted it to the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest. Despite my opinions on the Church of Scientology, my research told me that this was a good contest to tackle, as itís free, the prizes are pretty fancy, and thereís two opportunities to winóif you win the contest for the quarter you submitted to, you win some cash and continue on to the final four, where you go up against winners from the other three quarters for an even bigger prize. Iím not sure Iím going to get anywhere, but because it was free, I thought I would try it out. I havenít dipped my toes into contest waters in ages, so weíll see what comes of it. Either way, my short story still belongs to me, and youíll all see it in another work somewhere at some point.

Story Time

Earlier this week, before New Yearís Eve, I went to spend some time at my boyfriendís house. I hadnít seen him in a long time, and we thought it might be fun to break out his new PS4 and destroy each other in Mortal Kombat X. The problem occurred right before I was ready to walk out the door. My cat, Sebastian David, went missing.

Every time I leave the house, I give my dog Cecilia and then Sebastian a kiss and tell them to be good (theyíre my kids, okay, shut up). CiCi got her kiss, but when I went to give Sebastian his, I couldnít find him. I looked in all of his usual placesóthe futon downstairs, under the couch, under my bed, in the kitchen chairs. He is nowhere to be found. Initiate panic mode.

My first thought was that he got out through the back door, but Sebastian is an indoor cat and is scared of everything that moves outside of this house. Heís had plenty of opportunity to run out the door, and he never does. He usually runs the opposite way. So forget that. Which means he must be inside the big couch, down the storage hole where I canít get to him. Now Iím frustrated and Iím running late. My mom tells me to go and that heíll come out when he gets bored or needs to pee. I give up, and I leave.

After I get to my boyfriendís house, I texted my mom and sister and told them where I thought he might be. They promise to look for him, and I proceed to play MKX and eat Red Robin (Yum!). An hour or two later, I realizeÖnobody has told me whether or not theyíve found Sebastian. Iím getting worried now, and nobody is answering my messages. Where in Godís name is my cat? As Iím finishing my burger and jumping every time my phone buzzes, I get a text from my sister that says ďAsshole has been foundĒ.

Here is the story I was told. After I left, my dad woke up from a nap, and the family proceeded to search for Sebastian, starting around 6:30 PM. They tore through the entire house, which included flipping all of the furniture upside down and prodding the backs and bottoms. At one point my sister claims she felt a dead-weight lump in the bottom of the big couch. Panicked, they ripped the couch open to find a piece of couch foam. Thankfully, no Sebastian there. By around 7:00-7:30 PM, my family determined that there was no way Sebastian was in the house. And they took to the neighborhood with flashlights, creeping through neighborsí yards and trees, looking down sewers and in the retention pond, driving all the way up into nearby streets up to three miles away screaming at the top of their lungs for my cat. They even asked people on the street if they had seen a short haired cat with greyish brown tiger stripes and big gold eyes and a white belly with mitten paws. A few people said they had, which sent them all into a panic. Around 8:00, they gave up and came home to search the house again.

At this point, none of them had eaten dinner, and Iím at Red Robin staring at my phone sweating over the fact my sister hasnít responded. They decided to sweep through the rooms once more, double checking everywhere theyíd checked before. Lo and behold, at around 9:00 PM, they found Sebastian behind my storage box and storage drawers, under my bed, breadloafing (you know when a cat tucks his legs and tail under him and makes himself small) against the wall with the most smug look on his face. They scold him, but theyíre relieved that heís in the house, so they leave him there. Eventually, Brat Cat comes out and sits down in the middle of the living room. He knows heís in trouble. And he spent the rest of the night locked in his carrier until I got home, scolded him again, let him go potty, and locked him back up.

My theory? He was angry from earlier in the day because we cut his nails for the first time in two weeks, and weíd had a guest over. A male guest, in particular. Sebastian is terrible with strangers, and heís terrible with men. They make him nervous. All that stress? He went into my room (which I usually leave open for him anyway) and hid. Then he heard us calling him before I left, but he was bitter, so he didnít come out like he normally would have. As the family continue to look for him, my mom swore she heard his jingle bell. Which means he was moving around. Brat Cat thought my family was playing hide and seek, as he and I do every morning in the basement (literally, this cat plays hide and seek). And in the end, he decided he would jam himself somewhere until he was located.

My cat won the ultimate game of hide and seek. And successfully scared the crap out of my parents, my sister (who doesnít even like cats), and me. Good job, Sebastian.

Thatís all for this month, friends.

Best regards and a pinch of spicy snow,

Kat Jenning // Shade Shadows

**Song of the Month: Better Days -- Goo Goo Dolls**

**This is my family's annual New Year's Eve song. May it inspire you too.**

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