Normally, I keep my "news" for the end, but a brand new year deserves to start off with a HUGE "Thank you," to all of you, my subscribers! Without you, The Writing Shorts Newsletter would not exist. I am humbly grateful for your continued support!
This month, we're keeping things warm and cozy, starting with an article exploring one of the most curious features of our furry feline friends. Then, our featured "short-short" has a hapless character facing some very hot water, indeed! Finally, grab your FREE download of this month's featured romance, which is sure to put a warm glow inside your heart.
Speaking of FREE, Wonderful Reader, make sure you snap up your FREE copy of "And the Mom Ran Away with the Moon" NOW, before it is retired as the writing shorts Newsletter Sign up Freebie! See the enclosed article for more information.
I'm so excited about all the other giveaways, FREEbies, and promotions I will have for you in the new year, so keep an eye on your inbox. Thanks again, so much, for being a Wonderful Reader! Sincerely, - Jamie Hershberger, Editor/Contributor
Curious About Cats - Purring
by Jamie Hershberger
Our feline friends offer lots to explore - furry companionship and so much more! Let's getCurious about Cats!
PURR-VIEW (Have you ever contemplated a kitty cat’s purring?) There is nothing like snuggling with a warm, purring kitty in your lap, especially when the wind is blowing and the snow is flying. But have you ever wondered how a cat is able to make this cozy, comforting sound? Or have you considered what other reasons a cat might have for purring? PURR-FORMANCE (How does purring happen?)
Your cat may look rested and peaceful, but a purring cat's body is actually working very hard! Even when the animal is at rest, a cat’s laryngeal muscles may twitch at a rate of 25 to 150 vibrations per second. This results in the sound we commonly call “purring.”
Unlike larger cats, such as tigers or lions, domestic cats have a more flexible hyoid bone, allowing for purring. Meanwhile, smaller cats also have more flexible muscles surrounding the larynx. This means cats that can purr cannot roar and cats that can roar cannot purr.
PURR-POSE (Why do the purrs occur?)
While no one can be certain why a particular cat is purring at any given moment, there are several reasons cats purr. They purr as kittens to help with bonding - the mother cat may even use purring as a lullaby! Cats also purr when they are hungry or want something, able to combine the purr with meows and other sounds, in order to really get an owner's attention! Finally, - and, of course! - cats love to purr when they are happy and content.
PURR-HAPS... (Do cats appreciate human attempts to purr back?)
Some pet owners have reported great satisfaction from purring back to their furry companion. However, the jury is out as to whether or not our feline companions are impressed with this behavior. Why not run your own experiment, and give it a try the next time kitty feels like getting cozy?
New Freebie For Subscribers - Last Chance For Mom/Moon
We're saying, "goodbye" to an old friend, but a NEW freebie is just around the corner...
No Longer Free as of 2/2021!
We're retiring "And the Mom Ran Away With The Moon" as our Newsletter Subscriber Sign Up Freebie! You should have gotten your copy when you subscribed to The Writing Shorts Newsletter, but if you haven't yet, you can still get your free copy until February 1st by clicking the button below. Get it before it's gone!
FREE in February!
This gripping short story will be free to new subscribers to The Writing Shorts Newsletter for a limited time, beginning February 1, 2021. Current subscribers will get their FREE copy courtesy of a Link which will appear in the February'2021 issue of The Writing Shorts Newsletter.
It’s the off season... and it’s about to go off. The tourists are gone and the streets of Little Bavaria are quiet - Until a gang of nefarious bikers rolls into town. One young woman, caught in the fray, is handed a gun and told to hide. As the violence escalates, she must either shoot or run to survive. Will she find her way home, or will the events of this once quiet afternoon re-shape her destiny? Remember to watch your inbox in February to get a link to your FREE copy!
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"The first time you hear their screams is always the hardest,” she told me. “Or so I've heard. None of mine have ever screamed. But, if it happens to you, don't let it get to you; it's just the air releasing from the inside the bugs.”
“Quit calling them 'bugs', Jenny," I said. “Or I won't be able to enjoy the linguine.”
She shrugged. “It's all the same to me - you're the one who wanted my recipe.”
I scowled. She was right; Valentine's Day was coming, and I'd wanted a special dish to present to Jorge.
“You're going all out - serving lobster and everything. Are you anticipating something special?” Jenny tapped her wedding ring meaningfully.
“I dunno,” I admitted. I put my head down and doodled a lobster claw in my notebook. Jorge and I had been dating for two years. I'd started hinting at engagement after our six month anniversary, which had changed the dynamics of our relationship into a bizarre game consisting of me, dropping hints about marriage and him dancing his way around them.
He was good looking, and good company, so I'd tolerated the dancing. But, I was growing tired of calendar dates - pregnant with romantic possibility - coming and going without him asking that one question which would propel our relationship to the next level. I'd determined this Valentine's Day would be the last I would endure this romantic purgatory. No question this year would mean the end of Jorge's dancing.
I didn't want to tell Jenny any of that, so I brought the subject back to linguine.
“Let's say I've got them cooked - survived the screaming, and everything. What then?”
“Okay, so, I forgot to tell you. You need to get some Old bay seasoning and toss it in the water with the bugs. It's sold in the supermarket, next to the garlic and basil and stuff.”
I made a note about the Old Bay and nodded.
“So, okay, you've got them cooked. Clean and shell 'em, then it's time to make the pasta.”
Jenny droned on for several minutes and I dutifully made my notations as I simultaneously recalled the many dances of Jorge. I thought about the two weddings we'd attended together, crying while he shifted uncomfortably in the pew next to me. I remembered two lovely but perfunctory dinners - rushed through so we wouldn't miss opening kick-offs. I recalled other occasions of disappointment, unrelated to the question of engagement - moments when I'd felt un-important.
I wasn't angry, I realized, rather stunned by this discovery. The more I considered, the more I understood - I'd quit caring enough to be hurt by Jorge's careless missteps some weeks ago. Question or no question, I was ready to make this my last supper with Jorge.
“And that's all there is to it,” Jenny said, “I hope I've been helpful.”
“You've been super-helpful, Jenny,” I replied, closing my notebook, “I know exactly what to do, now.”