What Makes You Purr?

Molly Finds Her Purr, illustrated children's book, picture book, purr

© Shelley Steinle, illustrator.

A year ago I lost my purr.

At the time, I didn’t think of it that way. I was suffering the side effects of a concussion. All summer long I’d been unable to enjoy the activities that helped me feel fulfilled.


  • Limited screen time, which meant little to no computer/TV/Kindle/phone usage.
  • Reading was difficult because of eye strain and blur.
  • I mean, really, even thinking was a chore.

What’s a writer-woman to do?

I rocked on the front porch, feeling constrained and de-constructed.

I pouted – perturbed and pessimistic that perhaps I would never feel perky again.

I had definitely lost my purr.

But as I slowly stopped feeling sorry for myself and ceased the noise inside my head, I began to listen to the sounds all around me.

The cheeps of the birds.
The chirps of the chipmunks.
The whir from the hummers’ wings.
The whoosh from the squirrels.

I grabbed a piece of notebook paper and wrote a simple poem.  A haiku (5/7/5), because at that time that’s all I could do.

illustration, Birds of Paradise, picture book

© Shelley Steinle, Birds of Paradise, by PS Wight.

My mind is awhirl

As mom nature twirls and swirls

Releasing my woes.

With the release of worry (would I ever be “me” again?) I began to think of our purr. Yours and mine. What releases us from anxiety and ache and angst?

What makes us purr like a contented cat?

And that’s when I began to write my story MOLLY FINDS HER PURR.

Sure, it’s a children’s story. Purr-fect for kids ages 3 to 8. And for those 38 and 68 and 88 and more.

Because really, we all want to find our purr.

illustrated children's book, picture book, cat bookPub date: MOLLY FINDS HER PURR. October 15, 2019. Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Pre-order for discount at Borgo Publishing by October 14.

Now tell me, what makes YOU purr?


148 thoughts on “What Makes You Purr?

  1. And what’s a cat without a purr?? So glad you got yours back! It is interesting the appreciation we gain for something we take for granted, when we lose it! Love the title and concept of the book. Congratulations on the purr and the book!


    Liked by 3 people

    • You are so right, Peta. As a creative, I never imagined what it would be like to lose my creative edge (I know you appreciate that, with your painting and photography and writing creativity). I give thanks that my purr is back, and that it inspired me to write this book. ❤


  2. I’m so glad you found, or rather, regained, your purr. I know with concussions, the brain needs to rest, but at the same time, it seems that rest helped it to build new connections. Best of luck with your new book, Pam! My little purring boy is resting beside me (sleeping off breakfast). 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • The birds in the video are showing the “bird” way of purring – singing their hearts out! I’m so glad I’m my “old self” again too, although perhaps we can take away the adjective “old.” 🙂 🙂 🙂


  3. So pleased you got your purr back and also found Molly’s, Listening to Mother Nature does that, for me my purr is the most content when I am out in the allotment like this morning for three hours, picking the dried beans from the dwarf bean rows that are now dried ready for next years seed.. Clearing the weeds hoeing the earth, smelling the damp soil as it started to rain… Then coming home contented to know another little bit of work on the plot has been accomplished..

    It must have been very hard when you were used to using the computer Pam, so happy that note book was handy.. Purrrrrrfect.. Molly the same colouring almost exactly to my old cat she graced us with her company for 21 yrs.. 🙂

    Have a fabulous weekend and the book looks amazing.. for ALL ages.. 🙂
    Much love

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I empathise. I lost my ability to write… think… read… after a virus ripped through my brain and destroyed untold synapses (correction, the virus didn’t, the meds to kill the virus did). It took me about 6 months to re-engage and learn to write. In many ways, my blog, and the novel I’m currently prepping to e-pub around Christmas/New Year, came out of that.

    Liked by 3 people

    • When we’re in the midst of a setback, it’s hard to believe that we’ll get through it. That we’ll be not only okay, but maybe even “better.” Listening to nature, stopping, BEing, that helps big time. Thanks much, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    • What you say is true, AmyRose, but it’s also true that when we’re in the ‘thick’ of it, sometimes we can’t see the light through that fog. But I must have had a glimmer of hope and faith throughout the year; otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to create and find Molly…and both of our purrs. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  5. So glad you got your purr back, Pam. I know how hard it was for you last summer, and I’m thrilled that you’re writing again. Sometimes it takes something drastic to make us sit down and really listen to what’s happening in the air around us.

    I’ve preordered your new book and I can’t wait!!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I hope I’ve learned that lesson, Amy. And I’ve seen friends “made to” stop with broken bones or illness and I’ve seen how they recover by listening to their inner voice that insists “you need to just be now, just be.” May we all hear that voice before something chaotic/dramatic happens. Sit. Listen. Be.
      I can’t wait to hear what you think of Molly when the book is mailed to you. Biting nails…. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Pam, You remind me of hindsight. You also make me think of the story behind the story. You are right, we are all ultimately children wanting to find our purr:) A lovely post. Glad you are feeling better. Thank you for sharing:)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha, yes, I prefer foresight to hindsight, but that doesn’t come as easily. I like the idea of a story within a story, and when I meet people I often wonder, what’s your REAL story? As writers, I suppose that’s what we search for most. And when I “discovered” Molly in my healing brain, my first question was, “what are you searching for, Molly. What’s your story?” ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • You gave me goosebumps, Pam, reading your response in what is your REAL story. By now, I know that everyone has layers to their life. Yet, I am still surprised, amazed, shocked sometimes by someone’s life experiences – a yesterday story too sensitive and respecting privacy to share. A good reminder. I look forward to getting a hard copy of this book. I have children from the ages of one to eighty in my life that would enjoy it!

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so pleased that you’re planning on giving MOLLY FINDS HER PURR to your granddaughter! I think she’ll be delighted upon reading and finding out how Molly retrieves her purr. I think you will be too. Many, many thanks. ❤


  7. What a soft, furry image as the backdrop for a devastating event in your life. Right now, I’m in over-load (temporarily) and listening to the soothing sounds of nature. Thanks for the video – and for the reminder to live in the moment. We writers must take care of ourselves. Right?


    Liked by 2 people

    • We writers understand what our writer-fellows go through. I understand your overload and yet great excitement, also, on your book launch and speaking tour. Can’t wait to hear (read) all about it. In the meantime, listen to the bird video every once in a while to bring your blood pressure to a purr. xo


    • Yes, Balroop, I think Molly Finds Her Purr is as beautiful as Birds of Paradise, since I used the same magnificent illustrator. She had to be even more creative since my story added a number more animals. The fun news is that Bert and Bessie from Birds of Paradise show up in a few pages of the new book. 🙂 I send you a huge purr of thanks. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Nature has freed me from the ‘blahs’ at many stages in my life. I am glad that you found your ‘Purrr’ with a double dose of inspiration in nature and were able to create a children’s story as a result. Congratulations on the forthcoming publication.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. As always, I had to go to your blog to find your post from today!!! I’m excited for the release of your new children’s book. I hope it is a big success!! The men in my life make me “purr”. I would be lost without them!!! Have a great weekend…p.s. Thanks for the transplant anniversary card…23 years and still going strong!!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I am so sorry that you lost your purr but it brought you to greater understanding of how to enjoy life even if it was within a limited capacity. I love the title of your book and it is also good to know that even those of us, that are a part of the elderly generation, will also enjoy your book.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know that I certainly enjoy and actually sink into children’s picture books. Those that are illustrated beautifully while parting a (subtle) positive message are what we ALL need, no matter our age. Many thanks for your comment, Yvonne.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What a delight! Congratulations, Pam. I have had a brief “concussion season” in my past and remember how I, too, would sit for long stretches of time just enjoying the beauty in my backyard. As I healed and returned to a more intense schedule I looked back on that time as preparatory and very special. I’m sure your experience provided wonderful impetus to your children’s story. I have many little ones in my “flock” and will look forward to making a purchase. Fun!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve had this experience with a concussion also, Debra. The fact is, during the recovery, the healing is scary, since it’s so slow and not predictable. It’s only in hindsight that we can appreciate the lessons we learned while just stopping, not doing, only being.
      So yes, as you describe, I now see that it was a special time (but still, I don’t want to ever do it again!!) ;-0 🙂 I think your flock will love Molly’s story of finding her purr. ❤


  12. Glad you got your purr back! I always called it a spark, but I much prefer purr. Sometimes when our normal is taken away something better replaces it eventually. I love you got a book out of it for children and it comes out on my youngest grandaughter’s 3rd birthday. I will be getting this for her. Lovely haiku, too. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

    • So many great points from you here. Regarding the haiku, I’m always hesitant about sharing mine. Haikus are so simple. So short. So…. easy to decipher, that I wonder if mine are too elementary. But hey, poets have been writing haikus for centuries, so I’m in good company (even if I’m still trying to get the ‘hang’ of them). I like the idea of a spark, too, since I believe there is a spark of the Spirit within each of us. When we identify the Spark and feel it within us, that’s when we purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. 🙂 I love the idea of your granddaughter reading this soon after her 3rd birthday. That makes me purr. ❤


        • After the publication of Molly Finds Her Purr, my next project is putting together an anthology of my flash (fast) fiction. There will be a section of the speculative kind, so I think you might enjoy. 🙂 What’s YOUR next project?


          • lol – I love spec. fiction. 😀 Glad to see you’re planning on publishing it [and other stories].
            I’m currently [trying] to work on the second book in the Vokhtah series. Second books are so…hard coz you can’t really ‘wing it’ any more. The bones of the story have already been set in stone. I know I’ll reach a tipping point eventually where the story suddenly takes off, but I’m not there yet.

            Liked by 1 person

  13. Pamela,
    I’m so excited for your! Your purr must be at full tilt with this new book coming out! So what makes me purr? Some things we won’t mention…ahem, but mentionables would be spending time with our cats and dog. Hearing good news from others. Nice compliments from others, especially when they’re unexpected. Having a productive day and being exhausted at night, knowing that I did all I could for that day. That is such a fun question to ask! Mona

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m with you on the “unmentionable’ purr – highly important for our sense of perfect purr-dom. I’m enjoying your list: being around my dog (and those of others) has always made me purr, and I so miss having one now. A productive day (YES!), an unexpected compliment that makes our insides blush. Beautiful reasons to purr.


    • My normal ‘white noise’ while I’m writing is the classical station, which I’m listening to at this moment. However, when a particularly amazing piece comes on, I will admit to stopping whatever I’m writing/thinking and just listen. Bird songs are like that too. Sometimes, a particular bird starts singing to a mate, and I’m transfixed.
      Anyway, here’s to forever being motivated, and having the energy to follow through on it all.


  14. I wish I had a little one to read that to but not to be. Maybe I’ll buy it and read it before donating it to a good friend who does good charitable work. Many don’t realize how damaging a concussion can be. I listened to an audible my son recommended as I was researching neuroplasticity for myself. The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get it Back
    by Clark Elliott You’d love it. I don’t read as much anymore and do a lot of audible due to Bells Palsy that hit my brain like a stroke. No TV, riding in cars at night, no driving for 4 years and I still walk with a cane. Little things can really do a lot of damage. I’m so sorry you had to go through this but you do what I do and find a way to turn the lemon into a Margarita. Always a gift in every challenge. I’m so happy your book is part of that gift and wish you mountains of success from it. My brain damage started me blogging so I could find my words again. Encouraging others struggling is how I find my purr.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for your comment. I never thought my concussion would inspire me to do anything, much less write a children’s book. But I’ve found that the less I “think” and the more I just “feel,” the better I create. ❤


  15. How truly wonderful to turn lemons into lemonade. Enjoyed hearing about the original idea for the making of your book, and my heartiest congratulations on getting it published. Sending you best wishes for Molly’s roaring success, Pam.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Concussion is an interesting “illness.” Because I didn’t look different, or wear a cast or bandage, it was assumed by friends/acquaintances that I felt fine. Many people, when they heard I was recovering from a concussion, said, “thank goodness it was only a concussion, and you didn’t break a bone.” I have learned so much about brain injuries and take them much more serious now than I used to, and am starting to share my experience a bit so others can be more aware.
      And wonderfully, out of all this came Molly and her Purr! 🙂 xo

      Liked by 1 person

  16. And how you turned something negative into something positive, Sam! From feeling blah to becoming creative to producing a finished piece of art! Well done. I love the cover as well. Congrats on the book and good luck with the launch!

    What makes me purr is being able to take my time to enjoy life, which is exactly what I’m managing to do right now, on the road. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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