Monday, January 14, 2013

First of the Winning Essays: Don't be the Crazy Cat Lady! by Holley of Roses & Other Gardening Joys

© Roses And Other Gardening Joys, 2012 Used with kind permission of Holley Garden

Last November, I decided to sponsor an essay contest. The best of the entries submitted had a chance to win one of my handcrafted bracelets. To judge the submissions and select the winners, I was lucky enough to have the assistance of some very talented writers and artists. 

Today, I am delighted to share the first of those winning entries with you.

For many of you, Holley of  Roses and Other Gardening Joys needs no further introduction. Though her gardening blog has only recently celebrated its 2nd anniversary, it already has sizeable following of loyal readers. And is it any wonder! Her writing is polished and always entertaining. I once inquired in my comment as to wether she was a professional writer in real life.

To accompany with her winning essay are Holley's own pictures of her rose garden. It has been my pleasure of texturize them and turn them into little artworks. 

I know your going to enjoy reading Holley's winning essay titled: 

Don't be the Crazy Cat Lady

© Roses And Other Gardening Joys, 2012 Used with kind permission of Holley Garden

Are you looking to make some New Year's resolutions?  Are you thinking about improving your life?  Want to change some things about yourself?

I have a theory.  People that make New Year's resolutions need a passion in their life.  They need something that fills their time and their mind - completely.  I know gardening is a passion that fills up all my time and thoughts.  I don't want to improve my life - I want to improve my garden!  I don't want to change myself, I just want to change one of my garden beds.   Of course, there are other passions, but I think gardening is the best one.

Let's just take another passion as an example to compare.

Did you know that there really is a crazy cat lady?  She lives in California and has over 700 cats!  Yes, that seven is supposed to have that many zeros on the end of it.  Seven hundred!  Over seven hundred!  She is known far and wide as "the crazy cat lady".

Now, I bet the crazy cat lady never says, "Gee, it's the new year.  I think I'll watch less television this year."

No.  I bet with 700 cats she never gets to watch t.v.  If she does, I bet there are cats on top of it.

I bet she doesn't have to make a resolution to cut down on sodas, either.  With her cats costing her approximately $42,000 per month, she probably doesn't spend a lot of extra cash on sodas.

At least, that would be my guess.

I know how much she spends on her cats each month because I watched a television show on the crazy cat lady.  There's something fun in saying "crazy cat lady".  Say it.  Didn't it make you smile?

Now, take gardening.  I would venture to guess that most gardeners don't think about watching less television, either.  That's because gardeners, like the crazy cat lady, have a passion.  They already spend all their time, and their extra money, on their gardens, not on watching television or drinking sodas.

And people respond better to someone stating they're a gardener vs. a crazy cat lady.  

Think about it.  When a gardener tells someone they have 100 roses (like I do), the other person usually responds with "Oh, I grow a couple of roses, too!"  But when the crazy cat lady tells people she has 700 cats, they look at her like she's a crazy cat lady.  I bet no one has ever responded with "Oh, I have a couple of cats, too."

© Roses and Other Gardening Joys, 2012. Used with kind permission of Holley Garden

And when a gardener tells someone that they have 100 roses, the first thought in the other person's mind is usually one of beauty.  But when the crazy cat lady tells people she has 700 cats, the first thought in the other person's mind is probably about poop.  You, too, are probably wondering what she does with the poop of 700 cats every day.  Admit it.  It's o.k.  I wondered about it, too.  The show didn't really go into it.  I guess they just wanted to sweep the subject under the rug, so to speak.

Gardeners can spend most days in their gardens and people will just act surprised that they are so tan.  The crazy cat lady just gets asked why she does it.  Gardeners can talk about needing to acquire just one more Souvenir de la Malmaison, and people will just nod as if they agree you need it.  No one nods when the crazy cat lady says she needs another cat!

I'm not putting down the crazy cat lady.  She is doing a great service to those cats that she has rescued.  And most of all, she has a passion.

© Roses and Other Gardening Joys, 2012. Used with kind permission of Holley Garden

Everyone needs a passion.  When you have a passion in your life, you won't be worrying about making New Year's resolutions.  You will find that your resolutions will all revolve around your passion.

© Roses and Other Gardening Joys, 2012. Used with kind permission of Holley Garden.

So, if you're looking to make a New Year's resolution, why not find a passion instead?  The way I see, you can become a crazy cat lady, or you can take up gardening.

Personally, I'd choose the gardening.

More Information and Links:

To visit Holley's blog, please click the link: Roses and Other Gardening Joys
In one of my favourite posts, Holley compared a rose to the grace of a woman on a dance floor. Also, be sure to check back on Holley's blog for her gardening book review meme held on the 20th of each month. See December's reviews here.


  1. What a fun read! Cheers to Holley! She is so right about finding a passion vs. making resolutions! This one gave me a chuckle!

  2. I had to laugh.....700 cats, and the first thing I thought of was indeed poop.
    Haha, I love cats, but I prefer 700 roses, a pity that I have just room for about 120. Such a lovely story, thank you!

  3. Love it! My kids think I'm obsessed with gardening, but I'd rather be thought of as the passionate gardener than the crazy cat lady:)

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed this essay. Probably because I am four cats into becoming a crazy cat lady myself - I kid myself that our two dogs balance things out. (We also have four roses so currently the score stands at a draw: 4-4.)

  5. 100 roses is a beautiful passion, but 700 cats is just nuts. This essay is a lovely examination of what can truly inspire us. Congrats to Holley and thanks for posting this for us to read!

  6. What a fun essay! It's true - gardening is a passion and (thankfully) a well-respected one. Passions can become obsessions (which is what has happened to the Crazy Cat Lady) but if gardening keeps us busy & provides beauty for family, friends and the gardening community, then Holley is correct. Who needs New Years resolutions?

  7. I had completely forgotten about the stories, this was such a great read. Everyone needs a hobby - although I'll confess both cats and gardens are my passion.

  8. Super fun and fantastic essay! Great work, Holley!

  9. Loved the essay Holley. Glad you won!

  10. A lovely essay from one of my favourite bloggers.

  11. Wonderful! Great essay and fabulous photos! Holley, enjoy your bracelet!

  12. I am glad that one of my favorite bloggers won the contest! And what a lovely and generous prize!!

  13. Mam dwie pasje : ogród i podróże. 700 kotów bym z pewnością nie chciała mieć, chociaż je bardzo lubię. Piękne zdjęcia. Pozdrawiam.
    I have two passions: garden and travel. 700 cats, I certainly did not want to have, although I really like them. Beautiful photos. Yours.

  14. A worthy winner indeed!!
    I have to admit - as I started reading, the words cat poop came into my mind ;)

  15. Great essay!! Crazy cat lady does conjure up visions of cat hair... and poop.

  16. Holley is always a hoot with her posts and this is wonderful...perfect choice for a winner!!

  17. Very funny story, 700 cats -- it's too many!
    Holley deserves this prize.

  18. Fun read Holley. Jennifer, you did a great job on romanticizing the photos of Holley's roses!

  19. A wonderful essay by a fine garden blogger. And the award is well-deserved. Enjoyed this very much!

  20. Han quedado preciosas las fotografías con las texturas que le has aplicado, has hecho un bello trabajo!.Comparto tus pensamientos, está muy bueno tener una pasión en la vida, cada cual elige la suya.Un abrazo enorme.

  21. Beautiful choice. Nicely written and I love how you processed the photos Jennifer.

  22. Jennifer, this is wonderful, and a winner for sure!
    The photographs are absolutely gorgeous.
    Happy day to you!

  23. Hi Jennifer,

    I have just discovered your blog, and have enjoyed perusing your pages and reading about your 3 dogs. Holley's essay is delightful. My own "resolutions" this year were centered around things that I already love to do, namely gardening, so this is a concept with which I wholeheartedly agree!

    I am happy to be following your blog, and look forward to reading more of your posts!


  24. I love the effect you've done on Holley's pictures, the perfect touch to go with the essay. I've never seen her blog so thanks for connecting us with her :)

  25. I loved reading this! I can only imagine what 700 cats smell like. I like cats but much prefer the roses!


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