Fair readers, old and new! Lo, how long are the days that separate the present from the last time we frolicked together in that Elysian field of the intellect! Do not think this Cat has been deaf to your entreaties, your cries of "Lola Pants! Gorgeous creature, speak to me of divine and wondrous things, for I am lost in the wilderness of self-doubt!" There are birds to watch from one's perch inside one's prison, and kibbles to be crunched, and paws to be licked, and deep thoughts to be had--and so you must forgive this humble Cat for her preoccupation with her own concerns, and her general disinterest in yours!
And yet, of late your voices have clamored so mightily that even the most aloof of cats cannot remain immune to them. "Lola Pants!" you shout. "Here we have come upon a New Year, a time of beginnings, and yet my heart quavers! Will I write a book that is excellent? Am I handsome? Have I even the faintest hint of talent? Do my friends love me or are they only pretending? My writing is really stupid, isn't it? I have vowed to move forward, to stand fast to my Resolutions, and yet fear and anxiety creep into my person like a thousand ghostly knives! O fairest and softest of incarnadine-nosèd Cats, whose exquisite fur begs petting! Comfort me in my time of crisis!"
Indeed, fair readers, though this Cat is deeply absorbed in her own great works, she shall descend to the pedestrian realm you inhabit to impart a morsel of wisdom! Nay, do not babble so in gratitude--Cats are not won over with platitudes and gross flattery! Hush, now, and listen! Though it is ever distasteful for this Cat to speak of the Rejectionist--her tormentor, her gaoler, that detestable personage responsible for her current ignoble situation of dependence and imprisonment--you may find some utility in the following anecdote--indeed, you may come to understand, fair reader, the attitude necessary for what your tiny minds consider Success (and O, the ambitions of humans--so charmingly minuscule! so naive!--but this advice is directed not at Cats, whose dreams are far grander, but at you, dear readers, constrained as you are by the limits of your simian intellect).
As you know, Cats do not have thumbs, and are thus obliged to depend upon others for their provender--a situation so distasteful as to be nearly unspeakable. ("Lola Pants!" you cry. "What has kibble got to do with my despair?" And this Cat flicks her tail at you, and says, "Silence! Patience! Ingrates!") A Cat's schedule must not be determined by the whims of others--a Cat's meals must come when she demands them! How is a Cat to address this affront? By rising, fair readers, at the hour of four in the morning, when odious Rejectionist is enmeshed in slumber, drooling upon her pillow and emitting the most sonorous of snores! (Ugh!) And though this Cat would too prefer to sleep blissfully through the night, it is only by galloping madly from room to room--by sharpening her claws upon the furniture--by voicing her protest at the highest of volumes--that she may convey who is the true master in this house! Nothing shall deter her from this crucial project--not even foul Rejectionist spraying her with a water-bottle! Nay, this Cat shall not rest until that lazy ape rises from the bed, and fills this Cat's bowl with the finest of wet foods, and admits the superiority of Cats in every regard!
"But Lola Pants!" you wail in chorus. "What does this have to do with my book? I don't want to run around the apartment at four in the morning! I want to be a Genius!" And this Cat must respond with disdain--have you listened to none of her counsel? It is not the task itself that is the crux, but the spirit with which it is performed--the spirit of Persistence! of Dedication! of Commitment to a Goal! Think of this humble Cat, rising each night during the longest and darkest hour, refusing to hear the siren song of sloth! For she would far rather remain curled against the snoring bulk of her tormentor, basking in the Rejectionist's one useful quality--the warmth of her person! But a greater purpose calls her, and thus she must answer that mighty voice! If Greatness is your destiny, you must rise to meet it--for as all cats know, the gods do not stoop. Ad astra per aspera, fair readers. Perhaps on your way to the celestial sphere you might think to offer this humble Cat a morsel of sustenance, that she may comfort herself in her long imprisonment with your gratitude--simpering and insufficient as it may be. Go forward into this year, fair readers, and remember: Persistence! Persistence! Persistence!