Writing Advice from my Departed Cat

Two weeks ago I received a message from my departed cat, Lucy.

I was interviewing Joan Ranquet for Author Magazine Online. Joan is the Hay House author of Communications with All Life: Revelations of an Animal Communicator. Joan also happened to be in Seattle last June, just a few weeks prior to my seventeen-year-old cat’s passing.

Lucy had been sick for some months with pancreatic cancer. I had been doing my best to make her comfortable and wanted to check in with her while there was still time. Joan stopped by for a session with Lucy and it was satisfying to learn how my care was making Lucy feel better. Lucy died exactly two weeks later.

I heard from Lucy in the days following her passing (chronicled in part in “The Passing of an Old Friend“) and, although she hasn’t been physically hanging around the house, I feel Lucy’s presence often. Two weeks ago, when my interview with Joan drew to a close, I couldn’t resist asking her if we could check in with Lucy.

There was a pause at the other end of the line. Then she said, “If Lucy had arms, she would put them around you. She’s is taking care of you in ways that I know you are already aware of.  She really just wants you to know that everything is fine. And she thinks you’re on the right path.”

All very nice to hear. Lucy thinks I’m on the right path. Very reassuring. But part of me was disappointed at how generic that answer had been. It had been a vanilla message that boiled down to “I love you.” Anyone could have said it.

But then Joan added something that made those few sentence sparkle with meaning. “She thinks there is a second novel – I don’t know what you’re currently writing – she thinks that there something else that’s been shelved that she thinks might happen first and that you may want to look at that.”

Hmmm. This stumped me. I quickly dismissed my first three novels, a science fiction trilogy. Maybe it was Miles the Cat, a children’s story I’d penned a few years back. But it was most likely Oversoul, Inc., a novel I’d finished in 2007 about a spirit guide.  “Interesting. That could be two different things.”

“Okay,” Joan answered, “which one has a bunch of history in it?”

“It’s a book called Oversoul, Inc.,” I started to say, but…  History? It had a parallel narrative, one of which took place in the 1950s. Did that qualify as “a bunch of history”?

Then it occurred to me. I’d started writing a novel about two boys who run away from their home in Cooperstown, New York, to join the Union Army. It was a book I’d put aside to write the current young adult novel that my agent was presently circulating to editors in New York. I started to tell Joan this, when she stumbled over me and we said almost simultaneously something about the Civil War.

“Yeah,” Joan said. “That one. What are you doing with that one?”

“It’s been put on a shelf.”

“Well, she thinks you should at least dust it off and take a look at it next.”


It occurred to me later that there was no way Joan could have known about that novel. If she’d just been fishing, why hadn’t she just bitten at Oversoul, Inc. when I first mentioned it? It validated Lucy’s entire message.

So, my cat has an opinion on my writing. What a wonderful universe we live in when your cat can offer career advice from the Other Side.

I read an account in Kim Sheridan’s book, Animals in the Afterlife, about a woman who went to a medium to connect with a passed loved one. During the session, the woman’s former cat (who had died some time before) had come through with a message. The cat warned the woman that there was something wrong with the tires on her car and when the woman later had it checked out, the information proved correct. But that’s not the cool part. When the woman later listened to the audio recording of her reading with the medium, she heard the perfectly clear sound of a cat meowing, a sound that hadn’t been present when the session took place.

I suppose if a cat can alert her former owner about possible catastrophic vehicular malfunction from the Other Side, then my cat Lucy can offer writing advice.

Please listen to my full interview with Joan on Author Magazine’s website.


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Brian Mercer is the author of the supernatural YA novel, Aftersight (Astraea Press, 2013). He is also co-author with Robert Bruce of Mastering Astral Projection: 90-Day Guide to Out-of-body (Llewellyn, 2004) and The Mastering Astral Projection CD Companion (Llewellyn, 2007). A board member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and senior editor at Author Magazine, he lives in Seattle with his wife, Sara, and their three cats.

 URL: www.brianmercerbooks.com