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  • My sweet Frankie

    Posted on March 10 2017

    It’s been a tough week... we lost our sweet little Frankie last weekend. He passed away peacefully under our bed after a 4 1/2 month battle with intestinal lymphoma. He got sick out of nowhere and declined so fast. It’s hard to believe he’s actually gone.

    Frankie was a feral living in our old neighborhood (Ferndale). My neighbor Sharon and I fed him every day for a year and a half. He was pretty fearful of people so neither of us could get close enough to pet him. I would sometimes go outside and talk to him hoping he would get comfortable with me and my voice. I felt a connection to him right away and told him many times that I loved him. I worried about him and would keep close tabs on him with my neighbor. So I was thrilled when Sharon was able to trap him. We took him to the vet, got his shots and had him neutered. For the next 7 months, we worked with Frankie in my bathroom and spare bedroom getting him to trust us - and getting us comfortable with him too. Our friend Santa who does cat rescue and my neighbor Sharon came over many, many, many times to help us work with him. We had never done this before and quite frankly, it was scarey at times. He’d try to bite us and hissed a lot at first and just hid behind the toilet. Every time, I thought to myself, “I don’t think I can do this”, or every time I would tell my neighbor that she might have to take him in instead, he would do something to show us that he was making progress. He ended up making incredible progress and quickly became part of our family. He and our other cat became fast friends always playing, wrestling, and grooming each other. Once his fear was gone, he showed us what a loving, sweet, little snuggle buns of a lapcat he really was.

    Besides being so sweet, he was just a great cat in general... he was so laid back and mellow. He would wait patiently when it was feeding time and didn’t like to wake us up or bother us in any way. I always said he’s such a polite cat. Maybe it was because he was just so grateful to be in a loving home where he was taken care of and looked after. So it made sense to me that he went so peacefully last weekend... he was so quiet about it... he passed the night before our vet was going to come over and end his suffering. I was wrecked about having to make that decision for him, so I was so incredibly grateful that he went on his own terms and in his own way, with us... at home... knowing he was so loved.

    We only had Frankie for a few years, but he brought so much love into our lives in that short time. He and our other cat have been my best buds. They keep me company working from home - they listen to (and put up) with my constant singing silly songs to them. They made me laugh just about every day. It's only been a few days, and I miss that little guy so much.

    He was truly a blessing and I’m so grateful to have known and loved him. Thank you so much Frankie for coming to our porch a few years ago and for coming into our family. Thank you for loving us unconditionally... I so hope you felt the same... I've loved every second with you... I love you so much little baby dude.

  • The Last of My Spirit Cat T-Shirts

    Posted on May 07 2016

    It’s been a dream of mine for a long time to have a creative business and for some time, I thought creating t-shirts would be a part of that business. I would sit and sketch out the different products that I wanted to offer and it all felt so fun and exciting. Then a couple years ago, after starting Spirit Cat, I started making and selling t-shirts with my original designs. It felt so exciting at first. I was selling shirts, people were loving them, and I thought I had found something that I wanted to do. I had photoshoots done which was so fun! I loved the finished product and the idea of people out there wearing my shirts felt awesome.

    But as time went on, I started to feel like something was missing and I wasn’t quite sure what it was. Something just felt off and I didn’t feel happy. I was at the point where I was going to start getting them printed on a larger scale and this feeling kept persisting. So I took some time to honor that feeling and turn inward to find some answers. I know by now the importance of listening to my intuition even if it doesn’t always make sense at the moment. I was starting to understand that my intuition was guiding me in another direction and away from doing t-shirts. Every time that I tuned into what my heart and soul wanted, the answer to whether I should continue doing shirts was a clear “NO”. But my mind and ego were telling me otherwise. My mind would say things like, “but I love my shirts, how can I stop doing them?”, “I’ll be a failure, what will people think?”, “but I’m a graphic designer, so this makes so much sense for me,”… and the best one…“I can still do my shirts and do the other things I want to do… it won’t take up too much of my time.” I had to laugh at this one! Having a business takes a lot of work and each part of it takes a lot of time. I resisted the idea of letting my shirts go for quite some time. Every time I would look at my gorgeous photographs, I would resist and struggle more. I would let my mind and ego take over and tell me all the reasons why I should continue.

    Then last year, I enrolled in a year-long painting class and everything changed. Over the course of the year, I began to see just how much my soul craved creative freedom and expression. Part of me had known this for years but that creative free part of me had been shut down and suppressed in a 20 year graphic design career. Last year, I really began to see how important it is for me to create on a regular basis. With t-shirts, once the design is created, it’s all production and inventory management… and a whole lot of it. Which I found wasn’t making me happy. Once I found what my soul wanted, it was easy to let my shirts go and it actually felt really good and freeing. I was able to let go of the fear around it and embrace what I really love. And isn’t that what life’s all about? Being happy and following our heart! And the great thing is, I really don’t regret pursuing a direction that ultimately wasn’t right for me. I’m proud of myself for having the courage to go for something and for trying it out for a while. I learned a ton which is always valuable. So… any whooozies, if you’ve had your eye on a shirt, I have a handful left of each design, so feel free to head over to my Etsy store to see if your size is still available.

    And I want to give a HUGE thank you to all of my amazing models who helped with these shoots… my awesome friends Lynn, Dawn, Kathleene, Gianna and Chris from the Rust Belt who we snagged at the last minute and happened to be wearing the perfect blue shoes to match the mural behind him. Couldn’t have planned that better! Thank you all so much! You all did such an amazing job! And the photographer that took all of these gorgeous photos is my cousin Riva. She’s an amazing wedding photographer. You can check out her work here!

Hey! I’m Janelle and this is where I share my recent work, inspirations, thoughts, and whatever else moves me!


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