I’m a cat-owned, book-obsessed deaf writer. My aim is to creatively inspire, and provoke thoughtful discussion, about a variety of topics – from feminism, body acceptance, deafness, and introversion, all the way to the writing life, creativity, and modern living. I often share recommendations and reviews, as I’m passionate about books and reading, watching a wide range of films, going to the theatre, travel, and cultural events – and hope that I help you find your next favourite book or film. I currently live in Greater London, so the city is just a tube ride away – a veritable cultural wonderland.
Cats and Chocolate started in 2007, as a personal blog, when I was studying for an MA in Women’s Studies, and wanted to start afresh with a new online space. Since then, the blog has steadily grown as my focus has developed towards the creative life. I hope in the coming years that this website will further grow into a vibrant space for creative inspiration.
My other passion is for access, equality, and diversity – particularly since, being deaf, access continues to be a hot topic, despite the advances of subtitling, captioning, and other technology. I consider myself an ally and campaigner for a wide range of activist communities – campaigning towards a society that accepts people of all abilities, genders, and backgrounds.
Since I’m also a writer and essayist, I also share my own works-in-progress from time to time, and you can look forward to reading offbeat rough drafts or snippets of essays. My love of fiction and non-fiction has inspired me to write the stories that are missing: I enjoy writing stories about the mysterious, the weird and the unexplained. In time, I will be sharing my progress publishing the novels and non-fiction work I’m currently writing – and hope that my journey will inspire new and aspiring writers.
Why Cats and Chocolate?
You might be wondering why I have chosen to keep my website name as Cats and Chocolate! Both these things – cats, and chocolate – are two things I appreciate very much. I have never lived without a cat.
When I was born, my parents already had a half-wild cat called Fulham (he was black and white), who was both the love and the bane of my early life. He was incredibly affectionate, until he became fed up and smacked your hand. Whilst he was an elderly cat, we welcomed Georgina and Quentin into the family (we didn’t name them, but their names stuck!), a stunning pair of gentle grey and white cats, who promptly had their ears clipped by Fulham’s assertion of dominance.
We were devastated when Fulham was run over one afternoon in the mid-90s. We never let the cats out of the front of the house again. About a year after Quentin and Georgina joined us, Georgie gave birth to a litter of kittens, and our parents agreed that we could only keep one if it was black and white like Fulham. Of course, since Georgina was mostly white with grey fur, and the majority of the kittens were a mix of brown and white tabby, imagine how strange it was to see one little black and white long-haired tuxedo cat with a tiny black smudge on her nose. We called her Flossie.
I’ve written a number of posts over the years about the three of them. They all had long, happy lives with us, and the last of them, Flossie, died when she was about 14, as did the other two. The months without her were some of the saddest months I’ve experienced, and the house felt incredibly empty. About two months later, we decided, as a family, to start looking for two cats to adopt, and in September of 2013, we adopted Chocolat and Marmalade.
It was our first experience of adopting adult cats, and it was interesting to see how they adapted to us and their new home. We had two years of wonderful memories with the two of them, when Marmalade, our shy ginger boy, went missing in September 2015. As of March 2016, he is still missing. We still have Chocolat, and she is amazing – a vocal and gentle tortoiseshell.
As for chocolate – it’s the simple pleasures in life that often make all the difference!
‘You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love.’ – Cheryl Strayed.