Writing Haven

By Erin MacLeod

Welcome to Writing Haven! Here I'm going to share short stories, answer questions, and keep everyone up to date on my writing and publication journey. Hope to see you in the comments!

  • Erin MacLeod

Meet and Greet!

An overenthusiastic kitten stepped on my keyboard and deleted my first draft, so for the second time allow me to introduce:

Danielle(Dani and Roomie)

I've known Dani for almost five years now. We met in the lunch line at freshman orientation and became friends during choir. I'm not exaggerating when I say she's my best friend. She's the reason I started writing, as I detailed in my second post, and the only one I trust to see my first drafts.

At any rate, Dani and I moved in together when my first job after college landed me back in Bismarck. At the time, we only had my seven bookshelves and Jack, so we needed a space that had enough room for us, our books, Jack, and the dog I planned on adopting. Surprisingly, we found a place that checked all those boxes in the second house we toured. We signed the lease that day and moved in a week later.


Jack is a black and white tuxedo cat who is almost two now. Dani adopted him my junior year of college after she moved off campus. We frequently affix three letters after his name and he lives up to the title. He is the type of cat who thinks the outside world would be a wonderful place if only he was allowed to explore on his own. The fact that he hates it every time he goes outside is irrelevant in his eyes as clearly we're taking him to the cold, wet, and miserable outside and not the fun one.

Jack clearly prefers Dani to me, although he does prefer to sleep in my bed during the day. He likes to play with Ron and to try to groom Shelley, who doesn't appreciate it. He also makes sure to teach Ron everything he knows about being a cat.


Ron is the most recent addition to our household. He's just over four months old and already clocks in at 6.2 lbs. Dani and I fostered his mama and his siblings(For a brief while there were twelve animals in our two bedroom apartment, eleven of which I'm actually allergic to) from the time they were six weeks old to their eventual adoption four weeks later at Thanksgiving. Ron got super sick and we agreed that if he got better we'd keep him. I'll probably tell that story in a future blog post.

Ron is super friendly and, to Dani's eternal annoyance as he's technically her cat, prefers to sleep with me as I feed the cats in the morning. He's a ginger tabby who keeps the other cats trim in his quest to play at all hours of the day. Without him my cat would probably still be hiding behind my bed and hissing whenever Jack came near.


Shelley is an absolutely gorgeous tortoiseshell with a not so gorgeous backstory. After I adopted my dog, I wanted a cat but Dani said the only way I could have one(we have an agreement where I can't adopt any animals if she has fewer) was if they were a stray. I agreed, albeit reluctantly, as the apartment was starting to feel a little cramped.

Then one night we were sitting on the couch and a mutual friend texted me wanting to know if I was still in the market for a cat. A friend of her sister-in-law had had a cat abandoned on her farm. They couldn't take her in as a member of that household had horrible cat allergies(I'm allergic as well, but it's a minor inconvenience as opposed to a threat on my life) so they were keeping her in their barn. The trouble was, her prior owners had declawed her on all four paws so she couldn't hunt and couldn't defend herself. Staying a farm cat meant a short and painful life for her. It didn't take much to convince Dani to let me take her, although it was on the condition we would foster her for two months before we decided to keep her or not.

Shelley was and is understandably standoffish. It didn't help, of course, that the day we got her we discovered a potential reason for her abandonment, a massive hernia on her groin. We managed to get it repaired, but she was not interested in socializing for a few weeks after and likely would've continued like that if we hadn't decided to put the flea free kittens in my room.

Now, she's not super friendly but she is the most willing to cuddle. Pet her head and she won't ever leave you. Touch her belly, hips, or legs wrong and she'll yowl like she's been assaulted and run away. The most important thing to remember with her is that she comes to you.


Layola is my baby girl who's not much of a baby. I adopted her from the humane society about a month after I started my new job. She wasn't the dog I originally wanted to adopt, but Honey Bear didn't like cats and I couldn't be happier that was the case. Layola is the perfect dog for someone in my situation.

Layola is a border collie/lab cross who's spirit human is Captain Holt from B99. She's almost eleven, already house and bark trained, and likes cats. She likes sleeping on the couch, cuddling with me, going on short walks, and playing tug of war with her softest toys. She's a good girl and my siblings say my next dog is going to be a hellion because I used up all my dog luck with her.

Honestly, she's one of the best things in my life and I can't imagine what I'd do without her expressionless face greeting me and demanding walks whenever I come home from work.

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