Let’s Talk About…Cockroaches!

By J. Christy McKibben

What do you think about cockroaches? Unclean, gross, disgusting, scary? Another adjective? Maybe several more adjectives?

Cockroaches have always frightened me, even before my first one-on-one, live and in-person, encounter with a very adult (large) American cockroach. I remember that experience vividly. As I have (unfortunately) encountered more over the years, I’ve actually become quite amazed by their running speed, as well as the speed at which they discover someone is lurking over or around them.

I love learning about new things, so, as my curiosity grew, I did more and more research to learn what makes cockroaches tick. I found out a ton of information, and I thought I’d create a short book with some of the items I found the most fascinating about cockroaches.

As I say in the book, don’t expect to find anything that you can’t find yourself on the internet. That’s where I did all of my research. And you may know some of the facts included, or you may just not find them fascinating at all. But, I wrote what I believe to be an informative and fun book about everyone’s favorite insect (wink).

I hope you enjoy it!

If you’d like to purchase this book, please click here.

My Pal Tiernan’s Coloring Book 1

By J. Christy McKibben

This uniquely illustrated coloring book keeps children engaged, entertained, and in high spirits for hours! Take it on long car, train, bus, or airplane trips; or for coloring at home—it’s recommended for any occasion! Each black and white page has quirky and amusing images of cats and their surroundings. This activity book is for children of any gender or age (although generally ages 2-7 enjoy it the most). Please remember…drawing other pictures inside any or all of the pages is definitely encouraged—it’s all up to you! This coloring book is the first in a brand new series of My Pal Tiernan coloring books (and rhyming storybooks). See the author page for more information. Order your book now, and soon enough it’ll be time to color away, y’all!

If you’d like to purchase this book, please click here.

Hey Tiernan! Where’s Your Tail? (My Pal Tiernan Book 1)

By. J. Christy McKibben

Pru’s the new cat in town—and she has one teeny-tiny question for her new pal Tiernan…
“Ummm…where is your tail? I see that you’re fully tail-free.”

LIGHTBULB! Tiernan turns Pru’s question into the perfect lesson for the day: everyone is an individual and we need to embrace each other’s differences. In other words…Unique is chic! To vary can be merry! Rare shouldn’t scare! (You get the idea.)

“Hey Tiernan! Where’s Your Tail?” is the first book in the brand new e-book and paperback series My Pal Tiernan.

Tiernan’s books are full of colorful illustrations, told in fun rhymes, and are full of cats, cats, and more cats!

Be sure to keep an eye out for Book 2 in the My Pal Tiernan series! And don’t forget…

Whether bedtime or storytime,
If you’re big or small.
For anyone and any time…
Get your rhyme on, y’all!

If you’d like to purchase this book, please click here.

Living in Darkness: Understanding the Dark Cloud of Depression

By J. Christy McKibben

Living in Darkness: Understanding the Dark Cloud of Depression is a self-published book available in paperback or digital format on Amazon.com. Below is a description of the book.

Depression is a dreadful, unpleasant, stubborn, vexatious, miserable, and woeful mental illness.

In other words, it sucks.

More likely than not, you’ve either suffered from a mood disorder or mental illness yourself, or you know someone who has at some point in their life. (Or maybe it’s both.)

This book was written with the goal of helping the loved ones of those with depression. But, it’s also appropriate for those searching for more information about mental illness, whether it’s concern for themselves, or just plain ol’ curiosity.

Anyone can fall victim to depression. Age doesn’t matter. Mental illness can affect very young children, kids, teens, adults, and seniors. Your ethnicity and nationality do not matter, whether you’re rich or poor; male, female, or transgender…none of it matters—depression doesn’t discriminate.

This book lists numerous signs and symptoms for both depression and suicide. A few examples being: feeling worthless or hopeless; having a lack of motivation; reckless or fearless behavior; headaches or other chronic pain with no apparent reason. You’ll also learn about potential causes and triggers, a few of which include: grief; marriage, relationship, or family problems; another trauma or tragedy.

The book points out the importance of visiting a doctor. They’re the only people who can give a diagnosis. Depression can be confused with many other disorders and illnesses, some of which include: PTSD, bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Because of the many possible diagnoses, it’s crucial that a Medical Doctor (usually a psychiatrist) is involved.

Treatments such as communication with a psychiatrist, psychotherapy, group therapy, medications, rTMS, and ECT are thoroughly discussed. Also included are descriptions of six of the most common complementary therapies, and a brief list of less common complementary therapies.

Part of the importance of the book (at least to me) are the discussions of my personal experiences with depression. Some people are very insensitive when it comes to mental illness, and some just don’t know how to have a conversation with “us”—so I give examples of things expressed to me, and why they’re offensive in my opinion.

I also have a chapter as to how I believe those with depression should be treated. This is all from my perspective; it won’t match everyone’s experience; so keep that in mind.

Another main point made in the book is that there is no cure for depression. There are things you can do to find relief, and to avoid future episodes of depression, like healthy living; but there is no absolute cure. (I wish it existed!). And by the way, I LOVE self help books, but when someone is in the midst of a severe episode of depression, they need a psychiatrist, treatment(s), and in some very severe cases, an emergency room.
The real goal when it comes to depression should be remission—which can happen by working with the psychiatrist and following the treatment plan to overcome and recover from the signs and symptoms experienced.

Depression can’t be beat for good, but with healthy living, and keeping an eye out for signs and symptoms, it is possible to avoid having another episode of depression (catch it EARLY, it’ll make treatment much easier).
If you’re the loved one of someone with depression, you’ll want to educate yourself, as well as to help gently guide your loved one towards healing. But don’t forget to take care of yourself—it’s essential; you are no good to your loved one if you become ill.

There’s a distinctive darkness to depression. I’m still fighting my major depressive disorder, anxiety, and OCD every day—but life can, and does, go on. Things can get better. Life can feel like it’s worth living again. But, it will take time and a lot of effort. It will be worth it—for both you and your loved one.

I can’t prepare you for any situation you may face; but I sincerely hope this book can help you out in some way.

If you’d like to purchase this book, please click here.

Your Cat Loves You and Will Always Be True

By J. Christy McKibben

“There’s a dead mole at our back door!”

“Who just bit my ear?”

“I just tripped over kitty again!”

Hang around them long enough, and you may hear one of these exclamations from a cat mom or dad. But those statements have one thing in common—and it’s more valuable than what anyone has in their bank account. What is it?

Love.

It’s all about love.

Unconditional, eternal, guileless love.

There are various ways dear kitty may communicate her love for you—to you. Her methods may range from the disgusting (think dead moles, rats, mice, or birds left on your doorstep)—to the sweetest purrs, chirps, or mews you’ll ever know.

Understanding that there are many ways cats show their love is essential in understanding how your cat shows her love. Some affection is obvious, you’ve definitely seen these ways in practice. Other behaviors may not initially be interpreted as love (think back to the dead animals left on your doorstep).

Love Bites and Flashing

Love isn’t usually declared through biting (i.e. an angry two-year-old, or a rabid animal). But, when your cat nips, or gives you “love bites,” she’s expressing her love. Some of the places I’ve noticed cats like to give love bites are on an ear, nose chin, or hand. Kitty may also go for your hair and/or scalp. It’s sometimes necessary to gently redirect kitty to give little kisses instead.

Flashing her belly is one way kitty loves to convey her love to you. She’s demonstrating that she’s willing to be vulnerable around you; she’s comfortable and trusting of you. Kitty will often roll around while showing you that furry belly she’s so proud of!

Kneading You and Just Chillin’

Kneading, also called making biscuits, is one of those actions that is pretty obvious. Kitty loves you; so she’s massaging you like a first-rate masseuse. Although there are many theories, the most popular belief is that cats knead because they kneaded while nursing as kittens. Kittens innately know to knead for the production of milk from their mothers. So, for most cats, that motion stays with them throughout their lives and is very comforting to them.

Cats love to follow you around. Especially when you’re headed towards the kitchen (Gee, I wonder why…). It’s quite easy to trip over kitty as she walks ahead of you, in your path. And then other times she darts around you and all of the other objects in her way! Alternatively, she may just linger around wherever you are. The key point here is that she loves you and wants to be wherever you are—or wherever you’re going.

Blinks of the Eyes and Curves of the Tail

Blinking slowly indicates that cats are relaxed and satisfied with their surroundings. It’s another way kitty demonstrates that she’s willing to be vulnerable in your presence. Exhibiting this behavior is another way to show you her comfort, which also proves her love for you. Sometimes she’ll wink, or just stare lovingly into your eyes.

A cat’s tail can reveal a lot about what she’s feeling in the moment. When kitty is happy and really wants to express her love, she’ll sometimes quiver and curve the tip of her tail.

Powerful Purrs and Sleepy Time

Kitty is born blind, her mother guides her by purring. This is a time of great comfort that stays with them throughout their lives. It’s more evidence that kitty feels content, and is comfortable with you.

Like humans, sleeping is the most vulnerable time for a cat. Just sleeping in the same room with you is a good sign. Does she sleep on your lap? That’s even more of a sign that she trusts and loves you.

Rubbing and Gift Givin’

Kitty bumping you with her head and rubbing up against you? Usually against your leg or your cheek? She’s marking her territory. And yes, it means she loves and will try to protect that territory. You are hers for life!

Okay, everybody’s favorite token of affection. I know, I know, you’ve been waiting for this one. Yes, when kitty leaves a dead animal near your door, or brings the animal inside, it’s a demonstration of love. Sometimes kitty will just stand in front of you—dead animal hanging out of her mouth. She may intensely stare at you…as if she’s saying, “Look what I got ma, look what I got!” So proud of herself! She really is saying “thank you” and “I appreciate you” (A whole dead animals worth!). As revolting as it may be, it’s really quite sweet.

Okay—Now…Express YOUR Love

So, kitty isn’t really shy about presenting her love to you. Treat kitty exactly as who she is—she’s your baby. Kitty is sweet and truly innocent; and you’ve made a lifetime commitment to her. Feed kitty, give her water, pet her, brush her, hold her, give her toys and beds of her own, gently play with her. Show her how much you really love her.

Take good care of her and she’ll take good care of you!

J. Christy McKibben

Image 1 via Pixabay by MartinaPazienza
Image 2 via Pixabay by JensEnemark