When You Give A Dog Lover A Cat

When You Give A Dog Lover A Cat

You find your heart opening up in a whole new way.

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I finally did it. I finally broke my boyfriend down. After moving out of our parents' place, he gave in and we adopted a cat.

Now here's the funny thing: I've only had dogs for most of my life and I prefer them over cats. After all, cats seem to be in their own little world just waiting to be fed. A dog provides a play buddy, someone that you can play fetch with. A dog comes when he is called and learns tricks on command. A dog is thought to be man's best friend.

During my teenage years, we had (and my mom still has) our two dogs, Mishka and Bob Marley. Mishka is an Alaskan Klee Kia, (basically a twenty-five-pound mini husky), and Bob Marley was a twenty-pound Beagle German Shepherd mix. Yes, he does look as awkward as you are thinking. They are a dynamic duo, always getting into trouble but also always bringing warmth to our hearts. There was one time Bob Marley ate a whole roll of bagels, and even though he is a male dog, he looked pregnant. Mishka is so prissy, she won't eat certain dog food, and she has a fetish for socks. One of my favorite things to do is toss ice cubes on the floor and watch them gabble it hit up, while I excitedly say, "Its special cuz it's from the fridge!"

Now you may ask, "Why adopt a cat, then? If you have had such a great relationship with dogs, why switch over to having a cat in your first apartment?"

Well, there is one simple answer to this: I got persuaded by a volunteer to look at cats and fell absolutely in love.

The Petsmart near my apartment gets their cats and kittens from Last Chance Animal Rescue. We were only at Petsmart to get guinea pig food, but one of their volunteers was unlocking the door to the cat room and saw us looking. She persuaded us to come in.

Our cat is not the one we intended on seeing. There was a little calico kitten who was very playful, followed by a very lethargic tabby. She pointed to the cage in the corner and said, "This is our little sleepy head, he stays like that all day".

We pulled him out of his kennel, where he was curled up in some fleece, and held him like a baby. He woke up for a few brief minutes, began purring, then fell back into blissful sleep.

I knew we had to bring him home.

In the car, my boyfriend Justin and I mulled it over. We talked about cost since it wasn't only the $150 adoption fee; there was also our $300 pet deposit. So after only a few minutes of convincing on my part, we went off to our apartment's office and told them we were getting a cat. We sped back to the Petsmart, hoping that someone hadn't already scooped him up.

On the way there, I thought of the perfect name: Marshmallow.

Justin signed the adoption papers as I held him in my arms. They took his information card out so people would know he wasn't available, and we got all the kitty things.

He has little blue fishy food bowls. His collar has a very handsome bow tie, if I do say so myself. He has a little blue bed and plenty of toys.

We brought him home. He crawled right out of the crate, went potty, and then slept.

He slept and slept. We actually thought something was wrong. But oh no, on the third day his true kitten came out. He was attacking curtains, and our feet at night.

I couldn't be any happier.

I love this little kitten, even though he may not bark. However, he does play fetch. I also love not coming home to a torn-up couch, and not having to wake up at 6 a.m. in the freezing rain for a walk. I love hearing his purrs and him greeting me at the door by circling my feet and meowing. I love how he gets excited for dinner time, batting on the cabinet where his food is kept. As I am writing this, he is laying right next to me trying to get my attention.

Maybe I am a cat person after all.

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Hailey Miller's Debut Single Is 'The One'

"The One" is available now across all streaming platforms.

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Being able to blend genres well is a true testament to a great artist, and Hailey Miller has done just that. Breaking onto the pop-country scene with her debut single "The One", the song speaks to the lessons that come out of unfortunate heartbreak, and definitely resonates with people going through one. I got the chance to talk with Hailey about her music, Nashville, and plans for the future:

1. What inspiration did you pull from to write "The One"?

"The One" was inspired by a relationship I was in. It was young love, not the healthiest relationship, and was dragged on for way longer than it should've been. I'd pretty much worked through all the heartbreak by the time it was fully over, and this song felt like the final piece to the puzzle. To acknowledge that some good came from the whole experience, and that lessons were learned. It just kind of poured out of me. It was exactly what I needed at the time. I wrote it and instantly felt peace. Like I could finally let it all go. It's a different kind of breakup anthem, and I hope that people can connect to it in the same way I did.

2. Do you tend to pull from personal experience to write or do you write using a third person perspective?

I definitely prefer to write from personal experience. I've written from a third person perspective, but it always feels more genuine for me to write about things I've been through first hand. It's just easier! It flows better, and feels more honest. Especially if I'm planning on using the song for myself. As an artist, I always want the truths I'm speaking to be genuine. I feel like people connect better that way. If I can't fully connect to the stuff I'm singing, how can I expect the listeners to? Personally, as an artist, the stories behind my songs are just as important to me as the song itself. That being said, if I can connect to someone else's experience deeply, writing third person can be just as fun!

3. What has your experience been like being a woman in the music industry?

You know, I don't have anything negative to say about my experience so far. I've felt respected as an artist from almost everyone I've personally come across in the industry. This being said, I'm very aware of the challenges females tend to face on a larger scale, especially in country. But I try to not let it phase me. In my mind, I'm just an artist…not a "female artist".

4. Growing up in Oregon, what/who inspired you to move to Nashville and write country music?

My earliest inspiration was definitely my aunt. She was singing country music professionally when I was super young, so I grew up seeing that and my family was super good about surrounding me with all sorts of music. My dad had this thing where he would always tell me to "listen to the words" and then at the end of the song I'd have to tell him what I thought it was about. It made me realize at a young age that music isn't just sound, it's stories. I fell in love with country music and its stories. Then came along these powerhouse female singer/songwriters…like Taylor Swift, and that was it. I knew it was something I wanted to do, and I knew Nashville was the place to do it. So, I learned the guitar, taught myself how to write, and made the move as soon as I possibly could! It's pretty much a 19 year old dream in the making at this point.

5. How has Nashville shaped your artistry and/or songwriting since moving there?

Nashville has already shaped my artistry and songwriting immensely. I think the biggest thing is being around so many talented artists and writers. It's super inspiring! Every time I go to a show or writer's round in town, I go home wanting to work even harder. That's the magic about Nashville. In a place where the industry could feel very competitive, the community is so amazing that instead of feeling intimidated, I feel inspired. I think that's so cool. Being able to learn your craft in an environment like that, where everybody is willing to collaborate and learn from each other. There's no room to sit still and not work hard. I think that alone has made me a better artist and writer. I've discovered my own unique writing style and sound, and can't wait to develop it even more.

6. What has your experience been like releasing your first single independently?

It's been amazing! I've had the best time with it. The process was so fun, and such a learning experience. Since it was my first release, I tried to go into it with little to no expectations and I've been blown away! The support I've received is beyond what I ever expected, and people are listening!! That's all I could've ever asked for. I think putting out music for any artist, independent or not, is always a little scary because there's this fear that people won't connect to such a personal part of you. There's so much work behind the scenes that goes into it. But it is so rewarding to read people's messages about how they connect or relate to the song. It's the best feeling in the world!

7. What are your future goals and aspirations within the music industry?

I ultimately just want to keep writing and putting out music that I love, and that other people love. Whether that's on a small scale level, or a larger scale. As long as I'm continuing to make music, I'm happy! That being said, I'd love to do some touring soon, and work towards my first EP/full length album.

8. Do you have plans to release new music soon?

Plans are in the works. I don't have a definitive date for you guys quite yet, but new music is on its way! I've been writing tons and I have some stuff that I'm dying to get out. I'd keep an eye out in the upcoming months for sure.

Listen to "The One" across all streaming platforms now and keep an eye out for future music from Hailey!


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Summer 2019, Here I Come

I'm ready for a summer filled with making memories, relaxing, and ultimately, focusing on myself.

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This summer is going to be different for me.

This is the first time in a long time where I'm going to have a lot of freedom this summer, and I'm genuinely looking forward to it. The crazy part is that I don't even have plans to travel or do anything crazy, but that's what makes it so great.

The fact that I'll be home for the summer with an excess amount of free time and less working sounds great to me. I know that having an internship somewhere would probably benefit me too, but I'm not dreading that anymore.

To keep it real, I did apply for internships. AND normal jobs too. Grocery store cashiers. Boring, government receptionist jobs. Video production internships. I've applied to so many things over the course of the spring semester and it's draining not to hear back from anything...or at least, only hearing back with rejections.

It scared me at first. But it doesn't anymore. Why?

I'm embracing where my life is and where I am at this moment in time.

I am not worried about the future. I'm not worried about my career or job opportunities I may have missed. Maybe that sounds reckless, but not to me.

I say that because I used to bash myself for doing things that I wanted to do. I used to bash myself for not following exactly what my parents say I should be doing or what society tells me. I want to live my life in its full essence as it right now, in its full originality and being.

I'm simply focusing on me. Conceited? No. Content.

Routine, routine, routine.

I love routine. I also love adventure and spontaneity, but routine is where I feel at home. However, stepping outside of your comfort zone is what I've been trying to do for the past year, so I'm trying to embrace that too.

I already know how I'm going to spend my off days, work days, and time in between. I want to keep myself busy, preparing myself for the humongous workload I'm going to encounter when the fall semester hits. There's a lot I want and have to do, secure, and make arrangements for. I'm excited to tackle those battles.

Long distance running is going to become a part of my everyday routine. It's something I used to love doing but distanced myself from last summer. It makes me happy and keeps me active - and out of the house.

Working as much as I can to obviously secure the bag but also to stay busy is something I'm looking forward to. Going to the pool and soaking up as much sun as I can get is a huge priority for me this summer.

My goal is to do things that will make me happy. But deeper than that, I want to learn what will make my soul and heart happy. If having a routine, spending the majority of my time relaxing, and staying out of the house will aid in benefiting myself, than that's what I'm going to do.

I'm trying to put me before stress and discomfort.

Something that usually affects me when I go home is stress. This can be confusing or it could be extremely relatable. Either way, coming home for me isn't necessarily a great experience.

That's why I want to come into summer 2019 with a new, refreshing mindset.

I'm going in with a mindset that sees the positives and how I can adjust myself for the time at home that consists of fun and freedom. The second I no longer have access to my small on-campus apartment with so much charm, character, and "me," is when I lose my personal space. I lose the things that make me more of myself rather than having to act a certain way now that I'm a 20-year-old living with my parents. Everything changes...And while I'm savoring every last minute of this time away from home, it'll soon come to an end.

So when I say "Summer 2019, here I come," I mean it. I'm not letting my summer go to waste like I did last year. I'll update you as the summer goes on, so stay tuned!

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