Up until Sunday, I felt as if I didn’t need to respond to how my last article was perceived by the community because I didn’t feel the need to belabor the point.
But I was advised not to remain deaf to the shots at my character and morality, the abundance of colorful responses pouring into my personal email account or even the well-thought out opinions in opposition to mine. And so my duty lies to answer those who have asked me how I feel about the situation.
I don’t think I can appropriately answer that question without first introducing Murphy.
September of last year, I was sitting in the library furiously hacking away at a paper when my mom sent me a picture of a little orange kitten with bright golden eyes and asked if I wanted him.
Of course, I said yes. I am a cat fanatic.
Small, wiry-haired Murphy slept in the caves that my pillows created, he learned his name quickly, was mesmerized by the ringing power button on the Xbox and sprawled across my lap for a nap while I sat at my desk to finish my homework.
Murphy is more than a cat to me. He is my friend. He is part of my family.
I believe that animals have the capacity to love and Murphy loves me — not just because I feed him scraps of tuna or let him roam the neighborhood occasionally. At the end of a 15-hour day on campus, Murphy is an exceptional companion.
It sounds corny and maybe even childish, but while people angrily called me female body parts and suggested I quit, some congratulated, hated or appreciated my opinion, and others twisted my words and made the assumption of a disreputable upbringing, Murphy was the only one who brought me peace of mind. I felt exhausted and Murphy’s presence erased the tension.
The conversation surrounding my last article about military discounts is like a hurricane. In favor of or against my opinion, every comment just contributed to an unruly and uncontrollable storm in which Murphy was the only who could bring me to the eye of the storm. He was the only one who could bring me peace.
I will say, before I proceed, that no offense was ever intended by the things that I wrote. And I am not just talking about my last article, but everything I wrote before it and from here on out.
I do know that people are going to continue to say hurtful things because of what I wrote the last time. That is who I am to some people and no matter what I write, fault will always be found and offense will always be taken. And that’s OK.
Yes, I am eager and somewhat dependent upon seeing Murphy at the end of my day because what is absent in our relationship is everyone’s input. Other than petting him and giving him food and fresh water, there are no obligations or assumptions of my character.
I will admit that reading those comments, especially the really mean ones, were particularly hard to bear. But the simplicity of Murphy makes it seem as if they aren’t directed to me anymore.
In dealing with situation a quote springs to mind by Benjamin Franklin that says “If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.”
My position on the matter still stands firm since I believe there is value in my opinions and deserve as much as anyone else’s to be voiced. I am going to continue to write for the Collegian, even if that means I am going to get negative feedback from the readers.
At the end of the day, to Murphy, whatever the people have to say about me doesn’t matter.
Nicole Frazier is a senior English and Spanish major. Her column appears every other Tuesday in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to email@example.com.