This week, Ivory Madison pointed me in the direction of R.N. Morris' Red Room video #2 of a writer's life. She didn't want me to drive myself crazy looking at Amazon numbers for my new book,The Complete Cat's Meow. She needn't have worried. I did that with my first book. Now I just glance occasionally to see if there are any reader reviews. What I did like, however, was another opportunity to look at Mr. Morris' cat. While others might consider the cat's interactions a nuisance, I see them for what they are: soliciting attention. The obvious affection they share makes me smile. That's probably not why he filmed those videos (Number 4 is really my favorite) but they make me smile.
I can relate to those videos. That's my office, too, with the cluttered desk and the interactive feline companion. Even my den, which can be turned into an annex of my office when I use my laptop, is not immune from feline assistance at the keyboard. The cat's creativity usually surpasses mine. So does her manual dexterity. She can make my Mac computers talk. She was the first to figure out how to show multiple pages on one screen. It took me a heck of a lot longer and then, only by accident. Don't ask me how I did it because I doubt that I can do it again, but she can.
Our feline office assistants, whether they serve as muse or companion, are invaluable to a writer. We'd never move away from our computers if it weren't for the interruptions. They clear our minds for more work. Sometimes they clear it of all work but that's beside the point.
When the right phrase won't come, pettng the cat relieves the tension. So does the soft purring. Hers, not mine. And who am I to keep her from her preferred hobby: shedding into keyboards.
I'm reminded of the quote, "Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons." Robertson Davies.
Causes Darlene Arden Supports
The Marcia Polimer Abrams Fund for Canine Behavior Studies at the AKC Canine Health Foundation