Writing can be kind of a lonely process (there's a reason why writers are often thought of as recluses). So it's been nice that one of my cats has become my little writing buddy, keeping me company during the long hours I spend locked in my bedroom with nothing but my laptop, my music, and the voices in my head.
This is Theo (AKA: The Gremlin):
Cute, isn't he? Well, that's because he's asleep in this picture.
If I'm honest, he's usually my least favorite out of my five cats. (*pauses so you can get the crazy cat lady jokes out of your system*)
The reason for this is his mouth.
He was screaming at the top of his lungs in the cage at the animal shelter when we rescued him (one of the primary reasons why I suggested to my husband that we consider a different kitten...but he was unfortunately already in love with the little gray poof ball). And he hasn't stopped yelling since.
He wakes me every morning by crying in my face. He screams when he wants his breakfast. He screams when he wants treats. He screams when he wants dinner. He cries when I'm cooking something in the kitchen that smells good (I dread making tuna). He yells when I'm in the shower and he can't get to me. He cries when he wants up on the bathroom counter (stupid cat is also afraid to jump...I swear he's defective). And then there are the times when he cries for no reason... Those are especially fun.
We've tried scolding him. We've tried punishing him (squirting him with water is pretty entertaining). We tried locking him out of the room. Nothing helps. In fact, all we've done is create a maneuver we call the "yell and run" where all we see is a streak of gray accompanied by the doppler shift of his scream. There's just no shutting him up.
So he has always ranked very low on the totem pole of my affection. Until I started writing my draft...
Because while the other cats prefer to sleep downstairs on the couch so they can look out the window (and cover my cream colored couch with their black and gray fur, *sighs*), Theo has decided he'd rather sleep on the bed next to me while I write. And I love him for it.
I never see him more content than when he's curled up in a rumpled gray ball on my laptop case as I pound out my story. He doesn't cry. He barely moves. Occasionally he even purrs and nuzzles his whiskered little face against my side. And he stays there with me all day, keeping me company and giving me a little furry body to stroke when I need a break. It makes a huge difference, and I've found that on days he doesn't come join me I miss him. Sometimes I even call for him.
So I guess that's another good thing that's come from writing this book. I finally found a use for Theo--something I didn't think was possible. And now I don't fantasize about giving him away. Well...at least not all the time. I still get pretty tempted when it's food time...