Ever Feel Like You’re Being Watched?

I am debating getting a little bungalow somewhere so I can write uninterrupted. While not popular with my spouse, right now I’m looking at two valid reasons.

First there is our cat Tilly, who has decided that the paper I was editing would make a lovely place to have a lie-down. Then the younger of our three beasts, Jezebel, has decided to join us in the bed I tried to claim for my evening workspace. It won’t be too bad if they don’t end up fighting. The playful bouts seem harmless to their health but they are most distracting.

And the constant face-marking upon my computer screen is another disturbance. Last night I sat at my desk, turned on the light, and discovered a fine coating of short, gray hair. Thanks Jezebel. That was from another wrestling match upon my ski machine. And she’s the one neighbors said “didn’t shed” when they foisted her upon us. The truth is that you can’t tell that she is shedding until it builds up. And boy, does her fur build up fast.

Luna, my oldest, is often the worst of all. Sunday evening I tried to type in bed, was quite comfortable doing so, and she suddenly appeared on the pillow beside me. “Okay,” I thought, “we can share the space.” But she wasn’t content to be close without touching. Before long I had her pointy little chin tucked into my elbow from behind. She was determined, gradually sticking her neck further out to lay greater claim to my arm until I finally had to pry her off. I felt bad when the old girl made a fuss. Before long I just gave in and settled down to sleep. Having turned off my laptop at a reasonable hour, I must admit to getting a fairly full nights’ sleep. At least I did when there weren’t paws tangled in my hair.

As for tonight, at least Tilly has decided to go check the food bowl. Jezebel followed. Good. Now I’m alone with my wrinkled manuscript. Luckily I can still read it. Tilly is not a lightweight. We’ll just have to see what happens as the evening goes on. Perhaps it’s time to set up the seldom used spare bedroom as my office. I like having my desk by the bookcases but without a door the space is not terribly helpful. Then again, they’d probably just bang on a closed door.

I’m told cats are the traditional pet of authors through the ages. Indeed, our page-a-day cat calendar is full of witty and truthful words from many novelists and poets. And the cartoonist of “Simon’s Cat” really has nailed the humorous aspects of their nature with fun drawings. But having the flesh nearly torn off your elbow by a bored feline tapping an arm for attention is far from lyrical. Maybe I should check into football padding.


5 Replies to “Ever Feel Like You’re Being Watched?”

  1. Cats are the "traditional pet" of authors? I never knew that. I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised, since cats are generally semi-low maintenance (from my understanding), only caring about you when they're hungry or desire attention (which doesn't usually seem to happen too often… at least not as often as dogs would). That leaves amble time for writing.

    Anyway, I think I'll be just fine without a pet… unless Jane Doe wants one… I probably wouldn't be able to resist her, knowing me.

  2. Thanks, Noony! I drool anytime I see a house with a square, high tower full of windows. It's so easy to imagine locking myself at the top. 🙂

    Lucius, I'm not sure how accurate my impression is. I associate Earnest Hemingway, a favorite, with the animals because his home's curators in Key West boast having the extra-toed descendents of the man's pets. Yet Hemingway's son says he never had cats in the Keys (only when he lived in Cuba) yet I guess we'll never know the truth of that. Thanks for the comment!

  3. I hope the separate room works out. Sounds like the cats I used to have, although one would accept my lap as a substitute for the papers on my desk. On the subject of pets wanting attention, I want to share an otherwise unrelated anecdote. As a safety measure, we thought teaching the parrot to obey "come here" was a good idea. We took her outside often, and although her wings were clipped, she could still get away. While not very useful for that purpose, she figured out she could use the phrase to call her humans to her. It was the only phrase she learned to say clearly.
    ~ Dilo

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