(Guest Post) Writing With Cats, by Elizabeth Black

Writing with pets is always a challenge. My husband and I are owned by three cats – two senior cats and one kitten. The kitten is a year old now so he’s technically no longer a kitten, but we still call him “the kitten”. While the senior cats are calm and mind their business, the kitten (named Meriwether) is into everything! Here is a typical day for me when I’m trying to write with cats in the house.

  • 8:00 am – Get out of bed.
  • 8:05 am – Shower.
  • 8:25 am – Trip over Meriwether while getting dressed.
  • 8:30 am – Head to kitchen to make coffee
  • 8:32 am – Move Meriwether from the kitchen counter to the floor.
  • 8:33 am – Make coffee.
  • 8:39 am – Move Meriwether from the kitchen counter to the floor. Again. He jumps right back up.
  • 8:40 am – Get kitten’s nose out of the sugar bowl.
  • 8:41 am – Pour coffee. I like mine with a little sugar and half and half.
  • 8:42 am – Play with Meriwether with his favorite dead rat on a string toy until he passes out. This does not last long.
  • 9:00 am – Move to living room to my computer to begin writing.
  • 9:01 am – Pick up Meriwether from the side table so he doesn’t knock over my coffee. Drop him on the floor.
  • 9:02 am – Begin writing. Drink coffee.
  • 9:10 am – Pick up Meriwether from my laptop and toss him on the floor.
  • 9:11 am – Change the name of a file from ” bfrwaat16a” (catlike typing detected) to its original name.
  • 9:12 am – Write. Meriwether is busy playing with one of our senior cats, Mister. He’s too occupied to bother with me.
  • 9:45 am – Continue to write while Meriwether chews on my slippers. While my feet are in them.
  • 10:00 am – Get more coffee.
  • 10:05 am – Remove Meriwether from my seat so I may continue writing. I give him an empty box to play with.
  • 10:06 am – Write without interruption for one hour.
  • 11:00 am – Get my final cup of coffee for the day. Pet Meriwether since he wants attention again. Then, write for one hour.
  • 12:00 pm – Break up a fight between Meriwether and our other senior cat, Breena.
  • 12:01 pm – Fix up lunch for the kitties.
  • 12:05 pm – Move Meriwether away from the other cat’s food since he is a Hoover who eats faster than they do.
  • 12:10 pm – Write uninterrupted while the cats sleep off lunch.
  • 3:00 pm – Finish writing for the day. Now Meriwether is awake and wants petting. Actually, he wants treats, so I get their treats bag. Breena and Mister hear the bag open and rush to my side. I give all three of them their favorite seafood treats. I spoil them rotten although they can be real pains in the ass. That said, they are my muses, and they can do no wrong.

 

I highly recommend writing with pets wandering around your house. They are entertaining, relieve stress, and are just plain fun.

I’ve incorporated some of our cats into my fiction. I also like books where cats play an important part in the story, such as those “Cat Who…” novels by Lilian Jackson Braun and Koko and Yum Yum and Harry Dresden’s cat, Mister. Our Maine Coon is named Mister, but he was named that at the shelter. I like having a cat named after a literary cat. Now to keep Meriwether off my laptop! LOL

 

 

3 replies

  1. A friend of mine just got two kittens he named Thor and Loki! They are little terrors, LOL. Our blind cat Breena woke us up at 6 am to feed her. She was two hours early. She’s persistent. I know how it is getting yelled at by the cats for not keeping the food bowl filled.

    • My pleasure! I know a lot about writing with cats, myself! I have three – an old lady named Skits and 4-year-old brothers named Thor and Loki! (As I write this comment, I’m getting yelled at about their bowl of food being only half full! lol!)

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