Say hello to the cat that keeps me on my toes!
Abe and I have an interesting relationship. I like to think of it as an “annoy-love” relationship. He bugs me when he feels affectionate, and I bug him when I feel affectionate. Rarely do we both feel affectionate towards each other at the same time.
But this changes during NaNoWriMo.
You see, during most of the year, I keep my bedroom door closed so he can’t come in. It’s not that I don’t love him or hate to have him snuggle with me. It’s more a matter of protecting my zoo of caterpillars and preserving my sanity when he comes bugging me at five in the morning for food.
However, during the colder months, when I’m done rearing caterpillars and the shorter days trick him into waiting until seven to start meowing for breakfast, I let him join me in my bed. We both enjoy this time together very much.
Abe is a smart cat, and he seems to know when I’m writing my novel during November. He’ll come in as I’m getting ready for bed, turning up his loudest purr and feather dancing all around my shower curtains while I brush my teeth. (In case you’re curious, feather dancing is when a cat lifts its tail up and quivers. They do it when they are extremely happy to see you.)
Once I climb into bed and prop my laptop up on my knees, Abe will nudge himself under the blankets. My drawn up knees form a natural “tent,” under which he eagerly snuggles. He’ll sleep there for as long as I’m writing, only coming out just short of when I’m finished for the night (I don’t know how he knows when I’m nearly done, but he does).
He’ll sleep at the foot of my bed once I’m done, and he will remain there for most of the night. He’ll then leave early in the morning to go bug Mom for food and will occasionally come back to bug me. (He has his routine down to a science with Mom, so he doesn’t bother me as much.)
If you’re wondering what exactly he does to Mom to get food (and, by extension, everyone else, although much less cruel), here’s a brief list: he pulls her hair, bites her nose, licks her face and eyes, sits on her face or head, smacks her with his paws (they really are strong; he holds his own against the dogs with his ninja-like slaps!), purrs really loudly, meows loudly, makes the other cat hiss to create more noise, knocks things off the nightstand, and rips any paper or plastic he can find in the room.
And if I let him in my room during the summer, well, I don’t think my caterpillars would last for very long.
Does anyone else out there have a favorite writing companion? Does it happen to be a cat that is equal parts love and annoyance?