You know all those writing memes you see on Facebook? The ones with the movie character, typically a hot dude like Sherlock or Loki, pointing a finger and saying “You should be writing!”?
I don’t need one of those.
Instead, I have a cat. A writing cat. A big orange fluffy warm ball of purring fur. (And his protege. Also an orange cat.) His name is Wiggins and I don’t think I’d get any writing done at all without his help.
I’m not really sure how he came to be “the” writing cat in the family. He’s one of eight, after all. He’s not the oldest or the friendliest or the favored or the cuddliest. He’s never figured out how to use a litter box. He’s not a cute little kitten that plays with strings or licks my hair.
So, I guess, really, the only slot left for him was to be THE writing cat. And he’s good at it.
We don’t let our animals sleep with us at night. I know. We’re mean. But I’d be a whole lot meaner if I was woken up fifteen times by a cat jumping in the middle of me.
So, first thing in the morning, when I open my bedroom door, he charges in talking to me, as if spelling out the agenda for the day. He perches on the end of the bed while I dress and go about my morning routine, occasionally rolling around to make sure his scent is everywhere it needs to be. I suppose the pheromones are supposed to inspire my muse or something.
If I then leave the room, which I do every day, he stays on the bed for about fifteen minutes before coming to find me. At which point he sits at my feet and stares at me, wide yellow eyes watching every movement. If I go to another room, he follows pushing in front of my feet and flopping over on the floor in my path, as if to say, “Stop. It’s time to write now.”
On those rare days when I don’t write and actually close my bedroom door again, he lays in the hallway and bangs on my door. I can walk up to him in the hall, even, and he will continue to try to open my door. He’s not trying to find me.
He wants to write.
Of course, I would never encourage such a thing. I mean, he has his own pillow that sits beside me on which he wallows and perches and does his thing. Mainly he sleeps, curled up in a tight ball purring away. But, for good measure, about once an hour, he gets up and flops over my left arm and paws at the keyboard. Since I still don’t speak cat, I haven’t quite figured out what that means. I proceed to type and he eventually turns around and curls back up.
One of these days, I’ll have to write a book about him.