This isn’t my first blog post of the day. I also appear today, writing about Victorian hymn-writers, on More Than Writers, the Association of Christian Writers blog. (To be fair, as ‘today’ is almost over and you will almost certainly be reading this ‘tomorrow’ or even later, look for the post for 13 June.)
Right now, however, I’m writing about the part my cat, Clarabel, has in my writing. This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a long time.
Clarabel is sixteen years old and still beautiful. She loves me very much and I love her, but I do wish she’d stop climbing on to my knee every time I sit down. As I write now, she’s squeezed herself into the narrow gap between my laptop and my stomach, but at least she’s sitting down. This isn’t always the case. Cats, as all people owned by felines know, take a long time to settle. After jumping on me, she has, first, to knead my legs for about ten minutes, something that can only be carried out in a standing position, which means I have to reach over her back to use the keyboard. When she does eventually deign to sit, she rests her head on my writing arm and nibbles my cardigan/jumper.
Other disadvantages to writing with a cat on your knee include:
- Fur on the keyboard, getting between the keys, which eventually necessitates a trip to the computer hospital.
- Paws on the touchpad, highlighting and deleting text.
- Paws on keys. She edits my stories.
I should move her off, says my husband, but, if I do, she returns in seconds, which means we have to start the leg-kneading all over again. I try to recommend cushions and other comfy positions to her, but none of this will do. Occasionally, I’m tempted to throw her out the room altogether but she miaows so piteously outside the door. And I can see her through the glass panes.
So what do I do? I’ve had a bad day teaching today. Who’d be an IT tutor? Nothing I attempted to demonstrate to students, including – and particularly – connecting my iPad to the classroom projector – worked, so I’m feeling sorry for myself, and my darling cat purring on my knee is a great comfort, fur, paws and all.
Congratulations to my friend and fellow blogger, Julie Lees, for her success in 101 Words, with her story Transmutation.
In a few days, I’m interviewing Sally Quilford, about her new book The Secret of Lakeham Abbey – cat permitting.
Late addition to this post: the cat in Southwark Cathedral – taken last Sunday by my friend, Caroline: