Monday, December 16, 2013

Meditating On My Cats

In my author profiles, I always give credit to my cats for their muse abilities.  To be sure that I am using this word correctly, I just looked it up in that big honker of a book on my shelf called the dictionary.  Here is what Webster says about muse: 1.  to think or meditate in silence. 2. to say or think meditatively.

While I always thought of a muse as someone who gives inspiration, this true definition is actually more fitting than I had realized.  When I am getting too much into a story, one of the cats will sense that it is time for me to spend a moment in this world--not the world on the computer monitor.  And I need to be in this world not just in thought, but physically as well. In other words, I need to pet them.

Yes, I do have the pronouns of the last sentence in the correct place. Cats have little need for us human beings. It is us who need to feel their fur and appreciate the softness of earth.  We must take breaks, reset our brains, and be present to each moment.  Makes for more efficient writing.

In recognition of my writing about Girl, our fat black cat, she just opened a bottom cupboard she had been sleeping in to kick out a jar.  The cupboard is generally kept empty for her as this is a cat house and her desires rule over our need for jar space.  She knows she is being written about.

So when it is my time for reconnection with the real world, either Girl or Playful will saunter up beside me and MEOW at the appropriate noise level to get my attention. If I am not fast enough, the noise will get higher.  They are thorough in their jobs and will not stop their cries until they feel my hand rubbing down their backs and stroking their chins.  Those animals are exceptional at their jobs.

Next, our Australian Shepherd, Sydney, will follow his companions and offer her head for scratching. And while I will include her in the attention, her motive is not to serve as muse. It is to get petted. Same outcome, different motives.

People suggest to me the idea of setting a timer to be sure and take breaks at regular intervals.  These are the people who do not have a companion cat.  In my sincere pity at their lack, I thank them for their advice. I don't wish to brag that cats make much more personal and loving interruption getters than a mechanical timer.  Oh, those poor souls.

Perhaps there should be a cat muse rental service geared toward writers.  Those of us who work alone at home, typing away the day, should be an easy sale.  Feel free to create this business idea of mine into a money maker. Just let me know how the cats do.

Heather Leigh

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