Most of the time, my two cats are decent enough to let me work on my computer when I want. Having been a staff human for several different cats in my life, I understand this is a luxury. However, there are times when their attention becomes overwhelming, and I discover that this means it is a cat holiday.
Cat owners will know what this is when cats do many of the following constantly:
1. Extra noisy activities around the computer, but just out of reach.
2. Demonstrations of gravity, especially with things that are shiny or hard to pick up.
3. Luring target human out of the chair to then jump in and sprawl all over it.
4. Jumping into the chair and physically attempting to push the human out when number 3 doesn’t work.
5. Sitting on target human’s hands.
6. Attacking things that move on the screen.
7. Escalating with even more interesting behavior as circumstances warrant.
This turns writing into an adventure.
Managing the holiday festivities requires a length of string and about thirty minutes to an hour. On very few occasions one of my cats, Sven, will play a very belated form of fetch. I will throw a red ball for him to chase, and twenty minutes later when he realizes he wants to play with it again, he will bring it back. These are the best holidays for me to endure, because it only involves the occasional trip away from my machine.
To be sure, I’m not complaining. Cats are mutually interesting pets. They are willing to perform amazing feats in the name of food or chasing a moving thing. Consequently, they watch me make a sandwich like it’s a cat version of Murder She Wrote, because the process is a complete mystery to their cat brains. This sort of entertainment is priceless. I just don’t always appreciate it when they get insistent about it.
Some people might read this and be glad they’re not writing around small animals, but I’d have to say that those people are missing out. Yes, they can get in the way of a productive writing session on occasion, but more often than not they spare me from sitting in front of my computer and staring at the monitor in frustration. It’s almost as if they can sense that I’m not having a good time of things, and they are going to help me whether I like it or not.
And that’s why I try to take a cat holiday whenever the situation arises.