Humans – 3. Cats – 7. Kittens – 5.
In my last missive, I addressed the wonderful time I was having living with a menagerie of cats. There are three cat servants living here now–me, hubby, and daughter. Anyone who though the situation was getting better with time has never had Homeowner Cats (HOC) and tried to add other cats to the mix.
I’m editing “Summerbird’s Rises” before sending it to beta readers. My editing process is intensive, at least for me. After I add “The End,” to a manuscript, a new process starts. I read the book, start to finish. Next, I read the manuscript in tandem with ProWriting Aid to catch all those grammatical errors I missed. And then I have Word read it to me. This is actually the most important process to me, because I catch so many nuances I’d otherwise have missed. It’s surprisingly slow, because one change can really escalate and cause lots of other changes. That’s where I am now. When I’m interrupted, I go back several paragraphs and start over, so I can get into the book. It’s strange, but there it is.
The idea is to go through each of these steps with as few interruptions as possible. Ha! This is typical any time of the day now: I’m in my office, reading. My office sits between our living room and our bedroom. The catio is on the other side of my window, off the living room. I hear growling. Then tiny meows, which means an altercation between a big cat and a baby. Up I go to figure out who needs saving. It’s a proven fact that when cats are fighting, by the time you get there to see what’s going on, combatants and spectators will have disbursed with a promise to meet up again, later. I get to the catio; it’s empty. There are twelve felines in the house, somewhere. But they aren’t in the catio. I return to my office, back up and start Word reading to me again. If you’re familiar, I use “Mark.” He has a nice voice.
So, I’m into it again when a kitten rumble starts. Normally, I let those go, figuring they can’t do each other much harm and they need to straighten out their little issues. But then, I hear that deep-chested growling that can only mean they’ve irritated Chiisei, our 25-pound ragdoll. Whoever said ragdolls are the sweetest, cuddliest furballs has never met Chiisei. She obviously didn’t get the memo. She’s a
little big snot. And she hates kittens. And other cats. And other people. But she’s as soft as a bunny and she loves hubby… Anyway, I jump up and run into the living room. Yes, the bundle of wrestling kittens is now close enough to breathe her air. So I rescue and remove them across the room and return to listening to Mark’s lovely voice as he reads my book.
I get in an hour of being able to ignore the sounds and actions throughout the house. But then, two tuxedos go streaking by from the bedroom, through my office and into the living room, both screaming like hellhounds are after them. They’re my daughter’s two adult cats. I didn’t know they hate each other. Or at least the younger one is trying to send the elderly one into an early grave. They take a sharp left, burst through the catdoor onto the catio, still screaming, and the fight begins just as daughter arrives to break it up. Now I have to worry if one bit the other, which almost always results in an infection and a trip to the vets. Fun.
Another issue that is new–as one can see from the second picture below, Winky, one of our kittens, likes to help me in the office. She’s going to be a career-girl. I have a touchscreen monitor. She spied the cursor and went for it, over my keyboard, and grabbed the screen, erasing what I had highlighted. Lately, my undo button is getting a lot of use. Why not put her down, you ask? Because I don’t enjoy having her climb back up my leg. Only cat-lovers understand. We’re going to keep her, so I’d like to have her happy to sit on my desk while I work, some day.
Don’t get me wrong–the kittens are hilarious and the adults usually leave each other alone. Our five HOCs are hanging out in our bedroom, and daughter’s two are mostly on the catio, which they’ve usurped, our cats being wimps for the most part. I love having so many babies to cuddle and play with. And all the adults to seem to be getting used to the kittens. But why do they have to have so damned much energy in the middle of the day? And in the middle of the night? Sometimes when I walk by a sleeping adult, I grab him or her and make sure they’re awake and looking around, bewildered, before I go on my way, chuckling under my breath. They might be getting jumpy, but at least they’re sleeping longer through the night!