Everything Books
Writing and reading and books, books, books (and anything that might relate)

February 22, 2013

The Literary Cat

“What greater gift than the love of a cat?” — Charles Dickens

There are literary cats and then there are Literary Cats.

Charles Dickens had a very famous Literary Cat named Wilhelmina. In his London house, you can see the desk where he and Wilhelmina worked and, if you get close enough, you can see the imprint of cat claws etched into the wood.

Whenever Wilhelmina needed attention or thought Dickens had been at it too long, she would raise a paw and scratch the desk. If this didn’t get the desired results, she would snuff out the candle.

I have three literary kitties and, while I love them equally, I am particularly bonded with Lulu. She, like Wilhelmina, is a Literary Cat of the highest order. Let’s just say she has more… exuberance… for working with me than any other cat I’ve known. (For more on that, you can read about a typical day with her in a blog I wrote for Penguin.)

As I spend upwards of 14 hours a day at my desk seven days a week, working feverishly toward a May 1 deadline (which feels as if it’s five minutes from now in terms of HOW LITTLE TIME THERE IS TO DO ALL I NEED TO DO), Lulu has rarely left my side. Sometimes this is good, sometimes… challenging (depending on what she’s occupying herself with), but when you’re deep in the writing cave, it’s wonderful to have the company.

And she makes me laugh.

Here is Lulu at work. I’ve tried to put them in sequence.

(Note: When she isn’t taking apart the printer or running away with post-its pulled from research books, she does a good bit of gazing at me. Sometimes lovingly, sometimes impatiently.)

 

(No, I didn’t tuck her in. She did that herself.)

November 16, 2012

Lulu helps me research

This is the first week back at my desk in a month’s time. Now that I’ve been to Ireland for vacation and to North Carolina for the Southern leg of my book tour, I’m happily at home with my computer gathering ideas for the next story.

As many of you know, Lulu is my self-appointed Head Literary Cat– of my three wonderful kitties, she is easily the bossiest, and, after all, the two of us are always velcro-ed together.

Yesterday, I paused a documentary I was getting ready to watch because the phone rang. When I took the call, Lulu pushed a button on my keyboard and the video began playing again, and then she settled in to watch. As you can see, she was riveted. (She is deeply interested in social issues.)