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The Cat Conspiracy

Why do my cats pursue a dastardly plot to prevent me from writing?

It’s a well-known fact that when you’re working, dogs will lie patiently at your feet, silently sending you encouraging vibes. Cats, on the other hand, will perch on your keyboard, rudely demanding attention and insisting that their cuteness is more important to you than meeting your daily word count. No matter how messy my desk is, my cats will jump on it. Even if I can keep them off my laptop, they will climb atop my piles of papers, often sliding off and causing an avalanche of stuff upon the floor.

And there was the time that Bernie leaped over the entire desk, knocking over a glass of Pinot Noir onto my keyboard and frying my MacBook Pro. From that day forward, all my beverages sit on the filing cabinet behind me, forcing me to twist awkwardly in my seat to reach them.

My cats usually nap during the afternoon. Not so when it’s the weekend and I’m trying to write. They magically appear in my office as soon as the words start flowing. If I keep them off my desk, they will stretch out on the floor beside me in the rub-my-tummy-and-chin pose, which is a totally unfair attack of cuteness. So, I have to twist awkwardly and bend down to pet them. (Can you tell that I have lower back issues?) Or I have to totally surrender and get down on the floor with them while they declare victory. If I try to ignore them while plugging away at my book, they rub themselves against my legs until I can’t take it anymore and must submit.

What is the goal of their conspiracy? Sure, the obvious answers are attention and cat treats. But I truly think there is something more nefarious going on. I do know that cats have very active imaginations, so maybe this is a simple case of rivalry: Whose imagination gets to dominate in our house? (Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch.)

Hemingway had lots of cats. As did Mark Twain and many other legendary authors. Somehow they managed to have successful writing careers. Maybe it’s because they were forced to develop powers of concentration and discipline that prevailed over critics, crises, and, yes, even cats.

I gotta work on that.

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