Cats and Authors: A Writer’s Mews– er, Muse

As my website was getting its recent upgrade, it became pretty clear I needed a new author photo; the one I was using was so ancient, scribes had drawn it on hand-pressed paper, tidily, right there next to the sea serpents and Kraken.

Yes, time had truly passed. Unfortunately, this meant I would be forced into the arduous task of not only spending more than three whole minutes coloring in my facial features with crayons, but trying to get a portrait that didn’t catch me rigid and self-conscious. Most of my photo sessions start out looking like I’ve just been surprised during a poorly-planned burglary — all stiff and startled, never expecting there would be motion sensors or attack dogs. “Tasers?! Seriously?!” (CLICK!)

So I scheduled some time for pictures, optimistically longing for a shot or two without the air of caper-gone-wrong. I colored in my face, grabbed my stack of paperbacks and other related props I could safely hide behind, and got to work. About halfway into my photoshoot, my cat Harry got to work, too.

You see, this is his job: ta-da-ing into whatever I’m doing and making sure he is central to all the action. Those of us who live with cats know it to be true. And Harry adds that something extra to his appearances, because he loves me so very much. And he prefers to love me so very much in the middle of conference calls, mostly on my head. Typically, I attempt to concentrate as long as possible while he rearranges my ‘do. Or works to get really good leverage to grind his face into mine. I could close the door, but then he will spend his time scratching at it, while singing us the song of his people. So giving him access to me is a trade-off in the case of better cat-parenting and establishing boundaries; I recognize it. But hey, it did give me an entertaining selection of shots to choose from.

Meet my dear buddy Harry, folks! I figure, I might as well introduce you directly, because it’s likely this won’t be the last time he’s in this blog. Every author should have their muse. Er, mews. And this talented fellow moonlights as shoulder parrot and personal stylist, as well.

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