On writing with cats

Working from home with small animals is a lot like having toddlers: they always want something. They don’t know how to leave you alone (not that they’re supposed to). True, you could go to another room and lock them out, only to feel like a horrible person as you listen to cries that sound like, “Mommy, why do you hate me?”

But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Meet the two cutest distractions in the entire world, Catniss Everclean…


And Zoey


I remember the first time I saw the apartment I now call home. I was in Ohio for several months taking care of my Dad, and left full trust with Josh to pick the right place and move in. When I finally saw it in person, I thought, This is great, but it’s missing two things to make it perfect: bookshelves and kittens.

Josh was “meh” about the bookshelves, but totally on board with the kittens. We adopted them from a local shelter a few days before Christmas, then only 8 weeks and 12 weeks old. They have been nothing but adorable trouble ever since: getting into things (even after kitten-proofing the apartment), jumping onto forbidden surfaces like tables (well, one of them could jump, the other would try and hilariously fail), not understanding the concept of a litterbox (that, thankfully, has been solved).

But they are more than just fuzzy fixtures in our home. As my anxiety comes and goes and depression waxes and wanes, these critters have been the best and most effective form of therapy. They give me more of a reason to get up in the morning, and not just because they’re hungry: they figured out how to open the bedroom door and will gently chew my ears to wake me up. We snuggle for a few minutes before breakfast and morning coffee and more cuddles.


Then, it’s writing time. Most of the afternoon, really, is writing time, often with one of these furballs in my lap:


Sometimes they make typing difficult:


And the breaks in which I attempt household chores next to impossible:


But sometimes they understand that Mommy has things to do, and reluctantly accept it by napping on the floor next to my writing chair.


Never before have I had stronger justification for taking my work to Starbucks for distraction-free writing.

Or not…

unnamed“Zoey, I need that laptop case…”

“Nope, I has claimed it.”

Except I don’t think I’ll use that excuse often, because these fluffies will only be kittens once, and have already doubled in weight during the last month (Catniss is now THREE pounds, and Zoey FOUR pounds, those little chunkers).


It might take me twice as long to finish my next novel with these lovable distractions, but these girls (collectively called The Kitten Littles) are the closest I expect to get to motherhood, and I’m enjoying every moment.


14 thoughts on “On writing with cats

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  4. Loki says hi to Catniss and Zoey: https://twitter.com/authorlrh/status/546442051685187585/photo/1
    He usually leaves me alone, but sometimes he climbs on my laptop (while it’s on my lap!) and begs for attention. Most other time he’s galloping around the apartment playing tag or hide and seek with my roommate’s cat. I remember when he was just 2 months old and didn’t even fill my hand, and now he’s a 16 pound furball. They do grow fast!

    Liked by 1 person

      • He can’t jump very high so he doesn’t climb on tabletops or get into sinks. But he is a little thief and any hair ties, contact lens cases, jewelry, basically anything he can carry in his mouth will disappear into dark corners under beds if you leave them laying around. He looks all regal and esteemed but in truth he’s a shameless thief!


          • Oh dear! I put everything in cabinets he can’t reach, so we are safe now. I discovered these cat games for tablets yesterday, they are published by Friskies for ios and android, so I put my old ipad on the floor and fire up the fishing with cats game, that keeps him busy for quite some time. He doesn’t bat at the fish but he watches them for a long time.


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