by Molly Hunt
Tinkerbelle is looking me in the eyes from her bed behind my monitor where she does her best editing. She knows what I’m thinking. She knows I don’t have a clue what I’m about to write, and she knows I’m going to bull my way through in spite of that. Cats know these things, but…
How do they know?
I turn slightly and see Tink is not alone; Little is also watching. She wants to see what I do next. She looks exceedingly smug, knowing that if she doesn’t like it, she will drift her feathery fur across my touch screen and make it disappear.
“No, Little, no! It can’t be that bad. Can it?”
There has been a lot of buzz on the internet lately about cat editors. You think we’re kidding? That the phrase, cat editor, is just a cute way of saying we like to work with a cat on our laps? Not true. Cats know a good story when they hear one, and since they are essentially telepathic, they often know a writer’s work before the writer does.
Tinkerbelle is purring as she pushes me for full disclosure. Okay, I admit my title is misleading: I don’t find cats scary, and certainly not my own little clowder. But I once fostered a cat who was scary as hell. He was actually featured on the cat behavior TV show, My Cat From Hell because every once in a while, out of the blue, he would go bat-shit crazy. He was a great cat editor, though, because when he was not in one of his “moods”, he was the smartest, sweetest cat in the world. He would sit beside me at the computer and watch my every move. I would type very fast, trying to get it down before he went berserk again.
No, I’m not afraid of cats or their arsenal of arcane abilities. Bring them on, the more the better! (Limited only by my financial state and how many litter boxes I can clean in a morning.) Their talent for reading my mind and at times, influencing it, is a good thing. After all, what would a cat writer be without her cats? The fact that my writing career revolves around cats doesn’t seem odd to me. And when sometimes I find myself writing from their perspective, well, that isn’t so strange, is it? Someone needs to tell their stories. When I have crazy cat lady dreams and wake up with a cat on my head, that’s just normal, right? Sometimes when I close my eyes, I begin to purr…
Be afraid! Be furry afraid!
Tinkerbelle, the black furry female with one white whisker, is a 14 year old rescued stray who up until recently worked with me as a therapy cat. Little, also female, black (with a pendant), and a rescue, is 9 and sassy. Big Red, the orange tabby male, adopted me. He is thought to be around 12.
Mollie Hunt is the author of the Crazy Cat Lady mystery series (Cats’ Eyes, 2013; Copy Cats, 2015; Cat’s Paw, coming in 2016). A non-cat mystery, Placid River Runs Deep, which delves into the challenge of Hepatitis C before the “cure” will be available soon.
Mollie lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and a varying number of cats. Like her character, Lynley Cannon, she is a grateful shelter volunteer.
Visit Mollie’s website to learn more.
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