An Author’s Best Friend
By Libby Mercer
|Top row: Truman Capote, Doris Lessing, Jean Paul Sartre, Middle row:
Joyce Carole Oates, Raymond Chandler, Ernest Hemingway, Bottom row:
Mark Twain, Charles Bukowski, Patricia Highsmith
Perhaps you’ve heard about Hemingway’s cats, but were you aware of the magnitude of the celebrated author’s feline family? At one point, he had fifty-seven cats roaming the grounds of his Cuban estate. Fifty-seven! Ernest Hemingway was an extreme case, for sure, but the fact is quite a lot of our literary greats penned their prose with feline friends at their sides.
It makes sense that so many authors choose kitties as their companions. They’re low maintenance, and for the most part, they can look after themselves, unlike our canine pals. I can’t even imagine how frustrating it would be to be on a roll with my writing, fingers flying across the keyboard as my story comes to life, and then suddenly have to halt the progress, find my shoes and take a dog down three flights of stairs for a romp in the park. Dogs need so much care and attention; they’re simply not an option for an urban, apartment-dwelling author like me. Cats just let you get on with it.
Well… this is usually the case. It was like this with my much-loved-but-sadly-no-longer-with-us cat, Priscilla. She’d spend the day napping next to me as I worked, and we’d cuddle in the evening. I had to say goodbye to her this past summer after her health rapidly declined, and after a couple of months on my own, I adopted two new kittens I’ve named Clementine and Atticus (yep, as in Finch.)
Clementine and Atticus are not what you’d call low maintenance. They both enjoy sitting in my lap when I’m at my desk, and as lovely as it is to be bonding with my darlings, it makes it difficult to work. Clementine wants to be petted constantly when she’s on my lap, so when I try to type something on the keyboard, she attacks my fingers.
|Atticus is the one with a white patch over one of his eyes.|
Atticus is a bit of a mystery. He’s very vocal and will sometimes sit on my lap, stare into my eyes and meow loudly. He’ll jump down, meander around for a bit, jump back up into my lap and meow some more. Needless to say, his odd behavior distracts me from my creative process.
And don’t even get me started on the fact that my desk is in the kitchen and both of them meow like crazy, wanting to be fed before their mealtime. I’m trying to keep them on a feeding schedule, but sometimes they succeed in wearing me down.
It is a bit of an adjustment to have these two fiery fur balls running all over the place after being with quietly observant Priscilla for so many years, but we’re finding our rhythm. They’re still babies, so I know they’ll calm down in time. And until then, I love watching them viciously attacking paper bags and chasing each other around. Hours of entertainment!
Let's take a poll. How many of you are rocking awesome cats with literary names, too? I suppose you can share your dogs, bunnies, hamsters and chinchillas, too. :)
About the Author
Born and raised in the Midwest, Libby Mercer’s adventurous spirit kicked in after graduating from high school, and she’s since lived in Boston, NYC and London. San Francisco is the city she currently calls home. For several years, Libby worked in fashion – first as a journalist and then as a shopkeeper. She also dabbled in design for a while. Even through the crazy fashion years, Libby never let go of her dream of being a published author, and has since developed her signature writing style, crafting quirky chick lit/romance hybrids. Fashioning a Romance was her first published novel, and Unmasking Maya will be her second. Libby has a third novel, The Karmic Connection, scheduled for release in 2013.
About Unmasking Maya
Defamed, Disgraced and Displaced...
Fresh from a career-killing scandal, New York fashion girl, Maya Kirkwood, arrives in San Francisco to reinvent herself as a fine artist. She's offered the opportunity to create an installation at the Silicon Valley headquarters of a hot new tech company. Fabulous, right?
Not so much.
She can't stand Derek Whitley - wunderkind software genius and CEO of the company. Hot as he may be on the outside, inside the man is a cold, unemotional, robotic type. Way too left-brained for her right-brained self.
As Maya and Derek get to know each other, however, their facades begin to crack. She catches her first glimpse of the man behind the superhuman tech prodigy, and he starts to see her as the woman she used to be. But is this a good thing? Once that last secret is revealed, will it bring them closer together or will it tear them apart?
For More About Libby
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