Guest Post by Julianne Lee, author of Her Mother's Daughter

Julianne Lee is the author of a new novel on Queen Mary I called Her Mother's Daughter and in honor of the release she has provided a guest post for my lovely readers.  And it's one on my favorite topics...cats!  I know a lot of you are cat owners, as well am I (I've got 4), so I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did!

The floor is yours Julianne...



Cats and Writers

Much has been said about writers and cats. The romance writer with seven cats is a clichĂ©, and sometimes it does seem that every writer is legally bound to have at least one. Nearly every writer I know has one. Most have more than one, and some have several. I have thr...two. I have two now. My favorite, Silas, died a month ago. Silas was an orange-and-white Ragdoll, knew he was the favorite, and insisted he be reminded of it every day. In return he was as devoted as a dog. Aeryn, a female who looks like a very small Siberian, is the prettiest of them, but she’s got a screw loose somewhere. Marley is our Nashville Cat. He’s a blonde color and appears to be part Maine Coon, and came to us via a homeless teenager in Nashville who discovered he couldn’t take care of a kitten.

I have a theory about the affinity cats have for writers. They do choose us, of course. We’re the ones who get to be their people, who get greeted at the door, who trip over them when they wend between our ankles. I think they choose us because we’re stationary. We sit at a desk all day, making a lap just for them, and hour after hour we don’t move. It’s a warm lap, too. The average cat just can’t ask for much better. Spot, our striped tabby who crossed Rainbow Bridge about nine years ago, could hear me make a lap from the other end of the house. She’d come running, and leap upon me wherever I was sitting, whether there was a manuscript in her space or not.

We writers can work and pet at the same time. We have in-boxes that are just the right size for a cat to curl up. Computer monitors with mouse cursors that dash around in interesting ways. Yes, they like us for good reason.


And, since writing is a solitary task, we’re happy for the company. When our characters don’t behave, and our plot wanders into the weeds so we don’t know how we’ll retrieve it, our cats know this and come lie on the keyboard so we’ll take a break.

Silas was a master at this. The right-hand edge of my desk is well-marked from his claws he dug into it when he reached up to stretch himself and let me know he wanted to lap-sit. If ignored, he would run around to the back of the desk, jump up, and wend between the lamp, CD rack, and in-box to present himself at eye-level. He would then stare at me what that “Well, I’m waiting” look until I took notice of him. If still ignored, he would simply step across to my chest so that I would have to receive him. Then he would settle into my left arm and either watch me type or go to sleep. It was no use putting him on the floor; he’d only go around and jump up to climb over onto me again.

It’s been said that cats read with their butts. I’m here to tell you it’s true. Every cat I’ve ever had liked to sit on whatever manuscript or book I was reading. Spot was especially well read, and not particularly fussy about the material. Books, manuscripts, journals, she read it all. Aeryn, who shares me with Marley these days, doesn’t actually sit on the books. She gets between my face and the book, and sort of backs up to it. Marley is a non-reader, and rubs his face against mine so I can’t read, either. Silas liked to lie on the books. I think he was just trying to impress me by pretending to read.

Oh. Here comes Marley, rubbing his face against my pen. I guess it’s time to pet the cat.



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7 comments:

  1. Love the picture and interview... I am a cat person, not a writer though and over the years we have had cats that always wanted to sit on paper. I remember when the kids would be on the floor or beed doing homework or a project, they would come and sit on the paper...

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  2. I loved this post! As I read it, my cat Jenny was sitting on the back of the chair leaning on me and Dallas was trying to get to the keyboard to lay down! It is so funny how they are attracted to your current reading material to catch a nap. I think they see you looking there and want the attention that catless spot is getting.

    I lost my Bob two months ago. He was a big black & white manx.

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  3. cute post. Cats are so calming, I think it helps to have that sense of peace around you while writing.

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  4. Loved the post! I have only 1 cat now, Noelle--she likes to steal my books marks and prefers to sit on my books while I'm reading them, and newspapers are for paw slapping.

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  5. With me it is the two cats. The older orange tabby wants my lap.. The fat gray one stretches out along the back of the sofa. The 4 dogs all adore my husband and try to be the one on his lap (even the 68 pound old arthritic lab). The pit bull puppy who is 1 today will come over while I'm typing and put her chin on my lap. She also likes to get under the desk and chase her tail. That is hard on my knees and feet.

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  6. Amy - I also have four cats. I'd sort of like another one, but my oldest girl, a Bengal, gets hysterical every time a new cat is introduced, and I think another one would send her over the edge.

    Julianne - I find that the cats like to help out with writing. Except mine don't read with their butts, they interrupt me with them. Two of my kitties will insert themselves somewhere between me and my laptop, presenting their rears at me. I have to say, it's very effective at getting me to stop what I'm doing and pay attention to what kitty wants.

    Thanks for sharing the picture of Silas. He looks like a sweet cat, indeed.

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  7. I loved this post! If I'm ever able, I will get a cat - I love them... my husband is allergic and I have attempted to have a short hair but it still makes him miserable, so I just can't. I love on my mom's cats when I go to her house though :)

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