My best writing takes place between ten and two in the morning.
I write during the day, too, and I plot when I’m driving and listening to Kid Rock or Sara Evans, and I can get some cool ideas when I’m wandering around Portland, or staring at tulips, laughing with my friend Joan on a walk, and thinking about what I would dare to do if I was a wild kind of gal and not a proper mother.
But in the middle of the night, scribbling away, the only company I have is my cat, KC.
I think of her as KC The Cat With Emotional Issues.
She is needy sometimes, a little clingy. Sometimes aloof and entitled. Often huggable – but only for about fifteen seconds. She has commitment issues and a hug longer than fifteen seconds, well, that’s pushing it.
She would make a good spy if she was human because she is stealthy, can fade into shadows because she’s black, and she doesn’t say too much.
KC The Cat With Emotional Issues has an unusual attachment to Innocent Husband. When Innocent Husband is lying down anywhere, she climbs on his chest, settles about two inches from his chin and stares at him. I know what she is thinking, “You are mine. You belong to me. You do not belong to that cranky lady over there with the dyed blonde hair and the tired expression. You know, the one who always nags at you.”
Innocent Husband seems to get along with her well. Now and then he’ll pet her and they don’t argue. He gives her tuna. When he’s outside mowing the lawn she sits under a tree and keeps him under surveillance. They have staring contests which she seems to enjoy in a cat – like way. It’s a bit obsessive.
Innocent Husband treats her like a dog. He’ll say, “Come on up here, KC.” He’ll pet the couch, and she hops on up. For me, she usually doesn’t. I’ll pat the couch and say, “Come on up here, KC.”
She looks at me and I know what she is thinking, “I am not a dog. You cannot tell me what to do. You may not even suggest it. I do not obey. I will do as I please. Right now, I am not listening to you. Do you see that? I am not listening.” Then she will turn around and leave, tail up, butt in my face.
KC The Cat With Emotional Issues is also attached to the children. She likes to sleep on their beds, or outside the hallway of their rooms. That way if they wake up and go anywhere, she knows, and can follow them. When they are outside playing, she hides under the car and acts as their protector. When I see her, I will lean down and say, “Hello, KC.”
She doesn’t bother to look at me. I know what she is thinking, “I am watching the children and I will not be distracted by you, the woman who nags at my husband. I am their protector. I will defend them against all enemies, landing 747’s, comet strikes, or ostrich attacks. Move along, floosy. You are blocking my vision.”
She knows when we’re going on vacation. She sits on the top of the car. The kids and I like to have Innocent Husband be the one who chases her off for Lamb Family Comic Relief.
Only KC The Cat With Emotional Issues does not like to be chased off. She does not like when we all leave together. It makes her insecure and trips her separation anxiety. She scampers from one end of the car roof to the other, and back again, while Innocent Husband tries to catch her, circling the car and trying to be quicker than a cat.
But KC and I have a special relationship, too.
Sometimes she meows at me.
I meow back.
It is perplexing that I would engage in this type of chat with a cat. The meowing can go back and forth for awhile. I can’t stop meowing when she meows at me because I think it’s rude to stop the conversation. I wait for her to call it quits. That I think it’s rude to stop the meowing conversation with a CAT perplexes me further.
When I’m done writing late at night, the moon all glowy above me, KC will pop open an eye when I finally trudge upstairs, about two. I know what she’s thinking, “If you slept more, you wouldn’t look so dreary.”
When I sleep in a wee bit the next morning and KC The Cat With Emotional Issues wanders up to the bed I know what she’s thinking: “Laziness is equal to slothfulness. You are a slothful sloth.” (As if she isn’t)
But what does she know?
She is a cat. She is a cat who doesn’t have any deadlines.
She is a cat who is sitting on my lap as I write this blog.
Maybe I should give her some tuna. She’d probably like me better.