Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Queen Rules Quietly

I promised you last week I would allow my girl, the female feline, to speak about how she inspires my writing.  She got a bit off topic in this blog, but, since she feels so strongly about her brother Marley, I let her have her rant. After reading last week's Marley contribution, someone suggested I temporarily give up writing mysteries and pen a work about Marley and me.  I could only do that if it included Squeal too.  It's a thought.

You may have seen the picture above, but she insisted I share it again since she insists it shows off her literary bent, both for reading good literature and inspiring it.  Marley thinks she's just showing off.

Squeak's Turn to Meow

Mom says it’s my turn to talk about life in the home of two writers and one other, totally inadequate cat.  He’s so uncatlike, he might as well be a dog.  Not that I mind dogs.  I just don’t want an ersatz hound masquerading as a feline in my bed!  Oops, Mom reminded me I’m getting off the subject.  I do that a lot where Marley is concerned.  It’s his fault.  I’m walking over to my water bowl for a cool drink, hoping he hasn’t drooled in it or deposited one of his favorite bugs in there, and he jumps on me from behind the chair.  I then spend the rest of the morning plotting my revenge.  It’s exhausting.  What?  Oh.  Mom says I did it again.

So about this muse thing.  Neither one of the parents will admit it, but I know I am the inspiration behind their writing.  Mom babbles on about muses because she thinks it’s cute, and she likes to write cute things.  Dad is the silent type, like most human men-cat males being loudly yowly—but he writes real good, and he loves me to distraction.  He even admits it out loud to others.  I think sometimes Mom wonders if he loves me more than her.  And sometimes when he’s aggravated with her, he does love me more.  I make certain of that by doing my best cute thing.  Ha!

I used to write on the computer, but I found it difficult to get my paws on the right keys.  Everyone in the house said I wrote “5, 5” and “8, 9”, but that just isn’t so.  I began my autobiography and due to the paw placement difficulty, only numbers came out.  The opening went something like, “so what does the most beautiful cat in the world do when she’s adopted by human parents who are illiterate in her language?”  Upon reflection, I thought I was being too impatient with them, so I` decided I should give it some time and try to teach them how to communicate with me.  Things are going as well as can be expected given the raw material.  They prove food on cue and vacate their laps when I give the signal of claw-into-your-thigh.  After many trips of going back and forth to our home in Florida (I’m a Florida native), they seem to understand my requirement of a clean and well appointed motel room.  I like spacious bathrooms and coverlets that I can crawl under without inhaling dust.

The parents thought I wouldn’t like traveling because the first time they took me on the road in my travel carrier, I threw a little fit of sorts.  Mom had covered the bottom of the carrier with newspaper—like she thought I’d do something dirty in there, in my own space for heaven’s sake.  I took the humiliation of having to sit on that paper getting newsprint all over my damp little paws (I was a little nervous at Dad’s driving, I’ll admit), then I decided to let them know how I felt.  I howled and tore that paper into tiny shreds.  At the next rest stop, Mom removed the shreds.  They refer to it as my snit-fit.  The only other time I made a fuss was when they mistakenly put me in Marley’s carrier.  Did I yell about that!  Mom said to Dad, “You put her in the wrong carrier.”  “So what?” Dad replied.  Mom gave him one of her looks, and he stopped so they could switch me.  Sometimes you have to be firm.  Can you imagine how it felt being trapped in that thing with Marley’s smell all over it?  Horrible!  Since that time I don’t think I’ve complained once about the trips.  Marley yells all the time, and he used to throw up until Mom got him pills.  The wimp.

Sure I’m referred to as “the little beauty” and “Queenie Queakie”.  I am gorgeous.  I do not have stripes like Marley.  They are so nineties.  I have dark grey fur that is black at the roots, grey in the middle, and beige at the tips.  It is as soft as bunny fur.  Hence my full name Squeakie Wigglesworth Bunnifurd.  Mom tells me Marley was named after Bob Marley because he was born in the Keyes like me, and we heard a lot of island music there.  But she really missed the cruise ship on that one.  He has no sense of rhythm.  She used to dance around with the wonderful and orange Mickey in her arms and he loved it, purred in time to the music.  Marley doesn’t like to be held except on his terms.  He kneads and nuzzles and it’s so embarrassing.  I think you could play a talk show, and he’d get the same thing out of it as Bach.  I’m a jazz and classical gal myself.  I’m surprised at his lack of musical appreciation.  Mom told me her dad played opera and country when he milked the cows.  They liked it.  All animals appreciate music.  Marley is oblivious.  I don’t know what he thinks, probably doesn’t do much of that anyway.

For the longest time I thought Marley had no personality.  He just ate a lot, slept, annoyed me, and peed over the side of the litter box.  Boy, that got Mom’s attention.  Then his personality emerged about two years ago at age four.  Talk about a later bloomer.  When Mom and Dad bought our cottage and began renovations, he became Dad’s helper, now referred to as “Dad’s little buddy.”  Auggh, makes me want to puke a hairball.  He just sits there and watches.  Now, I ask you, how is that helping?  Gosh, humans are odd.  He’s just sitting there.  His brain probably isn’t even engaged.  I watch.  Am I anyone’s “little buddy?”  Oh well, it’s good to be the queen and to know I rule, albeit quietly from the bed upstairs.

Lesley's note: Do you have an animal inspiring your work?  Or perhaps ghost writing for you?  Share your story.


  1. How wonderful to have muses like Squeak and Marley! I wish I could have cats, but unfortunately I cannot. They are adorable, delightful creatures, and they make a house a home.

  2. What a great way to start a day! Thanks for my morning dose of entertainment, Lesley. Now I'm smiling, thanks to you and the kitties.

    We have two yellow Labs, and I had no idea dogs could be so mental. They require constant attention, but they sure are fun. And these dogs inspired two characters (doggie type) in my Bogey Man series.

  3. Felix stands in front of the computer monitor when I'm writing and Boots lays all over the table where I type. They're cute but not much help in writing.
    Sally Carpenter

  4. I wonder why cats never appear in my writing. I suspect it's because my own two would object to not being portrayed well or often enough, or as intelligent enough. Like you, Marja, dogs appear in my work. Cats just sit in judgment, I guess.

  5. Cats make great story tellers, since they know everything, or think they do. This was an enjoyable post, Lesley. My two dogs, now in heaven, still inspire me to write sappy poems, but then dogs have a sappy way about them, at least mine did.

  6. I had a real sappy dog named Princess. I sang silly songs to her and I do believe she liked them.

  7. My big tabby cat, Boris, sits in the side chair next to the computer. I think he just enjoys being near me but maybe he's a muse?

    I haven't written yet about Boris, only about my dog, Charley (named for Steinbeck's Travels with Charley), a huge Bernese mountain dog mix and before him, I wrote about Barney, a big black lab mix.

  8. Animals are so much a part of my life and have always been since I was a kid on the farm. Animals appear in all my work, my favorite being Desdemona, the pot-bellied pig in Angel Sleuth. She a great sleuth companion I think.