Caution: Post Contains Cuteness and Poetry
Are you in touch with your canine side or your feline side? I'm sure there is a PhD thesis waiting to be researched and written on this very topic — which animals writers prefer to associate themselves with. Hemmingway was a cat person, Virginia Woolf had a spaniel; Byron had a tame bear in his Cambridge dormitory room and walked it around campus; Dante Gabriel Rossetti preferred his pet wombat. I love cats and dogs and would happily co-habit with either, and at times I've lived with both (Sidney cat and I lived with 3 terriers named Poppet, Kay and Bess in Mitcham; Maggie cat terrorised Taz the chihuahua-datsun cross in Atlanta, GA and Rochester, NY) but if it's a choice of one or other, I'm without doubt a cat-person; I'm not just coming back as a cat, I want to come back as the cat poet laureate, miaow!
It's been a busy week stuffed with fancy food and cream teas as we partied hard to celebrate my dad's 70th birthday. So I'd like to open up this week's post to my old cat, Bix (1996-2014) and a consideration he wrote about my poetry. Over to you Mr. Bix you scamp, bless your paws :)
My Writer, by Bix
I really don't understand that thing he keeps tapping away at, all clickity-clack and noisy fan, though it's nice when he makes it say "Bix Cool," because I am quite a cool cat if I say so myself, and Bix is my name, or at least it has been since I stopped living with that strange old lady who called me Bumpkin Vectis, which had something to do with my pedigree; it certainly made me feel a bit simple. I much prefer being a Bix rather than a Bumpkin and not being kept outside in a wire enclosure. My human is the best and I've known him for over 10 years now, which is 70 in cat-years, so I should know.
I don't think he can be all that good as a writer though, because every time I fancy a fuss he stops what he's typing and obliges without grumbling; a real writer would carry on and world be damned. If cats were writers Romeo and Juliet would have been a couple of scenes, plus a break for lunch, a couple of snoozes and a rub-a-dub-dub of a fuss at the end. I wonder how many published writers have cats? You have to admit it's no easy task being a creative writer and the human to a cat. I guess I make it easy though because I'm always a good boy, sometimes a very good boy! I know because he stops to tell me at least once every 10 minutes. I must admit I get a little confused though when he asks, "who's a good boy?" and I think, well I am of course, have you forgotten?
Sometimes I think I purrrr too loudly, but it doesn't seem to bother him. Maybe it's like background noise, other cats tell me their humans like music or the picture box on when they're doing things other than listening to the music or watching the box. What does stop him tapping away is if I stretch out so I'm up close to the black tappy thing and put my paw on his arm; especially if I do that but forget to curl my nails away! It makes him say "Ah!"" when I do that, but in a short sharp way, not a nice soft "aaahhhh" or "awwwww" which means he's happy.
When he says, "I'm just popping to make a cup of tea, I'll only be 5 minutes." I Sometimes try and improve what he's writing; I'll push the buttons and make it say qqqqqqwsssgfgfgxxxxx, which makes him laugh. My record is seventy seven perfect number 1s. Occasionally he says I've been trying to send e-mails or order catnip from the internet, though 'catnip' is the only word I recognise in that sentence.
I’m not sure what poetry is all about. He writes a lot of that and seems to spend as much time changing one word to another, and then another, and then back again as he does writing the main thing. He’ll often mutter about poetry that isn’t really poetry, like there’s a set of rules and poems that he calls “really prose” have broken them all. The more I think about it the more I realise he spends an awful lot of time just staring into space, occasionally humming and ha’ing. If it’s a good day inspiration will bite him like fleas bite my non-pedigree friends, and then he’ll rattle off a few lines and look rather pleased with himself. I have to admit though, poetry isn’t really my thing.
Oooh, tuna! Do I hear somebody thinking about opening a tin of tuna?
Photo captions: Bix (1996-2014) grey cat, British Blue) sitting in front of the desktop computer; Taz dog (2004-2016) black and tan coloured chihuahua-datsun, around the size of a small Jack Russel); composite image of two cats, Sidney (1994-2002, black) and Baggio (1993-2014, white with black splodges).
#Bix, #Taz, #Sidney, #Baggio, #Bear, #Wombat, #Cats, #Dogs, #Poetry, #Hemmingway, #Woolf, #Byron