Monday, 19 October 2009

The costly muse - Michelle Lovric

We got our cat, Rose la Touche of Harristown Morrison-Lovric, from a charity.

For free.

And ever since then she has cost us a fortune.

Chasing a moth, she smashed an antique turtle skeleton, necessitating £400 repair work.

Wanting attention, she jumped on my computer screen, leaving a paw-shaped fissure in the middle. Cost of new computer: £1427.

Ejecting a furball into the bed: I threw my new £300 glasses into the washing machine along with all the bedding. They came out in a rain of glass splinters followed by what looked like a small bicycle that had been stomped by King Kong.
Impaling herself on a nail in the beams, she fell, smashing a leg. Vet bills: £400 and counting. Trauma to us and lacerations to vet: both unhealed.

Rose la Touche has also savaged my mother-in-law (value of subsequent dramarama: incalculable). She has bitten three of my editors over the years. She has performed malicious vomits with full sound-effects in front of honoured visitors. She has cost us many nights’ sleep as she ranged the house, howling to break your heart.

But I forgive her, because there’s one job my cat does with Swiss precision: that of muse.
1. She stops me from leaving the house on distracting, non-writing errands, by following me to the door with a reproachful look. There have been times when I have put down the shopping bag and sloped back to my desk.
2. As long as I keep working, she sits on the back of my chair purring, nuzzling and generally reinforcing the work ethic. Illustrated is the gaze she gives anyone coming to distract me with a cup of tea or a bit of gossip. The look and the accompanying silent miaow eloquently suggest that the visitor takes himself and his business to another rift in the space-time continuum, preferably a deep one. Few pass.
3. She always answers enthusiastically when I consult her on a plot or character question. (It goes like this:
WRITER: ‘Do you think the mermaids should fancy Signor Alicamoussa?’
CAT: ‘Yes! I fancy a cuddle.’
WRITER: ‘How shall Teo help Renzo when he’s imprisoned in Newgate?’
CAT: ‘Food would certainly help. Chicken breast? Now?’)
4. She hates me chatting on the telephone, and squalls until I put the receiver down and get back to work.
Muse or dominatrix? I don’t know. But it works for me.


Anonymous said...

Cat lovers! Honestly...

Nick Green said...

Cats are like art, they must be suffered for.

Book Maven said...

How lovely to have a living shoulder- and neck-warmer! Especially one who is a muse. Worth every penny.

madwippitt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madwippitt said...

You could of course trade the kitty for a wippitty ... although more inclined to barks than mews.