The Cat As Your Editor

My cat editor, Samantha, hard at work.

My cat editor, Samantha, hard at work.

I’ve just recently finished a novellette that has me totally jazzed. The romance writer inside me is still putting out. I’ve already got ideas for the second book, and starting to imagine a third. It’s got a fast, action paced voice and tough fireball welding modern witch main character. So, to get feedback as soon as I typed the last word, I turned to the rock to my Gibraltar, the cat.

She is the little confidant that keeps me company as I write. She will often curl up next to the lap top as I’m feverishly trying to type the next novel. Every once in a while I give her a good scratch on the back of her neck. The purring rewards me to write further and further until I reach a stopping place.

I have to admit. Cat’s make the best editors. They spur you on with a purr, and listen intently for any problems. If there are extensive issues you are pounding away at, they may interrupt the writing process by walking over the keyboards thus inducing well needed stop time to sort it out. Of course, it’s most likely time to feed them, but sometimes a cat has an innate sense of when to take a break.

Deep in thought about the next edit.

Deep in thought about the next edit.

Keep in mind, my cat Samantha is a good source of support. Like any cat, she prefers the lap method, where she’ll lounge for as long as you watch TV or write. When writing, she chooses the spot nearest the laptop computer. Sometimes there is jealousy between the laptop and her. I can tell from the stomping across the keys Samantha may apply while I’m writing. Or it’s just a battle for lap space. But in the end, she helps get a point across. It’s time to pay attention to what I’m saying.

I celebrate my successful first draft moments, or editing run throughs with a chat with the cat. “Kitty, it’s done. Finally.” In which I get a big, meow or stare that reminds me, it’s time to feed her again. If it wasn’t for her, sometimes I wouldn’t leave the book’s world. It’s good to know who will bring me back to reality.

Just like any editor, she can be very persuasive in her pleas. I thank her for that. I like straight and honest. If the cat didn’t set off the food alarm, there would be no time to reflect on what I’d written. Or I’d still think it was all just crap. No matter how you look at it, she’s an integral part of my writing process. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

**Marilyn Vix is working on a paranormal romance novelette and time travel novel that will make appearances to the public eye sometime in the Fall 2013.

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