Sunday, October 21, 2007

My Green Eyed Tabbies

The story of my green eyes tabbies started about two weeks ago when Don’s elderly friend, Mary, decided she wanted a cat after the death of her dog. In fact, Don had accompanied her to the feed store where she picked out the little peach and white tabby. A few days later, Mary decided the overactive kitty was a little too much for her.

When Don told me about her second doubts, I said, “If she can’t keep him, I’ll be glad to give him a home.” Since Arby’s death last May, my other cat, Buddy, has been lonely and a little bored. Not that he and Arby got along because, frankly, she hated him. However, he continued trying to win her affections, and he seemed entertained by her antics to keep him at bay.

I met my little friend for the first time last Wednesday. The first time I looked into those sweet little green eyes, I knew Oliver was destined to become part of our household. Buddy is a sweet loyal cat, but he also has a bit of a temper, especially when he doesn’t get his way. I think this goes back to his days on the street where he learned to charm humans and fight other cats until he got a nibble or a good meal. Thus, when I brought Oliver home, I didn’t know what to expect.

First thing, I set up Oliver’s space in my office area- his own food, water, kitty box, bed and toys. For the first 24 hours I didn’t let my green eyed boys near each other, but allowed them to both roam the house freely at different times so that they would become accustomed to each other’s smells. The next day, I came home from work, put Buddy in my room, and let Oliver roam free. That evening, I finally decided to allow them into the main living area at the same time.

At first, Oliver became too friendly and Buddy hissed a lot. Now, after four days of roaming the house together under supervised conditions, my two green eyed boys seem like they’re getting along better. Buddy still hisses to let Oliver know he is top cat (and I make sure Buddy gets a whole lot more affection for being so tolerant of another baby), and Oliver is learning to just sit back and wait for a better moment to use his kitty-friendly skills. I thought I was home today when they walked past each other in the hallway….and their noses moved toward each other….but, just when their noses started to touch, Buddy let out a warning, “hsssss.”

Okay, maybe that’s almost home.

As for my writing: because Oliver needed rest time in his own space, and the office is where I write, I temporarily moved my laptop out to the dining room table. I didn’t want to give Buddy any ideas that I was giving our new little guy extra petting. Now I am back in the office and writing chapter 17 of my novel, and I allow Oliver to roam freely (but supervised) when I am home.

The writing is coming along well. I can see all of the changes that will need to go into the second draft. As a writer, I know it’s important to keep plugging forward until I have completed the piece, and then I am free to go back and do the second rewrite. I continually fight the urge to go back and edit right now, to start over and make it “right” this time. A little too much self-judgment I would say.

In writing this novel, I can learn from my little green-eyes tabbies; they are always in the moment, live from their deepest intuitions and make constant forward movement. If I stick to their three principles, I cannot go wrong.

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