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Abigail demonstrates the Full Ploof.

Abigail demonstrates the Full Ploof.

Apologies for the lack of blogging this week: my laptop was in the shop getting its battery replaced. Yes, I could have blogged on the iPad, MAYBE, but there were other mitigating factors as well. Thank you for your patience.

Today’s topic: Choosing Your Assistive Feline™

There was recently a meme — which I cannot now find — that listed all the things a writer should own: 40 ‘special’ pens, dozens of blank notebooks, etc. It also listed a cat, of course.

It did not specify that it should be an Assistive Feline™, but surely that’s implied: all cats are Assistive Felines™ to some degree. Just like humans, though, some felines are more talented than others. We’ll talk about that in a moment.

I have a quibble with the list when it specifies ‘a cat,’ when obviously any artist needs at least two. I have the Assistive Feline™ and the Assistant Assistive Feline™, and that’s probably sufficient to my needs.

The Assistive Feline™, Abigail, is a delight. Since she first arrived at our house, following the wife and dog home from their morning walk, she has been quiet, compliant, and loving: the perfect Assistive Feline™. She is serious about her role — while the laptop was in the shop and I was not working upstairs in my study, she was quite unsettled, following me from room to room and wondering when we were going to get back to work. (She does not regard the iPad as worthy of her engagement.)

Abigail, the good and deserving kitty.

Abigail, the good and deserving kitty.

The Assistant Assistive Feline™, on the other hand…

Cecil Alexander the Pest, to give him his full name, is an unfortunate child: born of a poor street cat (who promptly died), his lack of prenatal care has resulted in some kind of kitty autism/ADD. If he shows up in the study at all, it’s to trample across my work and the keyboard to ask me to pick him up and hold him, which thereby incapacitates at least one of my hands.

Cecil does not do anything gently. While Abigail will insinuate her way onto your lap or between your legs (if you’re reclining) and quietly curl up, Cecil will crash his way into your space, wriggle about, chew your fingers, bump your chin, and finally plomp down to take a nap. He is, to put it kindly, An Goofball.

Cecil the Pest, jamming his nose into my armpit.

Cecil the Pest, jamming his nose into my armpit.

So here’s my advice: go to your nearest adoption shelter and test out the cats. Pick them up and hold them. The one who rests its chin in your crooked elbow and goes limp — there’s your kitty.

Abigail demonstrates the proper approach to assisting.

Abigail demonstrates the proper approach to assisting.

The one who clambers all over you? Get that one too, but don’t expect much in the way of assistance.

Why yes, his eyes  are  always like that.

Why yes, his eyes are always like that.