Don’t tell my human, but this post is coming to you by me.
It’s hard to take a good selfie without opposable thumbs, so don’t judge. I’ll try to only use photos my human has already taken from now on.
My human, who normally writes these posts, is busy. She’s been babbling about not knowing how she was going to get this post done with spring break and other things that mean nothing to me except an annoying interruption to my sleep schedule. However, since she feed me regularly this week, and even cleaned my water bowl, I decided to give her a break.
I help her a lot while she’s on the computer. It’s how I learned to type. It’s also how I know there are lots of posts floating around that highlight all the hard work a self-published author does each time they complete another book. To my dismay, none of these tell you what the cat does.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Behind every good author is a purrfect cat.”
Allow me to enlighten you of the cat’s roll in the book publishing process. While this tells you what I do, I can assure you that it’s the same for all other cats.
You know that voice authors sometimes say they hear in their head? The crazy ones think it’s their characters speaking to them. Sorry, no—it’s the cat. I guide my human to make sure she keeps her characters on track. I purr and show my belly when she gets it right. If it’s wrong, then I poke her in the face until she understands.
Another important role I have is distraction blocking. I watch—from all angles—and am prepared to jump into action the moment something tries to pull my human’s attention away from writing. Some think that squirrels are the largest threat, but really it’s the leaves. They blow around outside the windows from all directions, causing my human to glance up repeatedly. That’s when I pounce, and bring her focus back where it needs to be.
After what the human calls a manuscript is done, I do what my human calls editing. I read this manuscript, and point out the areas where she missed the mark. With all the poking during the typing process, I’m not sure how there are always so many mistakes. But she is only human after all.
Another thing I do for my human author is shipment inspection. No human knows boxes better than cats. Once my human has removed all the books from the box, it is my job to go in and perform the quality check. I ensure the box is free of tears, can hold the proper temperature, and has the appropriate level of concealment. Once the box inspection is complete, I move to the packing paper. This is tested to make sure it has the appropriate ‘crunching’ sound. Humans are too dense to understand why these factors are important to the overall success of book production, so I won’t even attempt to explain.
Finally, I make sure that the all important author throne is held to a comfortable temperature. Humans take for granted the way a properly heated rear end helps sharpen one’s focus. Cats know this. We understand the critical role heat plays in everyday function.
There are many, many more ways the cat keeps their human author on track. But it is now time for my nap, so I must end after one final thought:
If you’ve ever read a book that you didn’t enjoy, then that human author has a dog.