A Post By JonathanUnfortunately my wife and I had to bid our dear cat, Charlie, a final farewell yesterday, after 14 fun-filled years together, so I wanted to use my blog post to thank him for being such a great companion and writing partner. He really was a special animal, and a huge part of our family-- you will be missed!
While I have many great memories of "Chuck" --like the time he caught himself on fire jumping into a candle, or when he got his collar stuck in his mouth while it was still on him, or the endless stuffed animals, towels and blankets I would find laying around the house after he had "had his way with them"-- the best ones center around the time when I first started writing. My wife and I had just graduated from graduate school (in nothing writing related) and, after a really tough time finding employment, we ended up getting jobs three states away from each other. She ended up living with her parents in Michigan while I lived with Charlie the Cat in Virginia.
Finding my evenings rather free all of a sudden, I decided to take a crack at writing a book. The most I had written up to that point was a term paper or two, so I had quite a lot to learn. I wish I had read some books on writing (or at least knew something about story structure) before sitting down at the computer, but then again, I had all the time in the world. And writing was just a hobby at that point. So I wrote-- and Charlie the Cat was with me every step of the way.
Eventually, the two of us settled into a pretty good routine. I would come home from work, feed him, then head up stairs to the computer. I would write while he purred on my lap, then after that I would take him for about a mile walk around the neighborhood. Yes, Charlie walked on a leash like a dog (sometimes better). I mostly walked him at night so people wouldn't see me walking a cat, but I think he liked the dark better too...
It was great, but it was also really hard at times (my wife and I had only been married for about a year and a half at this point...). I remember one night when I was especially down in the dumps and Charlie jumped right up in my lap, rubbed his cheek up against me, and I suddenly didn't feel so alone. Cats take a lot of crap for being unfeeling creatures at times, but they seem to know exactly how you're feeling-- and exactly when you need them. I don't think it was a coincidence that Ernest Hemingway spent his time writing around all those six-toed cats down in Key West (of course I'd write surrounded by skunks if it meant I could live in Key West...). There's just something about their sleepy manner and that purr, purr, purr that put you in the writing zone.
Anyway, I could go on all day about the greatest feline in the world, but I'll just leave it at this: Thank you, my friend. And thank you, dear reader, for listening. Charlie truly was a writer's cat to remember.