Conversations with my cat – 14

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This is Chester, the literary critic

 

It’s important to get that first sentence right

So, I’m rattling off a few lines to get his reaction

‘It was a day like no other’

‘Yes, I know’, says the all knowledgeable Chester looking down his nose at me, ‘it’s been used before’.

We are sitting in the writing room and as usual, Chester is trying to ignore me.

I’m trying to start a new novel, looking for that first line that’s going to hook the reader.

I read him a few lines.

He gives me a disdainful look, ‘Heard it all before old boy, try again’.

Once Upon a time?

‘You’ve been watching too much TV’.

It was a dark and stormy night.

He yawns widely, ‘As if you haven’t used that before’.

He’s right, damn him.

Why am I talking to this cat anyway?

He jumps up onto the desk and sits on the keyboard.

Ok, writing is over for the day.

Conversations with my cat – 13

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This is Chester.  He’s pushing his luck.

Yes, he had finally made up with my 15-year-old granddaughter, but no, he cannot sleep on her pillow.

After getting admonished for sitting on the settee, he had now got a second serve for sleeping on her pillow.

And, no, giving me the sad eyes is not going to weaken my resolve.

Looks like it’s back to his chair!

 

Conversations with my cat – 12

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This is Chester.  He has broken the agreement we had when we first bought the settee.

No cats allowed to sit on it.

Pleading will not cut it.  He is in serious trouble.

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No.  You cannot plead your case with Rosemary.

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Yes.  Hang your head in shame.

And get off the settee now!

Conversations with my cat – 11

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This is Chester.  It has been a long, hard day.

Don’t be fooled into thinking he’s asleep.

He isn’t.

It’s late afternoon, and he’s done his rounds, sitting at the back door, the side door, and the front door.

We’re having a continual discussion about food, which, at the moment, he is being very fussy about.

I’ve sent him to bed without dinner.  I can see this is going to be another test of wills.

 

Conversations with my cat – 10

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This is Chester.  He’s got his ‘I want to go outside now’ face.

We’ve had this discussion many times in the past.

The answer is ‘No!’

Why?

Several of his predecessors thought it would be a great idea to go outside, chase some birds, frolic in the grass, chase some cars.

Yes, cars.

And finished up road kill.

After the second such fatality, we decided the next cat, Chester, was going to be an indoors cat.

He goes outside, when we hold him.

He knows the rules.

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Any, yes, he’s still waiting, just in case I change my mind.

Conversations with my cat – 9

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This is Chester.   He’s undercover.

I’ve asked him to investigate the mouse problem, and this is how he responds.

Hiding in the ‘grass’.

Waiting, watching, ever wary.

Those mice will not see him coming.

I try to tell him that hiding on the chair, whilst the mice are on the floor doesn’t make much difference.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

 

It’s good, it’s bad, and at times it can be very, very ugly

It was as if Microsoft Word was sent down from that place in the universe where a group of torturers sit around a table to find new ways of making our lives just that little bit more difficult.

I mean, most of the time it works really well and behaves itself.

But…

Then there are the times, usually when you are stressed about a deadline, or you are nearly at the end of what you believe to be the most brilliant writing you have ever put on paper.

Then…

Disaster strikes.

It could be the power goes off, even for just a few seconds, but it’s enough to kill the computer.  It could be that you have reached the end and closed Word down, thinking that it had autosaved, all the while ignoring that little pop up that says, ‘do you want to save your work’?

It’s been a long day, night, or session.  You’re tired and your mind is elsewhere, as it always is at the end.

You always assume that autosave is on.  It was the last time, it has been since the day you installed it however long ago that was.

So…

When the power comes back on, you start the computer, go into Word, and it brings back all the windows you had open when the power failed, and the one with the brilliant piece you just wrote, it’s just a blank sheet.

Or up to where it last autosaved, which is nowhere near the end.

Or it didn’t save at all.

You forget the software updated recently and that always brings changes.  Usually unwanted changes.

By which time you have that sinking feeling that all is lost, deadline missed, brilliant work lost, it’s the end of the world.

You promise yourself you’re going to get Scrivener, or something else, where this doesn’t happen.

Or if you’re like me, you put the cat on the keyboard and tell him to sort the mess out.