The Writer's Cramp 9/8/21
Henry the Insane Cat
“Only three weeks to go. I’ll turn that legal age. You know, twenty-one. Oh, don’t give me that look. You know how long I’ve been waiting for this.” I looked at Henry, the cat. He sat on the bed, giving me the emperor look.
My computer is my constant companion for the next three weeks. I have an assignment due on my birthday, of all days. My editor gave me no slack.
“There is a deadline, Noni. The book outline is due on November 28th. Nothing else matters. Get it done.” That was the last reply to my request for an extension. So, I have to work on this daily.
My office is in my room. I still live at home with my parents. But if this book deal takes off, Henry and I are out of here.
“No Henry, off. I need to get this done.” Henry loves to sit and walk on the keyboard.
So when I intend to type:
“Henry the Insane Cat”
Henry walks on the keys to produce:
Now I have to shoo Henry off, retype the line. Then I type for an hour or so. Then suddenly here comes Henry. I now realize this three week deadline is going to be impossible to meet.
Henry is relegated to his cat crate. As I type my assignment, I am observed by this angry cat.
“Meow. Meow. You are mean, Noni,” cried Henry.
“Are you talking to me? You’re freaking me out. I have a job to do here. Be quiet.”
For a few moments, Henry settles down in the crate. Then it starts again.
“Mewo, meow, woem, owme, me, wo, ow, em.”
“Henry, now you’re not making any sense. If you can be quiet just a little while longer, you can get out.”
My insane cat settled down, so I released him from his crate.
“Thank you, Noni. I promise to behave. Don’t put me back in there. I’ll just sit on my cushion. Promise.”
There is one week to go. I only have a few more finishing touches, then I can send it on. I sat down. Henry pounced, I yelled. Mom came running in.
“I swear, this insane cat! I don’t know if I can finish this!”
“Settle down, Noni. You can do this.” Mom grabbed the cat. “You’re coming with me, mister. Enough of your antics.”
Finally I was left alone. I never did find out what Mom did to keep Henry occupied. He disappeared for a week while I sequestered in my room for a week.
November 28th I sent my book outline to my contact at the publisher. Then I exited my room for the first time in three weeks. I shoveled out trash, brought out all my dirty clothes, then rescued a very angry cat.
“I hate you Noni. Your mother made me behave, made me eat dry cat food, made me sleep on the floor.”
“You’re a baby, you’re spoiled.”
“Meow. I missed you.” Henry rubbed against me. “You’ll give me a sip of that champagne, right?”
“I love you, you insane cat. You’re going to be a great book, you know.” I petted Henry. We sat on the floor and enjoyed the moment until everyone arrived for the birthday party.