Pushing the envelope

Twenty-three minutes to post, a cat in my lap bent on playing with the touch pad, several ideas in my head, none of which can be explored in twenty-two minutes. An unpredictable wireless connection.

A cat on my lap licking my wrist as I type. I don’t like to be licked as I type.

My evening critique group has had an online conversation today about typing vs. keyboarding. Are papers still typewritten? Are papers still papers, for that matter. Do we come to the page or to the screen?

The cat has stopped licking my wrist and has hidden his face against my arm. He’s stretching his foreleg to pat the mouse, which lies on the arm of the recliner.

There’s another one: mouse.

Forty years ago, the sentence, The cat is patting the mouse, which lies on the arm of the recliner, would have sparked an image entirely different from the one it creates today.

Someday, perhaps, cat will have a meaning in the cyber world. Perhaps it already does.

He’s now stretching both forelegs toward the mouse and using his elbow to control the touch pad. The cursor jumps around. Boxes pop up, offering me the opportunity to do things I have no intention of doing. I have to take a hand off the keys to move the box.

He has shifted. Now he’s resting his head on my right hand. His left foreleg rests on my left hand. A minute ago he tried to rest his chin on my thumbs.

He’s shifted again. There are two forelegs on my left hand. His head is still on my right hand, but his whiskers are sticking straight up. Another stretch. Another shift. His head is up again.

Another shift. A paw on the keys.

I took the time to click Save.

The purring vibrates the chair. I hope it doesn’t dislodge something the laptop needs to keep going.

Two minutes. No time for a photograph. Time to post.

Day 27: William, weary

William misbehaving. Note in his expression the combination of smugness and defiance.

I think WordPress got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

First it refused  my perfectly good password and tried to get me to log in to the  Hotshots! account.

Then, instead of saving this post as a draft, it posted the picture above with the title Private so only I had access. A check of my privacy settings showed no change–To write was still (supposedly) visible to the public. Unclicking and reclicking the same box then published William for all the world to see.

I presume he’s still there. I’m typing as fast as I can.

William has developed an intense interest in the piano. He jumps on it when he wants me to turn off the laptop and go to bed.

I’ve been operating all these years on the assumption that cats do as they please when they please. I thought a sleepy cat could just curled up any old place and lose consciousness.

Not William.

When he decides it’s bedtime, usually around 1:00 a.m., he wants everyone to close up shop. To get my attention, he jumps on the piano.

At first I tried to discourage this. He tended to stray from the piano to the sideboard. There are things on the sideboard I’d like to see stay there. Intact.

One night he jumped from the piano to the top of the china cabinet. There are a few breakable objects up there, too.

I admit William is graceful. That surprises me. As a kitten he was so tubby he couldn’t leap and climb as  (other) kittens do. When he tried to pull himself onto a higher shelf of the kitty pagoda, his little body would just dangle there, bottom-heavy, until he let go and fell or was discovered and rescued. Instead of jumping onto the bed, he walked up the stairs we’d put there for Chloe.

The difference was that Chloe was sixteen when she stopped jumping. William was six months.

The adult William is enormous, but his paws are delicate and tapered, beautiful, but small  compared to the rest of him.

And yet, he’s agile and light of foot. Earrings, cough drops, rubber bands, ballpoint pens–these things and more have found their way from high places to low, and in perfect silence.

If I hadn’t made an uncharacteristic decision to sweep under the refrigerator, the flash drive would still be lost.

There’s a reason they call them cat burglars.

Last night, or rather early this morning, a weary William had already traversed the mantel, the case of David’s collectibles, the dining table (I wash it often), and who knows what else before resorting to the piano. I was tired of popping up every five minutes to drag him off wherever he was, so I decided if you can’t lick ’em, join ’em and just kept typing. Glancing over my shoulder to make sure he didn’t have designs on the china cabinet, I saw the display that begins this post.

It was like the time my three-year-old cousin Chip sidled into the kitchen, hands behind his back, face and overalls covered in grease, and told the flock of gawking women he’d been “fixing the lawnmower.”

Just so darned cute all you can do is get the camera.

So I got the camera.

Then I took the hint.

He was tired.

I turned off the laptop and went to bed.