About six months ago I wrote a blog http://my.telegraph.co.uk/applegidley/expatapple/386/broken-deadlines/ about a rescued pathetic bundle of three-day old bones, weighing three ounces, and laying blame for missed deadlines firmly on three-hourly feeds.
Today I am sitting at my desk frantically scrabbling to meet a Friday deadline for an article for Global Living Magazine www.globallivingmag.com on roots, culture and heritage. Today I firmly lay the blame for my procrastination on that same feline.
Now a sturdy ten pounds of tabby tinged with ginger and sporting four white paws and a black-tipped tail, he lies beside my computer as he did when a helpless kitten, the difference being size. And size does matter. The sparsely furred kitty, smaller than my I-phone, now spreads languorously under the table lamp, paws outstretched to tap my moving fingers. Whole sentences are written before I realise he has managed to hit the caps key. A momentary pause to sip tea can result in a line of exclamation marks!!! A flurry of inspiration is stopped by his propensity to drape his body along my arm, his head resting in the crook of my elbow. The gel pad on which I rest my wrists is an ideal backrest and I find myself typing up and over his body, the position of which my typing teacher oh-so-many-years-ago at St Godric’s would have approved.
Put him out I hear you mutter. I have tried. But when one lives in an open plan loft the only ‘out’ is right ‘out’ – something I have also tried. The sad and desperate yowling combined with insistent taps on the glass door drive me, far too quickly, to allow him re-entry.
The problem with Marley is he thinks he’s human. We have tried to be good cat parents, we really have. We have shown him his reflection. He is fed cat kibble. Unlike Mr Jinx from Meet the Fockers he does not use the lavatory, though does have a propensity to dip his paws in the flushing bowl. Like children he is not allowed to rest his bottom anywhere food is prepared or served, and we engage in play that will stimulate his tracking senses.
And when the occasional claw comes out or he nips that fleshy part between thumb and finger he is soundly chastised, only to be forgiven seconds later as his rumbling purr resonates apology around the room. He does not realise his ten-pound self is now a heavy burden when snuggled underneath a chin and the television is viewed from between his ears. He thinks any glass is placed solely for his drinking pleasure, and if bubbles rise well his joy overfloweth.
In short Marley rules the roost, and while I am happy to blame him for my shortcomings as a writer, the pleasure he brings to solitary days at a desk are immeasurable.
Perhaps my article, that one due on Friday, ought to also cover nurture versus nature. I must check with the editor.