I have conversations with all my pets on a regular basis. They're great listeners, especially when you need to read your work aloud to an attentive audience that will cheer you on. Well, maybe not so much cheering as yawning, ear scratching, grooming, barking... And if they could respond, I have a fairly good idea what they'd say. I can read it in their eyes. It's amazing how a furry face can express so much emotion.
I had a conversation with one of my cats the other day. You met Sammy last week, when she and Kinsey were having their… discussion. Sammy has no filters and always speaks her mind. And she talks. All. The. Time. Despite her catitude, she really is a cuddly kitty when she wants to be, and quite the purr-baby. She melts in your arms when you pick her up (she loves to be held). But you know how it is with cats. They tend to know when you want to be left alone, and that's when they make it their personal mission to get up in your business.
Me: Sammy, we need to talk.
Sammy Cat: Twitches her tail and licks a paw. Oh? About what?
Me: I've told you over a dozen times not to walk across my keyboard, especially while I'm writing.
Sammy Cat: Hey, I was just trying to help.
Me: Deleting a paragraph from my manuscript is not helping.
Sammy Cat: I beg to differ. After you read that part to me, I knew it had to go.
Me: Pauses. It was that bad?
Sammy Cat: slfkdakglalnblknsdlgglsfn
Me: It's your fault, you know, that the word "delete" is worn off my delete key.
Sammy Cat: Yawns. Always happy to help.
Me: Speaking of helping, I could have used some of that when I brought Teddy home from the vet last week. He was very woozy after getting his teeth cleaned and all you did was pick on him.
Sammy Cat: He smelled funny. Besides, making him hiss let you see how white his teeth are now.
Me: They are nice, aren't they? You're next.
Sammy Cat: Eyes grow wide with shock. No way. If I promise not to pick on Teddy any more, can I skip the teeth cleaning?
Me: You can't help yourself, Sammy. You pick on everybody.
Sammy Cat: Lifts nose in the air. Then I promise not to… uhm… I promise to stop leaping onto Kinsey's back when she's running through the house with her ball like a crazy dog.
Me: Oh, I don't mind when you do that. It slows her down.
Sammy Cat: Then how can I get out of getting my teeth cleaned?
Me: You can't. Unless you teach yourself how to use a tootbrush.
Sammy Cat: You're not serious.
Me: I'm not. Okay, here's the deal. I won't take you to the vet to get your teeth cleaned if you start using the litterbox like everyone else.
Sammy Cat: Looks horrified. What? Share a litterbox with Teddy? And Cody? They're boys! And they stink. Go ahead and pull out all my teeth, I don't care, but I will NOT use their litterbox.
Me: Sighs. It was worth a try.
Sammy Cat: I much prefer the pee pads Dad puts out for me. They're always clean and fresh.
Me: Until you get to them. So I guess this means a trip to the vet for you.
Sammy Cat: Twitches her tail. You knew I wouldn't take the deal, didn't you?
Karen Duvall is a multi-published author with Harlequin Luna. Her current project is a fantasy romance that features lizards, birds, Dodos, pigs, a tiger and a cat, but no dogs. Her own dog is not happy about this and is thinking about going on strike.