We're happy to welcome a new guest today on Talk to the Paw. Thea Hutcheson has graciously allowed Tom the Office Cat to Skype with my cat, Sammy the Troublemaker. Our two kitties share a fondness for keyboards, chatting at the top of their lungs, and absconding with valuable office supplies.
Both these kitties were rescued as kittens. Thea tells me her Tom, only four weeks old at the time, showed up three years ago in the cat condo she has on her outdoor deck. When my Sammy was six or seven weeks old, she was found crying while wandering through a shopping center parking lot late at night when my husband was working in a store there. Now our furbabies are all grown up and making valuable contributions to our writing lives.
Sammy: Pats computer monitor. Hey! Tom, is that you in there? How do I get you out?
Tom: Pats his monitor so their paws touch. I thought you were the one in there.
Sammy: Nope. I'm in my house.
Tom: I'm inside my house, too.
Silence as they both disappear behind their computer monitors and then come back out.
Sammy: That's really weird. I can hear you and see you, but I can't touch you.
Sammy: Anyway, I heard you like office supplies. So do I!
Tom: Turns in a fast circle. They're the best! Especially tape. Give me lots and lots of sticky tape. Yumyumyumyum.
Sammy: Ugh! Are you kidding me? I hate getting that sticky stuff on my paws. I have to run all over the house to get it off.
Tom: Then you're not doing it right.
Sammy: How about rubberbands? Man, those things are awesome. Very chewy.
Tom: I haven't tried those yet.
Sammy: You should. You'll love 'em. You can fling them and chase them and then eat them.
Tom: What do they taste like?
Sammy: Rubber. Giggles. The best part is when my mom finds them after I've pooped them out. I'm pretty sure they're still useable, too.
Tom: Makes a disgusted face. Pens and highlighters are my favorites. I like to carry them around and drop them in the hallway for my mom to pick up.
Sammy: Yeah? I should try that. I have fun knocking pens and stuff off the desk though. I like to watch them bounce on the floor before Kinsey eats them.
Tom: Who's Kinsey?
Sammy: Our dog. Do you have a dog?
Sammy: Want one?
Sammy: I also heard you manage your mom's printer.
Tom: Nods. Yep. I'm in charge. I inspect every piece of paper that goes in and every one that comes out, and I make sure it doesn't get jammed.
Sammy: Wow, that's an important job. I get excited by the sound the printer makes. I've tried to grab the paper when it comes out, but mom gets mad at me because it does something she calls "misfeed." It looks perfectly fed to me, but it spits out everything it eats. That's just wrong.
Tom: Do you like boxes? They make great beds for napping. You have to chew all the edges though so everyone knows it's yours.
Sammy: I have two boxes on the kitchen counter that mom calls my "Petting Boxes." I'm not allowed on the counter unless I use a Petting Box to sit in. I love getting petted. It makes me purr.
Tom: I love it too. I demand lots of petting while my mom is working.
Sammy: Do you help your mom write?
Tom: Absolutely! She'd never type a coherent word if not for me. I tap the keyboard or walk over it. I'm the best editor she's ever had.
Sammy: Holds paw up to the monitor. High five!
Tom: Places his paw on his monitor to match hers.
Sammy: Oh! I think I hear that whirring noise of a printer running.
Tom: Yeah, I gotta go. It's my job to make sure it prints properly. Disappears from view.
Sammy: Looks sad while staring at the empty screen. Was nice meeting you! Don't forget to try the rubberbands!
Karen Duvall is an award-winning author with 4 published novels and 2 novellas. Harlequin Luna published her Knight's Curse series last year, and her post apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, was released in Luna's 'Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013.
Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four incredibly spoiled pets. She is currently working on a new contemporary fantasy romance series.