by

Lorna K. Grant

(with a little help from Socks, the Cat)

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Great.  Here she comes, straight for this comfortable chair and me.  Double great.  She has that maniacal writerís gleam in her eye.  Her ďmuseĒ must be cooperative this afternoon.  Why my human depends on a mythical creature for inspiration when Iím right here is beyond me.  That ďmuseĒ is as fickle as that smooshed-faced kitten that runs around the house, thinking she owns the joint.

ďCome on, Socks.  Move, baby, so I can sit down and write.Ē

Ugh.  Iím getting too old to be moving from the soft confines of this chair to the cold, hard floor.  Darn!  That dratted mutt is circling my human, looking for a place to sleep.  She always takes the blanket under the desk. 

Sigh.  Guess Iíll just curl up next to her feet.  Her so-called inspirational figure will depart as she normally does, and Iíll take over, as I usually do. 

What would she do without me?

The tap tapping of the keys has stopped and my human drums her claws on the desktop.  Not a good sign at all.  I suppose Iíd better see if I can get her back on track. 

Itís worse than I thought.  Sheís got that rollercoaster game going.  How am I suppose to give her inspiration and help if her concentration is on some silly game and not the task at hand?  These humans are such complex creatures.  Not at all like us cats.  Weíre so simple and easy to get along with.  Well, I am at least.  Those other two cats are such nuisances and almost as brainless as that worthless creature wagging her stub of a tail under the desk. 

But I digress.  My human needs me.

Iíll just curl up on the paper strewn across the desk and paw through them.  Maybe I can find something she can use.  Hmmm.  Not bad, but itís missing something.

ďSocks, donít play with my papers.  I had them organized.Ē

Hrumpf.  Like anything on this desk is organized!  It looks like a tornado blew through and left chaos in its wake; or maybe those other cats chased each other over the top of the desk.  It looks more like the messes they cause around here.  How can she work with all this clutter?  Books stacked on the floor; magazines and other tomes opened and piled on one another, marking pages to read; sticky notes stuck on the walls, desk and monitor; hand written memos scribbled on anything that holds ink; pictures of flying machines and maps taped to the wall.  Sigh.  It looks like the litter box after that princess of a kitten has visited it.

Good.  Sheís turned off that game and returned to her writing.  But all sheís doing is staring at the screen, her fingers hovering over the keys.  What has her stuck and looking so disgruntled?

Hmmm.  Good.  Not bad.  Better.  That could use some work.  Scratch that.  Whatís the problem here?  This isnít so bad.

Oh, my!  If we cats could blush, I believe I would be doing so right about now! 

No wonder my human isnít writing.  The mating ritual of these creatures is very complex, indeed.  How do they do it with all those arms and legs and no fur?  If they didnít have all that lip touching and grooming and rolling around, it would be so much easier.  Humans are difficult, arenít they?

Wait.  Now sheís turned on the music.  Hopefully this will help.  Oh, yes, thereís Sarah Vaughn belting out ďíRound MidnightĒ.  What lovely sounds.  Perhaps she was a cat in a former life.  And now, the low and sultry tones of Miss Ella Fitzgerald pour from the speakers with ďCome Rain or Come ShineĒ.

Yes!  Her fingers are flying over the keys and the words are materializing on the screen!

NO!  Donít stop!  What are you doing?

Oh, okay.  You can stop to pet me if you wish.  Iíll allow it this time.  Just keep thinking about the story.  Are you stuck again?  Letís take a look-see, shall we?

Good.  Good.  Funny.  A bit rough, here, I think.  Good.

ďIíve been told I have the voice of an angel,Ē Vicki purred.

Need a good come back line there, donít we?  Letís see, what would work?  The two female humans are acting like a pair of jealous cats fighting over a Tom.  And that Vicki character isnít being too subtle about it, is she?

Thatís it!  Now how do I get the idea across to my human?

Puuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrr.

Darn!  All thatís doing is making her pet me.  Which I donít mind, but we need to focus here!  Whatís that noise?  We canít be distracted from our work.

Great.  Itís that little she-devil of a kitten.  What is she doing lounging on top of the monitor, her fluffy tail twitching back and forth, like sheís the Queen of the Nile? 

Hiss!  Go away, you scrawny excuse for a cat!  Leave my human alone so she can work!  And leave my tail be!  It is NOT a toy!  Hiss!  Hrumpf!  Thatís better.  Now maybe we can get something accomplished.

ďThatís it!  Thank you, Socks.  Iíve got it now!Ē

Why, youíre welcome, but what did I do?  Not that I donít mind taking the credit, but I have to make certain itís worthy.

ďAnd all the tact of a cat in heat,Ē Colleen muttered.

Why, yes.  I do believe I will take the credit for that little come back and stroke of brilliancy.  Well, I guess my job here is done.  Iíve accomplished my good deed for the day and now my human is busy at her keyboard, typing away as intense as that smooshed-faced kitten chases moths.

But I suppose I should stay close by--just in case my human needs a real muse.