Torii is an 18 pound panther who loves his kibble. When he’s hungry, you know it. He’ll walk up to you and say in a level but meaningful way: Rowr. And if you don’t go feed him, he’ll say it again. And again. And again. And again. Punctuating each Rowr with paw cuffs, head butts, and anything else he can think of.
Bertie is a tabby that may be the reincarnation of Fred Astaire. Just watching him leap to the countertop before he enjoys his morning milky treat will take your breath away. He’s not just a hoofer, though. He’s also a singer. He warbles pleasantly, sometimes going off to a corner of the house to practice. Once you learn the feline scales, you can appreciate the high lonesome sound of the tabby aria.
Lucy is a former stray who ventured through Minneapolis early-winter cold snaps and urban traffic to kill mice at the pizza place and bring them home to feed her litter of kittens, which were born in a neighbor’s garage. She found my wife and met a friend for life, and eventually became part of the clan, along with one of those kittens.
Pippi is that kitten. She’s mastered the art of opening drawers, and will rifle through them in search of treats or toys. Her favorites are tuna and earplugs, respectively.
Charlotte is the newest member of the Scaletta family. She likes to bat her kibble across the floor, one by one, then chase them and grab them before she kills them and eats them. She also brings me her favorite feathery toy in the middle of the night so I’ll wiggle it and she can bat at it.
Determination. Grace. Courage. Curiosity. Playfulness. I think about half of what I need to know as a writer, I’ve learned from my cats. None of them have taught me the difference between “it’s” and “its” or how to query an agent, but they got the other half covered.