Collaboration isn’t always an easy thing to accomplish, especially in a creative endeavor like writing. Each individual brings their own perspective and point of view, and each must be willing to bend, and to see things from the other’s perspective. In our case it’s also collaboration between two species, a human writing about the life of a housecat from what the human believes is the cat’s point of view.
Humans and cats don’t always see things eye to eye, for example cats think it’s great to claw the sofa while humans seem to be against it. The language differences between us can be difficult to overcome too.
Perhaps surprisingly to humans, cats are more than capable of understanding your speech (we just pretend we can’t understand you, so we aren’t asked to do things like dogs). Humans on the other hand seem more limited when it comes to understanding our feline speech. I guess it’s understandable, after all “Meow” has so many meanings, and it’s really all in the delivery.
When the time came to write my stories, there were a couple of issues I was unable to overcome:
1. Cats aren’t known for their typing skills, and that’s for good reason – we don’t have any. I’ve tried, and the results took on a – repetitive look (example: TTTTTTTTTYYY YYYMMM RRNN). Apparently just stepping, or lying, on the keyboard doesn’t work. I was informed the results were “Illegible,” and apparently that isn’t good.
2. Imprecision on the keyboard also resulted in some angry feelings. Once, when I was excitedly jumping on the keys, I managed to wipe out a good portion of Mommy’s hard work. Ops, sorry, my bad. I think the revised version was better than the first version, but she was still cross.
3. If I could type, the results might be page after page of “Fill my dish, fill my dish, fill my dish” and although it's real and honest, Mommy assured me it wouldn’t be that enjoyable to read, at least not after the first page.
So Mommy happily took the lead in writing my stories, while I spent tireless hours laying on the tiny strip of her lap left available to me. She did her part on the collaboration by reading her “interpretation” of my thoughts and feelings out loud to me; while I did my part by showing my acceptance with purrs, my indifference with naps or the cat cold shoulder, and my displeasure by pawing at the screen.
In the end the collaboration has been good for both of us. I now see that my awakening her at the crack of dawn isn’t always appreciated by her, and she sees that I think of it as one of my missions in life. The hours of work have brought us closer together in many ways, and hopefully our work will bring you closer to the cat in your life.