K is for Kittens!

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Know what we need in the middle of this A to Z Challenge? A fun post full of cute kitty pictures!

Tigre & Spidey

But I also have some bonafide advice for writers with cats. Just this year we adopted a stray kitten from the shelter, and I’ve learned a few things about writing from home with a fuzzy feline…

3 Tips for Writing with a Kitten

  • Get a wide mug that cannot easily be tipped. This is indispensable. Even if your kitty isn’t the knock-crap-over type, she can still accidentally upend your coffee or tea onto your keyboard when she spontaneously jumps on your desk to say “Hi!” With that in mind, a keyboard cover is also a smart idea, just in case.

  • Create a cuteness blinder. I suggest wearing a hoody or hat or scarf that inhibits your peripheral vision so you can’t see your incredibly cute kitten during writing time. If you can see your kitten, you will be mesmerized by her cuteness! And you will stop writing to pet/play with her. This is a time suck even more powerful than Facebook! Wear a blinder until you develop the necessary resistance to her charms.

  • Get her a toy. If your cat has nothing to play with, she will want to play with you and doesn’t understand that you’re doing something very important in front of that glowing screen. We got our kitten balls and this cat dancer thing, but she’d never play with those on her own. Finally a friend gave us springs. Simple plastic springs, and she goes CRAZY for them, chasing them all over the house and entertaining herself for hours. Writing time secured! 

Tigre - my spring
“My precious…”

 

2 Examples of my kitten not interfering with my writing…

Nap time in the window beside my desk.
Nap time in the window beside my desk.

I totally need a cuteness blinder when she’s sleeping like this!

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Tigre in her own desk space

Cats like to be near you, and if you’re writing, that probably means on your desk. To keep her off your stuff, give her a space to hang out in, like a box. The stereotype is true – cats can’t resist cardboard boxes!

1 Link for more help

For more tips to being productive during writing time, check out Writers & Productivity: Do You Need an Internet Blocker?

If you have any other writing-with-pets tips, please share in the comments!

And in case you’re just dropping in now, here’s our April A to Z list thus far:

A is for Antagonist

B is for Backstory

C is for Character Change

D is for Dialogue

E is for External Conflict

F is for False Stakes

G is for Genre

H is for Hero

I is for Internal Conflict

J is for Juxtaposition

Coming up:

L is for Laughs

M is for Midpoint

N is for Narrative

O is for Outlines

Author: Heather Jackson

Heather is a cartoon screenwriter, YA novelist, small town fugitive, and late-blooming gymnast. For more, visit her website at heatherjacksonwrites.com or follow her on Twitter @HeatherJacksonW

33 thoughts on “K is for Kittens!”

  1. Love the kitty pictures! We have three here in the house, and there is always some commotion going on to get my attention to play. Usually there’s one or two up on the desk as I try to type around them. Good idea to have some cat toys handy to throw for them to chase. …Visiting from A to Z … Happy Blogging! 🙂

    1. Ha! My kitty loves to pounce on the back of my chair! I’m lucky that she is always quite careful while walking along the desk. I taught her as a kitten not to step on the keyboard. A small miracle!

  2. LOVE this post. LOL! I’ve been checking you out every day, wondering what had happened and why you had “fallen off the bus”. Then just now, I spotted I had saved the link to your G is for Genre page instead of your blog. DUH!!!! Glad to be back ON the bus with you! And I think your kitten is the cutest thing ever!

  3. Or just get rid of the kitten 😉 Yes, yes I know, it’s much to cute. You do know the basic problem with cats is that the ancient Egyptians worshiped them as gods and they’ve never forgotten it.

  4. Oh 😀 your cat is so cute! I will install a cardboard box on my desk just when i stop writing. And where can you get these springs? Our cat loves to play with cardboard rings, so i always have 5-10 on my desk to throw them around for him 🙂

    1. Aw, yes, you may end up adopting ten cats! With Tigre we went in to the the shelter knowing she was the one we were getting. My friend found her on the street and brought her to the vet, where they nursed her back to health and put her up for adoption. So she was at the front desk waiting for us when we arrived!

  5. My Rascal looks just like your sweet cat (although my cat is 23 years old)– they live forever! Fantastic tips – if only they would work for my chocolate lab – aargh! Thank you for a great Monday post! Visiting from A-Z Challenge

  6. I can totally see why you get distracted. She is sooooo adorable!!! I love kitties. Wish I could have one or two but I have greyhounds and one of them for sure is not cat-friendly. I have met some of the coolest cats. I always thought cats were standoffish and not very social but in hanging out with some friends’ cats I found that to be false: some of them are just like dogs in their socializing. Cute cute cute pictures that you shared!
    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Thanks, Michelle! A lot of people think cats are standoffish (and some are) until they meet a few friendly ones. Maybe one day you’ll meet a cat adorable enough to make even your greyhound love cats!

  7. An excellent idea for a little light relief! And useful tips too. I’m not sure I would ever be able to resist her charms, so the hoody would become part of my writing uniform! Cute photos 🙂

    1. Thanks, Melissa! I admit the first couple months we had her it was impossible not to be distracted, but luckily I’ve gotten used to it. Though now she’s developed a habit of purr-chirping to me. I just chirp back and she seems to accept that as a reply and go back to napping. 😉

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