As many of you know, my dearest feline companion Champagne crossed the rainbow bridge last November. She has left a huge vacuum in my life both as my constant shadow and co-writer. She sat patiently with me through the long nights while I wrote or researched, regardless of whether it was a book, blog, translation, or some other writing project. Occasionally she would put her paws down or block the screen to demand undivided attention, but otherwise she deserves just as much credit for the publications as any other human being who contributed.
Now that I am preparing to write Sunset Shadows over the holidays, I cannot help but look around for her and have to refrain from calling out to Champagne to join me at the desk, not that she needed any invitation to begin with. It has been a little over a month since her crossing over, and I still expect to see her first thing in the morning or last thing at night before I close my eyes. Cherry has taken up the post in the meantime but she is not nearly as patient, and gives me the dirtiest looks if I work past my bedtime (according to her watch).
Many writers have a muse of sorts, and much to my amusement I discovered that Ernest Hemingway, Alexandre Dumas, Edgar Allan Poe, and Mark Twain, to name a few, also had cats as writing companions. There is even an entire book dedicated to the subject: Alison Nastasi´s Writers and Their Cats. And here is a lovely blog entry by Amanda Patterson on the same subject matter.
My point is not to write a long treaty on authors and their cats, but simply to voice the nostalgia and longing to have Champagne back on my writing table. But perhaps her role and destiny was to see me through the fist novel and for Cherry and Lolita to carry me through the next one. You never know what obscure agreement my girls might have conjured up in my absence. In any case, I still have a feline editor, a rather ruthless one at that, and this one takes pride in her deletion skills.