Essential Lessons in the Ways of ‘Kitten’

You probably know by now that there’s a new boy in my life. If not, where have you been? Avoiding the kitten pictures and posts? Fair enough. Kitten ‘parents’ can be nauseating.

Life has got more interesting since a certain kitty cat came into my life. I thought I’d go ‘legit’ after the earlier success of the Kitty, Cat, Moggy Feline Fest post, and get a real live one, so I can bore you with cat pictures of my own. I’ll do a big hit now and you’ll be safe from feline photos for a while… maybe.

World, welcome Feegle to the writing fold.

He’s feeling a little shy being in the spotlight right now but the male diva tendencies are simmering away.

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Today we will learn how to exist as humans and writers (the two aren’t necessarily the same thing) according to the ways of the kitten.

Reading is a writer’s food.

All writers have had the mantra, ‘You must read lots to write well’ rammed down their throats. I have no issues with this. Reading is not a chore. I practically eat books. Feegle, literally eats books.

We named him Feegle after the Nac Mac Feegles from a collection of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. 

The husband is a huge Pratchett fan. He persuaded me to read The Wee Free Men after I decided I needed to broaden my reading horizons.

I was struck by these amazing little blighters. I could see and hear them clearly. I wanted one. That, in my estimation, is successful characterisation.

When we met our Feegle he was tiny, cheeky, chilled and independent. He taught me that day about the power of characterisation.

Those pesky Nac Mac Feegles are like tiny blue Scottish pixies (not flipping Smurfs), who love to drink booze, steal, eat lots, cause mischief, tip cows, and have sheep away on their toes. They are also extremely loyal and funny.

This is why our cat had to be Feegle; the full title was a bit of a mouthful. His personality fitted the characters perfectly. Note to self: now work on own characterisation skills so that I can have more cats *husband’s pained groans are audible*

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Feegle is teaching me about the little and often approach to writing, revising and editing.

Regular readers of this blog will know that my novel’s first draft has been written and is awaiting revising and editing. This will happen once I’m in established recovery from the rubbish depression. In the meantime, at least someone in our house is getting their teeth into the novel folder and the writing books.

Feegle is teaching me that a little nibble at the novel every now and again will be the most productive process going forward.

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Is it wrong to try to train your kitten to write and edit? I see it as him earning his keep. The husband tells me that ever since we’ve brought Feegle home my IQ is rapidly decreasing with how I treat him as a human.

The husband does not understand the importance of talking ‘kitten’, although I have caught him doing it when he thinks I’m not looking.

Feegle has taught me that all the weirdness in my head can come out and be inflicted upon his furry ears and in my writing. All ideas can be valid.

Kitten does not judge me. He listens to every word. Okay, it takes food, play, or my lap to kip on to have him as a captive audience, but I know he’s making notes. Writer’s cat is a potential writer *brain cells diminish as I write*

Writing is more successful with cats (dogs are allowed too, if you must).

Writers apparently need cats. It’s writing law. I was feeling inferior seeing the influx of pics of cats sitting on laptops and shredding manuscripts. I decided that I needed a moggy muse in my life. The writing may not be flourishing right now but I have a cat, so that makes me a writer, right?

I have a feeling that Feegle will find his own way. He probably won’t settle for being just a writer’s cat. He’s only eight weeks old. The world is his catnip.

I’ll let the boy figure out his calling. It took me decades to become a writer. He’ll work his way through the tunnel of options and come out purring.

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Kittens are great companions and distractions from the badness of life.

Feegle has also shown me that having someone dependent upon you is both scary and comforting. When we first brought him home I was that neurotic first time ‘parent’. The husband knew it would happen. I swore it wouldn’t.

It didn’t help that Feegle decided to ‘treat’ us to explosive diarrhoea the first day. But the kitten has taught me not to pre-judge.

I thought cats didn’t like water. Turns out Feegle loves a shower, especially when it cleans off the apocalyptic crap all over his rear end. He’s currently concentrating upon his meowing skills so he can sing in the shower.

It’s been great for me to have this cute ball of kitten loveliness around me. He has made me smile and distracted me from dark thoughts that try to invade my mind. He loves to snuggle up with me and often falls asleep on my chest.

Feegle is helping me to make it through. He is showing me that there is a world outside my own messed up mind. It is not all about this illness. There are other wonderful things in this world to concentrate upon in times of clarity. It is all about the Feegle – even in a selfie.

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Excuse me for looking rough. Unlike Feegle I wasn’t quite ready for our close up

Kittens also teach us that play is a great thing.

I’m not recommending you chase a ball or toy mouse around your house (although if that floats your boat, go ahead) but we do need to make time to have fun. I’m shite at this. I tend to be all or nothing in my approach to work and life.

When I started writing, I was obsessed with working for hours on both the actual writing and my social media platforms. I was so tired at the end of the day but I didn’t seem to achieve much because I was spreading myself too thin.

I am learning from Feegle that regular breaks of silliness and entertainment are good for the soul. I may even lie on my back to have my belly rubbed and make frantic dashes around our home. Although thinking about it, when you’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness and are being overseen by health professionals, this may not be wise…

Kittens teach us that sleep is good.

They sleep like bosses. I’d like to say that this is a valuable lesson that Feegle has passed on, but I’ve already got the afternoon nap down pat. Nowadays though I can blame it on the cat.

How can I possibly move when I have a sleeping cat on top of me? *shiftily hopes no one ever finds out that she picks the sleeping cat up from his other snuggle spot for just such a reason*

Every writer needs a rest. Okay, this writer needs a rest.

Our work here in teaching you ‘kitten’ is done. I’m off to make a cushion fort with the boy. Send in provisions.

About Lisa Sell

Lisa Sell is a fiction writer and blogger. When not wrestling with words she can be found showing the love for chocolate, cheese, coffee, the cat, and the Husband. Not particularly in that order.

46 comments on “Essential Lessons in the Ways of ‘Kitten’

  1. Thanks Lisa. Tiny one has been up at all hours and is now not himself. This has helped take my mind off things. Love the name Feegle. He is cute (written without fingers behind my back and despite my anti-cat membership card). 😛 x

    1. Thanks Pam. Feegle passes on his gratitude that someone from the anti-cat brigade still finds him cute! Hope tiny one feels more himself soon. Every time I think kitten wrangling is tiring, I remember my amazing mummy friends! x

  2. So pleased to hear you are finding solace in your gorgeous lil kitten. ‘The Adventures of Feegle: the trilogy’ also has a certain ring to it, don’t you think? 😉

  3. Such an adorable lil boy! I have 2 full grown cats in my house, but I remember those lovely kitten days like they were yesterday.

      1. They came as a package deal, lol. We couldn’t take one without the other. I’d love to have another kitten myself, but I’ll have to settle with seeing everyone else’s kittens for now. 🙂

    1. He’s just discovered my laptop and how to sit on my desk so I’m sure that will be happening soon! Three cats? So jealous! Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment.

  4. I have four cats, three form kittens. One who is infantalised and is always going to be a kitten. Good luck with it, sees like your kitten is hitting all the kitten milestones lol.

  5. Great post & Feegle is cute. Me i’m a dog person but love it when a cat just wants to snuggle up & sleep, Monty dog not so much!!! I hope he brings you hours of distraction & gives you something else to occupy your brain, Monty dog did that for me x

  6. Love Feegle! And to answer your question, yes. You are now a legitimate writer 😉
    Cats are great for so many things. One of the reasons I love my cat is she sits on my lap at night and therefore I am unable to get up to get top up of wine/ chocolate/ cup of tea, so hubby has to do that for me.

    1. Thanks for the validation! The same happens in our home. The husband finds Feegle too cute when he’s sleeping to make me move him off my lap.
      We’ve established an order of husband being my slave when trapped by kitten and EVERYONE being a slave to Feegle!

  7. This was so adorable. Being a pet owner can be such a wonderful, scary thing sometimes. As someone who has to give up a pet to a better home on Friday, I understand the “dark side” too well. I hope you and your kitten have a wonderful life ahead of you and that you learn many more things from each other.

    1. Thanks Sarah. I understand how hard it is to give up a pet to another home as I had to do that when I relocated in the past. It was tough. I hope you’re doing okay.Thanks so much for reading and sharing such kind words.

  8. Aww, what a cute kitty! And cats are so necessary to reach that “real writer” status. Mine just like to cuddle with me when I write. As long as I can wrap my arms around them and type, they’re good about it.

    1. Feegle has discovered my desk and chair. He is working his way towards sitting on my lap as I type. The problem is he thinks fingers are playthings at the moment!

  9. He’s so freaking stinking cute! I love kittens, but then again, who doesn’t? lol. He’s absolutely adorable!

  10. Oh this is great! Yes, all
    Ideas are valid, and YES! Talking to your cats (or any pet) is totally normal! I have a dog, a cat, and a one year old kitten in my life; Im so excited you’ve joined the kitty klub!

    XO Sahra
    Que Sera Sahra

    1. I can’t believe how much he has helped me. Pets should be dished out with the meds for recovery! Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m pleased you enjoyed it.

  11. Adorable! I’ve been wanting a kitten for awhile. My husband says no but maybe if I bat my eyes and show him cute kitten videos he’ll change his mind?! His mom is a cat lady. So I don’t know why he refuses my request.

    1. My husband has definitely got well and truly on board since we got Feegle. They’ve got a bit of a bromance going on! Hope you manage to convince your hubby to get one!

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