By Liz, happy to welcome another Maine coon cat (and all other kinds of cats) lover to the blog! Alex Erickson is here today to talk about how his complicated relationship with his cats…and it’s so hilariously on point! Enjoy!
My cats are jerks.
I mean that in the nicest way. They are family. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
But man, can they ever get on your nerves.
Want to know where I get inspiration for the zany things animals do in my books? Look no further.
While no dogs live here, that doesn’t mean they aren’t welcome to visit. Rodents have lived within these walls, but they lived high-risk lives with a cat who has managed to knock an entire wing of a gerbil cage from its moorings, sending plastic ball and terrified rodent flying across the room. The little guy was rescued, but the incident gave him a few gray hairs.
So, my cats. All of them have their own . . . quirks? Malfunctions? Whatever. They have issues.
Loki, the biggest and oldest of the three, is also the calmest. Sure, if a piece of paper comes anywhere near him, it will soon find a cat butt sitting upon it. And yeah, he will intentionally trip you or grab your arm if he thinks he can get you to drop the cat treats or deli sliced ham you’re carrying. And Christmas trees? Do I need to comment on that at all? He also has a tendency to sit outside the bedroom at two in the morning, singing the song of his people in a series of “mrroooowwwwws” that would make anyone weep. Especially since you’re now awake.
Then there’s Luna. Recent health issues gave us a scare, but once she recovered, she went right back to her “I’m better than everyone” attitude. Not paying attention to her? Fine. She’ll just grab hold of your hair with her teeth and yank. Touch both sides of her face at the same time? Nope. A nip for you! Is it three hours before her scheduled dinner time? Best start demanding food and tearing up the rugs until someone takes pity on her!
And last, but most certainly not least, is Jinx. Jinx, Jinx, Jinx. I mean . . . ugh!
Jinx is nothing but muscle—with a bit of a housecat paunch. He doesn’t look heavy, but he’s solid. When he steps on you, you know it. And boy, does he ever love to trample you. It starts at around one in the morning. Then happens nearly every hour on the hour, and is accompanied by him getting into your face and meowing like he’s afraid you aren’t going to wake up and acknowledge him. He doesn’t really want pet. Or fed. He just doesn’t want to be awake by himself. Once you’re sufficiently roused and confused as to why you’re awake, with bruises on your side or stomach where he stomped on you, he nods to himself, jumps down, and finds someone else to wake up. And don’t get me started on how often he’ll jump onto the table, just to sit and look at you, when he knows he’s not supposed to be up there.
But it’s not just the humans he must annoy. Another cat needs to go to the vet? Well, now they’re getting hissed at for the next week. Another cat walks by him? ATTACK! Looks at him? ATTACK! Dares to sleep in his vicinity? ATTACK!
Now, he isn’t vicious. He’s still young, and maybe once he gets a little older, he’ll calm down. But for now, sleep, for cats and humans alike, is unobtainable.
Then there are the kitties that had come before. Georgie and Sissy were afraid of people, and Sissy flat out refused to come out from her hiding place for anyone, family included. Valkyrie, with her busted hip, was the bully before Jinx took on that role. She had the piston-like stride down pat. And Misfit . . . If you ever read my Bookstore Café series, you know what he was like. If you so much as thought about resting an arm or a hand on him when he slept, the trap would spring shut and blood would be spilled.
So, yes, my cats can be jerks, but I love them anyway. They give me countless hours of inspiration I can use in all of my books, including Dial ‘M’ for Maine Coon, which features a cat much like my own Loki.
What kind of quirks do your pets exhibit? What makes them, well, them? What gives you gray hairs or cuts and scratches that you wear like badges of honor? My kitties can’t be the only troublemakers out there.
Alex Erickson is the author of the Bookstore Café and the Furever Pets mysteries. He’s a gamer, animal lover, and a not so good guitar player. You can find him online at https://alexericksonbooks.com/