I’m reading Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Textbook and she’s writing about the purple flower moment in Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life and the “grand things” and “wee things” that readers wrote to her in response and the pies she sent to Mr. Evans (pecan, hardcover edition) and Ms. Hamilton (paperback edition).
I write and read in the mornings at the dining room table, which is still a table and still in the dining room, but it belongs to the cats now. It’s the cat dining table, the cat standing to look outside table, the cat knocking stacks of books over table. Their food bowls and canned cat food plates spread out–five in total for eight cats to share. Even though I try to keep it tidy, it’s always a disaster. They are messy eaters, dropping dry food sticky with saliva onto the table. Nosing chunks of canned food off the plate and then looking as if they have no idea what to do with that bite now that it’s on a table and not a plate.
My laptop is here, ready to open, ready for reading slices. There is coffee in the lucky mug that I know is somehow buying me the time to write this morning while my son sleeps in. There are the school notebooks and printouts from World History that the cats have used as a skating rink, now fanned across the table. Three stacks of library books, stacked for now but ready to be tipped over by cats later. Index cards with quotes from Ralph Fletcher’s The Writing Teacher’s Companion. Three paint chips (Pop of Poppy, Bonjour, Cajun Shrimp). There are scraps of paper with book titles scribbled down. Another scrap with the beginnings of a grocery list (popcorn, almond milk).
There is the snoring dog, wrapped like a burrito in a blanket behind me, taking up a full three-quarters of the chair so that I perch uncomfortably on the edge. There is the snip of Smudge’s claws as he scales the back of the chair, ready to stretch out and rest from his morning’s run-and-chase with Zorro. There is the thunder of cat as Zorro entices another kitten to run-and-chase. A couple of minutes of deep breathing and closed eyes and Smudge is ready to join in again. Three cats thunder from one end of the house to the other. The dog, deaf now, snores through it all, stirring only when I get up for more coffee.