#5onFri: Five Items for Cats and the Authors who Live with Them

by Melissa Haas
published in Community

Happy Friday, word nerds! Today’s #5onFri revolves around cats – those creatures who make for both the BEST and WORST writing partners, somehow at the very same time. From illuminated manuscripts depicting cats at the feet of scribes to Edgar Allan Poe, who wrote with a tortie draped around his neck, the unique partnership between cats and writers has transcended generations. Whether you are a scribe or the mews, here are five things that you and your cat(s) should consider adding into your writing lives:

1. Acrylic Cat Keyboard Cover


Australian poet Pam Brown once made the astute observation: “Cats can work out mathematically the exact place to sit that will cause most inconvenience.” With so many people working from home, this has come to mean on top of the keyboard. (But only when you’re using it.)  Enter the Acrylic Cat Keyboard Cover, a clear little bench for your cat that helps keep him/her still sit obtrusively in front of the screen while sparing your work and keeping the keyboard clear of litter (#the_struggle_is_real). It’s a game changer.

2. Bookish Cats Magnets by mudpuppy  


From Purride and Prejudice to The Great Catsby, this adorably illustrated set of magnets features eight cat-centric classics. In addition to titles previously mentioned, the complete version includes: Alice in Whiskerland, Romeow and Juliet, Charlie and the Catnip Factory, The Clawdyssey, The Wizard of Paws and Sherlick Holmes

What a purr-fect way to display your current word count goal, your habit tracker or the latest image you’re using for inspiration! While there are a lot of literary-cat-themed gifts, I have to say that this is the best collection of titles I’ve seen together.

Note: There are also puzzles bearing these same images. They have been excluded because paws and puzzles rarely mix well. Feel free to tempt fate.

3. Independently Operated Laser Pointer


Here is a USB/battery operated laser pointer designed to keep your cat active on his/her own and ideally out of your hair when you’re trying to meet a deadline. You put it on a shelf and the device sends lasers throughout the room, without you needing to do anything. While there are several on the market, I chose this one (ZOTO) because it has five play modes.

If your cat isn’t into lasers, I highly suggest this slider treat maze or the Pet Fusion Ambush toy, designed to encourage pouncing by randomly revealing feathers through various pockets. 

Finally, if none of these work, you can always call it a day and enjoy a Starbucks together.

4. Cat Coloring Books


Do you need a break from the written word? Does your cat need something new to lay on? If so, coloring is a great option. If you’re needing to chill, try Cat Mandalas by Eva Carriere. If you’d prefer a relaxing trip to rural lands, Jade Summer’s Country Cats Coloring Book should fit the bill. Into the magic of the natural world? Untamed Wilderness by David McGonigal features wild cats in their natural habitats. Last but not least, if you’re needing some catharsis, this Sweary Cats Coloring Book addresses all of the things you’d like to say but would probably get you fired.

5. Purrsonalized Notecards with Nerdy Cats


Did you meet someone at a conference who you really connected with? Have you been working on your manuscript so much that you need to let people know you’re still alive? If so, these notecards with nerdy cats in glasses should send off the right vibe. 

If you’re reading this, then you are definitely a word nerd and these cats should be right up your alley. If you love the image, but don’t need any stationery, this site allows you to put these very same cats-in-glasses on laptop skins, pencil cases, clipboards and more.

Melissa Haas is the author and illustrator of Catula: The Misadventures of Dracula’s Cat and The Night Before Christmas (NOW WITH CATS), among other books. Follow Catula’s whereabouts on Instagram @CatulaTheCat or download a free coloring page at www.catulathebook.com.

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