Every two weeks, I get a Monday without meetings or classes — a day when I can stay home and write. I’ve been getting better about guarding my writing time, pushing aside my to-do lists and stacks of papers that need to be graded. I’ve learned to ignore the dishes in the sink, the lawn that needs to be mowed, and the living room that looks like it’s been ripped apart by vandals.
The only thing I can’t ignore is our cat Gretel. No matter where I sit down with my computer, she climbs onto my lap, swishing her tail across my keyboard, butting her head against me, purring until I pet her. If I take a break to get a snack, she follows me into the kitchen, meowing until I open a can of cat food.
She's lived with us for more than fourteen years, and this is the first that she has suddenly paid so much attention to me. She's the cat that used to always sleep right on top of Boy-in-Black whenever he took a nap on the couch, and I think she misses the older kids.