I am not the only occupant of my study. I have two roommates--my cats, Tribble and Bob.
Tribble is a long-haired calico Manx whose mission in life is to imitate a paperweight. I found her during a rainstorm twenty years ago. She was barely eight weeks old at the time and looked so much like the tribbles from Star Trek that naming her was no problem.
I found Bob at my local SPCA last year. A friend called to tell me that the shelter had taken in a calico Manx. That combination is so unusual that I hightailed it down to the facility, intending to bring the kitten home.
When I arrived at the shelter, it was to discover that the Manx either suffered from a personality disorder or an intense dislike for me. I could not hold that cat's attention. In the meantime, a tiny black kitten was hellbent on engaging me. He crawled up my pants leg, leaped from a shelf to my shoulder and generally made it known that he WAS leaving with me. The SPCA had called him Bob; I gave him the more formal name of Bobbin when I brought him home.
Bob is now thirteen months old and the terror of the neighborhood. I'm assuming the uncertainty of my writing career worries him because, every day, he brings home something to eat. When he returns, he howls for me to come open the door and admire his prize. He takes it badly that I will not let him bring his trophies indoors. Thus far, I've been greeted with the sight of multiple dead field mice, one very large dead rat, a few cockroaches (this was early in his hunting career), a dead crow, a half dozen lizards, the rear end (including tail) of a squirrel and one two-foot-long LIVE snake.
Bob's goal in life is to nail a tarantula (after all, we do live in Texas). One morning I looked out the French doors to see him flat on the ground with his front paw up to the armpit in a tarantula hole, fishing.
Nothing I do seems to discourage Bob's hunting efforts and, since we live in a forest, prey is readily available. My neighbors are convinced Bob will one day drag home a coyote.
Through some strange feline pact, Tribble and Bob have agreed that only one will keep me company in the study at a time. I have cleared a space (unwillingly) on my desk. In the mornings when it's cold outside, Tribble sleeps beside me while Bob patrols the property. In the afternoons, they exchange places. Tribble goes outside to sleep in the warm sun on a pillow on the glider while Bob takes a well-earned rest beside my computer.
The funny thing is that, although I resisted giving them space on my desk, I now have difficulty writing if one of them isn't beside me. I frequently read passages to them, ask their opinions and just stroke their fur while thinking.
They probably deserve a writing credit, but I'll bet they'll settle for a can of Fancy Feast.