I was working last night on another, longer blog post, trying to wrestle a whole bunch of Very Deep Thoughts onto the page. As I was attempting to concentrate on my work, however, I heard a familiar crunch-crunch-crunch on the table to the left of me. I looked over, and saw an entire spiral notebook of mine being ripped to shreds.
By my cat.
I’ve written before that my cat Chloe enjoys eating paper, and that she’d destroyed a whole elaborate worksheet I’d created to prepare for writing one of my plays. Cats being creatures of habit, Chloe hasn’t stopped trying to eat paper. And being a writer, I have no shortage of papers lying around to offer temptation.
What’s remarkable, however, is that my various papers do not seem to be equal in the eyes of my cat. Whenever she shreds and devours my notes, she always does so to the notes of the same play whose worksheet she’d originally destroyed. My play Philostrate, a riff on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which I’m polishing to submit to a contest with an August 1st deadline.
That spiral notebook? Filled with the scene synopsis for the play. With revision notes about imagery I wanted to highlight, quotes I wanted to put in. And most importantly, with a cast breakdown – now neatly shorn in half by my baby’s incisors – which I have to include when I submit this play online.
In a few short weeks from now. Weeks in which I’m frantically trying, not only to revise and polish my work, but to keep it from being eaten.
It begs the question – why, of all the possible targets for her feline wrath, does Chloe fixate on this one play of mine? If she were simply jealous of the attention, or enjoyed the taste of paper, she could go after anything I happened to have lying around. She beelines for my Philostrate notes instead, every time. Is she some sort of kitty instrument of divine judgment on the play’s merits? Is Shakespeare’s vengeful ghost unhappy with me for daring to think I could improve on one of his most beloved creations? Or worse, are Midsummer’s fairies and spirits real, and is Chloe channeling the will of Titania and Robin Goodfellow, punishing me for my presumption?
Or am I looking at this the wrong way? Is it possible that Philostrate is so good that its physical pages are actually delicious? I hope that turns out to be the case – but I’m not sure exactly how I indicate that in the online submission.
Posted on May 21, 2018
by Michael C. O'Day