My companion in misery is pictured at right. Say hello to Betty.
No, I have not gone and bought a cat, so please don't send notes of congratulation or condolence. Betty lives in the rambling Victorian pile where I've been house-sitting for friends while they and their dogs are away. My duties as temporary house elf include bringing in the paper, sorting the mail, picking ripe vegetables in the garden, and entertaining Betty.
Betty was raised by a dog and seems to think she is a dog. She acts more canine than feline: comes when called, greets visitors at the door, doesn't regard all humans with withering contempt, etcetera. She's also a chatterbox. Betty could out-talk an entire aviary of parrots. I've never known so vocal an animal.
I am long accustomed to silence and solitude when I work. The denizens of Chez Panopticon learned during the gestation of the little bookto clear out when I tell them to. Writing, drawing, and knitting with "assistance" all this week has been quite an adventure.
Here, translated from the Calico, is a snippet of Betty that I transcribed yesterday afternoon.
Hi! Whatcha doing? Are you drawing? Is that drawing? Let me see. Cool. Is that a sheep? Are you drawing sheep again? Move over so I can see. I like your pencil. You know what's fun? When we draw something together. Here, I'll help you. Hey! You know what else is fun? Drawing cats. You should draw cats. I'll be your model. Here. Draw this. Look. Look. Look at me. Look at me! Lookatme lookatme lookatme! Hey!
Where are you going? Are you going to the sofa? Cool. I like the sofa. Move over, I'm crowded. Whatcha doing? Is that knitting or crochet? Is that wool? Are you knitting with wool? It tastes like wool.
Here, I'll help you. No, seriously, I want to help you. Let me help you! Hey!
Are you going to write now? Why do you have to write again? You just wrote something this morning. Seriously, why are you writing again? Did you write enough? Or was it lousy? I bet that's it, isn't it? I bet what you wrote was lousy. You know what's fun? Writing together. I'll help. Move over so I can type. I said move. Move! Hey!
Why don't you draw instead? You can draw cats. I'll be your cat model. Move your glass of water so I can model. Here, draw this. Look. Draw it. See? That's my butt. You should draw my cat butt. I'll bring it real close so you can see the fine detail. Look at me! Lookatme lookatme lookatme! Hey!When I go back home life with Dolores will seem positively placid by comparison. At least, I think it will. She's been on retreat in rural Wisconsin with campaign advisors for a couple weeks. I've had excited telephone calls from Harry that indicate the campaign is getting ready to move into high gear.
I wonder if anybody would notice if I moved out and ran away?
In the Works
I seem to be entering some kind of Hat Phase, and have three on the needles all at once. Pictures forthcoming.
And in spite of Betty's assistance, et al., I corrected the proofs of the little book (the design is sharp and witty–Interweave did very well by me) and also launch an experimental Etsy shop. So far, so good - have a look if you get a minute.