Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dear Feline Collective

Re: Proposed change to new lapsharing arrangements/monopolization of space normally used for writing.

It has come to management's attention that some sort of agreement has been reached amongst the feline members of the household in re: lapsharing (the process by which writer-in-residence lap time is arranged). Said agreement seems to involve a continuous rotation of laptime amongst the four younger cats, said rotation working not unlike a relay race.

While such feline cooperation is laudable in terms of the increased level of inter-feline amicability, it does have one rather severe drawback. To whit, displacement of the laptop belonging to the writer-in-residence. Which fact, in turn, causes a significant loss in potential productivity.

For more notes on same, see attached charts. Chart one maps the difficulty of typing whilst a cat is resting her head on the writer's wrist (Isabelle). Chart two shows reduction in productivity directly related to cats frequently licking the thumb used to manipulate the trackball (Ashbless and Nutmeg). And, of course, chart three shows the total loss of productivity caused by the repeated smashing of a cat's forehead into the nose of the writer-in-residence (Jordan). Please contrast this with the lack of impediments to productivity caused by laying in front of the heater some yards from the writer-in-residence's place of writing (Leith) as outlined in chart four.

Management would very much like to see more laying about near the writer-in-residence during the hours of production and less laying on the writer-in-residence during those same hours. Management proposes an increased distribution of treats and decreased amount of abruptly dropping cats off of said lap to offset lost laptime. Further, management is open to other possible compensation to be proposed by the collective.

We eagerly await your response.

All best,
Management (speaking for the writer-in-residence)


Anonymous said...

Mind if I cc this to Miss Kitty?

Kelly McCullough said...

Please feel free. Solidarity in the face of our feline overlords and all that.

Anonymous said...

True true.

Anonymous said...

Sent it to my sis (she of three cats). We both are still laughing.

So the positive effect of free heat doesn't counteract the negative effect of lack of productivity? :-)

Kimberly Frost said...

Re: Proposed change to the Lapsharing arrangements/monopolization of space normally used for writing.

The United Feline Overlords (UFO) rejects said proposal on the basis that the collective has spent countless hours creating and refining the current rotation schedule of Lapsharing. Further, UFO finds it to be the most efficient system ever utilized.

UFO fully supports the rights of its members to lick thumbs, rest heads on wrists, and to head-butt the writer-in-residence at members' discretion provided that the writer-in-residence does not lose digits or consciousness from said activities.

The productivity of the writer-in-residence is certainly a management problem, and UFO does not accept responsibility for any work or lack of work performed therein. Additionally, UFO would like to issue a friendly reminder that the writer is only in residence due to the beneficence of the member overlords. This is the case in any feline household wherein a humble writer is allowed to reside.

United Feline Overlords

Kimberly Frost said...

Re: The Products of Productivity

By a narrow margin, the members of the United Feline Overlords have voted to suspend Lapsharing Rotation between the hours of 2 am and 4 am, if the writer-in-residence is willing to replace the use of webgoblins with webcats in all works of fiction produced in their household.

Further, the webcats will transform not into computer equipment, but into larger versions of themselves or into lions and tigers since any problem in the world can be overcome by (a) eating it or (b) sleeping until it goes away.

(transcribed by K. Frost, UFO's humble servant and occasional secretary)

Anonymous said...


Kelly McCullough said...

Still giggling, Kimberly. Fabulous!

Do you think think the UFO would settle for the familiar role in the new series I'm working on as a successor to the WebMage stuff? Duel of Mirrors has a cat who changes into a panther (among other things) as the chief sidekick. It's not quite a webcat but...oh who am I kidding.

Kimberly Frost said...

Re: Duel of Mirrors
The feline heads of household feel strongly that the shape-shifting cat should be the protagonist not the sidekick in the new product of productivity. The role of chief sidekick could be played by either a human, a demi-god, or a kitten in training. Under no circumstances should the chief sidekick be any species of canine as any panther worth its fur would simply eat or ignore it. See prior memo regarding problem solving.

Re: Lapsharing.
While Duel of Mirrors sounds promising, the UFO prefers a bird in the mouth to one in the field and therefore holds firm to the prior vote necessitating webcats in the Webmage series before a partial suspension of lapsharing rotations can occur.

All best,
The United Feline Overlords

Kelly Swails said...

This is the best frickin' post/comment thread ever.

Kelly McCullough said...

Hmm, it's arguable that the cat in Duel of Mirrors is more of a co-protagonist than a sidekick, as roughly half the book will be from within his POV. He's also the older and wiser of the two. Maybe we can work something out there.

I'm afraid I've run into a sticking point on the webcats replacing webgoblins issue. Every time I try to type "webcat" into the MythOS document on my laptop Word crashes. I suspect that my silicone overlord is protesting the idea of being demoted, so I guess that's not going to fly unless the feline collective is willing to learn to type.

I can promise no dogs as sidekicks for the foreseeable future, though there might an issue with Fenris Wolf as a recurring character.

Anonymous said...

Can cats type without thumbs?

Larry Kollar said...

Speaking as a Servant of the Feline Overlords myself, it's important to understand your diminutive furry master. Feline Overlords have a grand ego, which helps them get what they want (they assume it will be so, and the universe mostly cooperates), but that advantage is also their weakness. The ego is concerned only with instant gratification, and has no capacity to understand the need of the SFO to work so that we may provide for the Overlords.

Fortunately, the Overlords' grand egos leaves them susceptible to reverse psychology. In this case, laptime is desired, but only when it is the Overlords' idea. When a Feline Overlord is within reach, immediately pick it up and place it in your lap. A vigorous rub is optional, but sometimes helps. In time, the Overlords will avoid your lap while you are at the keyboard, allowing you to continue providing for their physical needs.

FARfetched, Senior Servant to the Feline Overlords of FAR Manor

Kelly McCullough said...

Ooh, Far, I wish that it were so. Unfortunately, one of things we've done over the course of socializing rescue cats...excuse me. One of things we've done over the course of giving cats who have been improperly respected the proper place they deserve, is to encourage them to let us believe that we have trained them to stay in a lap once placed there.

More than half of the time they will stay with you, even if you go and grab them from another room and drag them in to sit on you. These are odd cats they're...excuse me. These are extraordinary cats, one of them just told me so herself, and they deign to humor our custom of picking them when we are telepathically ordered to so.

I am sorry, my feline overlord, it was entirely my mistake.

DKoren said...

Oh, this is too funny, and too true. All but one of mine are rescue cats too. Madera, is extremely guilty of the head across wrist action. Grady prefers to sit directly in front of the monitor when he's hungry and takes quite some doing to dislodge.