It’s quarter till six on Wednesday morning, but I’ve been up since about four-thirty, thanks to a certain cat who decided four-thirty was the perfect time to come into the bedroom and prrrrt and meow and romp and knead and generally make a nuisance of himself. This, of course, got the puppy stirred up, which meant that I was pretty much…well, up.
And now we are all up – with the exception of Ben, who continues to sleep soundly in the bedroom, while I write this and cat and puppy happily race around my office chair on the other end of the house. Which is, I suspect, what Magnus the Cat had in mind from the start. The good thing about all of this is that it reminded me, at four-thirty this morning, that my Maine Crime Writers post was due today, and I hadn’t written a thing.
Which is why I’m here now.
Let me back up a minute. First off, the cat.
Magnus is a Maine coon mix who showed up on my mom’s doorstep in July, about a week before Ben and I were scheduled to move into our new home. He was skinny and a little matted, but otherwise appeared to be well taken care of, so I called the humane society to see if anyone had reported a friendly, very fuzzy cat missing. They hadn’t. I checked in with neighbors, but no one knew a thing. I called local veterinary clinics, to see if they had any clients missing a Maine coon cat or Maine coon mix. Again, nothing.
Two weeks later, Magnus moved into the house in Phippsburg with us.
Then, in September, I began fostering three puppies for the Coastal Humane Society. Surprising absolutely no one, Ben and I couldn’t say goodbye to all three pups when the time came. Little Miss Marji had been working on me pretty much from the moment I laid eyes on her, at CHS when she was just five weeks old. The very bark-y, rompy one in the video below is her:
On October 6, Ben and I said a tearful goodbye to her two sisters, Sage and Rosie – both of whom found homes within hours of becoming available for adoption at the shelter. And then, we adopted Marji.
What Ben and I weren’t sure of was how Magnus and Marji would adjust to one another once Marji was a permanent part of the family. Before that time, Magnus seemed to consider the pups to be fluffy play things – at times mere nuisances, at others actual playmates. Here he is with Marji, back when all three pups were still here.
Things changed, however, when Marji was here for the duration. Magnus couldn’t just hop over the homemade barricade and escape when the puppy got to be too much; now, Marji had the run of the house as well. And the puppy no longer slept with her sisters in the rumpus room while Magnus, Ben, and I retired to the bedroom. Suddenly, Puppy Time was All the Time.
Of course, Marji couldn’t have been happier to have Magnus for a playmate. She worked the hard sell with him, snuggling up to him when he wanted nothing to do with her, and then playing for all she was worth when he deigned to play along. It took only a few days before Magnus was the one initiating the play sessions, the two chasing each other around the couch like the best of friends.
Fast forward to this morning, when Magnus decided four-thirty was the best time in the world to hang out. I don’t think he actually intended on waking the puppy at that point – I think he wanted breakfast and/or snuggles, and Marji waking was definitely not the goal. Once I made it clear, however, that I was not getting up at four-thirty to feed him, thank you very much, and I wasn’t particularly interested in having him draped across my head, purring and kneading my scalp until dawn, his objective changed. Then, it became all about the puppy.
Twice, I watched in the dim light of early morning as he crept into the room and then bumped up against the walls of Marji’s nighttime playpen, startling her awake. The first time, the pup just whimpered a little and I was able to get her back to sleep without a problem. The second time, she woke and started barking like a fiend, while I firmly believe Magnus laughed his fuzzy arse off at the doorway. Finally, at five-thirty, knowing I had an article to write and accepting that Magnus wasn’t about to let Marji or me get any more sleep, I got up.
Magnus happily followed me up to my office and Cat and Pup engaged in a wild, raucous play session for about ten minutes before Magnus got tired of the games and disappeared. Now, Marji is asleep on my lap. Magnus is nowhere to be found. And this month’s Maine Crime Writers post is complete. Which, to be honest, is actually all thanks to that highly talkative, personable, woolly Maine coon who wouldn’t let me sleep this morning.
Next month, I’ll be releasing the second book in the Flint K-9 Search and Rescue series. At that point, I promise to write about something more murder-y than this – something I recognize that I promised last month, but sexual predators and rampant hurricanes, runaway wildfires and raging Twitter accounts have left me weary of real-world problems. I thought we could all use a few cat-and-puppy videos this month.
Jen Blood is the USA Today-bestselling author of the Erin Solomon Mysteries and the Flint K-9 Search and Rescue Mysteries. You can learn more about her work at www.jenblood.com.