Should We Build a Cat Wing? & Literary Miscellanea

Cats lounging in bed.

I adore cats.  A friend has ten.  Five is our limit.

Multi-cat households can be hectic.

Have you tried to type only to have a cat jump on the keyboard and (a) send an email before it is ready, (b) add a zesty sentence in cat language, or (c) delete an entire blog post?

They are cute and energetic.

When we lived in a large house in a cheap bad neighborhood ( where we dared to live when young), the cats had three floors to explore.  Emma and Miss Beethoven spent hours trying to break into the attic, while Max, Tigger, and Baby lounged like beatniks in the living room.

Now we live in a smaller house, with fewer cats.  They are too fond of me.  If I am on the couch, they sit on the couch.  If I am in bed, they sit on the bed.  If I am in the kitchen, they sit in the kitchen.

So I looked into building a Cat Wing, so they could have more space.  I visualized it as a cheap prefab four-season porch, assembled quickly and attached to the house.  Like a garage!

But it’s not as simple as I thought–and very expensive!

So I made an  experiment.

I bought a comfortable chair.  Not too comfortable–not like our Barcalounger.   It is just a  chair where you can sit and spend some upright cat-free time.

And now the cats give me a few hours while they lounge on the couch or the bed.  It is my new wing!


My own girly vinyl-and-silk ’70s diary

1.  Do you keep a journal?  Jane van  Slembrouck wrote an enjoyable piece for The Millions, “A Gift to the Future: In Defense of Keeping a Journal.”

She writes,

The first one was the size of a piece of American cheese. It had a photo on the cover of a horse tossing its mane and a silver lock that opened with a key.

2.  At Publishers Weekly, Rosalind Reisner writes about a Depression-era newsletter with a quiz for women booksellers she found at the Columbia University library.

In fall 1917, a group of 15 women booksellers—excluded from membership in the ABA and the Booksellers’ League—met at Sherwood’s Book Store in Manhattan to form the Women’s National Book Association. Membership was open to women in all areas of the book world: publishers, editors, booksellers, authors, librarians, illustrators, and production people. Today the organization is nationwide, with 11 chapters; members are women (and men) who support the WNBA’s mission to promote and connect members of the book community.

As the organization prepares to celebrate its 100th year, research in the WNBA archives—housed at Columbia University—has turned up some treasures. The following bookseller quiz is condensed from a Depression-era issue of the WNBA newsletter, The Bookwoman, and is a reminder that some things seem never to change. The quiz will appear in the forthcoming book Women in the Book World: 100 Years of Leadership and the WNBA.

The quiz is posted at the end of the article.

3.  At Booker Talk, I learned that academics have their own definition for “social reading.”

 What the academics are interested in is a deeply immersive group–based collaborative process that happens on-line. It can involve several readers or even hundreds. All of them read the same text, post comments on it and respond to other people’s comments. Now you might think that’s what you’re doing when you join a ‘read-a-long’ and it’s true this is a fairly simple example of social reading. But for a more sophisticated approach — and the one the academics are most excited about — you’d need to get involved in a synchronous reading where people are reading and commenting on the same text simultaneously.

And she tells us about an excellent website where seven women discussed Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook.  They commented in the margins of the text, which is posted online.

4.  At She Reads, a website run by popular women’s fiction writers Mary Beth Whalen and Ariel Lawhon, the Summer Book Club selections have been announced.

THE BOOK OF SUMMER by Michelle Gable

THE ALMOST SISTERS by Joshilyn Jackson


I read at least one popular  women’s book every summer.  And I do like their posts.

8 thoughts on “Should We Build a Cat Wing? & Literary Miscellanea

  1. Thank you for the links! My summer reading just now is The Forsyte Saga.
    We have 5 cats, too. We’ve had more. I wonder how many I would have if sanity didn’t impose certain limits. Your cats are very pretty and look as if they’re good friends.


    • I love The Forsyte Saga! Oh, the cats are very sweet and lovely and i’m glad you have a big cat family, too. Five is enough, but if we had a bigger house…well, maybe five is still enough!


  2. I’ve been doing quite a lot of reading about cats (and animals too). One thing I notice in the books on cats many of the stories tell as much about the owner/companion of the cat as the cat itself.

    Very rich websites with more talk to read than one can in a month, and then rich blogs on top of that too. What a world of experience may be found on the Internet.


    • We cat people have to stick together. I do like cat books. I’ve been meaning to read a Dover Book of Cat Stories!
      Yes, the internet has some great sites and blogs.


  3. I’m not really a cat person, which doesn’t mean that I don’t love cats. I’m an animal person, period. For a long time, our home was open to any animals needing love and shelter. Just ask the little squirrel we feed and who’s now decided she’d like to live in our kitchen (the source of the nuts she eats.) It just happened that at one time we had nine cats, a parakeet, and an Irish Wolfhound.
    Yes, I do keep a journal. I’ve been doing that since fifth grade, when I was bribed to stop biting my nails, or was it sucking my finger?, with a baby blue diary with a clasp. I have a carton or two of my journals and have no idea what to do with them. I’ve been thinking of reading them in order and making a list of all the momentous / traumatic events in my life.


    • Oh, I love it that you have a squirrel! Yes, you are an animal lover.
      I love the idea of reading your journals in orders and noting momentous events. There’s something about a diary with a clasp, too. Do they still make those? I wonder.


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