It starts out quietly. A gentle mew in the hallway. Then silence. A few minutes later, another gentle mew. More silence. I check the clock. 5:05am. She’ll go away if I’m really quiet. Then, a bit later, there is the light sound of paws on the door. Just a gentle tap, tap, tap, followed by a slightly louder mew. 5:15 am. I hear her body plop down gently on the floor. Oh good, she’s resting there at the top of the stairs. Maybe she’ll go down and look around for a while. Tap, tap, tap. Louder now. More insistent. 5:30 am. And then the meow. No longer a mew. She’s up. She’s been patient. She’s hungry. She’s lonely. I roll out of bed, pull on my sweatshirt and socks, and head downstairs to feed the cat.
I’m up. I might as well get to my writing. And so I settle in to my seat in the kitchen, tap the keyboard to wake the computer, and start my own tap, tap, tapping, creating slices and stories.
Many of the writers I listen to or read about talk about their habit of getting up early to write. Kate DiCamillo talks about how she gets up early and starts writing before her doubting voice wakes up. That voice that tells you it’s not good enough. You’re not good enough. I remember hearing R.J. Palacio speak about how she used to get up in the middle of the night and work for a few hours (She was working a full time job and had young children.) to write what became the middle grade novel, Wonder.
And so, thanks to my daughter’s pandemic rescue kitty, I’m up early and writing.