(Working Felines Come Under Heavy Scrutiny by Labor Laws & Media)
In that, we’re still novice writers/novelists—moderately that is, we’ve been around a short while now—in our world of TASK FORCE NOVELS, it’s unsurprisingly accurate to say that we (Jack & Cyndi) are on a dreadfully tight budget (henceforth we are known as “starving artists”!). However, with a little conniving, and darned good luck, we secured the covert, underground offices of J&C Wordsmiths, LLC (an undisclosed workplace on the SE coast of the U.S.). As one knows, any productive, functioning business requires dedication, tenacity, forward thinking (that’d be that outside-of-the-box mental thingy for us all here in the Deep South, y’all), and employees… and the ability to live without sleeping, eating or a social life! Here in the Deep South, that means no pig pickin’s, shrimp boils, NASCAR, or mud runnin’.
Did we say employees? At first, we two were the only employees! Until that fateful day wherein we discovered the source of cheap labor: creatures undaunted by most any task given them. CATS! Our cats to be specific, all seven of them! (Cats are like Lays potato chips, you can’t have just one). Truly, we’ve attempted to cross train all our feline employees to work as office managers, editors, cover designers, directors of marketing, advertising, procurement, finance, safety, sanitation, and so forth. They even provide the best of yowling security at the first threat of real-life antagonists (squirrels, mice, other cats, the UPS man). At first, they were a bit cattish about it especially when they discovered they weren’t being paid, and there were no union rights. However, catnip and tuna seemed to solve the issue. The catnip, we discovered, needed to be stashed away, using it only as a motivational tool and a reward at the end of the work day. Using it during the day made them catatonic, leading to a loss of catchy phrases, cat-and-mouse chases, an inability to catalog documentation, catapulting from desk to desk, and overall just catting around.
A few other downfalls to having cats as employees is having to keep a large supply of antihistamines on hand for our cat allergies, ever-suddenly-appearing hairballs, barf, litter boxes, sharpening claws on everything from office furniture to our legs… and all that pawing around they do at night when we’re not there! Our inspirational giant tarantula figurines keep showing up in different places every morning. Only one of the office cats is a perpetual scared-y-cat…taking off in a full-on Scooby-Doo run (paws running in place on the floor—but going nowhere) at the drop of a hat. We’re trying to find her some kitty Prozac, however.
Also in that we’re both lay-ministers (it’s true!) at our individual churches (and, yes, the irony is that we murder people in our books except on Sundays) the cats take great pleasure in arguing as to which of them will be the catechist for the day, engaging in our daily religious practices.
The one thing that really gets their dander up (and that’s nothing to sneeze at) are the online LOL-CATS, you know, the ones caught in a compromising yawn, stretch, or some inane frozen-in-time photo—with a “sans serif font” that makes it read as if written by an ignoramus tomcat with bad grammar & spelling (“Can I has a cheezburger?”). Overall, we’re grateful for our feline helpers, even when we feel or look like something the cat dragged in. They’re not only a valuable workforce, but provide us with joy, entertainment, inspiration, motivation, encouragement, and creativeness. With their vital contributions to J&C Wordsmiths, one day soon we will be catapulted to literary success! And our public relations pussy is all set to deal with the eventual paw-parazzi…
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J&C Wordsmiths – TASK FORCE NOVELS
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