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marthawells

Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus


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marthawells

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I need to go get new cat food this morning, because the amount the cats were eating had dropped off dramatically, and I finally realized it was because the new! improved! version of the food had a different texture, one they specifically don't like.

Does everyone else have cats who knead you? Tasha doesn't, Harry didn't, but Bella kneads me on a regular schedule, every day. She was a barn kitten who had been rescued after the farm's owner was killed in a fire, so I don't know how much time she spent with her mother. I also don't think she had a lot of interaction with other cats between the rescue and us adopting her, and I'm not sure how long she was in the shelter. All our cats are indoor-only, but she's the only one who did live outside as a kitten. And she's clearly decided outside is not for her, since she hides in the bedroom whenever the front door is open and doesn't even particularly like it when someone rings the doorbell.

***

Saw this on Facebook: Barbara Hambly is doing the Further Adventures of characters from her previous series.
As pretty much everybody knows, fantasy series get dumped by publishers – and as pretty much every author knows, other publishers generally do not fall over themselves to pick up these abandoned series.

That doesn’t mean the author doesn’t want to write about those people anymore, or that fans of the series are no longer interested.

These people are very real to me. I like them.

I also like being able to pay my medical insurance.


The stories are $5 each, and they're from the Benjamin January series, Antryg and Joanna, Sun Wolf and Starhawk, John and Jenny, the Sisters of the Raven, and others.
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Years ago, I had a cat who did just that (the kneading). Mewsette. a very operatic cat (didn't bring her home immediately, obtained from the pert store, could hear her halfway down the block).

Benjamin January? Is that a small publishing house?

No, he's a character in her historical mystery series set in New Orleans, A Free Man of Color.

Ah. Just wondering, from the context, if that was the name of the press. Thank you.

The kneading, often accompanied by purring, I'd taken to be a sign of affection from some cats. I tend to think they were, perhaps, separated from their maternal at an early age.

I had wondered if more were forthcoming for that series. . . .

There was a new one "Dead and Buried" that just came out in May, from a different publisher, but I don't know if there's going to be any more. I hope so, because I really like that series.

Yes, there are going to be more. The next one, The Shirt On His Back, fills in Abishag Shaw's back story. Can't wait.

Looking forward to The Cloud Roads too. 2011 is going to be a good year for my bookcase :-)

Almost all my cats knead/kneaded, some more than others (Pandora is almost obsessive about it, burrowing into my lap every chance she gets). Generally it means they associate you with mom/comfort/milk.

It's a good reminder to keep nails trimmed on a regular basis, otherwise ouch.

Yep, I'd always associated it with cats who were removed from their mother too soon and transferred that association to their human.

If I'm not careful, Bella will get too enthusiastic and leave little red claw marks on me.

ALL of our cats do the kneading thing. Including Sagwa the outdoor cat who has snowshoe feet and giant knife-claws. Ow. I don't know what Sagwa's kittenhood was like since we got him when he was a couple of years old, but one of the indoor cats left his mother young but still old enough to eat solid food (rescued from a construction site), and the other was born in our house and had plenty of time with his mother. I don't know what the common thread is that might explain it. Other than maybe I am sort of relentlessly affectionate with them to the point where all of them have grown to like to lay on me (I grew up with small dogs and really do not know how to not cuddle pets, even if they have claws and independent natures and resist at first), so I assume it comes with the cuddliness. Flashbacks to the days of cuddling up to momma cat for feeding time, maybe.


Yeah, I guess it's one of those things that are individual to the cat. I've had cats that were very cuddly, but never kneaded me.

Man, I still miss my small dog.

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oh yeah. Boomer is quite convinced I have no idea how to groom myself, and so keeps trying to do it for me...

One of mine goes for the hair. Now, I wear my hair pretty short, but the sound of a cat purring and licking your hair right next to your ear at 6 am isn't what I want to wake up to. (Though it's much better than other cat-related noises.)

Isn't that creepy?! The cat I have for my avatar does that, too, and will chew on my hair like it's yummy straw or something.

Yes! Then it's all covered in cat drool, to boot. Yuck.

Yes, Harry used to try to chew my hair, especially right after I washed it. I think he really liked the fresh shampoo smell.

None of our cats do the licking thing, but I've seen that before.

Tasha will lick my arm and hand sometimes, if she's on the pillows next to my chair downstairs.

My current kitty isn't much for kneading on me, but he does it to comfy furniture.

I read somewhere that, in addition to being a nursing thing (gotta get that milk flowing), it is also a scent-marking thing, as they have scent glands on their paws. So they are marking/claiming you with their scent.... mineminemineminemine :D

Yes, that wouldn't surprise me. All our cats do a lot of the scent-marking with their cheek-glands, too.

Cats can be so picky!

One of my cat both kneads and needs me. Like desperately at times. Seriously, is the neediest cat I've ever owned. He'll jump up onto your lap then prop himself on your chest (or sometimes jump onto your back like a monkey when you're sitting), giving you this giant hug with his arms on your shoulders. Then do one of two things: he'll either sit there rubbing the glands of his chin against yours and lick your face while drooling like a drippy faucet, or he'll start kneading on your chest. Or worse, both.

I say he's needy because even if you throw him off of you, he'll still come back for more and pounce on you in an "attack" of love--over, and over, and over again. He's a persistent cat, and his wide-eyed Puss-n-Boots look is near irresistible. I almost feel bad when he finally gets the message and curls up into a little dark corner with that ridiculously pitiful look on his face.

Oh neat, he sounds like a really sweet cat!

One of my roommates had a kitten who kneaded me...early in the morning, usually waking me. He was named Ivan the Terrible, and had the claws to back that up.

Mine have never been big on waking me up, except accidentally. I free-feed them, so I think that has a lot to do with it.

Three of our cats knead us regularly. We took in all three as kittens; they may have been weaned too early. Two of them like to do it while standing and pushing down on my stomach as hard as possible. One of the three also latches with his teeth onto bulky clothing such as sweaters or bathrobes, and even the comforter on the bed. I think he's trying to suckle.

Two other cats "air-knead" or knead their cat beds when they're particularly relaxed.

It's really quite amusing. :-)

Tasha does the air-kneading occasionally, but she doesn't do it on people. I think she had the best environment as a young kitten, though. She was living with her mother and littermates in our friends' house, right up until she came to us.

Both Aristotle and Tinker (boys) knead; Scaramouche (girl) doesn't so much.

All people who have provided copious amounts of entertainment and refuge to others in the form of novels should just HAVE decent medical insurance, dammit.

Yeah, that really sucks. Every time something like this comes up, I get more and more mad about the "every writer is rich" myth.

I've always had cats that kneaded to some degree.

My current two are both very into the kneading. Annie stands on my lap and kneads my stomach (sometimes my bladder, argh) looking very awkward yet she seems to love it. Kate snuggles in and tucks her head against my chest while kneading the top of my arm and looking utterly blissed out.

One of my previous cats used to knead and suck on your sweater. The sucking was not fun.

Neither of my current girls got much time with their mother (they were dumpster kittens) or much time with cats while being fostered pre-adoption. They both seem to love it, though, and will knead and purr until they either fall asleep or are deposited on the floor if I need to move.

I had a cat when I was growing up that did the sucking thing. My sister found her as a unweaned kitten with her eyes still closed.

My current black cat Sumi kneads and sucks--I encourage him to use the blanket instead of me! I heard once that the kneading was common in Asian breeds--don't know if that's true or an old wive's tale. Sumi is a mutt, but he's got some Asian in him as evidenced by his pointy little face.

My other cat Niko (another mutt) doesn't knead at all.

Huh, I hadn't heard that before about Asian breeds. Tasha is a Siamese mix, but she doesn't knead.

My cat kneads. She was about 3 months when we got her from the shelter and had obviously been handled but i don't know her back story. I'm so glad someone else has indoor only cats! I was beginning to think I was the only one.

Do you think this is a new trend for authors? Barbara Hambly is far from the first I have seen.

Yep, I've always had indoor-only cats. With the danger from dogs, humans, cars, other cats that aren't vaccinated, or getting grabbed by Animal Control, it's just too nerve-racking to let them outside. Indoor-only cats tend to live much longer than outdoor cats, too.

I think it's definitely a new trend. Authors have got to find other sources of income now to survive.

The Further Adventures? Heck, that's been going on for a while. We assumed you knew.

All three of my cats knead. Magellan mostly kneads my crocheting. Yarn seems to really make him happy. Miss Kitzie kneads me while sucking on my shirt. Stickybun kneads me, but only when I have the audacity to let his food bowl become empty during the night.

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