Meet the New Bosses

On one hand, their spelling is atrocious. On the other hand, they have really good ideas for action scenes, as long as you ignore their suggestion that every such scene should end with a disemboweling.

Also, they won’t tell me what they did with Patrick Nielsen Hayden. I think Teresa may want to look through any inordinately large piles of Fresh Step clumpable litter that might have mysteriously appeared near their domicile. You know. Just to be sure.

25 Comments on “Meet the New Bosses”

  1. Similar scenes in my office inspired the game of Toss The Kitty (it’s metaphorically named. You’d lose the round if any kitties were actually tossed or even startled in the course of it), which involves control over the space (shorter rules: you gain points for each tactful eviction of the furry overlords, and lose points if someone sits or lies down and stretches in the space between the keyboard and the screen. If the cat falls asleep on your workspace, you lose.)

    Around the middle of December I was given an early Christmas gift – a kitty tree, which appeals to their hypothalami and overlooks the Outside, from they are unfairly barred. It works… …sort of… and looks mighty fine beside my desk.


  2. Strange, I first read that as “such scene should end with a disemvoweling.” Maybe the cats are actually Teresa’s avatars. Which would explain the strange “sudden” appearance of Zeus right about the time deadlines became very important. Hmm?

  3. Ah, the ever-present bottle of Germ-X. I’ve got one just like it on my desk. Makes me wonder if it’s a geek thing, or a writer thing.

  4. mmm…twice…or is it thrice ?…the:

    I could swear I was working at my computer. I could have sworn I was…now all I’m doing is looking at the back end of a four-footed furball while said furball fascinatedly furffs and mewls and head-bumps and growls at the monitor. Eww…that and I seem to be smothered in tail…

  5. I am peering ’round kitty right now to write this. Not the place to wash, kitty. Ooh, and the favorite game of lap to desktop and back. Double points for stepping on the keyboard, treble for stopping whilst on key. Name the cat V.M. Smith and he thinks he gets the run of the place.

  6. O Great Scalzi, you have truly outdone yourself this past week with two excellent pictures of Her Gloriousness. In both studies Her Essence has come through wonderfully and serves as an inspiration to us all.

    The Executive Committee of The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club notes your admission of Her Inestimable Influence upon your work, something we have also mentioned. It is good to give credit where credit is obviously due, even if it is in lolcat form.

    And it is good to see TempCat Zeus clearly under Her Benign Gaze. We expect great things from him in the future as one of Her Minions.

    The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club

    PS – But what news of Mighty LopsidedCat? Has he managed to kill his buffalo yet, or is he sticking to deer for now?

  7. Kittens learn by watching Mommy, watching what Mommy watches, and watching what Mommy does with what Mommy is watching. Since John is Mommy, the kittens are naturally interested in watching what he’s doing.

    The head bumping and rubbing is accompanied by the release of pheromones that tell the other cat the first one is friendly. Basically what Lee’s cat was doing was making friends with Lee’s monitor, since Lee was obviously being so friendly to said device.

    It helps to remember that, for all their skill at getting along with us, cats are downright stupid. Smarter than a rat by a long shot, but dimmer than the average dog. (Pugs are not average dogs.) Their understanding is limited, and their adaptability is about as bad. Cast out on their own most cats soon starve to death, or get killed one way or another. They are fundamentaly dependent on humans.

    Cats also bond deeply with humans they know. As I noted before, John is Mommy to those two cats, so naturally they want to be close to him. To see what he’s doing, to take part in it when they can, and to get some attention and affection from him. And this appears to be behavior typical of Carnivora that bond with humans. Grizzlies raised by humans like humans, and even hand-reared weasels will engage in play behavior with people. You get right down to it, cats like us, and we don’t know why.

  8. Web editors? Heh. Ghlaghghee was on her way to post a momentous annoucement: her candidacy for SFWA president, with Zeus as VP!

  9. Idle thoughts:

    1. Can you “embowel” someone? Metaphorically, perhaps? “Previously I hadn’t had the guts to take on the General in person, but I found that my encounter with Sara had embowelled me.”

    2. Why isn’t it just “disbowel”? We don’t “disencourage” people.

  10. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang in Japan!

    In rural Ohio, cats edit you!

  11. I had a cat who was the most deadly hunter I’d ever seen. a Blue Jay, a Ermine, snakes, rats, mice, moles, sparrows, a cardinal, chipmunks, red squirrels and various other small birds were all found in horrific, nightmarish and visceral conditions around the house that could never be recreated by even the most graphic and depraved movie maker. She had sinisterly surgical expertise to her hunting, and was fast and deadly as lightning. There are only there confirmed survivors of her deadly attacks. a Hummingbird which we rescued from her mouth and survived, our dog that harassed her but to this day, still has a slice in her nose, and the vet at the local clinic, who needed butterfly stitches on his hand after she struck with her paw of wrath.

  12. Well, I can see the cats are good for one thing. The last shot of Scalzispace (the work zone) looked quite a bit more cluttered with gadgets and wires. Now things are neatened up a bit.

    Funny, I think there would also be a lot of scene suggestions involving tuna.

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