As Excuses Go…That’s a Pretty Good One

Writers are justly famous for our ability to procrastinate.

But–do you want to hear a secret? Okay, come a little closer so I can whisper–the truth is we’re actually no better at it than anyone else. We just document it better. Because writing is what we do.

And we’ve been at it for a long time. How long? Well, Excuse for Not Writing Number 1 is “Sharpening my charred stick.”

Technology has made some changes. In many parts of the world, Number 2,745 (“Washing the dishes”) has been largely replaced by Number 68,117 and 68,118 (“Loading the dishwasher” and “Emptying the dishwasher”).

At this point, many writers do it more because it’s a tradition than because they feel any deep personal need to procrastinate.

There’s something of a thrill in extending a tradition.

I speak from experience. I’ve just been notified that I’ve had an excuse added to the list.

Official Excuse for Not Writing Number 237,630 is “Rufus demanded a tummy rub.”


I’m proud, honored, and humbled to have made such a significant contribution to my field.

My Home Is My Castle

A new element of concern has appeared. It’s not totally new–but let me back up.

We’ve known there were coyotes in the area for quite some time. Every so often, they go on a noise binge. The most recent, and by far the most notable, was the night after we abdopted Sachiko. Hearing the beasts yowling right outside went a long way toward convincing us we had done the right thing in taking her in.

But since then, the coyotes have been quiet and largely unobtrusive. Until last night, that is. While I was getting Rufus’ dinner* together, I spotted a coyote trotting through the bushes beyond the back fence. Nor was I the only one who saw it. Instead of going nose-down in his bowl until he finished dinner, Rufus took a few bites, then went to his favorite lookout post. Back to the bowl, back to standing watch. I was tempted to offer him a sandwich so he could eat and keep watch, but decided his lack of opposable thumbs would make it hard to eat a sandwich.

* Trader Joe’s gooshy fud + lysine for his respiratory system + extra water for his urinary tract = a delicious and nutritious meal. At least, we assume it’s delicious: he certainly eats it eagerly. And he’s definitely putting on weight, which is good. He was far too skinny for his frame.

But coyotes aside, he’s settling in nicely. He’s decided that the shelter in his enclosure is his “safe space”. He retreats to it whenever he’s feeling uncertain. We’ve declared it to be the Fortress of Solitude, but that’s a bit of a misnomer. He’s quite happy to receive guests in the Fortress.

While he does frequently come out for cuddles in the evening, during the day he’s more likely to remain inside and make us come to him.


As you can see, he’s got the “I’m adorable, come pat me” look down. Combined, as it is here, with the “Rub my tummy” pose, it’s quite irresistible.

And yes, he’s a massive tubby-rub slut. I’m quite sure he’d be happy to have his belly rubbed until Maggie and I wore our fingers down to nothing–at which point he’d probably demand that we continue with our toes.