Of Dice and Cats

Last Tuesday night I couldn’t sleep, so I got out of bed at 11 and wrote at my desk until I felt tired. I made very few corrections to this piece, just added connecting phrases that make it flow better.

I need to start remembering that June is a busy month for us. The weekend leading up Illuminate’s blog hop was Ant’s birthday-Father’s Day-Mom’s birthday-overnights all in one. SO. I missed the blog hop deadline, but the words are still worth sharing.

For whatever reason tonight is one of those nights where I am awake. My eyes are heavy and I feel tired. But I’m at my writing desk instead of sleeping. And so, instead of fighting it or watching Critical Role, I gave in and got up.

And I don’t know if it’s the words swirling around inside of me, wanting out, in ink, on paper, just out of my brain.

I don’t know if it’s watching the next one shot right before bed that’s keeping me up.

I don’t know if it’s the unprocessed homework Priscilla gave me today.

Or, that I feel stuck on how to be creative and organized in my personal life and balance learning a new job position—a promotion.

Alphonse is here with me, half-laying on the page. He’s white and black. The black on his head comes down the back of his next, about halfway down his neck, curving. His ears are out, kind of sideways and his head is laying on the blank page next to this Moleskine notebook. His ears are black, the fur thinner there than the rest of this body and the hairs are singular and white. They stand out against the black.

His nose is following my pen as it nears his face.

He’s also purring—which is awesome. It’s really low, but when I rest my left ear on his body, I can hear it.

He’s now rolling over and looking at me upside down. He is our lightest sleeper and his personality is so different than Ed’s and Moochy’s. His ears are sensitive and he doesn’t like them to be scratched. He prefers to be petted or scratched under the chin. His whiskers are happy because he’s happy.

Have you ever noticed how a cat’s whiskers seem to elongate and perk up when they’re happy? Edward’s do too. And Alphonse seems to shed when he’s happy. He’s sitting up and playful now. He is the cat who will rustle paper or play with string to get our attention.

I’m scratching his chin now. His purring is louder and I have cat hair all over me. He’s rolling around on my desk again, trying to get my attention.

He’s facing toward the lamp and his ear reflects the red-orange light through it.

I moved a foil Dove wrapper (“Believe in those you love”) pinned to my wall away from his reach and when I look back over at him: his entire body is sitting straight up, except for his head, which is tilted comically to toward the right, listening to the foil crinkle.

There is white cat hair on my hand, in the air, on the edge of the desk.

He has all of the desk now. I pulled the journal away from him so I could turn the page.

On his right front foot he has five little black dots and black splotch on three of the four claws. His front left paw is white except for the “pinky” claw and his back feet are white.

He left just now—probably because I was touching his feet—and is grooming himself over by the water fountain area.

Cats are strange creatures. We had only one cat growing up, Simba. But we weren’t Cat People. We were definitely Dog People. I married a Cat Person. And now we have three—Moochy, our old lady female, and Edward and Alphonse, named after the brothers Elric.

Ant has always had cats in his life, as pets, fostered them. He’s partially the reason we brought both boys home instead of one. All logic dissipated from him when we spent that Sunday afternoon with the litter of five.

But even Ant says three is a lot.

I miss the glow of my salt rock lamp. The light bulb went out…Monday? The 24 hours before the writing of this post felt like so long ago. We’ll have to get a new one. I’m still unsure about the effects, but I like the light. It’s pretty and the glow feels reassuring.

I think I’m starting to feel tired-tired finally.

[At this moment, I started thinking about the reject dice—literally advertised as “6 random defective garbage dice”—I bought from FuwaFawn at the end of March and I grab their little cardboard package and dump them on my desk.]

I’m looking at the reject dice I bought a few months back—they’re very random.

One is an eight-sided dice. It has a thick, white cloud swirl running through the inside of it. And it looks like it surrounds bright magenta twin planets in the center. I wonder what it would look like on the inside.? To look out and see the numbers 2, 3, 8, and 5 right side up and see the numbers 7, 6, 1, and 4 upside down—remember the six would have a line under the six—and I guess it does depend on which side the dice is considered face up.

Are the numbers portals to the other planets in the solar system? The upside 4 could lead to the 4 platform on the sparkly, glittery  light blue 20-sided dice, with the mysterious permanent white cloud covering platforms 14, 2, 20, 8, and part of 12.

And what about all the 4’s? how would you know which 4 platform leads to which? And on the 20-sided, there’s no 18 platform on the smaller sided dice—so, would the dice planets have to be traveled in side/size order?

Or! Should Could each numbered platform have a specific destination—kinda like a teleportation circle. Like, the 8-sided dice—the 4 platform, at the port city, could have a launch pad or dock or travel system to the number four platform in the light blue 20, the bat-blue 20-sided, the black 6-sided, the glittery pink 6-sided, and the pink 6-sided.

AND—the pink 6-sided! That’s the most solid out of these ones, but what if it was jut a really thick, pink cloud—or world??—that’s what it looked like?!

Dice could be planets in their own little solar systems! What? This is so cool!

Could this be a story? A setting for a space-ish D&D campaign?

Each dice would be its own mini-world—cultures, people, cities, rural areas, common money—

Alphonse just rolled one of the bell-balls in the that fake grass cat box that we bought for them before vacation. It has cutouts on the top (in the grass) and on the sides for them to push the bell-balls around. I can’t see it, but I heard it.

What an incredible idea. I’ve got to share it with Ant tomorrow.

I’ve also got to try and get some sleep…

What a good session in noticing tonight. I have a couple days still. I’ll try to type up the Alphonse details or the dice planet idea for the Illuminate blog hop this week.

This post is part of this month’s blog hop for my writing group, Illuminate. The theme is Notice and you can read my fellow members’ thoughts here:

“for the joy of it” by Katherine Mansfield

“do you notice me? (a haiku)” by Mia Sutton

“Notice Me” by Adeola Sheehy

“Noticing” by Megan S. Vos

“Nurturing Noticing” by Hannah Kewley

“A Rose Grows in Brewster” by Christine Carpenter

“The Unpunctual Liberation of from Anxiety” by Leesha Mony

“Notice” by Crystal James

“Notice Me” by Amy Rich

Writing Process Notes:


// The OG piece was written Tuesday at 11 o’clock at night in my current Moleskine notebook. writing desk, with Alphonse very nearby, Hobbit Hole noises, 65 minutes (11:15pm-12:10am). word count: 1,064.


// Round 1: finishing up my lunch at work. in the GV DoR office, no music. AND I was typing it in the Notes App. Words: 385.

// Round 2: Words: 838. 5:19pm-5:44pm. Writing Desk. Brave Hour with Jon Acuff! Hosted through Crowdcast and I can hear Jon’s typing and the Brave Hour playlist he’s playing for the whole group. (And Ant just joined Brave Hour; he’s playing the keyboard.)

//roughly 6:40pm-ish: started adding these notes, figured out a title, and figuring out how to get the link into the Illuminate form. Scheduled the post for 3am Cali time for Monday!


// 6:50pm. Brave Hour with Ant. dining room table. editing and revising, added pictures and writing fam’s links. Listening to episode one of Exandria Unlimited, “The Nameless One.” total words: 1484. worked until 7:49pm, finishing up the link publishing things.

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