Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My Interior Decorator is Named Attila ~ by Magdalena Scott

I don't know if you have met him before, but this is Attila, the Kitten from Heck. Please do not let the sun's glare fool you: THAT IS NOT A HALO.

Along with our beloved dog, Spot, who is now deceased, Attila and I moved into this studio apartment in 2012. At that time I had a very clear vision of what the apartment would look like. Our family had gone through lots of events, including a massive downsize. I knew exactly which pieces of furniture to keep, and where each would be located in the 425-ish square feet of our new abode. Smart, huh?

Since then, I have made a few changes--most of them at the insistence of my resident interior decorator, Attila.

He decided that my big picture of Audrey Hepburn (wearing huge sunglasses, looking at jewelry in"Breakfast at Tiffany's") must not be displayed on the chest of drawers, on the pretty wrought iron stand which I'd purchased specifically for that purpose. No, that big picture needed to be elsewhere. His original idea was that it, and the stand, should be on the floor, but we compromised and I hung it on the wall, on a picture rail.

Attila is very picky about what can be set on the chest of drawers. Two small books that need to be returned to their owners are allowed, but a display of a dozen or so books that I own is not allowed. Inappropriate items are nudged to the floor. If I'm lucky, I catch him in mid-project, and move the offending items before they go tumbling down. So far, a photo of my son and daughter-in-law in college grad regalia is allowed. Attila really likes my son and daughter-in-law in person, and I think that's why he leaves the photo there. (I wish there was a way to make him understand that the Audrey picture was a gift from them, but I digress...)

I donated several books to the library last week, and hope they will find more serene homes. Not every cat helps his mom obey her intention to not acquire more than storage allows. (Ebooks shall remain a secret between you and me, okay?)

In our apartment there is no table and no desk. Incoming mail, newspaper, receipts, and hastily scribbled story notes land on the 5-foot-long bar which multitasks as dining table, desk, board game play area. Attila is quite clear about the fact that these items must be dealt with by me in a timely manner, or he will intervene. Down to the floor go the offending items.

Attila is so helpful to me by his unflagging enforcement of the minimalist vision I had for the apartment. Even last night he insisted that I get the dishes washed, dried, and put away, and all the notes and mail dealt with before I was allowed to go to bed. When I woke up this morning, one of my five gratitude items was that the "kitchen" area was clutter-free.

Yep, the place is neat and tidy, thanks to him. Except of course for his cat tree and 8' x 3' portion of the floor which he claims as his lair, spreading toys and tissue paper around as boundary markers. Now, to me it looks messy--and I won't post a photo because you might think so too. But I'm sure that through his eyes, that area is always perfect. There is a set of teeth ready to convince any who disagree.

Lucky me to have found such a talented kitten at the shelter, when all I was looking for was a cuddly, purring fur ball. I guess life has a way of giving you what you need instead of what you think you need. How's that for looking on the bright side?

Magdalena Scott writes sweet romance in small town settings. She is a contributing author to the Ladies of Legend, Tennessee series which is now up to 30 titles. She also is writing a new series, set in Serendipity, Indiana. Learn more about Magdalena at her website:


  1. So funny! Cats really do have minds of their own, don't they?

  2. Every time you write about Attila, it makes me smile!

  3. I loved your story! Cats do take over one way or the other.

    1. Thanks, Grace. I guess I'm lucky he lets me continue to live here. :)

  4. Love this post, Magdalena! So sorry I was down with the flu and missed it on the 28th. My cat has very definite ideas about our living space, too. Give Attila a hug for me.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, Alicia--and so glad you're better! I'll try giving Attila a hug for you. Must choose my opportunity carefully, you know...

  5. Funny! Your Attila has a commanding officer mind.