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I have what I might consider the happiest problem I could dream up.  One of the new kittens, Mia, is very supportive of my writing.  In fact, nearly every time I sit down at the keyboard to write, she jumps up to my lap and tries to reward my writing efforts by purring hysterically from a spot on my chest.  If she is all the way down on my lap, she makes a little meepy squeak and reaches her paw up toward my cheek, brushing it with her velvet paw until I hold her up higher again.  (I know that borders on kitten-porn but I need you to understand the urgency of the situation…)

She just likes to be tucked close under my chin.  Admittedly, I have a shelf-of-sorts, although it slopes gently southeast more with each passing year, so for now I try to hold her with my left hand and type with my right.  This is my dream problem, but it is a problem, as shown here in exhibit A:

i am nowtyping this witgh one hand whcih reaaly slashes the wordcount  productviity rate.  would be a goood idea to sollve this before say novmeber 1???

OK, back to two hands for a minute.  Maybe I should follow my own advice to my kids — think about the real problem and find solutions?  (They are sooooo tired of the word “solutions”…)

  1. Kitten purring enhances productivity if/when I have use of approximately ten fingers.
  2. Lap is not close enough to chin; although chin(s) keep migrating south also, there is thankfully still a large gap.
  3. Moving shelf back to the north and increasing its level weight-bearing strength/buoyancy/perkiness would require costly surgery.

Here’s one thought:  the BabyBjorn was popular when my kids were babies, but I gave mine away years ago.  Even though the kittens are tripling in size every 48 hours, I still think Mia would be lost in a baby carrier.  Besides, she needs more of an under-chin sling, something shaped like a feedbag-of-sorts that can rest on the shelf-of-sorts, and keep her purring away in her ideal spot, hands-free .  The purring is as mesmerizing a writing aid as the cuckoo clock has always been;  I can just keep typing to the methodical beat of the clock and the kitten.

And perhaps the most poignant aspect of this situation?  Like The Ode To Joy, one never knows when the wonderful problem will stop as suddenly as it appeared, so one must enjoy the problem while it lasts.  The Ode ended as it inevitably had to do, and the Purring could easily find a more comfortable spot, leaving me in the silence I always wished for when the kids were small, and now dread.

So. There is how the idea for the new invention, The KittenKjorn, is born.

Admittedly, there is too small a target market (1? 2?) for this to be a viable business venture.  Plus the useful life of the product is short, unless you happen to also own a guinea pig or other furry mammal who also longs to snuggle under your chin (umm, yuck).  Here’s what makes the idea a winner for me though — when the kitten grows too large, which should be shortly after NaNoWriMo at the current feline growth rate, the KittenKjorn could be repurposed, maybe with snacks?  Say, Chex Party Mix?  Or cookies?  There will be a lot of editing starting December 1, and I do need to keep that productivity up…