Here’s Rascal, my cat. He’s one of my better muses, having inspired a number of stories and poems I’ve written, including “The Third Leroy,” which you can read here: http://www.foliateoak.com/ian-sands.html. Our other cat, Kaia, (the one not in the bag) is lovely, but not as good a muse as Rascal. Rascal is a dog wearing a cat’s body, which is to say he craves attention and gets jealous when you give attention anywhere else, including computers, television, books, but mostly his sister Kaia. He is fond of knocking expensive things over, sending back platefuls of food after they’ve sat for too long, lounging in shopping bags, stringy things of all colors and materials, defying older cat stereotypes (he’s way more athletic than our other younger, fatter cat), asking deep, probing questions with only his eyes, and going outside with his sister. My wife and I adopted him when he was already 10 years old (he’s now 14 or so), when one of her former housemates was looking for a new home for him. He has been a constant source of entertainment and affection ever since.