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Since Zen is the Editor in Chief we thought it would add to his image as an intellectual if he wore glasses.
all photos by Leah Corne

Zen really looks "brainy" in this photo

Here Zen looks like a real bookworm

This photo makes Zen look very cerebral and brings out the yellow of his eyes.

Meet the Editor in Chief: Zen The Kitten -A Story for Cat Lovers

by Rhonda Spivak, October 27, 2016


My daughter wanted to get a kitten and the next thing I new she and  my husband  went to the Humane Society on a Sunday afternoon and came home with a little black kitten , named Zen.
The next morning, of course , my daughter and son  went to school, and my husband went to work-and  that is  when I suddenly realized that Zen would be spending most of the day with me-- since I have a home-office as Editor of the Winnipeg Jewish Review. That meant that Zen would begin bonding with me, since little kittens need someone to bond with.
Zen always hung  around the office usually walking under my desk  and  walking over  my papers,  but within days Zen began to assert himself very quickly, and suddenly I realized he was clearly vying to be Editor-In Chief of the Winnipeg Jewish Review. Why do I say that? Because one of the first things Zen did was climb up onto my desk and plop himself right down on my keyboard when I was in the midst of composing an email. Needless to say, that draft email never went out. I couldn't get him to budge and by the time I did the email was long gone.
Another time Zen somehow got his paw on the letter "e " while I was typing and after having a full sentence of eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee's in my draft email, I had to junk that draft as well.
I switched tactics and stopped trying to send emails, choosing instead to surf the net , but before I knew it  Zen  positioned himself between my computer keyboard and the screen such that I couldn't see a thing on the screen.
Zen by the way is the loudest cat I have ever seen or heard. He is always making little noises-from the trill to  a wine to a ferocious meow, and when I shewed him away from the computer screen, he let me hear about it. His displeasure was registered. When my children were babies they didn't make as much noise as Zen. I decided to make some sales calls but changed my mind after Zen began meowing into the phone in a most unprofessional manner. I realized he could ruin my image as poised and professional, and therefore I decided to hold off making those sales calls. 
Zen's next tactic was to climb on the top of my high back office chair such that he could meow into my ear  and hang over my head which interfered with my concentration , and when I swiveled my chair around quickly in an attempt to have him leave, he jumped from the chair into an open drawer with loose family photo which I  feared (quite reasonably ) that he could damage.
So I shewed him out of the office and  shut the door. But that didn't work since he just sat against the other side of the door and wined and meowed non-stop , until I gave in and opened the door again to the office. 
It was at that point that I looked him in the eye (his eyes  are yellow or green, depending on the light and  his  mood ) and I finally said , "OK Zen. You win-you've got the job. You can be the Editor in Chief of the Winnipeg Jewish Review because I haven't managed to accomplish anything with you around. And he climbed up into my office chair and purred with delight.
When I have had interviews in my office, Zen has miraculously appeared , and he sits quietly nodding his head as if to say he agrees with my line of questioning. Afterall, he is my boss.

If only I could teach him  a few more tricks, I could retire early.
But Zen not only has fine journalistic instincts, he also has an artistic flair.
I discovered this since I like to paint, and have been painting with water colour on canvas paper for the last several months.
Every time I went to paint, Zen would climb up on the table, inch closer to the painting I was in the midst of working on, and then lo and behold he'd plop himself down right in the middle of the painting, before the paint was dry. Of all the places available fro him to sit, none were so desirable as in  the middle of my painting ! Then, after I'd push him off the table, he'd stand on his hind legs and stretch himself out as much as he could, just enough so he could get his front paws on my painting. 
In one  painting, I decided it was best to just paint him in the scene, since he was there the entire time I was painting it.And, of course, he also likes to sniff at the paints to see if he possibly might like to eat them.
He also enjoys licking at each  of my paint brushes, and he would be happy to spill whatever he could on my paintings. I am not sure where he finds the time to let his artistic inclinations run wild, but I can always count on him unwavering presence and enthusiasm when I paint.
Zen is also quite the gardener. I say this because I always find him mucking about in the plants. This week he's been eating  my bamboo plant.  And yes I am trying to teach him the Talmudic principle, 

"As my fathers planted for me before I was born, so do I plant for those who will come after me."
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.