I’m heading down to L.A. tomorrow to attend the international summer conference of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators). Although I’ve been to three regionals since I joined the organization last October, this is my first time attending the big SCBWI conference. I’m really looking forward to it.

As a former member of Romance Writers of America, I’ve been to several of their big annual conferences, so I have some idea of what to expect. There will be too many workshops to choose from (although this time I have a spiffy app to help with that), over-air-conditioned rooms, rubber chicken lunches, and bleary-eyed mornings spent groping for coffee.

Although I’ve pubbed plenty of romance novels, my book Tankborn, due out in September, is my very first young adult. I still feel green-as-grass, wet-behind-the-ears about the children’s market. So I plan to do the sponge thing at SCBWI LA and soak up as much wisdom as I can.

To save on expenses, I’ve entered into an “arranged marriage” (sounds like one of my romance novels) to share a room with a fellow SCBWI member from Kentucky. I’ve done that in the past at RWA conferences and it’s both weird and fun to spend a few days with a total stranger. (Of course, there was that one conference where I roomed with three other women and ended up going home with someone else’s panties in my laundry. Eew.) I’m thinking I’m really going to enjoy my time with Meredith in L.A..

The hotel looks like a nice one and it’s in Century City, a very vibrant part of L.A. But like any hotel, it has one drawback–no kitties. I’m used to having three of them snoozing in bed with me, snuggled up beside me or maybe draped across my head or curled up at my feet. But I will be catless for the three days of the conference.

Here’s what I think all hotels should provide–a rent-a-cat. They should have a collection of some nice, mellow orange tabbies, or couch potato torties. Hotel guests could reserve their kitty when they reserve their room. There could be pictures posted on the hotel website with profiles of each cat. The cat of choice would be waiting for the guest in their room when they arrive, ready for belly rubs and scritches behind the ears, more than happy to curl up in a lap.

Yeah, yeah, I can hear your objections. Some people are allergic to cats. Won’t that be traumatic for the cat? And what about that catbox?

Minor issues all to be worked out. Just as some hotels provide smoking rooms, they can provide “cat rooms” for the non-allergic. Kitties would be chosen for their laid-back temperament and would enjoy the attention of one and all. The hotel guest can clean the cat box since they likely have plenty of practice at home.

Yeah, not ever gonna happen. But I still think it’s a lovely idea. My toes kept toasty by a cat. The sound of purring in my ear as the hotel cat uses my pillow as his bed. And then there’s that familiar cat hair in my morning coffee.

Just like home.

About karensandler

Lover of chocolate. A couple felines short of full-fledged Cat Lady. Author of the YA Tankborn Trilogy (TANKBORN, AWAKENING, and REBELLION), from Tu Books. Founding team member of We Need Diverse Books. Opinions expressed here are my own.
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2 Responses to Rent-a-Cat

  1. Just like home…until something unexpectedly bizarre happens, something so surreal that even your worse nightmare would be a welcome escape! And no, I’m not talking about Lazer Cats, I’m talking about…Paradigm Shifts in Interspecies Relevant Behavior seminars, run by psychotic tabbies!

  2. rahelj says:

    I think that a motel like that once existed in the US. For an extra fee, you could have a cat in your room for the night. According to what I read, it began when a salesman on the road stopped at this particular hotel for the night, mentioned that he missed his cat at home and asked whether there were any cats on the premises that he could visit with. He was allowed to keep the motel cat in his room with him for the night, and according to the story, this turned out so well that the motel got a few more cats to rent to customers.

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