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Cats and Writers

Do cats add to the Writer Experience?

By KJ AartilaPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 3 min read
Not my cat - image generated in Canva

Today, they do not.


This is Callie, a long-haired Calico with gorgeous green eyes. She was born a barn cat, but my daughter brought her home from our hay supplier. Now she’s a house cat. And a princess. She is afraid to go outside, hating it when my daughter tries to take her for walks with harness and leash. She is an excellent hunter, though, keeping the basement free of rodents. She also loves to eat cat food, cheese and chips. She has sharp claws and is not afraid to use them.


This is DJ, a good sized, muscular gray and white Domestic Shorthair. He has large, clear, provocative amber eyes: “The better to see you with, my Pretty!” We took him in when he was dropped off in a ditch by our house as an adolescent youngster He wouldn’t leave, and he wouldn’t stop meowing at the top of his lungs. He was supposed to be a barn cat, but he rather enjoys sleeping on my daughter’s bed most of the day after getting fed. He’s very affectionate and vocal when he wants to get fed.

The thing is, the two cats don’t get along. We must mostly keep them separated, One prefers the basement, one prefers the bedroom, or even outside if it’s nice out. Sometimes they meet up, though. Usually, it’s in the morning when it’s mealtime.

As I sit here at daybreak, in front of my laptop, I am thoroughly distracted by the raucous. Both cats are near me, yowling for food, then at the presence of each other. Callie runs to the chair to start scratching, DJ gallops down the hall to the safety of the bedroom. He sounds like a herd of horses. But, no, thank goodness, my horses are still outside.

Then the dog gets involved. My large, White German Shepherd Dog. He’s the biggest baby of them all, poking my arm for attention, then trotting after the cats to investigate the trouble they’re causing that he’s not yet in. He’s so jealous, and doesn’t really like the cats. They don’t like him much, either.


So then my husband starts yelling - at the cat scratching the chair, the one yowling from the bedroom while peeking around the doorway, and at the dog working his way into the center of it all, being a nuisance.

Since I’ve read the same sentence six times over with no comprehension, I give up with a sigh. This is my life. My glamorous writer’s life.

I thought animals were supposed to enhance the writers life? Cats are supposed to provide some kind of symbolic solitude to help the writer find a mode of greater productivity and peace. Apparently, that is delusional. A misunderstanding on my part.

I do enjoy a snuggle every now and then, seduced, of course, by their demands.

Finally, Callie heads back to her basement, DJ is asleep on the bed with his full belly, the dog is napping on his couch and the husband finally gets to work. Ahhhh! Peace and quiet at last. Now I can get back to work. Inspiration! Maybe I can now read and understand the words in front of me, then I can write. No, wait, now I need a snack. I can’t work on an empty stomach.

(Thanks for reading! How do you feel pets benefit your life as a writer, or in any capacity? What do you have as a beloved pet in your life?)

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About the Creator

KJ Aartila

A writer of words in northern WI with a small family and a large menagerie.

My Substack

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insight

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (6)

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  • J. Delaney-Howeabout a year ago

    I have one cat that just has to sit on my lap when I am writing. Great piece!

  • Kimberly Airdabout a year ago

    Love it! Never a dull moment when the cats are about. My calico would hiss every time the dog looked her way. The dog always took that noise as an invitation to play. Cat hisses, dogs tail starts to wag, then total chaos ensues! 🤦🏼‍♀️😂

  • Loved this and some great images

  • This comment has been deleted

  • Cathy holmesabout a year ago

    lol. This is great. Well done.

  • Rick Henry Christopher about a year ago

    Thank you for sharing the events of your household. Sounds like a handful at times.

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