Cats: The Perfect Writer's Companion
Furry felines are the best medicine for writers
As a lifelong writer, I have found nothing as compatible to the task as my kitty cats. They are self-entertaining creatures and don’t have to be taken for walks. I love dogs, too, but cats are my personal preference.
Though cat-watching is an entertaining distraction, cats are wonderful writer’s companions. Aloof, independent and strong-minded, cats can help keep a writing project on track.
A reminder it’s time to eat
If you’re anything like me, when your brain is wrapped around a writing project, you’re liable to allow feeding time to pass you by.
Not so a cat. These furry little critters will get in your face, claw your leg or other part of your anatomy to bring you out of your fantasy world and let you know the food bowl is empty. That’s when you look at the time to see that breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacktime has passed you by as well. Best to fuel up so you can get more writing done. And so the cat can nap another three hours or so. (Napping takes so much energy).
Ever notice the posture of a cat prior to pouncing? Derriere wriggling aside, the cat is focused, so intent upon the target that practically nothing else exists. The same holds true for when the cat sees something of interest outside the window. A cat will sit, stock-still, for long periods of time, fascinated with whatever attention-grabbing scenario is in play.
Take your cue from the cat. Instead of waving your gluteus maximus in the air, park it in a chair. Focus on the task at hand. Then pounce on that story idea or plot and character development. Don’t allow anything outside your writing world to interfere or break your concentration. Even if you end up writing for only an hour, you will be surprised how much you can accomplish.
I’ll Be Your Critic
I read somewhere long ago that if a cat sits on your manuscript it is a clear indication the book is worthy of publication.
While the traditional publishing industry may not put any credence to that, it works for me, a self-published author.
My cats have always been “involved” in my writing. When I say involved, I mean they love to hop onto my desk and bat at the red pen I use to edit and rewrite. They also enjoy scattering printed pages so I must pick them up and put them in order.
Believe it or not, putting those pages back in order was actually helpful once. It brought to my attention that one chapter served better when placed earlier in the book. Sometimes I wonder if cats know what they’re doing.
Everyone knows cats can read. Right?
It’s easy to get lost in a writing project and forget the importance of “down time.” Every once in a while, it is necessary to take a break. Get a little perspective. Relax and have some fun.
Cats are all about two things: eating and playing. Okay, napping, too so that’s three things. But cats are almost always ready to play. They realize the importance of having a little fun in between all that eating and napping.
And you should, too. Take 30 minutes to an hour each day to do something you truly enjoy. Playing with your cat, reading a book, going for a walk, watching a movie. Cat-watching in and of itself offers gobs of entertainment. Let go of your current writing project for a short period of time if to do nothing else but watch your cats.
A little time away always brings a fresh perspective and rejuvenates you for more writing. It also gives your subconscious a little time to work on your project for you. You may be surprised at what it comes up with when you return to the writing task.
Cats offer unconditional moral support and comfort when you’re suffering writer’s block. Sometimes, they can even unblock the creative muse.
Best of all, though, is what cats won’t do. They won’t criticize, judge, discourage you from writing or tell you not to quit your day job.
As long as the food bowl is always full.
Pen is a published author with 30+ titles to her credit. She is currently staff to two felines. Learn more by visiting Nero’s Fiddle.