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Five Reasons Every Writer Should Own a Cat

In the past decade, I’ve been responsible for rescuing feral kittens, feeding the stray apartment cats, owning three of my own, and bringing home enough of them to my parents that they are still (seven years after I left home) stuck in the aftermath. My mother tells me at least once a week on Skype that she never wants another cat. Ever. I guess you could say that I’ve gone above and beyond the duties of cat-ladyism.

But, hey, what can I say? Cats feed the muse. And writers need the muse. Thus, I am convinced that a cat/cats are a necessary addition to every writer’s household.

If you’re still in need of some convincing, take a look at the following list:

5 Reasons Every Writer Should Own a Cat1. The Furry Cuteness of Doom Syndrome

Need I really expound upon this? If my cats were characters in my novels, they’d get away with murder. The world would bow to their wills. All characters would fall in love with them immediately. Cats = the ultimate Mary Sues. They can do no wrong.

They’re just so damn cute. All the time. Even when they’re climbing the Christmas tree, repainting your walls with their claws, and shedding on your clothes.

Except if/when they chew on my books. Then it’s war.

2. Character Inspiration

Lacking a sufficient character idea? You never know how different cats can be until you’ve owned a few of them. Every cat has its own personal preferences and personality quirks. This can be tied into your writing, of course. You want characters that stand out and leave a mark on the page for the reader, and yet you need them to be relatable without seeming cliche. Character variation is a lot like a cat’s personality. You never know what you’re going to get.

Also, let’s face it—cats frequently place themselves in awkward positions and situations. Watching my youngest cat attempt to fit into a shoebox six sizes too small or stick his head into a sock is better than watching television. Perhaps your cat’s random behavior will inspire some sort of trapeze-swinging, knife-throwing circus star with a love of heights.

Maybe your cat can even make a cameo appearance . . .

3. Warmth and Snuggles

Are you enjoying a hot cup of coffee while reading through your social media or outlining that next big story idea? Add a cat to your feet, lap, or keyboard and you’ll be basking in that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes from the purry fluffiness of cat-dom. Instant happiness unavoidable. It just might give you the boost you need to keep going or give you that extra push to start your day.

And if your cat adds an occasional incoherent word to your document, consider it an act of love.

4. Independent and Low-Maintenance.

Some of my dog-loving friends bash cats for their independence. But, to be honest, that is exactly why I love them. My cats do what they want, when they want (as long as they follow the rules). And though they like to be with me in the same room, they don’t require that I constantly validate their existence. Have you ever been in the middle of an important scene when suddenly your dog needs to go out? Or wants your attention? Moment of clarity and focus is gone. Cats don’t need to be taken for walks; they don’t interrupt your writing with impromptu bathroom emergencies. They respect (usually) boundaries. Writers often need a great deal of personal space. Cats do too. Mutual understanding is the basis of good relationships.

5.  Motivation

Are you lacking the motivation to make your daily writing quota? Remember: your cat meets his sleep quota every single day. If he can do it, so can you.

Do you have trouble getting up in the mornings? Don’t worry. Your cat will make sure you feed him at the proper time — to the second. That means you’ll be up bright and early to start you daily word count. No excuses.

So there you have it. All the reasons cats are a must-have in every writer’s life. Go immediately and adopt your cat now. The furry cuteness of doom awaits you.

(Yes, those are my cats in the picture)

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3 thoughts on “Five Reasons Every Writer Should Own a Cat

  1. Pingback: Five Reasons Every Writer Should Own a Cat | Words and Wanderings

  2. I am a somewhat reluctant rescuer of cats since i moved to Israel where feral cats are a real problem. Reluctant because I am severely allergic and i cannot bring them inside. I know what it means to be an outside cat (life expectancy, etc.) and yet, I cannot NOT feed them, offer them a dry place to sleep on my porch. I am not sure if becoming a reluctant rescuer of cats has influenced my writing, but maybe in a one-off sorta way. It definitely opens up a new channel of love and emotion for me, which can only help my writing, I think.

    • Hi Jen! Thanks for the comment. I like the phrase “reluctant rescuer of cats.” If I’m being honest, most of my rescues were also reluctant rescues, since I didn’t have a lot of money, but as you said, I couldn’t just leave them alone, either. It’s wonderful that you still do what you can for the cats. There are a lot of people who aren’t allergic who wouldn’t do half so much. And I agree that, even if it doesn’t directly affect your writing, the experience itself certainly can’t hurt it. It’s hard to say how our present actions and experiences will one day filter into our writing, but the possibilities are certainly there. 🙂

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