When I first started blogging I vowed I would never write about animals. It just seemed way too easy to put up cute pictures of cats and dogs and blabber away about their antics instead of seriously blogging. Besides, there are probably a zillion people who blog daily about animals much more competently than me. They’ve even created the hashtag “anipals” in order to find other pet lovers in the Twitterverse.
It didn’t take long before I broke my vow. In total, I’ve blogged about animals over ten times. It all began when my husband’s attempts to train squirrels backfired, leading to Man Training 1.0. After that, well – I fell off the wagon. Soon I was blogging about the pooches at our small town Fourth of July parade, the mourning dove who sits on a branch of the tree next to me waiting for the return its dead mate, a chickadee suspected of eating the ears off my chocolate bunny, and, finally, cats.
Well, not all cats. Just the stray we dragged into the house one rainy afternoon covered in mud, its long fur tangled into dreadlocks. Upon capture, first it yowled, then it ran downstairs to hide under a bed in the basement for two weeks. We set out food, water and a kitty litter box (we had taken care of cats in the past) which he would only visit if we were nowhere in sight. But at least, thank God, he knew how to use the litter box.
The first time we took him to the vet, we had to shut the door to the room where he hid, turn over the bed and chase him around till finally cornering him, again with the pathetic yowl of defeat. At the vet’s we warned the doctor he was not a nice kitty but Pretty Kitty, as we then called him, turned out to be the perfect patient. Evidently he has a split personality.
He was such a fetching cat that we were certain someone was looking for him and did the usual posting at the Animal Shelter, etc. We heard tragic stories about people who’d been looking for their cats for years but alas, Pretty matched none of the descriptions, nor did anyone come forward and recognize his picture. So, now he’s become my writing companion.
Stephen King once said “… it might be that the biggest division in the world isn’t men and women but folks who like cats and folks who like dogs.” Plenty of people have both cats and dogs and seem to love them equally but it sounds like he’s not one of them.
I was surprised to learn how many writers I wouldn’t have pegged as cat folks actually were. Here are a few quotes from renowned cat loving writers. See if you can match the quote to the writer:
- “I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.”
- “There are no ordinary cats.”
- “I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.
- I’m going to have a much harder time one day, months or even years from now, explaining why I miss the meanest, grumpiest and most dangerous cat I’ve ever encountered.”
- “Holding up my purring cat to the moon, I sighed.”
- “Books. Cats. Life is good.”
- “Have had to shoot people but never anyone I knew and loved for eleven years. Nor anyone that purred with two broken legs.”
- “Cats can be very funny, and have the oddest ways of showing they’re glad to see you. Rudimace always peed in our shoes.”
- “I write so much because my cat sits on my lap. She purrs so I don’t want to get up. She’s so much more calming than my husband.”
- The more cats you have, the longer you live. If you have a hundred cats, you’ll live ten times longer than if you have ten. Someday this will be discovered, and people will have a thousand cats and live forever. It’s truly ridiculous.”
- “I simply can’t resist a cat, particularly a purring one. They are the cleanest, cunningest, and most intelligent things I know, outside of the girl you love, of course.”
Your choices, in random order: a. Ernest Hemingway b. Mark Twain c. Edgar Allen Poe d. Colette e. Jack Kerouac f. Jean Cocteau g. W.H. Auden h. Joyce Carol Oates i. Edward Gorey j. Neil Gaiman k. Charles Bukowski
Course, if you visit this post: Renowned Authors Inspired by Cats – you’ll know the answers but I bet you’ll be surprised. (well, maybe not by Hemingway)
I was surprised that so many writers were cat lovers because a dog will lay wrapped up at your feet while you write. A dog won’t climb on your lap, shove its butt in your face and knead your breasts with its claws. Maybe it’s because dogs have a tendency to worship their owners whereas cats can sense our frailty, our insecurities and self-doubt. Cats also know when you must take a break from your all too serious attempts to write, a profession they rightly view as a life threatening disease.