A cat sits in the last shaft of dying afternoon sun. It is the embodiment of bliss; warm tawny pointed ears, sleek, squinty eyes sliding their way open and shut. This sense of peace is something all humans seek, and feel in isolated moments. One of those isolated moments: the feeling when as a writer you put a word in the right place to express an idea, or the sense of completeness when you finish writing something that you know is you.
We can learn a lot from cats.
When not sleeping, a cat is curiosity unrestrained. There is a childlike quality of wonder in every new event, object or person that enters their life. The event, object or person is there to be explored, explained, purely for their own entertainment and peace of mind. Open a clothes drawer – a cat will climb inside, often casting out the contents with quick movements of paw and claw, until there is a pile of garments on the carpet, and the cat has a better understanding in its own mind of the constraints of the place it is exploring.
A writer does this too.
A child does this too. The differences between a cat, a writer and a child, is marginal.
Often when I sit down to write, there is a cat perched on me, or not far away. Perhaps the softness of their fur, the gentle, interminable purring is my comfort blanket. Perhaps this goes back to childhood. There has always been a cat in my life, but I can’t say the same for a person. I feel creativity in their character and in their presence.
At 3am when sleep alludes, when memories are sharp razor blades or simply when inspiration strikes, I wake and go downstairs to a glass desk. The windows are frosted with winter condensation, humans pass with drunken calls on the street below, and it is not too long before a cat sits beside me on the desk, like a proud, bronze, Egyptian effigy.
Where do ideas come from? I don’t know, yet sometimes I wonder if I am not dictating the thoughts of the curious, inquisitive feline beside me. I like this. I hope this is where ideas come from.