Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why writers have cats

On The Guardian Books Blog, David Barnett claims that writers seem to prefer cats to dogs, citing a Google image search on "author with cat".
Perhaps cats are important totem animals for writers. Perhaps writers hope their independence and mystique will rub off on them, and seek to emulate the slightly magical moggy's feigned disinterest when those bad reviews roll in.
Or perhaps we just need a tough critic from time to time.

Words by Sherry. Photo by Julie. From


  1. Anonymous10:02 am

    That is just a conspiracy started by cats.

    I have six dogs and they all rate my writing skills.

  2. Sadly, my girlfriend is allergic to cats.

    Which presents a difficulty.

  3. No cat would consider this a problem. You just ditch your girlfriend. Obviously.

  4. Gail Renard1:13 pm

    Perhaps we could start a Cat Category at the Guild. Membership to PAWS would be thrown in free.

  5. All of which reminds me of the distinction between a cat and a commaa... one of which is a pause at the end of a clause whilst the other has claws and the end of its paws...

  6. Anonymous7:49 pm

    The saying goes, Dogs have masters but cats have staff....

  7. It’s because the cat offers writers everything they need which is, roughly speaking, someone to talk AT but only when WE want to; someone who, no matter how rudely ignored, will never desert us; and someone who doesn’t care or comment about how many cakes are consumed, cigarettes smoked or porn watched throughout the time it takes to create the next masterpiece.

    And because that “someone” is a cat instead of a human being it removes the need for constant apologising and gift buying, thereby saving money and slowing down the inevitable time it takes to become a social outcast.

  8. Anonymous12:14 pm

    All the self-employed, work-from-home people I know have dogs so they have a justifiable reason to leave the house every day. Maybe Writers (I am one) secretly like not having to leave the house (I can go for days without crossing threshold when I have a deadline, yet otherwise I am a very social person). Funny (as in strange).

  9. I have a dog and a cat. In my only published novel, there's a dog but no cat. I was always a dog person and still find my dog easier to relate to than my cat, but I have developed a certain respect and admiration for the latter. My mum had a poem published, but she only has a budgie. I have no idea what any of this means, but then I have no idea what Salman Rushdie's novels mean, either.


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