Mark Twain and his cat

Writers and cats

I’ve noticed something about writers. We tend to love cats.

That’s not to say there aren’t dog-loving scribes out there; surely there are. But there seems to be a disproportionate number of us who love cats.

Every now and then, Buzzfeed posts a vapid clickbait article about famous writers and their cats. And I admit that one of my guilty pleasures is reading such things. But even in my own network of writers I follow on Twitter, I’ve noticed a lot of cat love. Urban fantasy writer Seanan McGuire often posts tales and pics of her cats. Sci-fi scribe John Scalzi is also a cat lover. Neil Gaiman is also a big cat fan, frequently writing about cats in his novels with a certain level of admiration. One of his favorite quotes of mine:

“‘No,’ said the cat. ‘Now, you people have names. That’s because you don’t know who you are. We know who we are, so we don’t need names.’”
—Neil Gaiman, Coraline

Is there something about this mysterious, aloof creatures that we writers have an affinity with? Do we look into those slitted eyes and see something that sparks creativity, or do we just enjoy having an animal around that doesn’t require much maintenance?

One of life’s great mysteries.


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