I have come to the conclusion that cats are anti-writing terrorists. Any animal, really, but cats in particular are the elite branch of anti-writists^. Highly trained saboteurs in the art of ensuring that books will never be written. Ever.
^This is absolutely a word. Ask your cat!
Why do I say this?
Shh… hang on. I’ll be right back.
Sorry about that, I had to… er… feed my cats.
Now, where was I? Oh, yes. Explaining why cats are anti-writists. Let’s start with their general characteristics, shall we?
- They’re soft. Oh, so soft. And cuddly. Their fur inspires images of cuddles, warm beds and contented sighs. If you see it, you have to touch it. DO NOT TOUCH IT! It will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to stop.
- They purr. No one is exactly sure how they do it, but that low, soothing rumble is guaranteed to make you forget what you were supposed to be doing.
- They’re cute and entertaining. Have you ever seen a cat playing with nothing but air? No? GOOD! Pray you never do, because you will instantly stop being productive in an effort to keep them, and thereby yourself, amused.
- They’re occasionally alarming. Their status as highly efficient predators means that this:
gets rescued from under the bathroom mat at two in the morning and hidden in the cupboard until it can be released safely when daylight arrives.
As you can see, this is a rather unnerving list of distracting qualifications. Now to examine their specially trained skills designed to prevent writing from ever taking place.
- Cats are specially adapted to know when you’re trying to write. If you’re writing on a device that requires a keyboard and screen, you’ll have to remove the cat before you can even start. And every two minutes thereafter as they try to return to your keyboard their bed.
If you’re writing with pen and paper, good luck convincing the cat that your writing implements are not a toy. Specifically, their toy. Better luck convincing yourself of that as well.
- Which brings up the fact that cats are sneaky. Oh, so sneaky. They are experts in mind control. So much so, that they have you convinced that it’s amusing and adorable when they type owebolngsonnalondOP all over your document, or you end up with this: because “it was just so funny watching her play with the pen!”
- They are strategic nappers. This means that instead of choosing an out-of-sight spot to curl up in, they deliberately place themselves in your line of sight. They then proceed to up the cuteness level to unbearable, so that your procrastinating tendencies insist that you need… to… stroke… it! Not once, or twice, or even later. Oh no. Every. Thirty. Seconds. To make it even worse, when you do touch them, they turn on the ultimate weapon – the PURR.
- The PURR. This weapon of mass-productivity-destruction actually stands for Purposefully Undermining Relative Resourcefulness. Kiss your productivity goodbye, my friend, because as soon as your cat switches the PURR on, it’s gone. Add the belly-just-begging-for-a-rub stretch**:
and you may as well give up any intention to get anything at all done.
As if those capabilities weren’t enough, I have recently realised that they have been teaching dogs to be just as effective anti-writists. Behold:
*Obviously, writers should actually have ALL the cats! Because they understand us. Why else?
**Aya, a rescue cat (and one of four), was pulled out of my car engine. As you can see from the photo, she is proudly showing off her shaved belly from having been spayed.
Have some of your own stories to tell about pets you’ve owned? Share them in the comments!