Friday, 5 January 2018

The Cat as an Aid to Writing

Muriel Spark and her cat Pinot Grigio

I WAS reading an article giving the top ten tips from famous writers when I came across this by Muriel Spark (who wrote The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie among other masterpieces).

Writing in the character of Mrs Hawkins in A Far Cry from Kensington, Muriel Spark said: “If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially on some piece of writing or paper-work, you should acquire a cat.

"Alone with the cat in the room where you work … the cat will invariably get up on your desk and settle under the desk lamp. The light from a lamp … gives the cat great satisfaction. The cat will settle down and be serene, with a serenity that passes all understanding.

"And the tranquillity of the cat will gradually come to affect you, sitting there at your desk, so that all the excitable qualities that impeded your concentration compose themselves and give your mind back the self-command it has lost.

"You need not watch the cat all the time. Its presence alone is enough. The effect of a cat on your concentration is remarkable, and very mysterious."

I couldn't agree more and as I write this my cat Toffee is by my side, gently snoozing, and I can't help but feel that all is well with the world.

If you want to read the article in full it's here in The Guardian newspaper.

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  1. This is so true. I'm always amused by how many of my fellow writing friends care for cats. Thank you for sharing this. ~grin~ I may have to read the full article.

  2. I can see how that could be true.

  3. And yet I hear complaints of them sitting on keyboards whilst their owners are working!! Toffee, who's Toffee?


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