More than fifty cats roamed Hemingway’s grounds and writing studio; however, most writer’s cat households are more modest in size. Regardless of the number though, the real question of why some writers prefer cats remains unanswered.
As the head of my own Cat Army, Oedipus, Electra, Abra, and Mooshy, I have given the question of why writers go cat great consideration—usually while cleaning up hairballs.
1) Generally quiet. This is critical since most writers alternate between broke and destitute and therefore must rent their abode. A quiet cat makes for a happier landlord. Since cats sleep roughly 65 percent to 95 percent of the workday, depending on the make, model, and age they don’t have many opportunities to make noise.
2) Legal reasons. Plenty of housing complexes restrict dog ownership, but allow cats. Irony is such a cunning mistress.
3) Self-regulating by nature. As long their human provides clean water, food, and checks on the litter box periodically, the cat usually takes care of the rest. No need to rush home to walk them. Going away for the weekend isn’t a problem either. That’s just more bed for them.
4) Cats communicate directly. For instance, when the cat wants his person to start writing so he can claim his bed again, he might gnaw pages left on the night stand. After going a few rounds with an editor, this might seem refreshing but can make the rewrite fun and it generally achieves the desired result of a now writer-free bed.
5) Superior memory. While the writer can’t remember where he put his favorite pen, the cat does. It’s hidden in their lair behind the couch, right where they dragged it.
6) Esoteric taste in people food. Pork rinds, beef jerky, pork lo mien and uncooked pasta are just some of things I’ve caught my cats nibbling.
Hopefully this sheds some light on one of the most pressing questions in contemporary fiction.
*This post was originally done as a guest post on The Book Faery Reviews and was written by Sam Hilliard the author of The Last Track: A Mike Brody Novel.
Mystery Scene Magazine called Brody "such a riveting character that he could easily anchor an entire series" and The Midwest Book Review said "The Last Track is an exciting adventure and mystery, highly recommended."