Cats and Writers and the Great Connect

08 February 2011
a punctuation called Munchkin
What's the connection between cats and writers?

Pet owners are perhaps one of the happiest people in the planet. Numerous reports suggest that sharing your home with a pet makes you a healthier, more loving, more secure and more sociable person. For many writers, your level of success with pet ownership and a freelance writing career online primarily boils down to one question: Does your pet match your lifestyle?

Notwithstanding the fact that I am a woman and that I freelance full time (and study full time), I readily cast my vote in favor of the Felis domesticus. A personal check on my lifestyle reveals that cats are the perfect companions for freelance writers. Here's my take on why cats and writers go together:

Cats and Writers Tandem

  • Cats are generally low maintenance. They don't require daily baths and constant attention. In fact, they fend for themselves quite well. Their self-reliance allows you to focus on your writing projects sans any babysitting distractions. I own non-pedigree cats and pet-sitting for me is virtually nonexistent.

  • Cats have great work attitude. They work hard and take pride in their efficiency. I sometimes fantasize of being a cat -- being very precise with the target, getting to work a few minutes and then spending the rest of the day in pure contentment.

  • Cats teach by example. Their daily routine constantly reminds you of the benefits of a good sleep, the importance of comfort and the value of good grooming. In the field of writing, cats underscore the significance of curiosity, keen observation and research.

  • Cats are therapeutic. Studies such as one survey by the Baker Medical Institute suggest that stroking your pet cat's fur significantly decreases your risk of heart disease, cuts down the number of visits that you make to the doctor and increases your recovery at the hospital.

    Caveat: The generalization does not apply to individuals diagnosed with asthma as asthmatic symptoms can be triggered by animal fur and dander.

Cats and writers can co-exist perfectly. I'm perfectly happy with my non-pedigree felines. Nowhere in the blogosphere can you find a companionship more harmonious than this.

Alternative Companions

Aside from cats, there are many animals that make fantastic pets for writers:

Dogs continue to dominate the list. Their reputation as "man's best friend" remains unchallenged. Most families keep dogs because these companionable canines double as guards. The downside is that dogs are high-maintenance pets.

People who don't want noisy animals in the house could keep fish. Although virtually zero-maintenance, this choice takes away the therapeutic cuddling advantage. Then again, some fish species sell at handsome rates and may even surpass the income that you make online. I'm talking about the koi fish which typically costs between 500 up to a thousand dollars each.

A number of Chinese homes opt to raise snakes in the belief that the reptiles magnetize good luck and financial well-being. Some of them even sleep with their pet! Seriously though, I doubt if I can focus on my freelance writing  career while a resident snake sleeps nearby.

With these in mind, I shall stand firm with my preference. I'm hooting for the tandem that's safe, therapeutic, low-maintenance and classic: the cats and writers tandem.
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