Cats or dogs?
Many writers I’ve encountered have a furry companion, and most of the time it either meows or barks. The majority of the time, however, it’s the feline friend writers prefer. Ample writing time, coffee and cats is the recipe happiness for many a writer (throw in a few dozen good reviews, too). Rarely have I encountered writers who have a dog. As a dog owner, this was disheartening to me, but to each their own! I love cats, too, but I’m allergic, and the allergens trigger my asthma. Still, cats have their merit, as do dogs, and when I’m working on Belinda Starr, I like to have my sweet Emmie Lou right by my side.
She’s a wonderful little beagle! It just so happens there is a beagle in Belinda Starr, making Emmie the perfect inspiration for that particular character. But not all stories have dogs, nor do all writers write about animals. But even so, having a furry friend by the writer’s side gives her a sense of wellness she would be hard pressed to find elsewhere. For example,
The dog companion:
- Lies at feet with a canine-brand loyalty. This fills the writer’s writing room with good loyalty vibes. This is a crucial concept when sticking to a writing project. Writing takes loyalty, to yourself and to your work.
- Cocks her head (hounds more than others, I believe). This makes her an excellent conversationalist. Writers often need to bounce ideas off others. The head cock gives the writer the impression that they are being heard, even if they have to repeat themselves to the confused pooch.
- Will let you know when it’s time for a break. Dogs have bladders and stomachs, each with different functions. One says “Hey, Ma, let’s go for a quick walk outside. You can stretch your legs, get some fresh air, get a fresh perspective on that troublesome character, you know, the reason you’ve been banging your head on your desk for hours, and I’ll urinate on stuff. Sound good?” The other says, “feed me! Oh, while you’re at it, you need to eat too, remember?” And then there’s the doggy mind, which needs stimulation, and will remind you it’s break time when it tells doggy to bring you the slobber-ridden toy. Go on. Step away from the computer for a while. You need the stimulation, too!
- Snuggles close. When you’re stressed, nothing says “I’m here for you, writer!” like having a dog nuzzle up to you and give that wistful puppy sigh. ❤
- Reminds you there’s more to life than writing. Usually by wiggling her sweet face onto my lap and staring up at me with those doe-like eyes. Makes me melt, every time, and convinces me it’s time to spend some time with her and my less-furry other loved ones.
The cat companion:
- Purrs! One of the most relaxing sounds on the planet Earth! When writer is going bonkers, writer can just pet the purring machine, and if it’s an automatic engine, then voila, stress-be-gone! If it’s a stick-shift, the purring machine may take a while, and if it’s a tricky engine, purring may be replaced by swiping claws. Stress-reducing results may vary.
- Sits on shoulders. While this may make it difficult to write, it’s nice to know that at least someone cares about your writing.
- Also reminds you it’s break time: Knocks stuff down, meows because food, bats at loose strings on your sweater, knocks stuff down, digs claws into shoulders, knocks stuff down, meows because, well, meow, knocks stuff down.
- Curls up on your lap. Cats are generally more compact than dogs, making it easier to allow them to situated themselves on your lap in that adorable little ball of cat they fold themselves into. How convenient, when you need to stop typing and think for a while, there’s a kitty, all ready for your thinking-pets!
- Gives you a bath. Hey, writer. You’re stinky. You need to be cleaned. Kitty says so. You’re welcome.
I love my writing companion, and when I’m working on Belinda Starr, there is none other like my little beagle, Emmie Lou. Who is your preferred writing companion? Does it bark or meow? Let me know in the comments below!