“And how do you know that you’re mad? “To begin with,” said the Cat, “a dog’s not mad. You grant that?” I suppose so, said Alice. “Well then,” the Cat went on, “you see a dog growls when it’s angry, and wags it’s tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
Madness. Writers. Cats. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive. In many instances, they are intertwined in an enigmatic association of sorts.
I am fascinated by my cats – all eight of them.
I also have a beautiful dog, who happens to be equally bemused by all these feline creatures.
He has no choice really, since he is outnumbered.
As I juggle between multiple book projects and a few intermittent life challenges that test my crisis management skills, these cats are my constant. My muses. Their serenity and poise help me to keep things in perspective. They bring me joy. And I do not take joy for granted. Not for one moment.
“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.”
― Jean Cocteau
It is not uncommon for writers to have an affinity for cats. Ernest Hemingway, Neil Gaiman, Jean Cocteau, Jean Paul Sartre, Stephen King… just to mention a few.
This marvelous photo of writer/philosopher/political activist Jean Paul Sartre and his existential cat epitomizes this writer’s obsession.
I’ll leave you with a song that I used to listen to ad nauseam…. back in the mid 1970’s. I just listened to it the other day and, man, did it bring back a flood of memories!
The Year of the Cat
(released in 1976 by singer-songwriter Al Stewart)
This is the long, live version performed in 1979
Top image: photo credit by Heather Joan Marinos (Copyright © 2014 by Heather Joan Marinos. All rights reserved).
Bottom image: photo via buzzfeed.com.