As far as cats are concerned, their human servant has no existence when not attending to their needs. She/he is simply ‘not’ when gone away behind a door, in a car, elsewhere in any way at all. The real business of a cat-person’s life is being with the cats, feeding, litter-tray cleaning, or cuddling.
There is a curious half-link when a cat does what Mystic has been doing this afternoon; sitting in the garden where he can see me while I do incomprehensible things to plants in the border, then following upstairs to where he can snooze just outside the open study door, knowing where I am and ready to leap into action as soon as I stop doing more unlabellable things in here and resume my duties.
This had me thinking around the old unanswerable thing of when is a writer not a writer? Mainly when not writing, which means most of the time then; indeed I’m probably a cat-mummy for much more of each day/week/month than I am actively doing what writers do.
One can only hope that when shopping, gardening, going for a swim, taking the car for repairs, drinking tea with a friend or just plain sleeping, there is something happening in a more unstructured way in the depths of the writerly brain. Indeed sometimes one is aware of the fact that something’s happened when one was looking elsewhere. You don’t feel it happening and may not be able to pinpoint whether it was while you were hanging out the laundry or shopping in the supermarket; something related to a character, plot point, choice of words is suddenly there in your head.
It’s probably a paranormal gift of cats who live with writers, the gift of sending out inspirational waves that osmose into ones brain. See; it was a good idea to get three cats to come and live here, after all.