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Friday, January 7, 2022

Get a Cat

If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially on some piece of writing, you should acquire a cat. Alone with the cat in the room where you work the cat will invariably get up on your desk and settle under the desk lamp. The light from the lamp gives the cat great satisfaction. The cat will settle down and be serene, with a serenity that passes all understanding. And the tranquillity of the cat will gradually come to affect you, sitting there at your desk, so that all the excitable qualities that impede your concentration compose themselves and give your mind back the self-command it has lost. You need not watch the cat all the time. Its presence alone is enough. The effect of a cat on your concentration is remarkable, and very mysterious.

Muriel Spark (1918-2006), Scottish novelist, short story writer, poet and essayist. American writers Ernest Hemingway and Charles Bukowski also wrote about their cats.

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