I’ve always been a cat-watcher. Well, they’re just so darned cute and interesting. And they have a lot to teach us. Have you ever watched a cat focus? They can flat out concentrate on one small thing forever as if they’re obsessed.
Writing, for me, is practically an obsession. It’s something I must do, love to do, and that I do as often as possible. When I first discovered this drive—this passion—for writing, I knew that if I was going to pursue it to the degree I desired, I’d have to figure out how to make it pay. So in 1973, I started writing articles for magazines. This, mind you, was before home computers and the convenience of email. Like a cat, I had to adjust to what was available at the time. Ever see your cat become obsessed with a small spot on the floor or a piece of cord and just play with it for hours? Even older cats continue some of their kitten-like antics.
I’m well into retirement age for most people now and I still pursue my writing. I write every single day for as many as twelve hours per day. So there’s your answer to “How do you have time to write six Klepto Cat Mystery novels per year?”
But, like a cat, I take breaks. Corporate leaders have learned that their employees are more productive when they get regular breaks. (Did they learn that from their household cats?) The “break room” is an integral part of every business large and small, everywhere. Some forward-thinking employers even provide gyms for their workers—or even just a ping pong table, memberships to a local gym and an additional forty-five minutes or hour lunch-break for a workout.
Cats show us that they like companionship—well most of them. Employers also want camaraderie among coworkers and they plan outings—picnics, field trips, bus trips to ball games and such.
Probably the most common belief about cats, however, is that they are independent. When you work independently at home, you must discipline yourself. Unless you have children or a nagging spouse, there’s no one to suggest you take a break. Likewise, there’s no one to insist that you sit down at your computer and work. It’s all on the home worker—in my case me, the writer.
I realize that my back and neck feel better if I take regular breaks—stretch, go for a walk—just move! And my mind works better when it gets breaks. A change in scenery and activity is often just what the doctor ordered.
All you have to do is watch a cat to learn this
truth. Cats can be intense while in pursuit of a moth, a toy, or, a meal. They rest regularly and often. While cats are purrfectly happy in their familiar comfort zone, they also love exploring something new. Cats always stretch after napping and wash up after eating. They pursue a variety of interests and activities throughout the day—watching birds, chasing birds, following someone around, ignoring everyone, playing, sleeping, pouncing, rolling, begging, tearing around the house, staring, chasing. They also divide their time between social activities and private moments.
Yeah, I think we have a lot to learn from our cats. What say you?