I’ve noticed a lot of writers have pets. This makes sense since writing is a solitary activity, usually engaged in by reclusive, homebound individuals. Were it not for the companionship of their animal friends, surely many a writer would go absolutely fucking insane for lack of any social contact whatsoever.
But, what animal is the best animal for a writer? Flannery O’Connor had her peacocks. Mary Shelley had her boa constrictor. Charles Dickens is rumored to have kept a pet raven, which he then taxidermied after it died so it could still sit on its perch and keep him company while he wrote. But these animals all sound strange, and un-cuddly. For most writers, the choice is between the more traditional house pet rivals: dog or cat.
Below, I’ve compiled a brief pro & con list for both animals. Feel free to add in your own feels on this no doubt heated debate in comments.
-Will nap at your feet while you type; this is very cute.
-Will alert you when the mailman arrives. Checking the mail is a great excuse to stop writing.
-“I need to take the dog for a walk” is a great excuse to stop writing.
-If you read aloud what you’ve just written in a high pitched, excited voice, he will wag his tail. This makes him seem very supportive of your work.
-Frequent licking of his own genitals can also be construed as enthusiasm for your work.
-“I’ll bet the dog wants to play fetch” is a great excuse to stop writing.
-Will try to chew on your feet while you type; this is not so cute.
-Barking is distracting.
-Tail chasing may seem reflective of your own futile efforts; damn dog and his constant mockery.
-May try to eat your books, pens, journals, only copy of handwritten manuscript, etc.
-Will nap on your lap while you type; this is both cute & will help keep you warm during winter months.
-Doesn’t take up much space; perfect for apartments or studios.
-Purring can be construed as enthusiasm for your work.
-Will walk all over the keyboard while you type; this is not so cute.
-Judgmental facial expressions
-Seeing your cat taking a nap will remind you how much you also would like to take a nap. Cats nap all the damn time. Very little writing will actually get done. Only napping.
-Many of your friends will be allergic to him.
-Cats poop in a box. If you keep a cat in your house, you must therefore also keep a box of cat poop in your house. Your house, as a result, will always smell like cat poop. This is not the most pleasant olfactory arrangement for writing.