Even in the dark ages the cat was the friend of the intelligent man, for the
sorcerers and alchemists were the philosophers of the period and those who
persecuted sorcerers and cats were the philistines. In our day the cat is as
essential to the literary workshop as he was formerly to the alchemystical
As a writer I cannot help but agree. And I'm pleased to say that this comes from a learned yet fascinating book I have quoted before: namely, Carl Van Vechten's The Tiger in the House, recently reissued by the glory that is The New York Review of Books Classics.
It is perfectly possible (a fact which I have proved scores of times
myself) to work not only with a cat in the room, but with a cat on one’s
shoulder or in one’s lap. In a draughty room, indeed, the cat makes a superior
kind of paper-weight! Cats, to be sure, love to play on tables with loose papers
and pens, but a little care will keep them from doing damage, and how welcome is
the soft paw tap on the pen with the look of surprise that invariably follows,
to the tired writer.
You may find this and more thoughtful jewels of philosophy and history on Bartleby.com, or you may really wish to purchase this fine book for your own. Which I plan to do.