“Cats are dangerous companions for writers because catwatching is a near-perfect method of writing avoidance.” ~ Dan Greenburg
“A catless writer is almost inconceivable. It’s a perverse taste, really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys (keyboard).” ~ Barbara Holland
When I wrote my screenplay, “Sacajawea, The Windcatcher” (from 2003 – 2007), I must truly say I could not have written it without my big, red cat, Atticus Finch. He was one of my inspirations, and though it may have appeared that I was avoiding my writing by playing with him, for me it was quite the opposite.
Atticus was the greatest cat in the world – I say “was” because we sadly lost him this year. He was my Hemingway cat, a polydactyl. He had huge paws with extra toes and he loved me with his little soul. His eyes were always focused on me and he would run to me whenever I called his name, from anywhere in the house.
It was the summer of 2004, and being summer, my garden needed attending. So, my days were filled with writing and weeding, writing and watering, writing and sowing. And, of course, Atticus was at my side, rolling in the dirt and teasing the dogs behind the fence – they were jealous of his freedom. Later, he’d roll around the papers on my desk, stretching his arms across the computer keys that kept him from constantly laying in my lap. We wrote the logline, the Synopsis, the Treatment, and the Script together. Summer, fall, winter, spring, summer again… He was truly part of the creative process and I know my script would not be the same without my boy.
I have a new feline inspiration now, his name is Mr. Guido. He is a Siamese with blue eyes and he is a lover. He will not allow the keyboard to get between us – he jumps up and pushes right into place. He stretches his arms around my neck and taps his lips to mine. Atticus would definitely be jealous – but, who knows, when I think about it, Guido does, somehow, feel like a very familiar soul.