Behind many successful authors is a furry companion who offers creative inspiration (and also probably falls asleep on the keyboard from time to time). Face it, we have all seen plenty of pictures of the likes of Joyce Carol Oates and Ernest Hemingway with their cats. So, we decided to ask some of our favorite recent debut authors and our readers for pictures of their cats so that we could share them with other aspiring novelists and avid animal lovers. Because life is hard enough and cats are adorable. Check out these cute kitties (and a few dogs, too).
“Daisy (who’s technically my parents’ dog, but who’s counting?) occasionally rests her head on my keyboard, forcing me to sit back and consider what I’ve written. For this crucial bit of guidance in the revision process, I am forever indebted to her. And when she’s not helping me edit, she’s asleep on my feet, keeping them warm—and keeping me happy.” -Rachel Z. Arndt, author of BEYOND MEASURE
“I knew Mizu was the one when he hissed at me as I reached in to pet him at the shelter. He’s mostly a morning and late night cat, affectionate and talkative, needling away at my lap when I try to relax. But come time to write, he’s reclusive, a lump under the covers, which is exactly what I need.” -Glori Simmons, author of CARRY YOU and SUFFERING FOOLS
“I am pleased to present Mittens and Nermal, a.k.a. my Cat Council. Their main roles: sitting on whatever I am reading, looking forlorn, judging, and knocking over plants.” –Frankie Concepcion is a writer from the Philippines and has been living in the U.S. for almost a decade. Her fiction, essays, and poetry have been published internationally in editorials such as Waxwing, Vagabond City, Rappler, and The Toast. In 2018, Frankie will begin the process of applying for Permanent Residence in the United States. Her latest project, Leaving, is her humble attempt at documenting what it is like to try, and still want to be, an immigrant in America.
“Mr. Biscuits (the pup) has been with me since 2009. He may look old and grumpy, but he’s a fantastic listener. I’m constantly bouncing ideas off of him as he sits in my lap eating my Triscuits and cheese. He does leave enough scraps for me, though, usually. I always know when I have a good idea because he will lick my face. (Yawns are no good, though.) As for Ms. Muffins, she’s a newer addition to the household. She doesn’t appear to take much interest in my writing. She seems to think my freshly printed manuscripts are a scratching post purely for her pleasure, and forget about when I’m trying to highlight—she will rip the highlighter right out of my hand” –Christine Jenkins
“I spend my time writing personal essays about the experiences I have with elderly folks that I have the privilege of taking care of and being friends with. Many of my day to day experiences with these wonderful people lead to funny as well as inspiring moments. Jasmine can usually be found laying by my side but her favorite place is actually with her face right up in my computer screen as if she is proof reading my notes! She’s a rescue cat that has been part of our family for 11 years now.” –Linda Fereira