Literary Life

The Literary Feline

Hemingway's work mate

This iconic photograph of Hemingway’s work table with one of his cats on it reminded me of my work table with my cat on it. I find the contrast interesting — Hemingway’s stack of papers and typewriter, my computers and paper-less electronic heat-producers. In fact, that’s why Sophie likes to hang out behind the computer, especially in winter: it is the warmest place in the flat. Every once in a while, when she’s awake and getting bored, she will take a swipe at the mouse, which is appropriate. In pre-computer days, when my writing life began, my work table looked much like Hemingway’s, although with a lot less mail. I miss it.

Sophie and the old writer

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2 replies »

  1. my new desk is kind of small, not enough room for Taro to hang around. he used to do that, though.

    my best gal pal Helen got a boy kitten – ragdoll, for now he’s white. beautiful cat but hyperactive. bites and destroys everything – i think she’s had to replace her mouse twice by now. he’s only been around for like a month.

    Sophie is superior!

  2. Sophie has her moments. She is deaf, as are most pure white cats with mixed eyes – she has one green and one blue. One of her eyes, the blue one, does not dilate like the other one, so we think she also may be half blind. Which seems to have little effect on her ability to catch bugs. She was about a year old when we got her from the Berlin animal shelter; sure nobody was going to adopt a half-blind, all-deaf cat. Except for us, of course.

    Because she is deaf, she seems not to know the power and range of her voice, and her “where the hell are you guys?” howl overwhelms even the street traffic noise.

    She loves a lap and will sleep happily there, even if you squirm, until your legs to go sleep and you have to give her the boot.

    She’s a good writer’s companion.