Inspiration via interruption

by Lorien E. Menhennett

Regina likes to keep me company when I'm writing.

Regina likes to keep me company when I’m writing.

When I’m in a good mood, I write. When I’m in a bad mood, I write. When I discover something new, I write. You get the idea.

Putting amorphous thoughts into words, sentences, and paragraphs helps me interpret and understand my daily life. It helps me reach deep inside, to locate and process ideas and feelings I didn’t even know were there.

Usually, writing is a solitary task. This week though, I’ve had help from my dad’s cat Regina, as you can see. When I’m on the couch in the morning, computer in my lap, she quietly slips beside me and gingerly steps, one paw at a time, onto the keyboard. Soon her rump is on the black keys, her front paws on the track pad. Typing becomes a lost cause.

But I’m ok with this interruption. Regina stares up at me with her hazel eyes, and I don’t care about finishing my work. I scratch her head, stroke her back, and she purrs with contentment. I’m contented too, happy to have this warm, furry creature sitting with me and basking in my company. Writing can wait.

Unless I take allergy medicine, I get sneezy and snuffly around my dad’s cats. So felines are not likely in my own future. But the joy of having Regina and her brother, Ismael, sidling up next to me has gotten me thinking about what it would be like to have my own animal distraction.

I do like living by myself. I find solace in the peace and quiet. But it gets lonely, especially when I’m studying for hours on end. Maybe having another warm body around, even a little one that can’t talk, would help. Living in a little apartment, pets are tricky — and often not allowed at all. So perhaps this is something for my life beyond medical school. But it’s something to ponder.

The writing process helps me think. Apparently, this is the case even when that process is interrupted. It just goes to show that sometimes, interruptions — in the form of cats, or otherwise — are the best inspiration.