As an inspiration to the author I do not think the cat can be overestimated. He suggests so much grace, power, beauty, motion, mysticism. The perfect symmetry of his body urges one to achieve an equally perfect form. His colour and his line alone would serve to give any imaginative creator material for several pages of nervous description; on any subject, mind you, not necessarily on the cat himself.
The sharp, but concealed claws, the contracting pupil of the eye, which allows only the necessary amount of light to enter, the independence, should be the best of models for any critic; the graceful movements of the animal who waves a glorious banner as he walks silently should stir the soul of any poet. The cat symbolizes, indeed, all that a good writer tries to put into his work. I do not wonder that some writers love cats; I am only surprised that all writers do not love cats.
There is another explanation for the almost general fascination the cat has for the literary man. Writers as a class are irritable, temperamental, captious, and sensitive. They find in the soft grace, the urbanity, the reserve and the dignity of the cat exactly the softening qualities they require to smooth the ruggedness of life. Indeed the cat is as nearly as possible what many a writer would like to be himself.