What my cat has taught me about being creative

I love dogs. My parents already had a dog when I was born. I grew up with them: there was always at least one dog in the house (unless they were out for a walk) and all of my aunts, uncles and grandparents had dogs. Family barbecues would often have a pack of them circling, waiting for a sausage to drop.

So naturally when my wife and I moved in together, we got a cat.

love animals so I wasn’t against it, but not having experienced life with a feline it was a learning curve for me as much as it was for the cat. The first night she decided I was going to be the human she slept on and that’s how our relationship continues.

My lessons learned from living with a cat, with their at times peculiar habits, got me thinking about my own quirks. How do I interact with the world? Could I benefit from being more like a cat? Could it help me with my creativity?

Here’s a few things I’ve noticed about our particular tabby.

Be curious and observant.

We all know what curiosity did to the cat, but this is a quality every creative should have.

Any cupboard, box or door that’s opened and the cat is the first one through it – seemingly out of nowhere. She has an insatiable desire to check out anything that’s new or different. I can guarantee that if there’s anything new or even slightly changed in a room it will require instant inspection. Nothing is missed.

We can be guilty of keeping our heads down and focussing on work, not being curious or observant, missing little details. Curiosity opens up new directions to a brief, it allows ideas and approaches to enter our minds. By keenly observing the world around us we learn about each other.

Change your mind about things.

Cats are notoriously fussy. We bought a cat bed that Yumi instantly disliked and wouldn’t sleep in (preferring of course to sleep on me). Then suddenly she loved it and now spends most of her time there.

You might not like something at first for a reason that seems trivial – maybe it just doesn’t smell right.

We’re often told to go with our gut, make quick decisions. But sometimes it’s good to try something out for a bit before making a judgement. Give your ideas time to grow and they could flourish into firm favourites.

Do things your way and switch up your style.

It’s ok to switch things around and do something that’s out of your comfort zone, or completely new. Our cat will sleep on a cardboard box when there’s a perfectly comfortable chair right next to her. She absolutely loves coming in through the upstairs windows instead of the cat flap.

Why? Because that’s her way. It’s different, and that’s what excites her. Variety in our routine keeps us alert and generates fresh ideas.

It’s about being confident in your abilities to do what you know is right.

Inspiration and opportunities to be creative are all around, sometimes wandering over your desk rubbing their head against yours. If we take time to look sideways and see the world from someone else’s point of view, we can improve the work we do and make something more meaningful.

Got a project I’d be purrrfect for? Get in touch.