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For Concentration, I Prescribe a Cat - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
February 8th, 2008
09:45 am


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For Concentration, I Prescribe a Cat
'Could write a book,' he said.

'Why don't you?'

'Can't concentrate.'

'For concentration,' I said, 'you need a cat. Do you happen to have a cat?'

'Cat? No. No cats. Two dogs. Quite enough.'

So I passed him some very good advice, that if you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially some piece of writing or paper-work, you should acquire a cat. Alone with the cat in the room where you work, I explained, the cat will invariably get up on your desk and settle placidly under the desk-lamp. The light from a lamp, I explained, gives a cat great satisfaction. The cat will settle down and be serene, with a serenity that passes all understanding. And the tranquility of the cat will gradually come to affect you, sitting there at your desk, so that all the excitable qualities that impede your concentration compose themselves and give your mind back the self-command it has lost. You need not watch the cat all the time. Its presence alone is enough. The effect of a cat on your concentration is remarkable, very mysterious.

--Muriel Spark, in A Far Cry From Kensington

Current Location: Eurekamp '08

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:February 8th, 2008 08:09 am (UTC)
So that's why bram seems to have ADHD these days...

Not all cats are tranquil!
[User Picture]
Date:February 8th, 2008 10:16 am (UTC)
Dear Chairman,

Please understand I did not mean to question your fierce opposition to dissenting. I assure you I remain loyal to the purrty line. Accept this mouse(click) as propitiation.
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