When do you write? When you can’t ignore it any longer. When it sits on your keyboard like a determined cat, then trips you up about the ankles when you try to walk away. There is, in fact, no difference between a piece of writing and a cat. Both are utterly convinced of their place in the world. Both are determined; both have nine lives; and neither needs you nearly as much as you need them*. Both have claws.
Both have that small-universe trick of turning into the thing you’re running to, when you’re running away from them. Just when you get used to having them around, they leave. Without comment, they’re gone for days or years, while you wait and wonder.
They reappear with no explanation. They’ll never tell you where they’ve been. They reappear with strange dust in their fur, a few more scratches, and maybe one less eye.
And sometimes, late at night, you hear birdsong. You hear whispers, scratching, sighs or sobs; it doesn’t matter, because there’s no time to wonder. You get up to let the cat in.
Now if anyone has tips on cleaning cat hair out of a keyboard, I’d be much obliged.
*Unless a can opener is involved; then all bets are off.