Every writer needs a muse. And this is my muse. Or is my cat a familiar?
Today, I’m talking about the difference between a familiar and a muse, but mostly, it’s an excuse to finish up a little project that’s been underway in the Word Crone Cottage: The installation of a cat door that will prevent my having to get up every half-hour or so to open the door for Scout.
Author, Joanna Bourne says, “a familiar is a muse with teeth.”
Oxford Languages describes a familiar as “a demon supposedly attending and obeying a witch, often said to assume the form of an animal; a close friend or associate.”
Okay, I can embrace the notion of Scout being my close friend and associate, but attending and obeying? I think, by that definition, that makes me HER familiar. Either way, she does keep me company… on occasion.
By equal turn, Oxford tells me a muse is “one of the nine daughters of Zeus… who preside over the arts and sciences; a person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.”
Yes, I think, in this case, a muse is the better description. She is definitely a force, a source of inspiration.
So she splits her day between her true confidant, my adult son and in-house animal whisperer, sleeping on her 6ft. cat tower that sits in front of the window with the nicest view, (obstructing the aforementioned mountain view from us lesser beings) and lastly, occasionally blessing me with her company across the yard in my office. So would I call her my writing muse? Hmm. That would depend.
Can I claim a muse as a tax deduction?