Cats are beloved by T S Eliot and Andrew Lloyd Webber amongst other creative people.

I have always had cats in my life. They have helped me enormously in creative thinking. I think they also helped T S Eliot. Here are his thoughts on the naming of cats.

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,

It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James, Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey--
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter--
But all of them sensible everyday names.

But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,

Learning from cats and creativity

T S Eliot is right. Cats are particular and need a particular name. I have four cats Ulysses, Paloma, Jemima and Bumper. However, I have had the fortune to have many wild cats who visited the olive grove and everyone needed a name.. There were maybe 20 – including Atilla, Charcoal, Whitey and Lady.

What have I learnt from them about creativity?

·         Creativity needs space and more space.


·         Cats are loving and creativity is love.

·         Cats are patient and curious – they have a tenacity to explore. Creativity needs an open exploring mind.

·         Cats don’t accept rules – they live their own lives and live in the present. Creativity needs presence.

·         Cats pat you with their paws with nails withdrawn – creativity needs kindness.

·         Cats can put their claws out when necessary – creativity needs tension and a flexibility of response to what is now.