As part of the Writing With Inner Child day I attended last weekend we were asked to bring with us a personal childhood object. I couldn’t decide between three such objects. In the end I took all three. As it turned out the one that became a source of writing inspiration was The Observer’s Book of Wild Animals, pictured below, with the wee vole on the cover. I received this book in my final year of primary school as a ‘Year Prize’. I think that means I’d done well in exams. From memory I was asked which book I’d like and I chose one about animals because I was mad about animals.

All animals. Whatever shape colour or creed.

My choice of book says to me that I was wanting to get more serious about this animal business. At 11 years old I’d devoured the James Herriot books and I rather fancied myself as being a female vet (there weren’t many of those back in the day) zooming around The Yorkshire Dales, saving animal lives, being the heroine of the piece. Life, it turned out, had a different plan, but that’s another story.

Back to this one.

In one of our writing sessions, inner child firmly in tow, I began flicking through the book and looking at the pictures and the descriptions of the animals. A thought crossed my mind.

“If I was an animal which animal would I be?”

I sat with it awhile. Not for long mind. It didn’t take long. Just long enough to feel like I’d considered some options. Given a few other of our furry friends a look-in. But it was pretty obvious which animal I’d be, and those of you who know me have probably already guessed.

I’d be a cat.

A cat of many forms. At times a great lioness, roaring majestically, waving a mane of glory around her head. On occasion a sleek graceful panther, gliding across the planes at great speed, carrying the precision of a deadly hunter. And then on a Sunday afternoon, a playful kitten, parading around, wanting fun, creating mischief, curious about everything, in love with life.

You see, for me, cats are amazingly versatile and wonderful creatures. Mysterious. Magical. Powerful. Worshipped. Graceful. Swift. Playful. Deadly. Loving. Independent. Intuitive. Of the dark and the light. Domestic and wild.

Yes if I was an animal I would be a cat.

What about you? If you were an animal which animal would you be?