Whether scribbling notes by hand, pecking at a typewriter or hitting the keyboard of a laptop, life as a writer can be a lonely existence.
Therefore, it is not a surprise to know that many of the great literary minds over the decades have relied on a cat to keep them company.
This close bond between authors, poets and their feline friends is celebrated in a new illustrated book, Writers and their Cats.
The poignant portraits capture 45 of the most prolific writers of the 20th and 21st centuries with their beloved pets.
American author Judy Blume, 80, is photographed in 1978 cradling a neighbor cat after she escapes, while Marlon James, 47, winner of the Man Booker prize, was kidnapped in New York with Tom the cat before his death in 2017.
Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn even credits her cat Roy for the success of her title.
Here, FEMAIL shares a selection of images from the book and shares the stories behind them …
Gloria Steinem hugs her cat, Crazy Alice, in her apartment in New York in March 1970. The writer said of her pet: "She grew up to become a mysterious and stubborn companion."
Journalist and activist Gloria Steinem, 84, has been the proud owner of several cats over the years.
His favorite was his late gray Persian, Magritte. Steinem said: She became the cat of my life … Magritte was my teacher when it comes to strong will and self-authority.
"When a large number of women sat in a circle for a meeting, she sat on the arm of a large chair for hours and became a vigilant participant, even people who did not like cats were knocked out by Magritte.
Ernest Hemingway holds his cat Christopher Columbus in one hand while using the other to write sitting at his desk at Finca Vigia, near San Francisco de Paula, Cuba, around 1954. The writer was so fond of cats that he had dozens in one time and allowed them to sleep in a spare room
Hemingway, who died at the age of 61 in 1961, was a recognized lover of cats, keeping dozens at any time.
"One cat simply leads another," he wrote to his first wife, Hadley Mowrer, in 1943. "The place is so damn big that there really do not seem to be many cats until you see them move like a massive migration at the time. to eat".
Hemingway's cats were always treated with the best and even had their own guest room in the Cuban writer's house. Most of his moggies, or as he liked to call them, "purring factories" and "sponges of love," had free access to the tropical abode.
Raymond Chandler, photographed in 1948 with his black Persian cat Taki. He referred to the pet, who lived with the family for 20 years, as his "secretary" because he sat with him while writing
Born in Chicago in 1888, Raymond Chandler became a fiction novelist and later a screenwriter after losing his job as an oil company executive during the Great Depression.
He described his cat Taki, who lived with the family for 20 years, as his "secretary" in a 1945 letter to literary critic James Sandoe.
He wrote: "I call her that because she has been close to me since I started writing, usually sitting on the paper I wanted to use or the copy I wanted to review, sometimes jumping against the typewriter and sometimes just staring. from the window from one corner of the desk, as well as saying, "What you're doing is a waste of time, buddy."
American author Judy Blume hugs a neighbor's cat in an informal shot in 1978. Blume's own cat, Chanel, one of the many she owns, had escaped at that time.
American author Judy Blume, 80, has had animals since childhood, including several cats.
The writer, best known for her novels for young adults, pays homage to this special bond by writing pets in several of her novels.
Recalling a particular favorite on his website, he wrote: "We had a wonderful Calico cat that lived until he was sixteen."
Jamaican-born writer Marlon James, whose 2015 novel A Brief History of Seven Murders won the Man Booker Award, with Tom the Cat at Jumel Terrace Books, in Harlem, New York. James told how he formed a relationship with Tom and returned to the city to see him before he died
Jamaican-born writer Marlon James, whose 2015 novel A Brief History of the Seven Murders won the Man Booker award, helped take care of his friend's pet, Tom the Cat.
Tom belonged to the friends of James Kurt and Camilla Thometz, who owned a bookstore in Washington Heights, New York.
The author said: "Kurt also had a bookstore, so you could say [Tom] He was one of the legendary cats of the New York bookshop … I think he got used to me, as he would throw himself in bed and shoot a photoelectric pump. "
James was able to return to visit his friend Tom shortly before his death in 2017.
Helen Gurley Brown
Helen Gurley Brown, former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, with one of her chocolate-flavored Siamese cats, Samantha and Gregory, in her apartment in New York in 1965
Helen Gurley Brown, the long-time editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, was so fascinated with cats that she even adopted & # 39; Pussycat & # 39; as his favorite term of affection for his friends and loved ones.
During Brown's tenure in the 1970s, the mascot and the Cosmopolitan logo was a cartoon pink cat named Lovey wearing a large red bow.
Brown even signed his name with a cat on occasion.
Gillian Flynn, 47, author of Gone Girl and Sharp Objects, is photographed at home with her beloved cat, Roy. The best selling writer revealed that the faithful black cat greets her when she gets home, and even "helped" her to write her last two books and recent scripts.
Creator of Gone Girl and Sharp Objects, there is little doubt that Gillian Flynn, 47, is one of the best-known authors of modern times.
And he attributes at least part of his success to his cat, Roy.
She said: "Roy has" helped "me with my last two books and all my scripts, he prefers to sit on the keyboard, so he can write things like GY * T ^ & $$ ^ R ^ & h && G !!! Now that I work at a desk, he sits next to me, watching.
She added: "I have been a great believer that black cats are the best: affectionate, relaxed and sweet."
Writers and their cats by Alison Nastasi (Chronicle Books, £ 12.99).