Cat on Tarpaulin Picture Writing Prompts

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but it is up to the author to write those thousand words. (Richard Petracca)

What do you see when you look at a picture of a cat? Do you just see a pretty cat or do you see more? What can you read into this picture? When you look at any picture, do you only see what is right in front of your eyes? Or do you see more? Maybe you can see romance. Or maybe you are someone who reads mystery and intrigue into everything you see.

I’m going to share a picture with you in this article. You need to study it, ask “what if” questions and come up with stories that could be written based on the photograph. Allow your imagination to take flight and explore all possibilities.

picture by Lisa Binion

picture by Lisa Binion


First, let’s look at the picture. Shown is a pretty gray cat with dark gray stripes running through his fur. He also has a big patch of white fur that starts around his mouth and goes underneath his chin and flows down to his neck. He is relaxing on a blue tarpaulin. This is Tigger, but you can name him whatever you want.

What if the blue tarpaulin isn’t really a tarpaulin? What if he rules over an entire kingdom of cats and this is his throne? What if he has just returned victorious from a war over the kingdom of rats? Had the diabolical king of the rats been trying to take over Tigger’s kingdom? What if the king of the rats wanted to turn all of the cats into slaves for his people?

What if Tigger can speak? What if he is a wise old philosopher that people travel from all over the world to see and hear his words of wisdom?

What if Tigger is worth millions because he is the only cat in the entire world who can speak? How would his owners protect him? What if they hired guards to watch over him? But what if his fame has reached even into outer space? What if there are aliens who long to get hold of him for study? What if the human guards aren’t enough to protect him? What if the aliens succeed in kidnapping him and he meets a female cat in space that he falls in love with? And she falls in love with him. What if he never returns to earth? What if he escapes and returns to earth, but brings this female with him?

What other possibilities can you come up with for this cat? Could you use this picture as a basis for a children’s story? Or maybe you could use it as the basis for a dark fantasy or horror story.

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