A sick-looking black cat sits alone in front of a shack-like house, curled into a smug little ball in the middle of the street. Cars stop abruptly to avoid hitting it. The cat never hesitates.
Use the blurb above to free write - write for five minutes without stopping. When you are done, look at what you've written. Read it over once or twice, and then start pulling pieces together to create the framework for a story. Who are the characters? What is the setting? What kind of themes are you seeing emerge?
I recommend doing a basic outline, even if you have no intention of writing this story (or creative essay, for that matter). Begin to visualize what shape the piece might take - you could certainly give it an argument and turn it into an essay with the cat as a symbol or visual to make your point. You could also begin a murder-mystery, an observation of the human condition, or a metaphor for something greater. In fact, I would be curious to see how you link this image to something else...(I am, as always, a great fan of metaphors!)
If you don't feel like completing this little exercise, then you must watch Steven Colbert's Meta-free-phor-all!