So, I’m just coming from the FF&P Yahoo! group where a discussion about cats and litter boxes made me think of how I use my pets in writing.
In my finished MS, I have Briggs (an English bulldog with a flatulence problem). Do I have a dog with a problem breaking wind? Um, yes. Mia, my miniature Schnauzer, likes to sit in my lap and let loose. It’s disgusting. Probably the worst part is when she does it and manages to look so innocent while I’m gasping for fresh air. Mia is…needy. She allows me to baby her shamefully. She frequently throws her head on my chest and looks up at me like I’m the only thing keeping her alive. I know she’s manipulating me, but it’s cute! I always made fun of people who talked to their pets like they were people and I became one. She does understand what I’m saying though! Honest. Is she my only inspiration? Not at all.
I’ve always had animals. My very first pet was a stray cat I found and named Daphne (I was a big Scooby-Doo fan at the time). Since then, I’ve had several cats. The two most memorable were Charlotte and Ty. Charlotte was part of a litter my cat, Sasha had. Charlotte was the most awesome, loving cat you could ever meet. She loved everyone so much that when you pet her, she’d drool all over you. She’d press her nose and mouth into the crook of your arm or against your neck and purr and drool and drool and purr. People were like catnip for her. It was awesome in a gross way. After the loving Charlotte, I got Ty.
*big sigh* I picked Ty out. She was such a little fighter as a kitten! Just adorable. I got her when I was in college and I distinctly remember her crawling up my body to sit on my shoulder and nibble on my earlobe while I studied for my Shakespeare class. Then, something happened. My lovable, sweet kitty became the Devil’s Kitten. 11 years later, and she’s got my entire family cowed. She’s generally considered ‘evil’, ‘mean’, ‘bad’, ‘snobbish’, etc. She has more attitude than a classroom full of teenagers and she expects everyone to respect her authority! I love that damn cat. She allowed me to keep Mia. But it wasn’t pretty at first.
Will I have a story that highlights a cat who thinks she’s royalty and humans are merely a wait staff? Yup. I’m sure of it. I frequently wonder what she’s thinking (while at the same time I’m glad I don’t know) and that leads me to decide that a book featuring a cat like my Ty is necessary.