by Jeanne Adams
Okay, you asked for it, you got it...I gave air time to the dog lovers last week. All day it was Diver this and Remy that and oh-let-me-tell-you-about-my-dog.
So its your turn now, Cat Lovers! I've already confessed myself to be a Both-er, that is delighted with both Cats and Dogs, however many are not. They are Cat People. None of this silly barking, woofing, slavishly devoted dog stuff. Give them the independence, the self-sufficiency of cats any day and they will be happy.
You have furry, lifelike mice lurking in corner of the house where mice ought not to be.
You have paper bags laced with suspicious substances, lying in wait for your unsuspecting feline while you sit, glass of wine in hand, ready for the show.
You will set aside the paper, the knitting, the book, the homework just to pet the cat.
You're one of The Cat People, aren't you?
I thought so.
Cat People are usually much like their pets. Independent. Warm and friendly on THEIR terms, not yours. You have to admire cats for that. There's none of this fawning obsequiousness that dogs sometimes show. They are their own creatures first, your companion second. If only we humans could learn some of that. I mean, really. Wouldn't it be better if we took more time to decide what WE want, and do that? All the success books say so. Before haring off trying to please everyone else only to find out that there are too many of Them to please and there's no way to please Them even if you work forever, we should be Cats. Self sufficient. Warm and friendly on OUR terms.
Yep. Sounds about right. Easy to say, hard to do. Cat-like.
Aunty Cindy was talking about it yesterday. Contrary to popular belief, we writers focus a lot of energy on what other people think. Something we have absolutely no control over. Instead of writing our own stories, making them so deliciously creative, and independently brilliant, we try to play to the market. Even as the editors - fickle creatures, those! - say "Give us something different!" we try to do it the Evanovich way. Or the Roberts way.
Do you think Cats do that? Heck no. They are strictly love-me-or-get-out kinds of creatures.
For some reason, Cats have become quite well known as companions for writers. Maybe its the nature of our profession. I'd like to make it high-flown and erudite and say that writers are the independent voice in the collective mind. We're the voice of dissent. The spotlight on society.
Mostly its that we spend a lot of time in solitary, talking to imaginary people.
Cats understand this. They accept it.
In fact, they embrace it. Isn't it interesting that when writers or Hollywood want to portray an independent - or nefarious! - woman, they give her a cat? *humming We are Siamese if you Pleee-eese*
Heck, Cats get the whole thing. Tinseltown and writers have nothing on Cats. We just make up stories. They see the unseen. They spend a lot of time looking at, pouncing on, and interacting with things we just cannot see. My black cat, Dubh, use to do this. She'd wake from a deep sleep and without even stretching first would go tearing down the hall after some unknown intruder.
*Whispers* They see Ghosts.
Yep. You betcha. I blame the Ghosts. It would wig me out to suddenly have Dubh go from zero-to-sixty, growling, only to saunter back in a few minutes later to resume her nap on my bed. Weird.
(Then there's the whole "companion of witches" thing - okay, we won't go there)
Ahem...my point...what was my point? Oh, yes. As storytellers, we "get" the strange and unusual and pretty much accept it. Cats like that. In fact, Cats like us just as much as we like them if we're willing to let them do their own thing, pet them when they demand it, and tolerate the litterbox. Same could be said for writers. Let us WRITE, darn it, when we need to write, and worry about all that laundry stuff later. Grins. So you think the cat worries about the laundry? No. She'll appreciate the clothes warm from the dryer - great place to nap - but she won't fold 'em.
Cats are absolutely perfect foils for certain characters in books too. Take Lillian Jackson Braun's pesky Siameses. For nearly 30 books, those two cats have bedeviled thier curmudgeonly writer-owner Quill into solving mysteries. There are Cat Anthologies. There are mystical cats, and there are Cat Societies.
Cats have had their own following since Egypt was young and have never forgotten it.
So it's time for you, dear Cat People, to tell your tail...er...tale.
What's your favorite book featuring a feline? Favorite Movie?
Are you strictly a Cat Person, or a Both-er? (Both Cats and Dogs)
Do you love a swirly, patchwork kitty, or a high-faluting pure-bred feline? Or both?
Ever been to a cat show?
Let the games begin....