Saturday, November 30, 2013

My Favorite Things -- Cats

Hi folks, last day of November and I am wrapping up my favorite things posts.  This week I'm keeping. I'm speaking at the upcoming Montgomery County Book Festival on February 15, 2014 and an interview question sparked this post. Do I have a pet and do they help me write?

I'm going to put a longer answer here. I have two cats: Mr. Tibbs and Mr. Oreo. I call them the Kings of the Earth.  Both have rags-to-riches stories. They were rescue from horrible circumstances -- one from underneath an abandoned shed and the other from certain death at a shelter. Yes, they are a little damaged because of their journeys. Mr. Tibbs is sort of crazy about killing stuff (starvation at some point in your life does that to you.) Mr. Oreo has to be reminded regularly that he's safe and everybody loves him. That's OK, I'm a little damaged from my journey too. It's nice to have companions who get that.

Cat are fab for the lonely business of writing. I spend tons of time in front of a computer, and it's comforting to have a purring cat in my lap or one bumping its nose against my computer screen.
Mr. Tibbs is the most squishable cat that has ever lived and is fine to hug when the draft is so tangled that I've begun to lose hope. I also like Mr. Oreo for the times when I've got to make a story decision that's freaking me out. He purrs like a motorboat and feels like a hunk of meat. There is something of the ridiculous in him but also solid and comforting. I hug him and put that into my story, and it always works out right.

Who doesn't need help like that? 

Cats are independent souls and the speak to the independence in my soul.  I also like that they love to nap because I am also a big fan of the nap.

Here are is a favorite cat cartoon sites:  Simon's Cat. Enjoy!

I have some favorite cat books.  For the picture books set, I love: Koko's Kitten, Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, SkippyJon Jones, Bad Kitty, and Hondo and Fabian. For middle graders, I love the Cat Who Went To Heaven by Elizabeth CoatsworthTime Cat by Lloyd Alexander and The Underneath by Kathi Appelt.  I've written two unpublished middle grade novels, TORNADO ALLIE, with a pretty awesome bestie cat called Jacksboro, and another WIP book, THE BIG THICKET, with a mysterious cat named El Gato. I hope these books reach kids everywhere someday.

I will see you next month with some inspiration!  Keep creating master works!

Pics instead of doodles this week!

Here I am with Mr. Tibbs. He likes to snuggle while I'm hard at work.

Mr. Oreo is more of a cat TVguy.  He's always staring out the window. Very good writing advice BTW.

Here is a quote for your pocket:

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. Robert A. Heinlein.


Suzanne Furness said...

I love cats too, they each have their own characters.

Molly/Cece said...

So true. It's amazing how original each personality is.

Gail Martini-Peterson said...

I'm also about to put a cat in my novel. Every novel needs one.

When I was teaching middle school, I'd tell my students that I was a cat in another life so that explained some of the things I did. They'd be delighted to point out characteristics they saw that I had in common with a cat. They even gave me cat things like coffee cups with a cat on them or a mobile I still have in my kitchen of cats.

Cats are important to me.

Vijaya said...

I love that cuddly picture. You both look so happy and content. Right now my old cat is keeping me company, and I've made typing mistakes already. I think every book needs a cat, but my historical has a parrot in it :) Thanks to Peggy.

Love the Heinlein quote!

Molly/Cece said...

Hi Gail, cats are great especially if you want your character to reveal some interior thoughts. Chatting with your cat is a good way to do that. That mobile sounds awesome. I love that you were a middle school teacher. You get extra shiny gold stars for that.

Hi Vijaya, I've been a dog person and cat person and even a parrot person at different times in my life. I'm not sure every story needs a cat, but most could use a pet. My na/teen series is skewing toward unusual pets.

Mirka Breen said...

I'm your sister in this, too. Cats are magical, beautiful, brilliant and self-cleaning. I look forward to getting up every morning because I know they'll greet me, and my heart will sing.

Leandra Wallace said...

I love how Mr. Tibbs is on his back with his paws in the air. He obviously knows how to relax!

Molly/Cece said...

Hi, Mirka, I so agree about cats. They certainly bring joy into my life.

Hi, Leandra, Mr. Tibbs cracks me up the way he flops on his back and likes to hang out.

Unknown said...

Love the pics, especially the one with you snuggling. I only wish I could snuggle with mine, but sigh, I'm allergic. They live outdoors, mostly lounging on my wrap around porches. But I do love to spend time outside, as they wind around my legs, brushing me with their soft coats. I pet them with my feet, and somehow they know I love them. My Thorn was supposed to be called Rose, but she was a devil of a kitten, so I changed her name. She only tolerates me, but the key word tolerates tells of our unique relationship. EJ, on the other hand, is affectionate. Too affectionate. He's one I have to keep down, away from my face. If he had his way, he'd stretch across my shoulders like a scarf. But he does enjoy my foot rubs. :)

See you in a few days, my friend.

Molly/Cece said...

Hi Candi! I know it is a pain to be allergic to something so obviously cuddly. All my allergies have to do with plants. I'm not sure what that means. I think that character called Thorn but really named Rose or visa versa would be interesting. I am now thinking about this.

Looking forward to the get together. :)

Shell Flower said...

Cats are the best. I agree that they are the finest of writing partners. Good job rescuing yours, too. Sad how many kitties are in bad situations.

Molly/Cece said...

Hi, Shell, I think I get more out of the rescue than they do. :)