I love Quora and the peculiar, funny questions I find there. Recently, I was asked–If your cat could read, what kind of novels (crime, romance, fantasy, etc.) would he/she be into?
I actually gave it some thought and this was my reply:
Chiisei – anything having to do with bondage. She’s a 25lb Ragdoll who sits on the others so she can bathe them.
Fred – Dr. Seuss. He’s the youngest and not the sharpest, but he’s a sweet baby. He’s cross-eyed, so I’d have to read to him.
Elliot – He’s 19, the oldest. He’d like to read something racy to get the old heart going. He used to be quite the alpha cat, but he’s mellowed now.
Cookie – Field & Stream (she loves them little mousies)
PeiWei – He’s 16, the second oldest, and would like any children’s books that has a cat hero, to remind him of his glory days.
It was fun. I rarely answer whimsical questions. Most of my replies are about cat behavior and family issues, but since the books I write always have cats in them, and I assign human characteristics to those cats (talking, being friends and companions, and heroics), I thought I would see if I could do the same for my cats.
I’ve been asked why I write cats into my books, often with a major role. Why can’t the feline companion/friend simply be another human? Where, I replied, would be the fun in that? Think of this way–if your characters are acting as characters are wont to do, led or even driven by the personalities I assign to them, how do you, the reader, act when my protagonist’s human friend (let’s call her Chloe) propels the storyline forward by suddenly jumping on a table and grabbing another character’s hat in her teeth. Chloe yanks the hat off, thus revealing that he is, in fact, a she. Wouldn’t the element of surprise at discovering this talented and mysterious swordsman was, in fact, a woman, be lost on you because Chloe was a human, and she’d just done a spectacularly weird thing no human would do? I know things would happen differently were Chloe human, but that’s not the point. Who better than a cat to use a tense moment to reveal something so monumental?
So, the cats are staying, at least in my books! And while trying to avoid Fred, who is on my desk and stomping on my keyboard, thus forcing me to go back and make many corrections, I will end this, short as it is and get back to editing Summerbird’s Quest, which is book 2 in the series, “An Act of Entreaty.” Editing is painfully slow, not helped by Fred, who wants to play.