Thursday, March 29, 2007

I'm a cat lover? What makes you think that?!

I had a conversation with my editor earlier this week that had us both laughing our heads off even though it wasn't meant to be funny.
It was about how others perceive us, and the factors that mold us into who we are -- comparative to the underlying backstory of fictional characters and why they behave the way they do on the page.

I was telling her how my mom once came for a visit and handed me a little care package. Inside, along with a bunch of fresh baking, I found a beautiful ceramic plaque that said Cat Lover.

Confused, I asked who it was for.

"You," she said.

I studied it, worried this slip of hers might be an early sign of Alzheimers.

"Mom, it's gorgeous," I said gently. "But I'm not really a big cat lover."

She crossed her arms. "You love cats."

"No, not really."

"Then why do you have four?"

I opened my mouth and then shut it again. She had me on that one. I did have four cats, and yet until she gave me that little plaque, I'd never considered myself a big 'cat lover'.

The first one was found at a landfill site inside a box of dead kittens someone had drowned. Somehow she'd survived. Her name is Brady and she's now twelve. Two years later, our Newfoundland dog brought home a kitten she'd found in the bush. The mother had been killed by a lynx, so we kept her and called her Java.

The next one was going to be put down in three days (the sign on his cage said so) and after walking past it half a dozen times, I finally caved and took him home, complaining the entire way. My boys named him Buzz (after Buzz Lightyear) and it took my husband almost three weeks to notice we'd gotten another one (keep in mind, he travels a lot).

Then there's the fourth cat, who has an interesting story.
My stepdaughter (I hate calling her this, but saying 'daughter' implies her mom doesn't exist and that's not right -- it's a dilemna I'll have to address in a separate post). Anyhow, my stepdaughter wanted to get a cat for her mom as a surprise, so I went with her to pick one out. We bought the cat, the cage, the food and then her mom broke the news to both of us that she didn't want a cat. Her name became Roo; she's currently asleep on top my manuscript.

Today, I'm down to two. Java had diabetes and had to be put to sleep and a few years after we got Buzz, he began adopting every bed in the house as his own personal litter box, so he went the same route.

So... am I a cat lover? I guess the evidence points that way, doesn't it? And yet, if you asked me, I'd probably say it's more of a 'heart issue' than anything else. Either that or I have no back bone. You decide.


kyla-dale said...

Very funny post!!!
AND I beat Wordman17...
I have one cat, loads for me :)
Kewl how WE view ourselves compared with how OTHERS see us, dontcha think?

Anonymous said...

Why don't you call
her your 'daughter?'

Would she mind?
To my way of thinking,
you should.

LadyBronco said...

You're a cat lover.

Your heart just hasn't convinced your brain yet. :0)

ORION said...

No one actually "loves" cats.
One serves them as the true ultimate beings and lavishes food and gifts upon them.
They are all-knowing and all-powerful.
They control my mind.
I have to go now and clean a litter box and open a can of tuna...

Wendy Roberts said...

I'd say the cats love YOU and, as Pat points out, that's as it should be LOL.

Melissa Marsh said...

I'm not a cat lover. That being said, I absolutely adore the cat that I have. She has wormed her way into my heart. Why? Well, to start out with, she was a great mouser when we had mouse problems in the house. And when I grudgingly admited my respect for her, she climbed up in my lap and snuggled with me. Even though I'm allergic to cats, she doesn't seem to bother me. Either that or I've just gotten used to her.

I'm a dog lover first. My dog always wants to be around me, always wants to be petted and loved. My cat could care less most of the time. ;-)

Holly Kennedy said...

Kyla -- I'm always amazed at how others view me; sometimes it leaves me completely stunned.
Outgoing? No way. Entertaining? Huh?

Anon -- I think I'll ask her what
she thinks.

Lady Bronco -- I believe you've
nailed it!

ORION -- Your cats are boat cats!! They live in Hawaii. You can't
compare em mine, who are high on mountain air.

Thanks for stopping by, Wendy.

Melissa - funny how cats seem to head straight toward whoever
hates them, huh?

wordman17 said...

I'm so late getting here.
Hat's off to Kyla for beating me.
I have one cat (Zorro)
He has three legs.
He's 14 years old.
Don't know what I'll do when
he bites it :(

Friend from PEG said...

I know you and I bet
anything you didn't complain
all the way home with "Buzz".
You're such a big suck.

I met him once. He was stretched out asleep on your kids time out bench in WPG and I watched you hand-feed him a few pieces of shrimp, worried that he seemed
a little "quiet" lately!!

Bernita said...

How can one walk by on the other side?

adrienne said...

You are a cat lover. But not of all cats. Merely the ones you own.

I am always mistaken for someone neat and tidy and organized. People often have heart attacks when they see the state of my room.

Ramona J said...

You're a big suck. lol
I know where I'm dropping
off my kid's rabbit when
he gets sick of it !!

Therese said...

This makes me think of my brother, who hated all small children except his own.

He's been a very good father.

So I'm with Adrienne on this!

When my boys were small, people used to tell me I was so great with them, so calm and patient, that I should have *ten* kids! While I knew the truth: that I was calm and patient *because* there were only two of them!

Anonymous said...

I have known u for yrs and
can attest to the fact that
you have a huge heart. *lol*
Boy could I share some
stories, but u'd kill me :!)

ChumleyK said...

My husband hates cats and never owned a dog in his life. Now he brings home strays more often than I do.

I think the only reason we don't have our own private zoo is because we won't be able to bring any more animals back to the States with us!

Mary said...

You just have a heart that more people should have. You made me laugh when you took the cat due for euthanization and complained all the way home :o)

Maybe you don't think you love'em but ya do.

cheatle said...

I am proud to be a cat lover. I never used to have much to do with cats. My two sisters used to have their own cats while I was still living at home. My husband is very good with cats and dogs. He talks to our cat in a really gentle voice and she thinks he is her mum. Since marrying to my husband I have grown to love cats. I love them so much that I have built a site dedicated to them