Thursday, November 13, 2008

help needed from cat-lovers!

Current work: Medical, chapter 2
Listening to: Eva Cassidy
Reading: Margaret McDonagh –Virgin Midwife, Playboy Doctor (excellent read – she really brings a special warmth to her characters)

Yesterday was a good day. The dehumidifier guy was in a good mood; had some nice books through the post (some unexpected – thanks to my mate Carol Twinch); and there were only four teensy corrections on my proofs.

Plan for today: visit Dad, then get on with the book. Especially as I’ve decided on the engagement ring. Might help if I get them meeting. (Am breaking lots of rules with this book. May be doing substantial rewrites later…)

Now, I need help. Bearing in mind that I’m somewhat wary of cats (those of you who know the reason can stop sniggering; the rest of you will just have to imagine the story), and I have no idea what it’s like to live with a cat, I have a slight problem. Thing is, my heroine has a cat. A female cat who’s nervous of men. (Or would a male cat be better? Hmm. I don’t want any spraying. I remember that from a friend’s rescue cat. This would not go down well with my immaculate heroine.)

I was thinking of borrowing my cousin’s British Blue, because she would fit the bill. But is a posh cat the right sort? DH’s childhood cat (a black one) was a real character, but he wouldn’t work in this scenario, because my heroine’s cat wouldn’t miaou outside her bedroom window at 3am in the rain, then tap a paw against the window until he was let in and then proceed to hog the pillow and dry himself off on her. My heroine’s cat would also not sit and beg for chocolate. (Yes, really. He’d miaou really loudly for Cadbury’s Flake. Actually, I think DH’s cat might have thought he was a dog, and I was getting used to him. But he died before I left uni, so I didn’t actually live with him.)

Or do I need a rescue cat?

Said cat is mature and will be aloof but accepting of the new puppy, who will be introduced to the household in a couple of months’ time when the hero and heroine finally get together. The pup – and the rest of the litter – is a joint invention between Margaret McDonagh and me, as we’re working on the same group of books. Mags has a fabulous name ready for hers; I’m still thinking about mine. (Interestingly, there were dogs in the book I proofed yesterday… But farmers need dogs. Hmm. Reindeer... No. Bad Kate.)

Anyway. I need a cat, with a name. All suggestions are very welcome (as are links to pics of examples of said cat). To say thank you, the winner will also get a mention in the ‘behind the book’ section on my website and a copy of my shiny new Greek doctor; I’ll also draw a name at random on Sunday evening (UK time).

23 comments:

Biddy said...

Personally you need a lovely blue Burmese. People friendly, only goes outside when he fancies it. Scolds you if you leave him alone too long. Loves to cuddle. Does have a habit of hogging the bed. Complete drama queen. Chases butterflies then doesn't know what to do with them. And when you're down and ill will curl up like a hot water bottle and purr you better.
His name was Dylan and lived till he was 21. And I still miss him.
http://www.cat-world.com.au/images/Sao.jpg
(this is not him but reminds me of him)

Nicolette said...

You need a Siamese. Very vocal, think they rule the roost and cannot understand why you don't jump to do things for them the moment they miaow. Very regal, perfect lap cats, purrs like an engine, friendly, accepting of dogs and real characters.

Mine was called Sophia.

Portia Da Costa said...

I vote for a rescue cat, mainly because all mine have been rescues or adoptions. And they're all cat mongrels too.

My cats probably dominate my life in a way that's a bit too much for your character though... LOL

liz fenwick said...

Mine is a rescue but a pedree Turkish Angora...very edgy to start - thought of calling him Kato as in the Pink Panther - now is friendly to all except any men to do with money be they bankers or company controlers - its a bit unnerving really.

There's a photo of him on the blog with new addition miss sooty

Jan Jones said...

You need a rescue cat. She's a tabby, did live with an old lady who sadly passed away. Was v frightened by the men who broke down the door to get in, then raced around with loud voices trying to catch her. Escaped outside and was chased by more loud people. Hence very, very wary of men but is starting to tolerate them at a distance. Very grateful to be back in a single-female domicile again. She's house trained. Will go in and out of cat-flap but not happy about the outside world. Gets worried now about being left alone for too long. Loves to sidle up and curl up on owner's lap, especially if the TV or radio is on. I expect if the hero is knackered one day and just nods off on the sofa listening to something nice, cat might creep onto his lap to signal acceptance. Her name is Lady.

Oh, and she used to belong to my mum. I'll send you a pic if I can find one.

I

Liz Fielding said...

My dd has two rescue cats. Nigel -- ginger -- and Bernard, who is black and white, long haired with a lot of Maine coon. They can't go out because they have feline aids (which is the case with a lot of rescue cats). They'll eat anything (both of them lived wild for a long time) and if Nigel is sitting where Bernard wants to be, Bernard will just sit on top of him until he moves.

I did once have a black cat that my dh still shudders over. He used to lurk on top of the curtains and hurl himself down at him. :)

Kate Hardy said...

Biddy - lovely story. Thanks for sharing.

Kate Hardy said...

Nicolette - LOL, I can imagine your cat, too!

Kate Hardy said...

Portia - yes, your cats definitely dominate your life. (I am tempted to nick Kuffer's name, though.)

Kate Hardy said...

Liz - thanks for sharing - and how amazing that Snowy can pick up someone's occupation :o)

Kate Hardy said...

Jan - lovely story - thanks for sharing. (One problem: my heroine is a doctor, so said cat will be alone most of the day. And one particular night - which isn't what it seems!)

Kate Hardy said...

Liz, I'm smiling at Bernard sitting on top of Nigel until he moves. I know a dog who does that. (Not to cats, to people.) And if you don't move, he stretches and pokes his paws into you.

I'm sure I remember your black cat appearing in a book - and leaping from the curtain rail onto your hero. It's going to bug me all day until I can recall which one. (Good excuse to go through my lovely Liz Fielding collection, though.)

Jan Jones said...

Oh, well, in that case the cat is perfectly happy to be alone, but is not averse to snoozing on a lap when the mood takes her. You're the writer - you can give your cats any personality you choose!

Liz Fielding said...

Oh, botherations! Now you've got me at it, Kate. It sort of rings a bell but even looking along my bookshelf I can't think which one it is.

Meanwhile, Jan is absolutely right. You can give your cat the most outrageous personality and it will still be topped by the real thing. My last two were Rocky and Toby and I still miss them both to bits.

Nicolette said...

Aww, such lovely stories. And thanks, Kate. Sophia was blind and she'd worked her way around the house and garden by trial and error, which had amusing consequences, if I'd moved the furniture for hoovering, etc. One time, she actually stalked an imaginary prey and you could almost see the puzzlement cross her face when she pounced and there was nothing there to catch. Bless her. She died of a brain haemorrhage a couple of years ago and I miss her like crazy. Might even convince DH to let me have another noisy Siamese!

Shirley said...

I'm with Portia in that you need rescue cats. (What a pity you can't rescue our, erm, rescue cats.) Ours tend to rule a little too strongly though. Call a dog and it comes; call a cat and it will take a message and get back to you...

Gina said...

A male rescue cat should be chosen. A good name would be garfield. After all ne needs lots of attention.

Kate Hardy said...

Jan - thank you :o)

Kate Hardy said...

Liz - it might have been one of Sophie Weston's (which I think was influenced by your black cat!). But I definitely remember this...

Kate Hardy said...

Shirley - LOL. I've also heard "dogs have owners, cats own you"...

Kate Hardy said...

Gina - thanks :o)

Diane said...

I've had 3 cats, all moggies, and all have had totally different characters, although all have been totally barmy (although my grandma used to say that was down to me rather than them as all 3 of my dogs have been completely barmy too). The only cat I wouldn't use is one of those hairless ones. If she's houseproud, she might not like one that sheds, but not all long-haired cats shed and some shed all year long (my Tinker does). And in my experience, only "entire" toms spray.

Joe was "rescued" from a farmer's shotgun, as were all of his brothers and sisters because I took so long deciding which one I wanted. Tinker came from the Cats Protection League - she'd been abandoned when her owners moved house. Holly was a Christmas surprise, brought to me by a neighbour's son because she wanted to be an outdoor cat and they lived in a busy town.

Your houseproud heroine may not want a catflap unless she has radio or magnet things on its collar, as she will get unwanted tom cats and expended wildlife.

Some cats think they are dogs, they chase balls, growl, beg and everything. Some cats are loners (Tinker would be more than happy by herself), some hate dogs, some cuddle cats/dogs/rabbits, and some often bring friends home - Joe had lots of friends and they all used to play in our garden. Some like to be outside hunting at night, others like to be snuggled down in bed with you - whether they're allowed or not.

Honestly, Kate, it's a personality thing and not really so cut and dried. I think any scenario you create will be believable.

Avi J said...

A rescue cat gets my vote, prince or princess should be the name depending on if it is male or female