I have a love for cats. I always have.
When I was growing up, my family only had two cats as household pets. We had a cat named Tigger when I was a baby, so I don’t remember him much. The other cat we had was a rough and tumble gray burly thing my mother named Boo-Boo Kitty. He was a kitten when we got him and lived to be almost eleven before he died. He was an indoor-outdoor cat and got into many, many scrapes, so it’s a wonder he lived as long as he did.
When I married my husband in 2007, the first thing we did together was get a kitten. I had always wanted pets of my own and the husband agreed with me. The hubby named him for his favorite fictional pirate. So Captain Hector Barbossa came to live with us just a day after I moved in. We nick-named him Bubs. He quickly became my baby, loving on me every chance he got.
A year later, we added a sassy two-year-old rescue to our brood. She had been abused by previous owners and took a very long time to warm up to us, but when she warmed up to us, she became my husband’s cat. We named her Princess Twixx Buttercup (Twix was her name – Husband changed the spelling of her “first” name and we added the rest in honor of the female protagonist in my favorite movie), nicknamed MamaCat. She ruled the roost, being bigger than Bubs and continues to be a sassy cat.
For eleven years, they were our babies. Since the dear hubby and I have had no children of our own, they were spoiled. They were loved. And of course, i took tons of photos of the cats that claimed us.
Sadly, Barbossa contracted bladder cancer in 2019 at the age of 12 and had to cross the rainbow bridge in November 2019. It was a tough time for all of us, especially for MamaCat, who was not used to being alone.
We had to look for another feline to add to the household, even though we were still hurting from Bub’s loss, since MamaCat refused to eat and brooded. We hated leaving her home by herself, playing music so she wouldn’t get lonely.
Friends had found a kitten and could not keep him. So just a week after Bubs left us, we got a little black five-month-old furball. We named him Inigo Montoya, again after a character in my favorite movie. Go or Buddy Boy, as we call him, seemed to take instantly to living in our crazy world and made MamaCat perk right up. He also grew…. Once he was just a tiny 10 pounder. Now he tips the scales at 19 pounds of part lovebug Bombay.
Both Go and Twixx continue to allow us humans to enjoy life with them. They were our companions in our recent isolation from the world when we were sick with COVID-19. They continue to be our companions. Twixx is now our old girl, since she is nearly 16 years old. Go is our chonk, being only 3. I can’t imagine life without the crazies that own me.
Why am I mentioning all of this on my author blog? Because, just like I write characters based on some of the people in my life, weaving together qualities I either like or dislike about people, I also put my cats into my stories.
Twixx was written into Last of His Kind as the animal form of the wizard Sophia Brooks, who helps Templeton find his way.
“Upon spotting us, the cat jumped up onto a fallen log and washed its paw. It stopped as soon as it was sure we were watching it. Deep green eyes stared out at me from a grey face framed with white. The cat had wrapped its tail primly about its dainty feet, but the very tip of the tail twitched as if the cat were anticipating something. It stared at me long and hard for several moments before turning to stare at some fixed point deep in the fog. It made a graceful leap to the ground and stepped into the fog.”Excerpt from Last of His Kind by K.S. Wood
Inigo is also written as a character that shows up in a few of my works. He became the animal form of the wizard Jairus, known as Dub, who appears first in Portal Seeker and then in a number of the novellas I am working on.
“As I did so, I noticed a rather large black cat that sat just on the edge of the trees, licking its paws. I watched as it groomed its head, its large yellow eyes never losing sight of me while it licked one paw and wiped its ear and head multiple times, then the other.”Excerpt from Portal Seeker by K. S. Wood
Barbossa is also written into one of my novellas, one I have yet to publish. He is the only one of my cats so far who is NOT a human who can shapeshift, but rather a large fluffy cat by the name of Skogg, the feline companion of a character named Sigsten. Since the novella in which he appears is in the editing stages, I have nothing to excerpt yet. But he is honored nevertheless.
There is a saying that goes, write what you know…. so naturally, since I have spent the last fifteen years with cats, they creep up into my stories.
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And as always, #writeyourownstory