Critique group last night was full of great writing, as always. But I also love it when a topic comes up that gets everyone’s emotional commitment. That happened when Anne Pettis read 10-pages of her current work, a cozy mystery.
Anne has four or five books published and is a regular contributor on Thursday nights. Even beyond the page, Anne regales us with delightful stories of friends and family and the oddities of life. She’s written soft porn and emotionally charged mysteries, so I enjoyed last night’s snippet of a cozy story with a cat named Sylvia who can talk to her new owner.
The controversy arose with exactly what Sylvia was supposed to have said. “A cat wouldn’t just say something was out of date. A cat would say it’s so Studio 54,” said one critiquer. Another added, “cats would show more attitude here.” Anne talked about her 29-pound Siamese who beat up dogs as a hobby. Soon we were all engaged and laughing over the things a cat would say and do.
As I sat listening to the cat attitude comments and voices, I couldn’t help but smile. I do the same thing. I tell people my cat loves to “take her beauty bath under our kitchen faucet” and “Nalla likes to be handled a little roughly. Petting is likely to earn you a scratch.”
How do I know this? How do my writing friends know “what a cat would say?”
Truth is, we don’t. Still, with their purring and staring, graceful sauntering and stretching, these beautiful creatures steal all of our hearts — when they’re not driving us nuts with cat allergies.
Do you have a great cat story? I’d love to hear from you.