I got an email this week from an old friend whom I haven’t seen for twenty years. She wrote to say that she’d been in Washington, D.C., and there in the bookshop of the Museum of Natural History was My Cat Isis.
My beloved feline is really getting around. (She’s getting nice reviews, too, in Booklist and Canadian Children’s Book News.)
Closer to home, word has spread through my neighbourhood that this picture book is loosely based on my real cat named Isis (at right). She is the cattiest cat I know. It’s only by photographing her from above that I was able to get a shot of her with her eyes wide open. She usually stares with her eyelids half-lowered, appearing to be just barely tolerating those around her.
Fame has not gone to her head. She was always arrogant.
But it has done something weird to the other cats in the neighbourhood. Lately my yard is full of visiting felines, most often striking poses, as if auditioning for a book of their own.
Like when I went opened the shed to find the lawnmower the other day, this orange beauty kept barring my path.
I believe he was wearing a collar that read “Thor”. When I know for a fact his name is Indy. How obvious can you be?
And when I got home at lunch today, I found this grey tom on my porch. He looks awfully comfy here, doesn’t he? He has been hanging around the yard for weeks, his appearance strangely coinciding with the release of my picture book. (Okay, he just lives across the street but I think he’s trying to move in.)
And somebody horked up a hairball in the shape of I AM APOLLO on the welcome mat this afternoon. Coincidence? I think not.
Then there’s this shy black-and-white cat always lurking in my hedge. Judging by the freaky forcefield of protection he seems to have conjured in this photograph, I believe he is also claiming godly status.
And no, all these boy cats have not come a’courting. The real and fictional Isises are both spayed. These guys have other motives. Now, it could be that I have a huge unkempt yard full of huntable critters and shady hiding spots. Also the fact that I occasionally offer tunafish might have something to do with it.
But even my own cats are vying for attention these days.
Check out the pose on our youngest, Playdoh. I don’t know what god he’s going for here, but he’s clearly crying out, “Wowee, look at me! I am all-powerful and I’d make a great picture book, wouldn’t I?” Um, yeah, maybe if there’s a god known for awesome yoga poses.
There are a hundred million cats in North America. They can’t all have their own books. Besides, I’m working on a book about groundhogs at the moment. I don’t need anymore cat-inspiration.
Fortunately, I know just who to ask to go out there and crush the dreams of these feline auditioners and send them back where they came from.
I’ll be back soon to blog about the novels I have coming out this fall. They are entirely cat-free.
Hilarious post! The photos put a huge smile on my face and your commentary? Fantastic! I found your blog through Lizann Flatt and was truly inspired by your ideas on making time to write. Thanks so much!
Thanks, Cathy. That is so nice to hear. BTW, I checked out your blog and it has seriously lengthened my “to read” list. (I too judge a book by its cover and you’ve recommended some great covers.)