Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Crazy Cats Anyone? by Jeannie Watt

Have you ever wondered about the blog writing process? Generally I don’t have a problem coming up with a topic, but what follows is a desperate discussion I had with myself late yesterday afternoon, when I was working on revisions and suddenly realized that tomorrow was my blog day:

Oh my gosh. I’m drawing a total blog blank. Why did I offer to do this? I can’t think of anything. I’m…blank. Blank, blank, blank.

People are depending on you, Jeannie. You have to think of something.

All right. Just give me a minute.

Maybe—

Shush. I’m thinking.

Fine!

Maybe I could write about the time I drove for two miles with the cat on top of my car. The heart-stopping moment when his little kitty face appeared in front of me as he slid down the windshield as I crested the overpass. The rapier-like reflexes I employed to steer the car to the edge of the overpass so that he slid gently to the ground in front of the vehicle without being hurt.

That’s good for a paragraph.

Maybe I could stretch it with a lot of adjectives…or perhaps it could be a theme. Crazy cat experiences. Surely everyone has had a crazy cat experience or two.

Um…

Remember the time that the wild cat jumped off the haystack and somehow managed to sail through the loop in the hay rope on his way to the ground and hung up?
How he swung there from his middle like a flailing, angry wild cat on a rope? I had to attempt to cut him free with the only knife in the truck—a butter knife—while he tried to slash my face? And he was not the least bit grateful once I freed him.

Okay—there’s two paragraphs.

That’s practically a blog. All I need is one more crazy cat experience. Let’s see…let's see...
Why aren’t more of my cats crazy? There has got to be another story…

Maybe another topic? The joys of teaching junior high? Your dogged, yet futile attempts to lose the RWA conference weight? The reasons one should never name a hero Rex?

How are any of those going to engage readers? It’s crazy cats, I tell you, or nothing.

Nothing is sounding better and better…


So…have you had any crazy cat experiences? Or times when you really had to prepare something and it simply wasn’t coming together?

If you’d like to share, or simply say hello, I’m offering a Kindle download of any SuperRomance. Remember that you can read Kindle downloads on a PC without actually having a Kindle.

42 comments:

Jo's Daughter said...

I once had the upstairs window open, it was summer and really hot. So I go into the yard, don't remember why... maybe throwing some trash in the bin.

Anyway I look up a bit and my cat is sitting in the window looking out at the world. I wave and say hi, I always do. Before I know it I'm screaming. I can't believe my eyes and feel nothing but fear!! As my cat steps/falls out of the window and drops down in free fall at enormous speed...

First I freeze, then I try to catch him but I was too slow and he already landed. He looked pretty dazed and I had a headache, felt really sick. Rushed to the vet, thankfully he was fine. (My cat, not the vet) No broken bones or anything. But it was a crazy day for sure! Watching my cat fly. Hope to never see that again.

Ellen Hartman said...

Hmm. I don't have any crazy cat stories, but yours are very entertaining. I'm glad you had this blog crisis because it gave me a morning laugh. :-)

As for things not coming together, I'm signed up to blog on Thursday...any ideas? Hee.

Actually, your blog is a great example of writing through a crisis of inspiration. I should remember this the next time I'm feeling stuck.

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi Jo's Daughter--Your post almost gave me heart failure. I'm so glad the cat was all right. Cats are resilent, aren't they?

Jeannie Watt said...

Hey Ellen--I think you should write about a rather adorable new member of you family. At least post of photo of Rosie. It's funny how blog topics sound so easy far away from the deadline. I'm always so certain I'll think of something...and usually I do. Except this time. Good luck with your Thursday topic. I'll be front and center to check it out.

EllenToo said...

Although I am not a cat lover (sorry) I don't like seeing them hurt but I think there is a cat or two in my neighborhood that has a desire to see how many people he/she can scare to death. It seems he/she waits for a car to come down the street and then he/she darts across the street. Then there's the cat that taunts the dogs in the neighborhood from a tree limb who once got too bold and fell from said limb right in front of the dog...fortunately for the cat she/he was faster than the dog and got back up the tree before the dog got revenge. And then there's the cat that crawled up into the engine compartment of a car and was still there when the owner started the car. Luckily for the cat only his/her tail suffered damage.

Jeannie Watt said...

Ellen--You come from a neighborhood of kamikaze cats! Yowza! And no need to apologize for not liking cats. One of my friends has a ferret and it just plain bothers me. Something about all those teeth...I don't know. I've never fessed up to ferret issues with my friend, but once it had me trapped in a corner in the kitchen. I was wearing shorts and just knew it was going to weasle up my leg and bite me if I moved. All in my head? Maybe, but I went with my gut until I was rescued.

msullivan said...

Jeannie, you have a great sense of humor! I love your cat stories. Mine are soooo tame in comparison.

When my daughter was small, I had a friend and her children over to visit. My cat, Shiny, started to play with reflections on the wall from our watch faces flashing in the sunlight coming through the windows. She jumped straight at the wall and fell head down behind the sofa--must have been only three or fours inches between it and the wall--with just her bum and back legs sticking up--and got stuck. The children laughed at her flailing feet until I rescued her. Ever after that, the children called any reflections on the wall a 'Shiny.'

Kathleen O said...

I onced lived across the hall in from a friend who had two cats and I swear that one of them was possesed. And didn't like me and and I didn't like it either and he knew this. My friend would open her door and let the cats wonder the hallway for some exsersie or change of scenery or somthing like this. This particular cat would sit in my doorway and onetime when I opened my apartment door, the thing scrambled into my place. Now it is not that I dislike all cats, just this particular one. Because when it would see me in my friends apartment, it would stare at me from accross the room and then take a flying leap at me.. Freaked me out. See I told you this cat was possesed..

Jeannie Watt said...

Great story, Mary. What a mental picture! Bum in the air, legs flailing. I bet the kids thought it was hilarious.

Jeannie Watt said...

Kathleen--Yes, that cat does sound possessed. I wonder why the vendetta? Perhaps you reminded him of someone from one of his other nine lives, lol.

autumnmacarthur.com said...

Jo's Daughter, that is something I am terrified one of our cats will do too one day. They love going out any open upstairs windows and standing on the window sill- that's only one and a half inches wide!

Despite the fact we live with five cats in a tiny one bedroom house we don't have too many crazy cat stories. Ours must be exceptionally boring moggies. They do say cats take after their owners!

We don't live with that many cats intentionally, dh is a cat magnet and they just keep coming. He's also an unexpected babe magnet- I heard the receptionist in our doctor's office call him a "mobile sex god"- was she really talking about my middle-aged, balding husband? She was!

Anyway, back to the cats. Over the past eight years six cats have just turned up and made themselves at home. We never did find most of their owners. One we traced, and they'd moved away. Twice they came to take the cat to their new home, twice he walked all the way back.

The last one, a cute, very thin, very fluffy torby (tortoiseshell-tabby mix) arrived one afternoon. The afternoon after I loudly declared in the morning we were not, repeat NOT letting any more cats in the house because we already had too many! I think I must have raised the ire of the cat gods because not only did she move in that same day, she has multiple health problems and takes quite a lot more looking after than any of the others.

The only crazy cat story I can think of was the day Empress Wu, our big fluffball who expects to be treated as the queen she is, disappeared. She likes jumping into parked cars, so my husband was going spare, imagining she'd been driven off somewhere, run over, or some other disaster. Eventually he went to attend to his rabbit (late because he'd spent so long looking for the cat), and she'd been shut up in the bunny house with the rabbit all night. She also likes jumping into the warm hay in his hutch while he's out for his daily hop around.

Though the bunny and cats are good friends, we think The Empress could have had a slightly interesting night as during Spring the rabbit gets rather frisky and tries to hump anything that moves...

Marcie said...

I was about 10 or 11 and we had a kitten named Miss Kitty. We lived on a farm (we rented the house not the farm land). One day I couldn't find Miss Kitty. I laid on my bed and cried. Since I shared the bedroom with my two sisters the furniture was squooshed together and my bed was up against my bureau. I heard scratching. I stopped crying and opened the bureau drawer. And out popped Miss Kitty.

Not exactly a crazy cat story - more like a missing cat story.

Jeannie Watt said...

Autumn--Great post! It must be nice living with a mobile sex god, even if he is a cat magnet, lol. Too funny about the bunny and the kitty. Did she ever get back into the hutch after her night of bunny romping?

Jeannie Watt said...

Marcie--One of the best sounds on earth is the sound of a missing animal barking, mewing, scratching, etc. I've had my experiences with missing animals and the relief I felt when I found them was often overwhelming. Stupid grin relief. Glad Miss Kitty reappeared.

Helen Brenna said...

Fun post, Jeannie!

My crazy cat story is a too long for a comment, but suffice it to say that he got so mad at me one morning that while I was out running errands he scratched just the face off a little prairie girl doorstop my mom had given me. Just the face! It was kinda creepy!

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi Helen--Oh dear heavens, that is creepy. Did he do any other *unusual* stuff or were you forgiven after the face incident?

liztalley said...

First of all, may I say I love Jeannie Watt? I'm back! I followed your instructions and Blogger likes me again. You're a genius!

Crazy cat story - *spoiler* - also quite sad

So when my children where 6 and 3 years of age, we had a beautiful, if rather unfriendly, cat named Rudy (after the football movie we had to watch thousands of times with the six year old) and he loved to climb onto the garage door and sleep when it was open. When we closed it, he got into the habit of jumping off to the outside of the garage rather than the easier inside.

You know what, just scratch this story because it ended badly. But it was crazy. My only crazy cat story, but since it didn't end well...

Um, that's all I had. My cats are all fairly normal. At present we have Sweetheart and Saint, both are pretty tabbies and are extremely lovable. They love our dogs...except for Saint. She hates Ike the Boston Terrier. Don't know why, but she lays in wait for him and pops his nose for no good reason. Poor Ike.

Glad to be back! Thanks, Jeannie!

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi Liz--Welcome back and thank you for loving me. It's good to be loved. Also...I cry easily so thanks for scratching the story. It sounds like you have a lovely pet family. I may have to contact you about Bostons. I've been considering one.

Kaelee said...

Our very first cat believed he was a puppy dog. He would walk on a leash and come running to go in the car whenever he heard the keys rattle. Midnight Tiger loved to go for walks off leash and he would followed us really well. One day when we were walking he stopped following us so we had to go back and find him. He had found a nest of garter snakes and was sitting in the middle of it throwing the baby snakes around. We picked him up and carried him quite a distance away but when we put him down he went back to the snake pit. We then carried him all the way back to the car.

Years later we were walking Tiger in a park with quite a few dogs around. Most dogs just ignored him but one Irish Setter came running towards him. Tiger arched his back and hissed and the setter decided to retreat. Cattitude at it's best!

Our youngest cat just brought a mouse into the house this morning. I heard banging in the bathroom and went to investigate and there was Dash playing with a mouse which escaped to the basement. Saxon and Dash will have an excuse to be down the basement in the cool until one of them catches it. Cats bring such joy and a few problems as well.

Rula Sinara said...

LOL at the crazy cat stories :)

I have one from when I was an eighth grader. I was visiting friends (twin girls) who owned two siamese cats (who looked like twins ;)). The girls told me that I had to sit on their sofa, turn on the TV, and watch the cats. Well, okaaaay. We turned on the TV...the old type with the sloped back...sat down, and waited. Sure enough, the two cats climbed up on top of the TV (presumably for warmth), fell asleep, and slowly began to slide down the back. They didn't wake up until they hit the floor. After a moment of looking startled, they climbed right back up, fell asleep, slid down, hit, and repeated the process. They just kept doing it over and over, LOL. Definitely funnier than whatever show was on!

Jackie S. said...

Love your cat stories, Jeannie! I've never had a cat, but grandson has two....I enjoy them!

Linda Warren said...

Jeannie,
We had a cat fall through our chimney at 2 in the morning one time. Things were crashing to the floor. We thought someone had broken in. My husband crept into the living room in his underwear and a golf club in his hand. I was right behind him. When he flipped on the light, we saw it was the neighbor's cat who had obviously lost his mind. He was jumping from the sofa to the chairs, knocking over lamps and kick--knacks, meowing and hissing. He leaped for the drapes and hung there, his claws tearing slashes in them. My husband opened the door, pried the cat from the drapes with the golf club. The cat hit the carpet and then leaped over the sofa and hit the door going like ninety miles an hour.

Our living room was a mess. He'd tracked ashes all over everything. That was one scared crazy cat. We were scared too.

Debra Salonen said...

Jeannie, truly an inspired post. I love all the crazy cat stories. I may steal one or two for my WIP (working title is Blame It On the Cat). Our cats have all been real...wait for it...pussycats. Groan.

Also, it's reassuring to know I'm not the only crazy writer who has conversations with the voices in her head. ;-)

Hugs on your deadline. Thanks for blogging.
Deb

Snookie said...

Great blog about not knowing what to blog about Jeannie :) Loving the cat stories.

Tammy Yenalavitch said...

My crazy cat story from today. We have 3 cats. but the story is about our evil cat My 12 year old daughter was making her lunch - she had her plate on the kitchen counter heaping with her favorite ultra thin turkey lunch meat and when her back was turned to put the package back in the fridge, her cat (evil) Diva jumped up and ate the turkey lunch meat on her plate. My darling daughter was so mad, she threw the rest of it away and 4 hours later - she is still not speaking to her cat

PatriciaW said...

Hilarious! We had an oversized cat that appeared to be dressed in a tuxedo. His name? Tuxedo. He acted like he thought he was a dog. Anyway, he had a bad habit of clawing us as he walked by. Just because. Not all the time. Kept us on our toes. One day he clawed my big brother. Brother scooped up cat, stood in front doorway, aimed him like he was a torpedo and threw him past the fence that enclosed our yard. Maybe 60 ft? Cat landed on all fours. (Hey, we were kids and there was no PETA then.) Cat looked back with evil sneer, like he was saying, "Don't go to sleep." and slunk down the sidewalk. We didn't see him for a few hours, and when we did, he steered clear of big brother for a while. After that, they were best buddies.

Jeannie Watt said...

Kaelee--What a lovely post. You have most excellent cats. I've always wanted one that walked on a leash, but have never lucked out. I did have a cat that traveled up the AlCan highway with us and we'd let her out with the dogs at the rest stops to do her business. But she would never allow herself to be leash trained.

I wish Dash and Saxon good luck in the mouse hunt. You don't supposed they're stock an indoor game reserve for fun later, do you?

Jeannie Watt said...

Rula--Great story! That needs to be in a book. An ongoing event during the other action. I love Siamese cats. They are so people oriented. My cat that traveled with us was a Siamese.

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi Jackie--Your grandson is lucky to have two cats. My cat is an only. Sometimes I think she misses other cats and other times I think she's just fine ruling the house alone.

Jeannie Watt said...

Wow, Linda--What a night that must have been! It doesn't seem fair to have to clean up after a crazy cat you don't even own. Thanks so much for sharing. I'll be thinking about this story for a while.

Jeannie Watt said...

Thanks for the hug, Deb--I love my catering series, but it had been a lot of work bringing it home. I think I'm just about there, though.

I look forward to seeing some of these stories in a book. Cats make good story fodder IMHO. As to voices and conversations, you have made me feel a lot better. As I wrote this blog it felt very natural but I didn't want to come off as, well, nuts, you know?

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi Snookie--My motto is, when in doubt, go with crazy cat stories.

Jeannie Watt said...

Lol, Tammy! Great story. And great that you have an evil cat. Did you ever see that cartoon where the villian was named Evil the Cat? So funny.

Jeannie Watt said...

Patricia, your story made me laugh out loud--especially the part about the evil sneer. Thanks for sharing!

Virginia said...

I don't know how crazy this is but a cat we had raised from a kitten bit my son one time. We had to take my son to the doctor and pen the cat up in the laundry room for a couple of weeks so they could make sure he didn't have rabies. The first thing the doctor ask my son is boy what did you do to the cat, pull its tall or something. Everything came out fine, son was on antibiotics for a week and cat was fine.

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi Virginia--That must have been a long few weeks while you waited to see what happened. I'm so glad that both your son and the cat ended up fine.

Kaelee said...

Jeannie ~ Tiger would walk on a leash but mainly he followed us at a short distance. He was a much traveled cat, living in six homes, three provinces, digging in the sand on the Atlantic, Pacific, Lake Superior, Lake Ontario and other less major lakes and ponds.
When we lived in an apartment in Calgary he brought home the cat from the apartment next door. When his lady owner went to jail we adopted Fluffy (we didn't name him) but he got really sick about a year later and he passed away. By that time we were living in a condo and Tiger went out and searched for Fluffy for days until we adopted Sesame and then he settled in to love and defend his new brother. When Sesame would get in a cat fight Tiger would finish it off by chasing the other cat away.
Tiger would beg for scraps from the table but the only thing he would steal from your plate was olives ~ either black or green. He loved tomato sauce as well and loved a spoonful of it when ever we had it. We had to give him olives as treats fairly often because no one would believe he ate them. He loved soft ice cream and we would give him part of our cones from Dairy Queen in his ice cream dish. If we weren't fast enough getting him some we would get cuffed in the back of the head. He loved to travel almost perched on a head. We couldn't go though a car wash with him in the car as he would go absolutely nuts bouncing and howling around until he managed to crawl under a seat.

I've really enjoyed your post and everyone's cat stories today.

Toni Kenyon said...

Tigger is our latest crazy cat. He's my 21 y/o son's cat and Tigger arrived 10 years ago at the exact same time that my 18 y/o's dog arrived (a staffie). They are both the same shade of light brown (the cat's color is called 'champagne' because his shade is so light). He's a beautiful cat with big yellow eyes.

Well the cat and the dog love each other. So much so that I think the dog think's she's a cat and the cat has ideas above his station and thinks that he's the pack leader!

I often find them snuggled up together in the dog's basket. The dog cleans herself like a cat, complete with paw licking and flicking of paws over her ears, washing her head and face. Far too many hours in the company of the cat leader.

The suicidal cat also likes to put his head inside the dog's open mouth... Did I mention how many pounds per square inch a staffordshire bull terrier's jaws can deliver?

Oh, his favorite party trick, delivering very large dead (and sometimes still alive) water rats from the local creek. Nice!

I have enjoyed the cat stories. Thanks so much, Jeannie.

JV said...

Your blog was actually very entertaining. It was certainly kind of you to persevere in trying to free the captured wildcat with a butter knife while it attempted to slash you. Not sure I would have been that brave! I thought we were good rescuing a kitten the other day whose paw was pierced by something. She was very sweet while my daughter carried her home, but when she opened the garage door, the noise frightened her and she nailed my daughter in the thumb pretty deeply. Ouch! Unfortunately, the vet also determined that she's in early stage pregnancy, and she had ear mites. She's been treated for the wound and the mites, has been vaccinated, and is recovering now until we can find someone to take her or can turn her over to a rescue organization. (Our 2 cats are very territorial and would flip out if we brought in another cat -- especially a pregnant one -- so for now she's in a shelter outdoors.

And, yes, I have lots of crazy cat stories. Like when one of our cats is very affectionate and then is suddenly growling and preparing to attack my husband's toes. Why he takes exception to his toes occasionally is anyone's best guess!

P.S. I'm fascinated and must know: Why should you never name a hero Rex?

Jeannie Watt said...

Kaelee--Tiger is a very special cat. So much personality. I especially love the part about eating olives and being cuffed on the back of the head if you didn't share your ice cream fast enough. Oh--and bringing home strays. Too cute. Thanks so much for sharing.

Jeannie Watt said...

Toni--Great stories! Uck on the water rats, but a cat's gotta do what a cat's gotta do. Too funny after the staffie washing himself like a cat. I'm loving these cat stories, too.

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi JV--First, I'm so glad you rescued that cat! I'm also a stray rescuer. As to the toes--no telling why cats are prejudiced against certain objects. My Nora (the cat in the photo) believes that all pencils must die. It doesn't matter if it's in your hand or lying on a table. It must be knocked to the floor.

As to Rex...I named one of my recent heroes Rex (loved the name), but when I wrote him, he turned out wrong. Just plain wrong. I was told by someone who has a very good eye for problems in my books that he needed to "grow a pair", which was a spot-on observation. Despite the alphaish name, the guy was too much of a wuss. So, at a late stage in the game, I renamed him Nick and rewrote the entire book and what a difference it made. For some reason Nick was a lot edgier, more conflicted and more heroic than Rex.

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