Here Kitty, Kitty–and Get a Nymph Named After You

No, no. I’m not talking about Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series. I’m talking about a cat named Sebastian. I’ve had two friends with cats named Sebastian, so when I wrote the first book in my New Orleans series I had a character named Gerry who needed, I thought, a cat. Gerry’s a cat kinda guy.I named his cat Sebastian.

Fast-forward two years, and  here I am revising book two and contemplating book three. And there’s Sebastian, who needs something to do besides sit around and look cross-eyed at people. I thought about having him die a noble death at the hands of a serial killer or a magical spell gone awry, but started feeling guilty about that. I don’t want the ASPCA coming after me, or PETA or Cat Lovers of America.

Oh, and did I mention that I am a bona fide, dyed-in-the-wool, every-other-cliche-you-can-think-of DOG person? Do I have a dog in my books? Nooooooo. Of course not. I know dogs. I know what dogs do, how they think, how they behave. Why didn’t I give Gerry a dog? Because he’s a cat kinda guy and frankly it didn’t occur to me that once I populated my novel with a cat, I’d be stuck with…a CAT.

So, channel your inner cat lady and give me some advice. Sebastian is a cranky chocolate-colored Siamese with slightly crossed blue eyes. He does not like my lead character, DJ, so of course she’s the one who has to take care of him most of the time. Suggest some things for Sebastian to do to annoy DJ (yes, it can be funny). I’ll pick one of your suggestions to use in my book and, if I choose your suggestion, I’ll name a character after you–there is gonna be a nymph with your name on her! (I realize this is really subjective and I’ll be picking an entry that I can get to work with my plot so don’t be offended if yours isn’t chosen, ‘kay?)

And for good measure, here are my children, Shane and Tanker, the most spoiled dogs on God’s green earth.

Okay, cat people. Get to work!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , by Suzanne Johnson. Bookmark the permalink.

About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate’s Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man’s Curse; Black Diamond).

22 thoughts on “Here Kitty, Kitty–and Get a Nymph Named After You

  1. He could hijack her favorite jacket, pillow or whatever and make it “his own”. ie: cat bed, chew toy..

    Anyone who owns a cat knows, their fur is a bitch to get out of stuff.

  2. LOL. Maybe he could start a running habit of hijacking her favorite stuff! She inherited this cat and they don’t have the best of relationships.

  3. The cat can raid the kitchen. Claw it’s way into a bag of chips. Get inside the fridge. Knock things down from the counter.

    Also, the cat can run in between the character’s legs making her trip all over the place. Jump from the floor onto her back.

  4. Things my cat routinely does to irritate, annoy, or otherwise bug the snot out of me:
    1. Knock half full glasses from the counter.
    2. Throw up/poop/pee on precious possessions, IE on beds, in suitcases, on couches, what have you.
    3. Make expensive furniture into scratching posts.
    4. Eat houseplants. (actually used this one for the cat in my novel 🙂
    5. Shed. Shed shed shed shed SHED! Brush past this cat and you are instantly coated with orange fur.
    6. Attacking feet under the covers. When he’s feeling especially evil, he’ll wait until you’re dozing, and crawl in between the sheets and the comforter to chomp on your toesies. Try finding a cat who’s hidden in your bed while half asleep. Impossible.

    All these suggesttions are courtesy of Skeeter, orange tabby extraordinaire.

    Good luck and have fun. Cats are more fun to write about, IMO, because they are such little devils. 🙂

    Gina

  5. A really favorite thing for my cats has always been to curl up on any clean clothing I have placed on a flat surface. Bonus points if it’s a contrasting color or dry-clean only!
    Also, batting jewelry or perfume bottles off a dresser (thank gawd for carpeting!), and the ever-so-enjoyable hairball. (Cat yurk, usually found by your bare foot, as you stumble, half asleep, to the bathroom. Yuck!)
    And Siamese have very distinctive voices, so yowling as if truly dying from hunger, while you’re on a phone call is another favorite cat activity. :p
    Huh. Now I think of it, WHY am I a cat person? LOL! Just kidding! I love my fur-babies!

  6. My boyfriends cat likes to unroll the toilet paper – the entire roll winds up on the floor if we don’t keep a tie on it.

  7. Lol. I love this. I have a cat named Bamboo in my series. He’s a snide, sarcastic orange tabby with a philosophical side. Who knew? In book two he falls in love with a dragon of all things. So, you can’t have any of those ideas. hehe.

    But since I totally want to see a nymph named Mara, maybe a magical spell gone awry doesn’t kill him but allows DJ to read his thoughts and so they are constantly engaged in witty banter and Sebastian is always suggesting alternate ways of solving problems, which, to DJ’s irritation, are better than her own solutions. And Sebastian is, of course, cat-smug about it.

    Yeah, that’s just my wild suggestion. I think I need to read your stories, now. Lol.

  8. Oh, these are too funny! I might have to name more than one nymph 🙂

    @Marilyn–if Sebastian got into DJ’s Cheetos she might actually kill him but he’d look funny with yellow cheesy stuff all over him.

    @Gina–LOL. DJ has a problem with other species communicating with her in dreams–Sebastian biting her toes might officially make her an insomniac!

    @risatoo.. I didn’t know that about Siamese voices–oh, I can get mileage out of yowling.

    @Sandyg–ooh, unrolled TP everywhere. And DJ hates housekeeping chores.

    @Oh boy, Mara. This has made the neurons fire (too bad that falling-in-love-with-a-dragon thing is taken–LOL!). DJ’s an empath so if she suddenly began reading Sebastian it would drive her absolutely nuts!

  9. My cat pukes in my shoes whenever we leave him alone overnight. Not my husband’s. Not my daughter’s. Just mine.

  10. I had a sassy huge siamese cat growing up. One night I was walking into my house and the cat jumped off of the roof and landed on my shoulder. Of course I screamed waking every person on our block. I know that cat was laughing at me.

    Maybe Sebastian could jump out of a closet or off the fridge to scare her?

    Jennifer KJovus
    kjovus(at)gmail(dot)com

  11. I recall having seen a news clip about a cat burglar…a real cat that was going around the neighborhood stealing things. It seemed especially fond of female undergarments.

  12. I know many cats who like to intentionally hide beneath/behind fridges. So, perhaps the cat could hide there?

    Also, I really like the idea of a spell backfiring and forcing the lead character to read the cat’s thoughts. Maybe after this happens, the cat could wake her up every morning, give smug little one-liners, talk incessantly about food, etc.

    Also, cats like to rip up clothes. Especially your favorite clothes.

    The cat could also hack up a hairball on the pillow next to your lead character’s head one morning. She could wake up, the cat is being strangely nice, then she discovers the hairball an inch from her face.

    My brother’s cat loves to climb people. Like, sprint from one side of the house, dig his claws in, and climb your leg like a tree. Even if you’re wearing shorts. He’s a bastard, that one…

  13. I’m a dog person, too. And I tend to think of cats as the complete opposites of dogs (oh, I guess other people do, too…hence the “cats and dogs” analogies.
    Anyway.

    Maybe Sebastian can come around and act all cute and friendly, but when DJ finally gives in and decides to reach pet him, he takes off and she trips over him. That seems like a snarky cat thing to do.

    Sorry, cat people. I don’t HATE cats. I just don’t GET them.

  14. The cats I know have:

    – left half-eaten ‘presents’ on doorsteps
    – brought live food into the house to play with
    – bitten bare knees when bored/hungry
    – found the most inaccessible place in the house or yard, then yowled until someone crawled in to get them
    – enjoyed sleeping on chests with their face pressed onto ours
    – given regular 3 am wake-up calls
    – decided litter boxes are for wimpy cats, post-training
    – torn open bags in the hopes of catnip or treats
    – clawed people whenever picked up
    – sat on reading material, important paperwork, and computers while they’re being used
    – draped themselves over bare backs like a shawl (or climbed said backs)
    – sat on towel-wrapped heads for the warmth
    – had morning routines that are 1000 times more important than human routines, even if it’s just food at a regular time

    Most of these things are done out of affection, not hate, but that doesn’t make them less annoying. Hope these help!

  15. These are great, guys–thank you! I’m seeing a pattern here. Cats are kind of PERSONAL with their antics. A dog has an accident in the house; a dog doesn’t go out of his way to have an “accident” on your bed! LOL.

  16. Can’t help with Siamese specific but I do have 3 cats…

    K – has been known to wake me up @ 2AM for attention. If I ignore her she’ll knead me (make biscuits), try to dig her way under the covers, & once tugged at my braid until I woke up. She’ll also stand on her hind legs & try to dig through a closed door. Once she jumped from bed to bookcase to top of open door (scared the crap out of me by doing that too). For a while she’d randomly pee on my bed (mostly where *I* sleep). She’s sometimes a Venus FlyCat – exposes her belly & rubs her back on the carpet in the hopes that someone will pet her – only to attack with her pointy on all ends appendages. Loves paper – any paper on the floor is hers – she’ll dig at it then curl up on it.

    C – any noise will startle her. She’ll also sit/sleep RIGHT BEHIND my desk chair so I constantly have to check if she’s there before I move. If she thinks she can’t find me (and she knows I should be home), she’ll cry so I can’t have closed doors at night.

    P – lovebug but dumb as rocks. ADORES the smell of Febreeze. She’ll track down anything I spray with it so she can sleep on it. Apparently can only meow two things “whuuut?” and “treat”.

    All of them – random hairballs sometimes in multiple places – EW!

    Danielle

  17. I have a cat named Miss Maple, and my mom has a ton of cats so we collaborated. We thought of some things the cats do that freak us out.

    1. When cats stare at something that only they can see really gives me chills. It’s especially creepy if they then run from the nothing.
    2. When they watch you sleep.
    3. There is the old myth that cats sit on your chest and suck your breath out through your mouth.
    4. When the lights are off, but the cats eyes still glow in the dark.

    Then gross/obnoxious things they do:
    1. Poop outside the litter box.
    2. Come anytime they think they are being talked to and demand to be petted.

    Hope some of these helped. My cat also watches television. She loves Criminal Minds and Supernatural.

  18. One time my cats knocked the water filter down from our fish tank in the middle of the night, so we woke up to water all over our (carpeted) floor… That could be an option, haha.

    Also:
    -Demanding to be petted, and meowing incessantly when petting ceases.
    -Playing “hide and seek” and running up to bat at you with a paw, claws out, when you start to walk away (another thing my cats do)
    -Bringing LOTS of dead mice, etc into the house
    -Or bringing live mice into the house and letting them go, so they run around under furniture and such

    Hope these help!

  19. Let’s see, I’m trying to think of all the things that my cat does. Her name is Tasha Anne. (She gained my middle name because my mother would yell at her like you would yell at one of your kids when they’re bad. In my case, whenever I was bad, I would hear Alyssa Anne from my mother.) My mom also refers to her as Evil.

    1. We used to have high cupboards. My cat would sit on top of them and just stare down at you kind of like the vultures from The Jungle Book movie.

    2. She constantly walks around on the counters and gets in your face when you’re trying to make food.

    3. She loves to hop right in the basket of clean laundry when it’s fresh and warm from the dryer.

    4. If you leave bread or chips or something on the counter long enough, she’ll eventually tear into the bag to get to whatever it is.

    5. For some reason, my cat loves to tear up paper towel rolls. If a roll of paper towels is out on the counter, sooner or later I’ll find it all torn up.

    Another cat story that I have is one that my grandmother told me about a cat that my mom brought home when she was a kid. They called the cat, DumDum, which was very appropriate. For some reason, DumDum would race down the hall of the house, into the living room, and then run straight into the wall. You’d hear a thud, and it’s like “Well, DumDum ran into the wall again.” That story cracked me up when I heard it. Lol.

    One more….. There’s an interesting story as to how my family got our cat, Merlin, about 10 years ago. He was a shelter cat. The thing was that before we adopted him, he had been returned to the shelter at least two times. The people returned him cuz he talks too much. He is a very vocal cat. My mom normally feeds the cats around 5:30AM, which is about when she gets up to get ready for work. If she isn’t up early enough or whatever, Merlin will start yowling which very nearly wakes everyone up. There’s other times where if one of the other cats stops playing with him before he’s ready, he’ll start yowling, but it sounds like a freaked out yowl. He scared the heck out of me one time, cuz the way he was yowling made me think he was injured or trapped under something. Not cool.

    I could probably think up more if I spent more time on it. Cats are interesting creatures…. Haha.

  20. I’ve had this theory for years that cats are obsessed with tormenting humans. Mentally. They are masters at playing those head games that make me do things I swore I would never do… like get another cat.

    We had a male cat, named BoBo–okay his real name was BobaFett and it got shortened. His favorite place to sleep was on your head. Like a hat. And if you tossed and turned, he woke you up real quick. Nothing says wakey wakey like a set of claws to the scalp.

    Had another cat named Bella, she was a sweetie. Except for this one habit of waking me up at 0300 with paw slaps to the cheek.

    Had another cat a few years ago, Kubla Mae (or Mae Not) Khan (Depending on Her Mood). She would fetch and play hide and go seek. She disappeared one day, then a neighbor knocked on my door and said I found your cat. Where is she?Is she all right? Oh yeah, she’s fine. She’s sleeping in the engine of my Honda.

    And now I’ve got Little Bit. Huntress extraordinaire. I think deep down she wants to be a physicist. She’s obsessed with gravity. And she plays with my dog (lol, a black German shepherd). Besides her hunting and gravity experiments, when Little Bit was younger, she used to sleep in the sink in the bathroom down the hall. I learned REAL quick to turn that light on before washing my hands… hey, that was almost as fun as the first time I realized that the dog knows how to lift the toilet seat. Both of them. Which reminds me, I’ve caught just about all those cats I’ve had trying to drink from the toilet. Now that is a funny picture. Which probably explains why the dog taught them. ;o)

    Good luck writing about Sebastian!
    ~EK

  21. One last one–The Bobo cat… he was obsessed with the fridge. One day I accidentally shut him in the fridge. I was in the kitchen cooking and paying more attention to the stove than the cat at my feet and he was in there for only a few minutes… I swear!
    But it did cure him of the raid the fridge urge. And my grocery bill went down. I’m just saying… LOL
    ~EK