Thursday, November 1, 2012

Creative Title Needed

Introduction and explanation

This is my third attempt to write a NaNo novel. The first two, in 2009 and 2010, we successful, in that I got 50k words in the month of November. Those were historical novels. This is something entirely different. I have absolutely no confidence that I can do 50k words on this subject, but I didn't think I could do the first one either.

Bear in mind that the goal of a NaNo novelist is to finish--to write a novel of at least 50,000 words during the month of November. The goal is to finish, not to be good or even necessarily coherent. As the writing is being done, new character name may appeal to the writer. Characters may change, um, character. November is for writing. December and subsequent months are for rewriting, editing, polishing. Thus, a reader may become confused.

Your job, dear reader, is to encourage, to let the writer know you are reading, and that you expect said writer to finish. Corrections and suggestions can come later--about 6 years later. Actually I am joking about that, but I will say the writer may never want your suggestions. However, if you feel compelled to edit, do so. Make notes. But keep them to yourself until the project is finished--even if the writer asks for them. Again, encourage--and hold us accountable. Believe me, there will be a thousand distractions and a thousand reasons to quit. Don't let us.

With that being said...I need a title. The premise of my story is the life of a cat--my cat--as seen from his eyes. I will gladly accept title suggestions. For now it is "NaNo 2012".

Here are the first couple of chapters:

Chapter 1
Call me Truman. Or call me Kitty. Heck, call me Ishmael if you want. Call me anything as long as you call me in time for dinner!

Okay, okay, that may be an old joke, but you’ve got to realize that creatures of my species don’t hear many jokes. Or maybe we hear lots of them, but just aren’t inclined to think they’re funny. We are not like those mindless, insipid dogs who wag their tails all the time in hopes of getting approval.

If you haven’t figured it out, I’m a cat, the pinnacle of creation. The two legged, pinkish creatures with whom I share this house have a hard time grasping that. Most of the time. They – I call them Meom and Purpur – are not bad, but they can be dense. I’ll give you examples as we go along, but back to cats being the pinnacle of creation…

It’s obvious, isn’t it? What creature is superior? A dog? Don’t make me laugh. They are pathetic sycophants around the pinks, always wagging their tails and begging—BEGGING, for crying out loud—for attention. Oh, sure, I’ll beg once in a while, but first of all, it’s for something I want. Usually it’s for something to eat, but every once in a while, I’ll do it just to make Meom and Purpur feel needed. But those stupid dogs will beg and wag their tail just to be noticed. Give me a break.

Humans. Humans? What are hum… Oh, you mean the creatures I share the domicile with. Is that what they call themselves? Or maybe “people”. Neither one is what I would call a classy name. “People” sounds like a bug. “I saw a people crawling by so I ate it. It was crunchy on the outside and gooshy on the inside. Yum!”
“Human” sounds like a variety of dirt. “I think I’ll scratch around here in the human and see if I can spook up a people.” I mean, if that’s what they want to call themselves, okay, but you just can’t get any better name than “cat”. Even the PHCs use the term as a good thing. (Oh, uh, PHC is for pink hairless creature—and we’ll talk about that hairless trait later on. Eeewwww!)

They talk about “Cool Cats”. They order stuff from catalogs and ride on catamarans and the religious ones do catechism. The ones looking for pleasure go tomcattin’ around and likely end up in some cathouse where they hope to score some pu….well, I’ll let that one go. Something good is the cat’s meow or the cat’s pajamas.

Dogs? Let’s see, the PHCs talk about being dog tired in a dog-eat-dog world after they have doggedly done something called “work”. They lie like a dog, they hound each other, break their hearts in puppy love, and then get melan-collie. And they don’t mean it’s a good thing when they say it’s a dog’s life.

Obviously there are more creatures than cats, dogs and PHCs. Birds, for instance. Don’t make me laugh. The best thing about birds is the thrill of catching one. And how they taste.

So I think you’ll agree that cats ARE the superior species. We don’t work, we don’t pant, you don’t have to take us for a walk just to pee, for meowing out loud! And give us half a chance and we’ll cover up our poop – generally. So what, if it’s in a flower bed or a little PHCs sandbox. It’s easier there.

Chapter 2
Meom and Purpur

I don’t remember much about my mother, and – and for obvious reasons I never knew my father. I sort of remember suckling her, kneading her teat to get more milk. Just thinking of it makes me drool. I guess I was taken from her too early.

Anyway, I was sort of cast out on my own. I mean, I could MAKE it like that, but… Oh well, I wanted some PHCs. I like catching a mouse or bird once in a while, and a bug can make a tasty snack, but darn it, I didn’t want to live that way – eating only when I caught something. Always looking out for mean dogs, or cars, or, I hate to admit they exist – tougher cats. I mean I could DO it – I just didn’t want to.

Somewhere I need to inject a little information, and this is as good a place as any. I pretty well understand PHCs – well, Meom and Purpur, anyway – but they don’t seem to understand me too well. Sometimes I have to force myself on them. And sometimes they’ll step on me when I am obviously right there! It’s like the sun goes down and they can’t see! So, I can tell you what they are saying to – and about – me. I just wish they could understand me as well.

So…I found myself out on the edge of town early one morning, looking for a PHC to take me home. There weren’t a lot of people around at that time of day, but I noticed a big building where PHCs were getting out of cars and going in. I decided to try my luck. In my most pathetic voice, I went to one after another begging them to notice me and take me home. Some ignored me, some looked at me with disdain, and some even seemed to pity me, but this was turning out to be harder than I thought.

Another car pulled up and out came two PCHs. I turned the “pathetic” on in my voice and gave them all I had.

“Oh, look at the kitten,” the taller one said.
“How cute!” the other one said, and then they walked in the building. I kept trying, with mostly the same results. After what seemed like forever, the couple came out again, so I decided to give it another shot.

I made my eyes big and lonely looking and said “Take me! Love me! I’m wonderful.”

“I wonder if he belongs to someone” the big one said.

“Apparently not,” answered his companion. He seems like he was left here. They looked at each other. “What do you think about taking him home?”

“I’m game,” said the big one. “Anne has never really had a pet of her own. Maybe she would like that.”

I wasn’t sure what all that meant. From the sound of it, they seemed to think that I would be “owned” by someone. I chuckled, thinking, “Well, we’ll see who owns who. But if they want to think that, I’ll let them.”

They went back into the building and I thought I’d lost my chance, but I realized later that they had told someone inside that they were taking me home and that if anyone had lost a cat, that they had it. Ha! I had made it .. I thought!

When they took me into the house we went in a room where a somewhat smaller PHC was in bed.

“Anne”, one of them said (one mystery solved!), “look what we picked up at the Y this morning.”

‘Anne’ sat up in bed and said, “Awwww…” (A good sign.)

“We thought you might like this kitty for your own, since you’ve never really had a pet.” (I snickered. They fell for it!) They explained that they cat appeared to be abandoned or lost, but that someone might claim it. In that case, I would have to go back to the “rightful owners”. She understood. I could have told them that NO cat has rightful – or wrongful – owners, but hey, I was on a roll. Besides, I knew no one was going to “claim” me. I was on easy street.

Or so I thought.