Who is Chuck and why does he like to travel?

I was born to be a writer and when I wrote my novel Wild Point Island, Chuck, my orange and white recently rescued feral tabby, got it in his head that he wanted to travel to the island and see the place for himself. Well, of course, Wild Point Island, can only be seen by revenants (you'll have to read the book to find out who they are) and Chuck is no revenant so instead, I concocted a plan to take Chuck with me when I travel around the world, which I do frequently. Not an easy task. First, I have to deflate the poor kid of all air, stuff him in my carry-on bag, remember to bring my portable pump, and when I arrive, I pump him back up. Ouch. But he's used to it by now and given the choice to either stay home in his comfy cat bed or get deflated, he pulls out his passport, ready to travel, every time.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Chuck and the Great Escape As the Cat in the Hat

Despite how it might sound, Chuck is not on the road 365 days a year. When we’re home, the chuckster likes nothing better than to lounge around with his “sibling cats” and he’ll either be chowing down at his favorite food bowl or snoozing the day away. Trust me, you want to be a cat in my house.

But like most kids, Chuck needs fun!

Every morning he rolls down the stairs with that peculiar expression on his face--his whiskers in a snarl, poised with an expectation on his lips. He doesn’t have to SAY anything. IN HUMAN WORDS, I mean. A disgruntled MEOW will suffice. He’s bored and ready for action.

Halloween was no exception. In fact, that day was worse. Chuck is no dummy. He can read a calendar. He knew what pumpkins and Mums on the front porch meant. He knew that when I lugged out the giant bowl filled with chocolate candy and set it on the table in front of the front door, who the bags of candy were for. Trick or treaters.

He wanted to know how he fit in.
 That brings me to the great escape. And the almost costume. Yeah, yeah. I thought of getting Chuckie a costume. First, I posted the question on my facebook page, hoping for inspiration. Then I went to the Chuckster himself-- Who do you want to be?

A dog? That was the obvious undercover choice. Chuckie shook his head.

Felix the Cat. I figured a popular cartoon character would be a possible fit for the chuckster who often saw himself on the big screen. But Chuck shook his head. PETULANTLY.

The Purina Cat Chow mascot, I offered next, thinking that starring in commercials and seeing your face on cat food cans and bags was a worthy choice for a Halloween costume. But Chuck again shook his head.

I put my hands on my hips. Okay. I had to try harder. Maybe Chuckie was thinking more high brow--literary cat character. Grimbold, the black “prince of cats,” I explained to Chuckie, making my voice sound inviting, who led a goatherd on many cool adventures in Grimbold’s Other World by Nicolas Stuart Gray, but even as I said it, I could see it was way too obscure for my modern Chuck.

Okay, okay. How about Bagheera? A PANTHER.

Now here, Chuck’s eyes lit up.

He was in Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, I added for good measure. Some interest because Chuck paced the great room, but when he returned, he plopped down in front of me, disappointed still.

Eureka, who was Dorothy’s cat in the Wizard of Oz. You love to watch the Wizard of Oz on television, I reminded him.

He eyed me suspiciously.

So what? So what if she’s a girl? Does that really matter?

It did. Macho Chuck was not about to put on a girly cat costume.

I had one more idea. Okay, Chuck, this is it. You like to wear hats, right. How about DR. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat?

Yes! He went for it. And . . . all went well, the trick or treating part, the wearing of the hat part, until he was recognized.

Well, let me back up. Chuck donned his costume. He went out trick or treating around the neighborhood. As the Cat in the Hat. Then he was recognized. Not as Hot Blogging Chuck. Oh, no. As a CAT dressed up as the Cat in the Hat. The mere fact that it was a CAT trick or treating and not a KID, threw the rest of the KIDS into a near state of panic.

The tiny trick or treaters started chasing Chuck down the street. They wanted a closer look. Chuck dropped his candy and lost his hat. The poor kid, I mean CAT.

It all happened so fast I wasn’t even able to snap a photo for the blog.

Later, after Chuck calmed down, he agreed to pose with his favorite Cat in the Hat book.

Needless to say, no more trick or treating for the belly boy.


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