Besides the snake that makes a brief but deadly appearance in “Albedo Effect, Book 2 of The Shade Ring Trilogy,” I hadn’t written any animal characters in my novels until I published “A Daffodil for Angie.” My latest book includes two cats. They only have a couple of brief scenes, and, of course, they don’t have any speaking lines other than meowing like crazy for their food, but I really wanted to include some house pets in “Daffodil.”
Pets, particularly cats and dogs, are such an important part of our lives. For many people, pets are their family. Until this fall, a sweet dog named Pistol was an extremely important member of our family. He died in early November at the age of 14 and a half. (That's Pistol in the snow back in 2014.) He was a loving, affectionate, fun, goofy, friendly mutt with the prettiest coat and the silliest face. Everyone loved Pistol. Even people who weren’t dog lovers. He started out as our youngest son’s doggy, but became our good buddy after Kip grew up and left home. With his passing, our house feels empty, indeed.
As I was growing up, we had a series of cats and dogs. I remember their names and their faces. The cats – Bootsy, Chipsy, Pixie, Pinky, Jake and Tiger, and the dogs – Spiky, Halloween, Lynx and Bubbles. But I never had a pet for as long as we had Pistol. Still, fourteen and a half years was not nearly long enough.
So, going forward, there will be more pets in my books. Seems like the right thing to do. Most people have cats and dogs, don’t they? And I’m thinking the type of pets people have and how they interact with them may be an excellent way of revealing character in my fiction.
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