Monday, September 10, 2007

The Demon Oreo

While Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos is most definitely fiction, her demonized cat is not. No, Isis after her brush with black magic is based on my own cat, Oreo. Now I realize that Oreo doesn’t sound much like a demon name, and frankly, if we’d understood just how ferocious and fickle she could be, we would have named her Lucifer or Mephistopheles or even Destructo Force (hey, don’t laugh, one of our kittens a long while back was named Black Ninja of Death by our then six and nine year old sons.)

She looked innocent enough as a kitten, until she began attacking our second kitten, who was a slightly overbred longhair who was sweeter-than-sweet, but dumb as a box of rocks and had no instincts on how to defend himself.

Luckily, our Jack Russell Terrier had a valiant nature and often stepped in and herded Oreo away from Peabody whenever things seemed too unfair.

Oreo has the softest fur I’ve ever experienced in a cat. It has the silky density of rabbit fur. And she can be very lovey dovey, liking to cuddle as much as any cat.

It’s just that one must always be on guard while cuddling because if she decides you aren’t petting her fast enough or hard enough or perhaps you happened to remove your attention from her for just one second, then Yeow! She shreds you with her claws. So we pet her at our own risk.

In her Devourer guise, she is a mighty huntress, catching rats and gophers and ground squirrels daily, even at eleven years old.

Her favorite indoor prey is cubes of butter. Yes, like you spread on toast. Woe to us if we leave the top off the butter dish, because she will sense it immediately, hop up onto the kitchen counter, and lick the butter to death with her rough little tongue. We have lost many butter cubes this way.

I know many people don’t let their cats outside, and frankly, I’m perplexed as to how they manage that. Demon Oreo insists on it. In fact, if we don’t let her outside fast enough, she’ll punch right through the screen and let herself out.

She’s equally determined when she wants back in, often leaping up on our bedroom screen at 3:00 in the morning and giving us a heart attack. Needless to say, we let her in immediately.

Her favorite torment of our dog is to eat his dogfood, just to make him jealous. It works every time. As soon as he sees her eating out of his bowl, he turns into Starving Dog and acts like he hasn’t eaten in weeks, even though he just walked by the bowl and ignored the kibble in there.

So for those of you who are curious as to where I get my ideas for the things in my books, this is one example of stealing straight from real life.


Anonymous said...

The trick to finding indoor cats is to make sure, as kittens, they never went outside. And even that is not always enough. But it helps.

One alternative method is to adopt a feral cat that has decided outside is NO FUN and refuses to go back out there.

The second is to find a fraidy cat who is scared of the outdoors.

Unfortunately, it is hard to tell which of these cats are which when you adopt. :)

And, I suspect Oreo has Siamese in him. They are cranky cats.

Btw, Joseph wants to know when Theo 2 is coming out.


Anonymous said...

Actually, my friend has a siamese cat, and he's sweet as cherry pie. He loves to cuddle, but there is a little problem. a feral cat likes to fight with him, but once we get him inside he is sweet as sugar.