He looks almost identical to my third and most favourite pet – a cream Persian cat called Odysseus (yes really) – who arrived when I was five and lived for thirteen happy years. Even though I was horrifically allergic to him and basically had a bad cold the whole time, he was my best friend. (My first two pets were goldfish called Bit and Bot, by the way, but my memories of them are dim. I don’t think they were very consoling when I came in from a hard day at school. Nor did they make the whole family laugh by hunting across the garden at dusk, unaware that they glowed like orange lamp.)
The new book I’m writing starts with a cat scene. The cat in question is a silver tortoiseshell, which is the breed I’d choose if I wasn’t horribly allergic to cats and could have another one. Did you know that they a) are almost always female and b) have a particularly curious, quirky, attention-seeking personality trait known as ‘tortitude’? Well, after some research for the book, now I do.
Have you got a favourite pet from when you were little, or now? And do you have a favourite pet in books?
There’s Hedwig, of course. And I was really fond of Scabbers until … You know why ‘until’. Black Beauty, all of Jill’s ponies. Do horses count as pets? I hope they do. Spy Dog. Toothless the dragon. So many to choose from …
Let me know who you love, and what you’d call your ideal pet. My tortoiseshell kitten ended up being called Lacy by the way. Not for the reasons you might think. All will be explained next summer! Now back to the book.