I have a pet theory (hey, there's a pun): here's the basic question every writer should know about their characters:
Are they cat people or dog people?
And if I can't answer that question, I don't know my character well enough.
Because cat people tend to be independent, solitary--introverted. They live parallel lives to their cats, with mutual support and affection, a relationship between two equals.
And dog people. . .well, dogs respond to the alpha dog. They treat their humans as their "alpha dogs." More social. A dog person likes taking care of the dog. Their relationship is more of master and servant.
I'm not saying one is better than the other. Or that one cannot like both cats and dogs. These are general remarks.
And yes, I'm a cat person.
Mom, Jolene and I went to the pet shelter together. (Oh Mom! Oh Jolene!) Mom wanted kittens; I wanted an adult cat who had a harder time finding a home. I wanted two cats; she wanted only one. So we reached a compromise. We would either get two kittens or one adult cat.
We quickly fell in love with Talia, with her Siamese blue eyes and seal point tail, ears and paws, although tiger stripes covered her face and body over a beige coat. I called her a "Si-Ti" (Siamese Tiger) mix until I learned she's a rare breed, a lynx point Siamese. She's gorgeous. She quickly filled out. All our cats do; I think it's the auto-feeder that does it.
So now Talia and I live our separate but intersecting lives in my nice cool Oklahoma home (those of you suffering the 100 degree heat with me know what a blessing that is!).
I wonder if she ever thinks of Mom (Mom 1. I'm Mom 2) or Auntie Jolene.
Oh, and by the way? In my current project, Blanche, my heroine, is a cat person, and Ike, the hero, is a dog person.
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