Thursday, January 13, 2011
Meaning More Than I Meant, or Maybe Just a Lot of Cats
When you have published five novels, it is possible to look back over the elements common to each and to discern certain themes and patterns that weren't intentionally planted to be part of a larger scheme, but there they are.
One common element in all my novels is cats. In my first novel, Objects etc, a cat falls out a window and dies, and another cat is seen sleeping in a shop window. In The Music Lesson, my second novel, there are a multitude of cats thronging the Irish cottage of a significant character. In my third novel, The Little Women, there is one cat named Tiggy Winkle and another named Miss Demeanor. In Triangle, there is a cat, Joe Green, short for Giuseppe Verdi (nobody got that, I mean nobody), who almost falls off a high ledge to his death, but then he doesn't. In True Confections, there is a cat who dies horribly as the consequence of a fire. (Fire is a topic for another day.)
So what's with all the cats? Maybe nothing momentous. I love cats. See above for a glimpse of my cat Katinka, the not-unlarge Siberian. Cats signify for me, and so why shouldn't they be present in the lives of my characters? In effect, cats are simply also characters in all of my novels so far.