Monday, March 5, 2012
A better look at my book
Hello again friends. as promised, I shall now attempt to post the 1st chapter of my book, SCAT, CAT.
Patricia A. Garbutt
A small black and white cat with a very long tail and very chubby cheeks lived in a big white house in a small city nestled in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. The cat was not quite a kitten and not quite a cat, but at that awkward, gangly in-between age. The small cat didn’t have a name. The Big Ones in the house just called him “The Cat.”
Cat was mostly content with his lot because he was warm and dry and had enough food to fill his small cat tummy. The big white house had plenty of corners and closets to explore and tall staircases to run up and down. When he was bored, he could play games for hours by chasing his shadow or bouncing a scrap of paper around a room. Of course, he also had to work on his catnaps, and usually he needed at least four or five a day. Sometimes the Big Ones even rubbed his cheeks and patted his head, which made him happy. At other times, when he wanted the Big Ones to play, he would rub his small cat body around their legs and try to talk to them. All that came out was a tiny little “mew?” He guessed the Big Ones didn’t understand, because they always shoved him away with their big hard feet and said, “Scat, Cat!”
Cat would have liked to sit on the big soft places that the Big Ones used, but if he tried to join them, they would just put him back on the floor with the familiar, “Scat, Cat or some other words that Cat didn't understand, but that he was sure would not be appropriate in polite company.
Things hadn't always been like this for Cat. When he first arrived in the big white house he had been a small fuzzy kitten and the Big Ones would hold and cuddle him and play with bits of string and crinkly paper. As he began to grow things began to change. Perhaps it was something he had done. Was it the time he climbed all the way to the top of the silky window coverings? Maybe it was because he liked to unroll all the paper in the room with the falling water. He hadn't broken any of the Big Ones' belongings in a long, long time. Well...except for that shiny thing that just hopped right off the shelf right where landed in pursuit of a particularly enticing bit of dust.. Was it his fault that the floor was so hard?
Yes. He had learned some valuable lessons since then and he was sure his behavior would make his Mother proud. When Cat thought of his Mother he would often lie down in a box in the corner and feel very sad and lonesome, remembering his own family. He missed his Mother and Brothers and Sisters, but didn’t know where they were. One day they were all together, snuggly and warm, purring happily, and the next day he was alone with just the Big Ones for company.
Cat tried not to be sad and filled some of the lonely hours by amusing himself with other small things around the house that needed to be taught a lesson in manners. He stalked the wily dust bunnies under the beds. He skirmished with the savage cobwebs that lurked behind the couch, although he never did find the cobs. He was especially on the watch for flies or spiders or other creepy crawlers that dared to enter his house. Some of them were even quite tasty.
Sometimes when he was in a wistful sort of mood he would think about why he didn't seem to have a proper name and why he was always called “ScatCat.” Names were very important to his people and he hoped that one day someone would accord him that honor. After all, everyone needed a name. The Big Ones had names. Cat knew that the large hairy one was called “Hey You” and the smaller softer one was called “Old Lady.” The names didn’t mean much to ScatCat, but a lot of the Big Ones’ actions were impossible to understand. They stared at a strange noisy box with mysterious images moving across it. They seemed to be able to do this for hours at a time and never want to run or play.
Their eating habits were very odd, too. They took perfectly good meat and placed it over a hot, red, flickering light until it was dark and hard. ScatCat couldn’t understand why they would ruin good food this way, and then smack their lips like it was the most delicious squeaky morsel they had ever eaten. But he had to admit that sometimes the aromas coming from their bowls made his mouth water.
They never seemed satisfied with their fur either, because they kept changing it: dark to bright, soft to hard, fluffy to slippery, heavy to light… there seemed to be no end to what they would do. Sometimes they took their fur off completely, which really made him shiver. Then they would step into a strange small room and make water fall all over themselves. At times, they would even lie down in the water! Even though it made his skin crawl just to think about it, ScatCat was strangely drawn to the room with the falling water. Whenever Hey You or Old Lady went into this mysterious place, he simply had to follow. One day as he was watching this strange ritual he came to a stunning conclusion. They weren't changing their fur...they had no fur at all! Oh, the poor things! That's why they had so many different coverings. They did have a bit of fur on the top but it certainly didn't amount to much in ScatCat's opinion, even if Old Lady spent an excessive amount of time fiddling with it. Yes. They certainly were unusual animals but ScatCat felt he was much wiser now about their peculiar habits.
One day things began to change in the big white house. Things were moving out and large boxes were moving in. Then even the boxes began moving out. ScatCat watched all this activity with a sense of foreboding. Change was usually not a good thing for kittens or cats and he felt certain that this “change” would be no different.
Finally, there came a day when all the Big Ones’ belongings were gone and the big white house was empty. The only things left were ScatCat and one small box.
Suddenly one of the Big Ones scooped him up and put him in the small box. He felt himself being jiggled and bumped as he was placed in a noisy, rumbly, dark space that started to move. ScatCat was unsure where he was going or why. Soon the swaying rumble in the darkness made him drowsy and he drifted off to sleep.
He woke up to the voices of the Big Ones and found himself again being jiggled and bumped along. “Maybe we are back at our house,” thought ScatCat. “Soon things will be back to normal.” He felt his little box being set down on solid ground and waited for someone to set him free. He heard some banging and then the noisy rumbly thing began its rumbly noise. The noise grew fainter and fainter and then there was only quiet, then after a bit there came the sound of the chirping of crickets. ScatCat knew it was the dark time and wondered what he should do.
“Maybe the Big Ones will be back soon and I should just wait here in my box. That seems the best choice for now. That's exactly what I'll do.” So he made a few circles in his box … one, two, three , making himself as comfortable as possible and after much tossing and turning was finally able to fall asleep.