Sunday, November 07, 2004

Toonces Mouser the Cat

Tonight (Day 6) I wrote the segment of the novel where everybody goes to bed the first night. This section is immediately followed by Rev. Gantt's nightmare. Mouser is a 3-legged cat that my ex-priest character dragged in out of the rain one evening.

In this excerpt we see "getting ready for bed" from the cat's perspective. I know, it's a cliche - but it's my cliche, dang it, and I had fun writing it.

Mouser the cat patrolled the bookshelves and cupboards behind the lunch counter. She hadn’t seen a mouse in weeks, but she felt the weather changing. And she knew that with wet weather came mice.

Had she been able to talk – and an old codger, rocking on a porch somewhere spitting tobacco – she’d have said she felt in her stump, waving it around for all to see. Even though she knew nothing of high and low pressure systems and barometers or meteorology, and even though it wasn’t a localized phenomenon, she knew what she felt: Mice are coming. Mice will be here soon.

Upstairs she heard The Opener of Cans getting ready for sleep. She had watched him sometimes, trying to understand his rituals. He didn’t groom himself like she did at bedtime, though once or twice she had seen him lick his front paw and RUB down some hair sticking up over his funny ears. Sometimes The Opener of Cans would lie curled up in a ball, but he usually slept stretched out flat. She had tried sleeping that way, but never succeeded.

Her patrol took her by the store’s front windows. She put her paws up on the window frame and looked out at the street through the posters. Streetlights (and the moon?) shone down on the deserted street. She couldn’t see the stars, though she still remembered them from the time she had been tossed out of the car along the road by Kicker. She remembered him still, but The Opener of Cans who had been a woman was fainter in her memory.

She made her last circuit of the downstairs before heading up the stairs to repeat the routine and go to sleep. She thought she saw something underneath one of the stools, but it turned out to be nothing, a shadow cast by something moving on the street.

“Not to worry,” she thought, the feline equivalent at any rate, “the mice will be here soon.” And, who knows where cats’ thoughts come from, “...and something else, too.”

I'm not expecting that Mouser's POV will make another appearance in the book, so a minor indulgence here may not sink a multi-book deal. I have no idea yet if Mouser can drive a car.

(daily word count: 2,239 words; total word count: 13,215 words; words remaining: 36,785)