Saturday, August 11, 2007

Family Pets

In addition to a dog, we always had cats when I was growing up. Most memorable was our white Persian, Frosty. He was a purebred. Both his parents were show cats but to us, he was Frosty, a member of our family. We didn’t care about his pedigree. My sister and I dressed him up in doll clothes and wheeled him around the neighborhood in a baby carriage. Ah, we loved the reaction of people when we let them take a peek inside. We ignored the strict diet prescribed by the breeder and fed him from our plates. He liked Doritos®, cheese and spaghetti. Whenever we cooked spaghetti, we always made a plate for him. He devoured it, licking his plate clean. When he finished, his beard was stained orange. It always made us laugh. Despite the violation of his dietary restrictions, he lived until he was seventeen.

Now I have a dog and five cats. Each has a distinctive personality. We have a curmudgeonly cat who is growing more affectionate with age. He snores, has only three teeth, and he has a torn ear because he has escaped death numerous times. Our dog is a beast who loves freeze pops and snowball battles. Then there’s our kitten we call “stupid cat.” My son rescued him one November night from the brink of starvation and frostbite. Stupid Cat became immediately attached to the dog. They’re both gold, so I think the cat thinks the dog is Mommy. Or Daddy. I could fill a volume with stories about these animals. They’ve given me a lot of laughter and few frustrations over the years.

Freewrite about your family pets. Write about the day you brought them home, the things they ate, the toys they played with. Write about leaving them for the first time. Or the time you had to put it to sleep.

If you’ve never owned any pets, write about the neighborhood dog the kids in the neighborhood were afraid of or the cat lady down the street. (There always seems to be one in every neighborhood.) Or maybe it was the chipmunk you fed Cheerios on your windowsill. The rabbit that nibbles your flowers. The class hamster or snake. Write about the pets you wished for. The pugs pressed against the pet store window. The bird you wanted to teach to sing show tunes. Write about the pets you’ll someday have.
I've posted week two's notes and exercises for the free Creating Memorable Characters Workshop. If you haven't been there yet, surf over to the CS Writing Workshop page. I'll be adding new notes and writing exercises each week.
As always...have fun with your writing!

1 comment:

Caryn Swark said...

Wow -- what great ideas in your links! I love it. Thanks for leaving your comment on my blog and drawing my attention -- I'll definitely be following along with you now :)