Friday, March 27, 2009

100 posts & The Best Cat Ever

Technically, this is my 101st post, because Blogger tells me I have a total of 100. But I do remember some glitch happening a few months back that made Blogger add 1 to my total number of posts, so 100. But that's beside the point.

Right now I'm reading a book by Cleveland Amory, the animal rights activist and writer who wrote that nice book called The Cat Who Came for Christmas, which we took up in nonfiction class. This book I'm reading now is called The Best Cat Ever, and it turns out to be book three in a trilogy where The Cat Who Came... is book one.

Reviews of the Cat trilogy actually say that the books are biographical--as in: Amory writes Polar Bear's (that's the cat's name) biography. But I think it's more like memoirs, autobiographical snippets, which, in Amory's not-so-famous status, will not make the book sell. But Amory was wise in this way: he shared his stories by hinging them on a unifying element, and that was the cat. And though the author himself was, like Polar Bear--if he could forgive me--neither celebrity nor VIP, the book is quite a gem. It looks beyond the who's who and what's what and the boo hoos, and a reader can pick up a thing or two about good writing. ;-)

Here's an observation of Amory's that I found rather true--despite the fact that I love writing. There are just some days when one feels the need to do something else. An excerpt:

When you are a writer almost anything except writing seems a far more interesting thing to be doing. Cleaning up the house, sharpening pencils, telephoning, rearranging books, even reading something you have read quite recently--these all seem infinitely superior occupations compared to the job of actually putting your own words on paper.

Ordinarily, this quote would make one think that perhaps the person didn't enjoy writing in the first place. But if you really didn't want to write, why bother writing all that down? I suppose writers are the only ones who are in danger when it comes to whining about the thing they do. That's because they're the only ones who get a chance to record their, uh, shortcomings.

So here's a little writer-ly resolution (which I can imagine my own cat Petru giving me, with his signature swooshy tail and evil blue eye): stop whining and start writing.

Now I have 5 posts for March!

EDIT: P.S. I finished the book after 1 week, and it made me cry. I was crying last night for a cat that was put to sleep 17 years ago. Polar Bear, I take back what I wrote, you have celebrity.

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