Feline Fun Friday – Olivia: Fact or Fiction          

Olivia turns three years old this week. She was a COVID baby, coming to us in 2020 as a kitten after being found living under a house, and after having to undergo weeks of ringworm treatment—which means frequent baths. She was not the easiest kitten I’ve had as far as socializing her, but she came around big-time. We’re extremely pleased with her progress. She’s even learning to trust strange sounds and strangers just a little. It’s interesting to watch her grow–she started out being terrified of the trash trucks rumbling down the street on Mondays. Now They fascinate her–she rushes to the window to watch them. I’ve watched her work through other fears all by herself.

You all know that I’ve created a series featuring Olivia. She has such a big purr-sonality that I couldn’t resist exploiting it and expanding on it. It’s uncanny how much she influences the stories in my Calico Cat Mysteries.

People wonder how closely I pattern the Olivia character after the real Olivia. Well, it’s an interesting dance between the Olivia we adore and the Olivia I’ve created. I’ve taken many of Olivia’s habits and activities/action and quirks and overall personality and incorporated them into the fiction Olivia. For example, Olivia really does screech like a banshee and leap as high as she can up against the walls. She loves a lap snuggle. She is extremely curious. She has ways of letting us know what she wants and when. She insists, for example, that the two of us stop what we’re doing and convene in the living room around three every afternoon with her. She insists on family time.

She is mostly quiet, but when she has something on her mind she can be very vocal—usually we can figure out what she wants—a window open so she can feel the air and hear the birds, me out of my office or back in the house. If I’m out in the yard she follows me from window to window, meowing. She has a vocabulary which I haven’t figured out yet—but she definitely uses different sounds in different situations.

She lets us know loud and clear when it’s time to play a game she invented where she goes into a tent-toy and we toss paper wads and small toys on top of it for her to bat off or jump out and grab. She loves that game. She likes to interact with us.

Olivia is an only cat like the Olivia in my stories, but she is fascinated by other cats in the yard and follows them from window to window. Like the fiction Olivia, she is a poor eater—but maintains her weight. I weigh her often to make sure. But when she does want canned food she lets me know. How I hate the waste of canned cat food around here. She’ll often ask for it and not eat it.

The real Olivia does not like to ride in cars. I’ve never tried putting a harness and leash on her. Knowing her, I’m pretty sure that would not go well. So she is an indoor cat only.

Like the fiction Olivia, she is spunky, comical, smart as a whip, curious as all get out, and a wonderful companion.

The next time you read one of Olivia’s stories now you’ll know where some of my ideas come from. It might be something I’ve observed Olivia doing, her CATtitude about something, or simply something I imagine her doing that inspires a story theme or simply one scene in a story.

All of the calico cat stories are Olivia approved. She spends a lot of time in my office looking over my shoulder and vocalizing her opinion–oh yes, and curled up in my lap. I often create at the computer with the lovely sound of purring in the background.

This entry was posted in Artists and Cats, Living With Cats. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *