Life wouldn’t be as exciting without our pets. I have a seeing-eye dog and a cat. I love them both, although having my cat walk across my keyboard when I’m writing has caused some interesting disruptions in edits. (Under my cat’s picture below is her favorite typo.) There’s a quote that applies to people who love their pets. “Love me, love my animals.” Especially when my guide dog and I are out in public, it’s a case of “we’re a pair.” I have started word-of-mouth campaigns about restaurants and businesses that didn’t allow my dog and me to come in together.
But this post isn’t about politics. It’s about the way pets enrich our lives, and can do the same for our characters. Is your hero reluctant to talk to other people? He probably talks to his mastiff (or toy poodle). Is your heroine plagued by PTSD? She likely finds comfort in the purr of her cat, the gleeful chatter of her parakeet, or the snuffly nose of a guinea pig.
While we’re at it, don’t be afraid to investigate the exotic pets. The three-foot tall cat or the miniature horse some blind people have as a guide are just two of the possibilities. And there are hundreds of breeds of cats and dogs outside the common. But keep in mind that people who have an unusual pet often have an unusual reason for owning him or her. For example, a friend of mine is afraid of small cats, and yet she loves to hear them purr. She owns a Siberian Forest Cat. VERY large and sweet.
Chris and the Fire Salamander (working title) is the first novel I’ve written where one of the heroes owns a pet. Chris comes from a difficult family life. Only his half-Siamese can make him smile. Through her, readers get a good look at Chris’s true feelings about the world. As a side note, I can’t wait to see how Chris’s cat reacts to Chris’s love interest, a fire elemental named Nathan.
I can’t post a picture of my guide dog because I’m trying to keep my pseudonym separate from my legal name, but below is one of my favorite pictures of my cat, and her favorite thing to type on my keyboard.
Emily Carrington is the author of 6 male-male romances for Loose Id, including the touching New Adult stories, Heartwood and Black Mahogany. Check them out!