The Inspiration behind Isabella
For those of you who have read my novel, you’re familiar with Henry Fleming/Strongman’s cat, Isabella. Here is an excerpt from The Unbeatables; The Autobiography of Strongman:
“On my way home from work one day, I passed by a small pet shop. The strange thing is that I passed by that pet shop every day to and from work, and I never remembered seeing it. But on that day I did. In the window display was a tiny kitten. She was lying in a box. She looked like a patchwork of every color of fur available on the cat fur palette. She looked up at me, stretched, got up, stretched again, then bounded up to the window, and started meowing. I went inside and informed the lady behind the counter that I was interested in purchasing the kitten in the window. She informed me that the cat was a runt and not likely to grow much bigger, and that unless I was planning on her being an indoor cat, she would be reluctant to sell her to me since she would be unable to defend herself. I told her it would definitely be an indoor cat. The lady went and retrieved the kitten from the window display. When she sat the kitten on the counter, the kitten immediately bounded over to me. The kitten and I spent our first night together trying out names. We finally narrowed the choices down to two. I don’t recall the losing name, but by the time she curled up next to me in bed (where Daphne’s pillow used to live), we had agreed on Isabella. She had a whisper of a meow. She spent the majority of her life either lying on my lap, clawing up my furniture, or sleeping right next to my pillow at night. She also developed a bad habit of eating her dinner on the dining room table whenever I ate mine.”
Sometimes fiction novelists incorporate something non-fiction into a storyline. When I wanted Henry to get a cat as a companion, I immediately thought of my precious little cat, Alice (the cat in the photo). Alice has not been with me for several years now, but when she was alive, she spent most of her non-sleeping life in my study keeping me company. Often times she would sit on my lap, which made writing a little challenging. But I never had the heart to tell her to move. And just like the fictional Isabella, Alice had just about “Every color of fur available on the cat fur palette”.
If you haven’t read my novel, it’s available on my website or directly through Amazon. See links below.