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JamesSavik

A Kitten Named Farty-pants

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Part 1 - Sheba

black-kit.jpg

When I was almost six I wanted a dog. I didn't want just any dog. I wanted a big fraggin' dog. Big enough to eat bad kids and ride to school.

On my sixth birthday I got a surprise. It wasn't a dog. It was a cute little black kitten with a fuzzy tail. I didn't really want a fuzzy tailed kitten but this one kinda grew on me. And climbed on me. And ambushed my ankles. Stood on her back feet with paws extened like a boxer to challenge me. It didn't take long for her to win my heart.

We named her Sheba because it didn't take long for her to assert her royal birthright as queen of the household. While Sheba was jett black, she had quite a lot of Siamese in her. She had the intelligence, the loud, demanding voice, strong will and indomitable spirit that characterize the breed. In bright light, you could see her brown "points" on her face and paws.

It didn't take too long for our roles to reverse. I was no longer a kid raising a kitten. I was a kid being raised by a cat.

In those days my Dad's job kept him on the road 4 days out of five. My mom was a teacher who didn't get home until 5:00. When I got home from school at 2:30 Sheba was always glad to see me. She would purr real loud and do little figure eights around my feet. She was great company. She always liked to watch TV and, unlike other people, she never insisted on changing the channel.

Over the next year or two Sheba and I both grew and regardless of bad weather, bad moods or bad luck I could always count on Sheba to be waiting for me beside the door.

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Part 1 - Sheba

Excellent start on what promises to be a great story. On to Part 2!

Colin :hehe:

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The overall title (ie. the thread title) is interesting and I'm curious as to how it relates to what's been written so far.

On a constructive criticism note, I found the repetitive use of the phrase "didn't take [too] long" very grating. But that could just be me -- I found repetitive phrases and key words tend to jump out at me when I'm reading :hehe:

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Part 1 - Sheba

black-kit.jpg

When I was almost six I wanted a dog. I didn't want just any dog. I wanted a big fraggin' dog. Big enough to eat bad kids and ride to school.

On my sixth birthday I got a surprise. It wasn't a dog. It was a cute little black kitten with a fuzzy tail. I didn't really want a fuzzy tailed kitten but this one kinda grew on me. And climbed on me. And ambushed my ankles. And stood on her back feet with paws extened like a boxer to challenge me. I think that I was as fascinated by her as she was of me. In no time at all I forgot my disappointment in not getting a big dog and counted myself lucky to have a fuzzy kitten.

We named her Sheba because it didn't take long for her to assert her royal birthright as queen of the household. While Sheba was jett black, she had quite a lot of Siamese in her. She had the intelligence, the loud, demanding voice, strong will and indomitable spirit that characterize the breed. In bright light, you could see her brown "points" on her face and paws.

Soon our roles were reversed. I was no longer a kid raising a kitten. I was a kid being raised by a cat.

In those days my Dad's job kept him on the road 4 days out of five. My mom was a teacher who didn't get home until 5:00. When I got home from school at 2:30 Sheba was always glad to see me. She would purr real loud and do little figure eights around my feet. She was great company. She always liked to watch TV and, unlike other people, she never insisted on changing the channel.

Over the next year or two Sheba and I both grew and regardless of bad weather, bad moods or bad luck I could always count on Sheba to be waiting for me beside the door.

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It's a nice story, even the second time around, but I miss the phrase "win my heart" in the second one. It more readily captures the reality of the love. I'm not really sure if I like the "unlike other people", since a cat isn't a person, except of course to 'cat people', but not all the readers will be that.

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Part 2 - The Lessons of Sheba

As I spent more and more time with Sheba, I was amazed at how smart she was. While some people think that cats are dumb, Sheba possessed a great wealth of what most of us consider common sense. The more time you spend around people, you quickly discover how uncommon this virtue really is.

Sheba's lessons were easy, they always made sense and they have served me well when I was smart to apply them. To this very day they are relevant and keep me grounded.

1. Eat when you are hungry, drink when you are thirsty, sleep when you are tired and always play a little bit every day.

2. Play with reckless abandon and for the simple joy of it.

3. Even a rainy day can be improved by a nap.

4. Curiosity is a virtue that delivers new wonders every day.

5. Practicing caution is easier than growing new fur or healing cuts.

6. Never sniff a bee.

7. Nothing is improved by worrying.

8. Avoid things that smell bad.

9. Don't drink or eat anything that doesn't smell right.

10. Fighting is to be avoided but if you must, you will find that your spirit will make you bigger and stronger than you know.

11. There is no disgrace in climbing a tree to avoid a fight that you can't win.

12. Always keep your head because you only have one and you don't want to lose it.

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Haven't been around for awhile, but I saw this tonite and wanted to share some thoughts.

I think this is headed in the right direction. I love that the items that show the character of the narrator are included in the smallest details: "Big enough to eat bad kids and ride to school."

I love the idea of the role reversal in the human/feline relationship. I know that people think I'm just trying to be cute when I say that I'm lucky enough to be allowed to live in the house that the dogs run, but it's pretty much true.

When I was a child, we had a cat named Marmalade who still exemplifies the maternal spirit for me...she was the best mom I've ever seen, and I was her child as much as her kittens were. In spite of all the dumb things kids do to their pets (cut their whiskers off, suck their tail up in vaccuum hoses, you know the drill), she loved us without reservation or condition.

I'm looking foward to more of this stuff, JS.

aj

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Sheba Gains Fame

I?m not exactly sure when Sheba became a celebrity.

It could have been when she walked into the living room when my Mom was hosting twenty of her fellow teachers and politely asked, ?Wa-wa??

All conversation came to an end as my Mom walked into the kitchen and gave her a dish of water.

Mrs. Martin, one of her fellow teachers asked, ?Excuse me Emmaline, but did that cat just ask for some water??

My Mom said, without batting and eyelash, ?Why yes, she did.?

Before their meeting was over, Sheba walked to the front door and sat down. When no one noticed, she said, ?Won-out.?

My Mom calmly opened the door and let her out while her guests were choking on their crumpets.

While adults are easily amused, kids are a tougher audience to impress. Sheba followed me over to a friends house. One of the neighbors had a white Spitz that was known to be a bad dog.

My friend said, ?You had better look out for you cat. Franz will kill her.?

Sure enough Franz saw Sheba and charged her. There, in front of four six and seven year olds, Sheba unleashed some cat-fu that would have embarrassed Bruce Lee on that poor dog, slapping his face, jumping over his head, landing on his back with her claws.

The poor beast yelped and tried to run away with Sheba attached to his back like a jockey.

From then on, whenever that dog saw Sheba, he went into his garage and sulked.

Even kids that didn?t like cats liked Sheba because she wasn?t just a cat. She had become one of the guys.

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Really, nice. It's amazing how little needs to be said to give a real feel for the characters. :icon1:

Just one thing:

Sure enough Franz saw Sheba and charged her. There, in front of four six and seven year olds, Sheba unleashed some cat-fu that would have embarrassed Bruce Lee on that poor dog, slapping his face, jumping over his head, landing on his back with her claws.

The part I've put in bold made me pause as I tried to work it out. Initially I thought you meant impressed, rather than embarrassed, then I realised you meant that Bruce Lee would have been embarrassed at his lack of skill (in comparison). I'd suggest rewording that line, but the rest of the section is fantastic!

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I love it. It feels so 'right', and close to my cat's talents, except in the case of dogs, where mine just runs and hides. Graeme's got a point, and maybe the easiest 'fix' is to change it to "...Bruce Lee's talents on..."

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Very good, James!

As for the already mentioned sentence, I too stumbled a bit when reading it. The best fix is to rearrange the words a bit so instead of: There, in front of four six and seven year olds, Sheba unleashed some cat-fu that would have embarrassed Bruce Lee on that poor dog, slapping his face, jumping over his head, landing on his back with her claws; I'd made it: There, in front of four six- and seven-year-olds, Sheba unleashed some cat-fu on that poor dog that would have embarrassed Bruce Lee, slapping its face, jumping over its head, landing on its back with her claws.

Very good description throughout.

C

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James, I love Sheba Gains Fame! This is marvelously funny, and gives a great insight into the personality of Sheba. What an awesome cat!

I loved the way you described how your mother off-handedly accepted that Sheba can talk and the reactions of her friends were perfect.

This chapter makes me want to read more.

Colin :icon1:

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I am enjoying this story too.

I didn't have any trouble understand Bruce Lee's embarrassment at Sheba's cat-fu skills.

I found the sentence construction worked for me, but maybe that is because I had a talking cat when I was younger.

Every time I asked him who was the last Chairman of China, he would always reply, "Mow."

We also had a lovely cat who swore at anything that moved. Even total strangers visiting us, would comment, "That cat is swearing," as she walked passed them, hissing and snarling expletives that left no doubt as to the way she regarded the intruders into her home.

Great work James!

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