If you’re following me on Twitter or Facebook, you might have already seen these questions: What do you look for when you find a pet? What draws you to pick a certain one, like a cat vs a dog vs a turtle vs an ant farm vs a tarantula?
Most of that pertains to dogs and cats, probably because most people own one or the other, or both. I tend to disagree with the inherited name meaning the owner is too lazy to change it. Perhaps it’s better to let the pet retain its identity through a change of home. Of course, some people also rename children when adopting them, so perhaps we think of a lot of things as needing change when entering our home.
It’s something to take into account when fashioning a character who has a pet. Right now I am working with a teenager who has a pet cat. He doesn’t have a very unique name for her because that isn’t in his character. His best friend is constantly pushing her name for the cat – a Shakespearian character she thinks has a beautiful name.
Somehow it also reminds me of another story that pops into my memory here and there, an urban fantasy where some of the species kept humans as pets. What would that say about those types of people? Partly, they feel humans are less intelligent if they can be owned. They were also able to enforce their will through magic.
What is it about a pet that makes a human a good or bad one? I haven’t dug into that part yet – my focus centers on a character who is half-human and only has a peripheral view of the pets themselves. But now it makes me want to.
Drat. I didn’t need another distraction from my novel rewrite! That’s why I’m going to have to be prolific – I just keep getting great ideas.