I live in the middle of a menagerie of humans and animals. We have six chickens, five cats, four horses, two dogs, a lizard, a snake and countless tropical fish, not to mention some humans that occasionally behave like animals. I include myself in that.
The cat in the photo is Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry). He and his brother, Peregrine Took (Pippin) came to live with us in 2017 and quickly realised they were on to a good thing. The other cats are a little more aloof (except Mo, but he deserves a blog post all to himself really). When I write, I’m usually surrounded by a pile of snoring animals. Bramble often sleeps behind my chair, so when I roll it backwards, I run over her long, Border Collie tummy hairs and she shrieks like a banshee.
But if you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering why I haven’t answered the question. Why a cat?
Well you see, Merry likes to whisper in my ear when he sees me becoming distracted by social media or emails. You could call him my inspiration, I suppose, since his suggestions for plots tend towards the gory, with disembowelment and disfiguring incisions featuring prominently. You could even say that he’s the reason I turned to crime.