14 March 2011

Boo the Familiar in Love Potion 2-14

 I’ve had several people ask me about the cat, Boo, in Love Potion No. 2-14, so I thought I’d answer some of them here and provide some photos to show you what I mean.

Yes, Boo is a real cat. He’s 6 years old and pure black with yellow eyes.  And yes, he weighs 25 pounds—despite the hated diet. He’s an outside cat, so God only knows what he’s eating beyond the miserly ½ cup of food the vet allows us to give him. None of the neighborhood children have turned up missing, so I suspect he’s been confined to smaller vermin—not that I’m suggesting any of the neighborhood children are vermin. But we have had a dearth of mice, gophers, and, unfortunately birds in the area.

Boo’s an excellent hunter, so I’m not surprised he’s cleaned out the neighborhood. I’ve actually seen him take a low-flying bird out of the air. God, I wish I had a picture of that. I know, I know, I should have been rooting for the bird. But it was such an amazing feat, I couldn’t help but be impressed. And I pity the poor bird that dares to build a nest in one of our trees. Flimsy tree limbs are certainly no obstacle to Boo.
 Nor is the height of the nest. I’ve tried to explain to him that he’s free to eat all the mice, gophers, and moles, etc. that he wants, but I’d prefer he’d leave the birds alone. He just looks at me like I’ve grown a second head. I finally had to stop feeding the birds as I felt I was giving Boo an unfair advantage.
In spite of his lack of discretion in hunting, Boo’s really a sweet cat. He’s loyal and affectionate. When the weather permits—and I can drag myself away from the computer long enough—I go outside for a walk, and Boo follows me around like a puppy. Despite his full complement of very sharp teeth and claws, he’s never once scratched or bitten me. Not even when I pick him up and nuzzle him, as I tend to do often because he’s so cuddly. (And lifting him is such good upper body exercise.) He’ll accept it in good humor for a minute or two, but then he’s had enough and wants to be put down. So he asks politely. If I ignore his request, he squirms until I comply. Once, when squirming didn’t work quickly enough, he bopped me on the cheek with his claws sheathed—his way of saying, “My claws are sheathed now, but if you don’t put me down, they might come out.” I loved it, and of course, had to give him an extra nuzzle, which didn’t please him at all. Though I did put him down before the claws came out.
One of the reasons I cast Boo as the Familiar in Love Potion No. 2-14 is that some of the expressions he gets on his face make him look positively evil, despite his very sweet nature.

True, my two other cats also get the same evil expressions on their faces, but for some reason those expressions look more sinister on Boo. Maybe it’s that he’s black, and his eyes are such a brilliant yellow.

Another reason I cast him as the Familiar is his amazing patience. I’m not a patient person. I figure if patience was really a virtue, I’d have gotten the patience gene. I didn’t. One of my favorite t-shirts has a picture of two buzzards on it. One says to the other, “Patience, my ass. I’m going to kill something!” That’s me in a nutshell. But I’ve seen Boo sit for hours, watching a bush or clump of grass and not moving a muscle.
How does he do that? And he never seems to be worried or impressed about anything. When I was writing Love Potion No. 2-14, I agonized to Boo about whether or not anyone would like it. He just shrugged. Now that it’s become a best seller on All Romance eBooks, I tell Boo he’s a star and people ask about him. He just shrugs. Oh, to be a cat and have the confidence not to care what anyone thinks!

Visit me at Pepper O’Neal: http://www.pepperoneal.com/
Love Potion No. 2-14 blurb: http://pepperoneal.com/?page_id=7
Read excerpt from Love Potion No. 2-14: http://pepperoneal.com/?page_id=123


Rachel Firasek said...

Loved Boo, and loved this story!!

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Boo looks like he's your very lovely muse. I had to stop feeding the birds also - unfair advantage for my cats!

Grace Elliot said...

Utterly gorgeous cat!!!!
PS my latest blog post is about why black cats came to be thought of as lucky -
From one cat lover to another. x

LJ DeLeon said...

I absolutely love Boo. I have one just like him, Sophie. Sophie and her sister Kate were rescue cats who show no respect. I'm consider staff, which is okay because I love them. But one day ....

Anonymous said...

I'm not usually a cat person, but he's beautiful. Loved the post.

Fiona said...

Gotta love that Boo. Hey, with his growing fan base if you feature him in a another book he'll soon need his own page on your web site! As if he didn't already feel important ...


Ciara said...

I love Boo's photo in the tree. He should be a model. :)