Feline Inspiration for Hard-Boiled Fiction

I recall seeing a photo of Raymond Chandler with his black cat and was fully convinced that any mystery, crime, or hard-boiled writer needed a black cat.

I also thought you needed to wear glasses and smoke a pipe. Be that as it may, Mongo came into our lives six years ago. He’s a tough guy, more like Robert Mitchum than Humphrey Bogart but he makes an excellent sidekick.

I’d like to say he is a constant source of inspiration but nine times out of ten he’s on the desk, grabbing my hand with his paw to get me to rub his belly and pull my hand away from the keyboard.
Rupert reminds me at times of Peter Lorre from “The Maltese Falcon”.

A tuxedo cat, he exudes charm and class. But he can also be skittish, making me wonder exactly WHAT he has been up to.
Camille is my sweet little angel, daddy’s little girl. But don’t let her charm fool you:

If either of the two boys try to jack with her, she is more than their match.
I should be more cognizant of real human characters and their traits when I contemplate characters in stories and novels. I just happen to find the felines living under my roof to be a continuing source of inspiration.


  1. Sister Val said,

    February 17, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    The tables that Rupert is posing under, look quite familiar….perhaps something from childhood!


    • tikiman1962 said,

      February 19, 2011 at 3:03 pm

      Your eyes and memory serve you well. They were a couple of tables Ma and dad bought when they first got married. We shipped them back from ocala several years ago. (That story is worth another blog entry alone.) Shelia got glass to put on top of each and they have a lovely place in our parlor.
      And Rupert, being a tuxedo cat, looks absolutely pre-eminent sitting between them. (If you knew him, you’d realize that he was wondering where his shrimp cocktail is.)


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