Emotional Alchemy


My first published children’s novel, “Chloe Among The Clover”, was inspired by the cat pictured above, who just so happens to be named Chloe.  Like the titular character in the novel, Chloe constantly tried to hunt chickens, even though she knew she was not supposed to.  She was a very affectionate cat toward humans, but she exercised little mercy when trying to hunt chicks.  Contrary to the cat mentioned in the book, Chloe was also very affectionate toward my dog, Jack.  He and she would hunt together at night, and during the day they would curl up, side to side.  I didn’t know which one of them was to blame for this failing.   It was like they had never learned how proper cats and dogs behave toward one another.  In fact, rather than tormenting each other all the livelong day, they dared one another toward more brazen hunts.   I even caught them one night being so brave (or foolish) as to hunt a copperhead.

Unfortunately, as Philip Larkin once said, “being brave lets no one off the grave”.  Jack died from heatstroke while chasing foxes in the field and Chloe died from snakebite not too long afterwards.  My novel finds tragedy similarly, but takes poetic license with the circumstances and the outcome in many diverse respects.  But sometimes embellishing the truth can hit at the greater truths in life.  I could never really capture their lives and personalities true to life, but I did give them a pretty lively sketch.

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