Today I give you a glimpse into the strange mind of a writer.
Last night, I had a vivid and weirdly specific dream in which I was house/pet sitting for some friends while they were on vacation. Their cat, Yuki, had an odd fascination with one of the kitchen cabinets. She’d sit in front of it and yowl sadly, and if I ever opened that cabinet to get something, she’d crawl inside and look around. I thought it was sweet and funny that she was missing her people but thought that they’d gone into the cabinet when they went away. Then one day she came into the kitchen carrying a sheet of lined notebook paper, and she stuck the paper through the pull handle on the cabinet. I looked at it, and written on it in a childish scrawl in pencil was “Yuki (heart) you.” I wasn’t sure if the cat had managed to learn to write or if maybe she’d managed to get out of the house and some neighborhood kid had written it. Either way, it was a little astonishing that the cat had actually left a written note for her owners.
When I woke up from this dream in the middle of the night, my first thought after “that was weird” was “there’s got to be a story in there.” I ended up staying awake for some time as I worked out how it was sort of a reverse Narnia thing, with Yuki being from another world and coming through a portal that came out in a kitchen cabinet in our world. The people in that house didn’t know where she came from and just thought they’d been “adopted” by a cat. For a while, she enjoyed being treated like a goddess, but she was getting homesick. She thought that the absence of her captors would be the perfect opportunity for her to escape. They never allowed her in the kitchen cabinet, but the petsitter wasn’t as quick. Except, alas, the portal was closed and she couldn’t get back, so she left a sad note in tribute to her lost people.
Maybe the petsitter figures out that something’s up and helps her get a portal open to go back, then has to make up some story about the cat running away while she was petsitting.
And after all this middle of the night brainstorming, I overslept.
I’m not sure what triggered this dream. The subject of petsitters did come up in a conversation with friends last night, but we weren’t talking about cats, and I’d never be able to petsit for a cat if I had to stay in the house because I end up coming down with bronchitis if I spend the night in a home with a cat. And I really don’t know how I came up with the cat’s name.
I will have to add this to the idea file. Probably not for a whole novel, but it might make a cute short story.