Tammy: I based Faithful on my college cat Fido, who approved the pages he liked of the original Song of the Lioness manuscript by sitting and shedding on them. My current black cat, Scooter, has been standing in for Pounce, and like Fido, gives me plenty of advice on how I should proceed. The problem is that I couldn’t understand Fido and I can’t understand Scoot, since I don’t speak cat. ::sigh::
Scooter did get to give away his older “brothers,” PeeWee and Gremlin, to Kora and Aniki in Terrier, which made him very smug for about a week. One of our other cats who has passed on, Ferret, has appeared as Mystery in Street Magic and the unnamed orange and gray cat in Lady Knight. Kel’s original sparrow friends, Nari, Arrow, Freckle, and Crown, Flick the squirrel in Wolf Speaker, and Slapper and the other named pigeons of Terrier, are all friends of mine from Riverside Park whom I fed regularly while I lived nearby. (Slapper was actually “Gloucester” after Richard III, for his clubbed foot, humped back, and crazed eyes, but I couldn’t use his real name, so I called him after his habit of smacking me before and after I fed him.) Kel’s griffin is based on my best friend’s pet dove, found and rescued in Washington Square Park, while the dragons Scamp and Grizzle are her toy poodle and Maltese, and Little Bear and Achoo are two later dogs of hers. (Pidge, the dove, was my presentation of the joys of rescuing wildlife.) I see no reason why animals who are my friends can’t be in my books.