How to Foster Cats Responsibly

Here are the top five (5) recommendations for responsible cat fostering from People for the Eu Thanizing of Animals :-()

1. IF THE CAT STANDS NEAR YOU NOT LOOKING AT YOU, IT MEANS THAT HE OR SHE IS INTERESTED IN YOU. THEY MAY BE GROOMING THEMSELVES WITHOUT A CARE IN THE WORLD, GLANCING AT YOU OCCASIONALLY AS IF YOU'RE A TOTAL ****HEAD, BUT IT OFTEN MEANS THAT THEY WANT YOUR ATTENTION AND THEY'RE PLAYING HARD TO GET.

HOWEVER, IF YOUR CAT IS NOT AROUND, DO NOT GO LOOKING FOR THE CAT, FIND HIM HIDING IN A CARDBOARD BOX IN THE CLOSET, AND THEN CUDDLE HIM FOR THE NEXT HOUR.

2. THE BEST WAY TO FIND A WONDERFUL NEW HOME FOR YOUR MOGGY IS TO "PAINT THE BEST PICTURE". USE PHOTOSHOP TO REMOVE ANY UNSIGHTLY MARKS ON THE CAT, OR TO MAKE THEM SEEM LESS EXCITED THAN THEY USUALLY ARE.

THE BEST PETS ARE THOSE THAT ARE "NO TROUBLE" TO THEIR OWNERS - SO DON'T BE AFRAID TO USE GRAPHICS PACKAGES TO GIVE THIS IMPRESSION.

HERE'S AN ORIGINAL PHOTO OF TWO CATS BEING FOSTERED:
BELOW IS THE PHOTOSHOPPED VERSION OF THE SAME PHOTO, WITH THE RED EYE AND OTHER DETAILS FIXED SO THAT THE CATS SEEM LESS DEVILISH AND MORE "CHILLED".

3. IF YOUR FLATMATE IS A CHEF FROM NEAR WESTERN RUSSIA, AND YOU ARE IRISH (WITH A THICK DUBLIN ACCENT), DO NOT JOKINGLY TELL YOUR MISBEHAVING CAT "I'LL BURST YOU!" IN FRONT OF THIS SAME UKRAINIAN CHEF.

YOUR CHEF FLATMATE OF NO FIXED NATIONALITY WILL TAKE THE PROMPT TO "BORSCHT" THE CAT AS A COOKING INSTRUCTION. YOU MAY FIND ON RETURN HOME FROM WORK THAT THERE IS NO CAT CLIMBING ON YOUR KEYBOARD OR CHEWING THROUGH YOUR WIRES, BUT INSTEAD THERE IS A TASTY, FELINE-BASED STEW SIMMERING IN A POT ON THE COOKER.

4. THERE IS LITTLE FINANCIAL REWARD IN CAT FOSTERING, SO USE THE CAT LITTER TRAY TO PRACTICE YOUR GOLD PROSPECTING SKILLS.
SIFTING THROUGH CAT LITTER FOR POOP BEFORE DUMPING IT IS A LOT LIKE GOLD PANNING - YOU SHOVEL UP THE LITTER WITH A SPECIALLY DESIGNED SHOVEL WITH HOLES, AND YOU SHAKE GENTLY TILL YOU GET THE "NUGGETS". ONCE YOU HAVE THIS EXPERIENCE BEHIND YOU, YOU CAN MOVE TO THE ALASKAN WILDERNESS, AND START YOUR EXPLORATIONS FOR RARE EARTH METALS.

5. FINALLY, IF YOU FIND A STRAY CAT, PLEASE GAS IT RESPONSIBLY.

A couple of theories that might help with character...

Character development is important. Check out a couple of theories that may help to inspire and motivate both your writing and develop your characters.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs


Abraham Maslow on needs is good for some writing and character motivation. I hadn't heard of this guy. The needs are very fluid and there is a lot of overlap, but they might work to drive your character's arc forward.


In Maslow's hierarchy, you have basic survival at the bottom - your hero may be starving, or he may be homeless on a wintry day. His basic need might be to survive at some point in your story, and ensure that all of his physiological needs are met. Sexual need is addressed by Maslow here too, under physiological requirements (to keep the human race going) but this could feed into a higher need.

  



Safety needs are next: The need to feel secure and unthreatened.

Love and belonging is there too, in the middle of the pyramid. Again, this links into sexual needs. So a love interest would fall into this category. Indeed, if a husband of the heroine is threatened or kidnapped, it could feed into any of the other needs.

Esteem is next. Your protagonist might hurt the honor of a villain. Your heroine may suffer from low self esteem and crave praise from others as a result. Your protagonist might wreak revenge on a villain whom he had to associate with growing up, as payback for reducing himself to work alongside him, while he bullied the main character and destroyed people.

Self-actualisation. Like the Ancient Greeks, your hero has the wherewithal to be the best he can be, and he's maxed out on wisdom and self-knowledge. He tasted the fruit in the Garden, but he's made his peace with the Man Upstairs,  and he's now a fully rounded man, purged of flaws. Or whatever.


EMW Tillyard's Elizabethan World Picture


The other theory is for historical characters and perhaps people in a narrative who are very Old Skool in their beliefs.

Tillyard's Elizabethan World Picture. Tillyard was a lit critic and he used his picture so that modern audiences could appreciate Tudor drama. Shakespeare may have subscribed to some of Tillyard's sentiments, but really, it's a theory that was formulated in the mid-twentieth century. I would be reluctant to impose a mindset on the people back then, other than to say that God probably played a more vital and daily role.

But it's a superb, basic notion that can be applied to a character of that era - any Christian (or Abrahamic) believer, perhaps. But it could well apply to a great swathe of humanity, from the Dark Ages to the late nineteenth century and beyond.

Its hierarchy basically works like this:
God
Angels
Monarch (King or Queen)
Man
Animals
Plants
Rocks and metal and bits and bobs

Everyone should know their place. Macbeth steals the throne; people on the up tend to get smacked down in Shakespeare. The idea is found everywhere, from Frankenstein to Jurassic Park. But an eighteenth century monk might hold similar views, and teach novices the same for thematic relevance in your historical fiction.

Both theories are going out of fashion, but I feel they are excellent ways to improve anyone's writing.

Anyway, that's about it. (And look up all that stuff yourself, coz I'm probably wrong on most of it.)

#amwriting