How Far Will Dusty The Cat Go?


*** Spoiler Alert – If you have not read The Secrets of Zagran, this post might be spoiler-ish for you. Please proceed at your own risk. ***

Maia has a cat. Dusty, a boy Calico.

Or should I say Dusty has a human. Maia, a thirteen-year-old Solianese girl.

I always wanted Maia to have a pet. With the kind of life she has had, having to live friendless, with the knowledge of her mother being a traitor to her people’s cause, shunned by family–it was imperative that she had a pet.

Also, Dada being the awesome zen grandfather that he is, would try to bridge Maia’s self-imposed seclusion in some super cool way. And what’s cooler to an eight-year-old than getting a pet?

I thought of a dog, but the idea just did not seem to fly. Maybe because I needed Maia to still be lonely–a dog with its effervescent and boundless energy would have mellowed her way too much.

So I got her Dusty, the boy Calico cat.

By the way, did you know how rare boy Calicos are? There is only 1 male in 3000 Calico cat births, the male Calico is actually a genetic anomaly. The fact was brought to my attention by a fan of Maia’s–thank you, D!

Here’s the link to the “Calico Cat” article on Wikipedia.

Rare by birth or not, Dusty turned out to have a strong personality. He took off every now and then, refusing to stay housebound. Maia is heartbroken by his rejection at first. But she slowly learns to respect Dusty’s need for independence and his spirit influences her own need for self-reliance. She also realizes that Dusty loves her, and that’s all that matters.

That’s how it has been until Book 2. It was all good, but now in the third episode, things are about to change. The status quo will be no more. Maia will go in a direction she did not imagine or plan for herself. And Dusty will need to choose.

My trouble is–I cannot decide whether to make Dusty follow in Maia’s footsteps or not.

Cats have a rep of being fiercely independent. They are not considered to be icons of loyal pets like dogs are. In my own life though, I have had cats myself that have surprised me with their devotion.

Say, Dusty realizes that he won’t see Maia again? What will he do? Will his love for Maia trump his need for independence?

I don’t know. Do you?

If you have a cat in your life or had one before, please chime in. Need some help to figure this out.

S.G. Basu is an aspiring potentate of a galaxy or two. She plots and plans with wondrous machines, cybernetic robots, time travelers and telekinetic adventurers, some of whom escape into the pages of her books. Once upon a previous life on planet Earth, S.G. Basu trained to be an engineer, and her interest in science and her love of engineering shows up time and again in her books.

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Posted in on my books, on writing

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