Today I’m building a character profile for Phoebe, the One and Only Bengal.
Phoebe is my real-life cat-friend; the first time I met her, she was still weaning. Now she’s fifteen years old.
I’ve also included Phoebe as a character in several of my stories. For instance, she’s the third narrator in American Catseye, after the reader meets Philosopher Jones and DeeJAY.
What does she want and why?
- She wants to feel safe; this is because her childhood was traumatic.
- She wants to be treated like any other cat; this is because she’s a hybrid of domestic felines and Asian leopards, and “wild blood” means everyone treats her different.
- She wants to stay close to me (Hooman #1) and the cats she’s known her entire life (Loki and Philosopher Jones, both recently passed); this is because new cats don’t understand her traumatic past and how it affects her behavior. You had to be there.
What is her compelling dilemma?
- Since she’s the last of the Loki-Philo-Phoebe trio, she has to learn to get along with new cats or feel alone; and she’s made strides in friendship, especially with Tom, my dad (Grandpa), and my husband (Hooman #A).
- DeeJAY and Smokey want to be her friends, but they’re high-energy.
- Buttercup has no interest in making friends—ironically, for very similar reasons—so they’re like binary stars: alike, yet unable to come close, or galactic-level disasters will happen. Yet Buttercup is also bonded with Hooman #1 and Hooman #A.
What is her Noble Quest and what’s in her way?
- Not only does she want to feel safe, but she wants everyone else around her to feel safe, too; she dreams of calm, trauma-free worlds. And argumentative people/cats stand in her way.
- Even though she wants to be treated like every other cat, her hybrid nature makes her prone to temperaments and bursts of energy that require specific, gentle attention. She wants to eat with the other cats, play with the other cats, and act like a cat, except she also needs to feel like a leopard.
- She is going to murder that red dot. The problem? THE DOT IS LIE.