Today I’m building a character profile of DeeJAY, heir to the alpha cat-throne in Cat Society #337. He’s also the main character of the side story, “DeeJAY the Beetle Slayer.”
I found DeeJAY during a rainy night after my Japanese class. While I got a D in that class, it was still the best coursework I’ve completed at the community college, because it led me to my beetle slayer.
I was driving around a bend in the college parking lot when a kitten jumped in front of my car, cutting through sheets of torrential rain. I stopped my car and ran to the fence he jumped on. He was shivering, clinging for life.
When I brought him home, he spit-hiss at me.
We’re bonded. We’re cool now.
What does he want and why?
- He’s anxious. Everything makes him jump. I imagine he wants to live in the present moment, calmly, not as a nerve-rattled ball. Calmness doesn’t match with his temperament, though. He’s emotional. He chirps at everything, like we’re all birds that need to be hunted. I’m frequently singing to him, “It’s okay, DeeJAY.”
- He desperately wants Phoebe to be friends with him. He wants to exchange nose sniffs and butt sniffs. He’s a bit too high energy for Phoebe, though.
- He wants to eat all the human food.
What is his compelling dilemma?
- I can’t figure out if Smokey is challenging DeeJAY’s alpha authority, or if he’s just playing with him. Honestly, I don’t think DeeJAY can tell, either. And DeeJAY doesn’t like it when he can’t tell what someone wants. How can he be calculated enough to know what lies ahead, without over-thinking himself into anxiety?
- He lives in Philo’s shadow. The other cats don’t respect him as an alpha, they just back off if he gets emotional,…which leads to him being alpha.
- He is absolutely going to escape outside and climb up the pecan tree before the hoomans get him. He just has to figure out when and where to sprint so he makes it around ankles without getting caught. Unfortunately, hoomans are starting to put a harness on before opening the door, so even if he runs out, he cannot make it up the tree to murder squirrels and beetles.
His Noble Quest and what’s in his way
- He would like to age into a respected gentleman, just as Philosopher Jones did. He has shoes to fill, and he has to control his emotions if he’s going to make it happen. For instance, Smokey takes advantage of how easy it is to irritate DeeJAY by trying to sniff his butt. If DeeJAY whines at Smokey forever, how is he a dignified leader?
- He must act as therapy cat to the hoomans, since Philosopher Jones is gone; but tabby cats are not supposed to be therapy cats. Smokey, a ragamuffin, makes a better therapy cat. Yet is it a good idea to let Smokey take responsibility of such an important role? Is DeeJAY forfeiting power?
- We love DeeJAY, and he’ll never be abandoned, but he’s scared and aloof because as a child, he was alone in the rainy parking lot.
He wasn’t that young when I found him, though… I tried to bottle feed him, and he ate the nipple, then chowed on kitten kibble.