For the ninth day of Preptober, I’m creating a character profile for Lahea, my real-life Hawaiian princess who is also a star in American Catseye and Worlds They Dream.
Lahea is an adopted kitten from the Lanai Cat Sanctuary, a kitty shelter on a remote Hawaiian island that’s accessible by a ferry from the west coast of Maui. Even though Lanai is a small island, it’s centered strategically in the isle chain, so Hawaiian kings used it to stand upon ocean hills and look across the land. Today the Lanai Cat Sanctuary protects several hundred cats.
What does she want and why?
- Since Lahea was living with hundreds of cats, having time where she’s special is important.
- Territory is also more valuable than most; she thinks peeing on unclaimed things is essential to her long-term happiness.
- If the planet was threatened by Illuminati space aliens, I could see Lahea acting as the chosen one of her sanctuary to protect the collective.
What is her compelling dilemma?
- Because she wants to feel special, and she believes she’s clever, the Jurassic aliens might take advantage by tricking her with a disguise and/or playing with an illusionary “Chosen One” story.
- Lahea knows what it’s like to feel alone in a sea of other cats, as well as an urgency to grow up faster than she should, so she can be tough when others challenge her. This means she’s a survivor, but she’s sometimes aloof.
- She’s always been “good enough,” but since she doesn’t feel “good enough,” she over-extends in the name of feeling “better.”
Her Noble Quest and what’s in the way
- Once Lahea realizes she was purrfect all along, she won’t feel insecure enough to pee on territory, nor will she feel as weighted by an inner wound of childhood loneliness.
- Lahea would want to share this realization of being “good enough” with other smaller-than-normal, over-crowded animals; she would want to help others wake up and feel “good enough” with themselves.
- But when Cat Society #337 fails at their goals as much as the Illuminati, Lahea has to face the self-esteem rattle of failure. Can she bounce back every time, exemplifying the learning potential of embracing mistakes? Or will the insecure kitten inside of her awaken an alarming perfectionist?
Lahea and Phoebe fight quite a bit, although it isn’t the same as the tension with Buttercup. When Phoebe and Buttercup fight, it’s like two opposing forces of nature. When Lahea fights Phoebe (or Buttercup), it’s like a kitten proving they’re competent hunters. It’s a different vibe.
Still, the hoomans kick Lahea out of the bedroom, into the living room, if she attacks Phoebe; elder abuse isn’t acceptable.