One Rat, One Cat and Lots of Writing Ideas

Val MillsStarred Page By Val Mills, 13th Mar 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

Life is filled with unexpected moments, creating an element of surprise. We can choose to ignore these or deal with them and move forward. Today my cat delivered an element of surprise. He taught me humour can reduce the effect of shock. One cat and one rat have provided plenty of writing ideas.

Starting the Day with An Element of Surprise

I'm sure we've all heard the common saying, you never know what to expect when you get up in the morning. No one can predict what lies ahead, what twists and turns the day will take. The new day is full of surprises.
My morning certainly started with the unexpected today. I'd ambled out to the lounge with a writing idea running through my head. My newly created blog, Writing Your Stories was calling me.
But my life never runs as smoothly as that. There, lying on the lounge floor, lay a small rat, definitely dead, definitely adding an element of surprise to my morning ritual. This matter had to be dealt with. It wouldn't wait until I'd had my morning coffee, this was a matter of top priority.
My instincts said go back to bed, ignore this monster on the floor, cope with it later. Don't lose your writing time because of a rat. But, how could I ignore this little surprise deposited on my floor?

Off with His Head

On closer inspection, I noticed the rat had been beheaded. Down at his rear end, neatly sitting gazing up at me from beside his tail, sat the wee rat's head, with a glassy look in it's eyes. This rat had definitely been taken by surprise.
Where the head should have been was a sight I'd rather not describe. Just imagine an over-stuffed toy spilling it's inner contents when a seam breaks. Thankfully this young rat hadn't been too tightly stuffed and so the mess on the carpet was minimal.
I'll never know where the wee body came from, but I felt reasonably sure my lounge had not been the murder scene. The carcass had no doubt been carried home with pride, a gift from the smallest member of our household.

Enter the Killer

All murders have a victim and a killer and it didn't take too much intelligence to guess who the guilty party was. As I disposed of the body, the cat slept peacefully in the garden. His whiskers hardly twitched as I muttered my ingratitude toward him for my unexpected morning gift.
However, by the time my little ginger hunting boy awoke from his dreams, I'd had time to reconsider the situation. I'd much rather have a dead rat in my lounge than a live one. The cat deserved praise for protecting our home from a potential unwanted intruder.
But even more so, the cat had delivered a double favour.

Finding Writing Ideas

Like cats and creatures of the wild, writers are hunters and gatherers. Writing ideas need to be found and used to nourish our work.
My dear cat had chased away fears of having nothing to write about. He'd provided me with the gift of a rat. I had a topic for my writing blog.
No, I didn't write about cats and rats in a straight forward way. That wouldn't have been fun. I wrote a piece called Dealing with Rats in Your Writing, which I hope you'll take the time to read. The piece explains why we need to remember an element of surprise can make our work more interesting. It also shows how adding humour can diffuse the situation. After all, the rat's head did look quite funny sitting beside his bottom.

Writers are Real People

Writers are real people, experiencing the same every day dilemmas as everybody else. We sleep, eat, drink and write. In order to write we need to capture those crazy, everyday moments and those not quite so every day, using them to add flavour to our writing.
The element of surprise is a crucial part of anything we write. It keeps our readers turning pages. It makes readers want to come back for more.
From now on I hope I can find plenty more surprises to inject into my writing. Hopefully there won't be too many rats, but I'll be on the lookout for other ways to include an element of surprise into my work.
Thank you, dear cat, for adding depth to my writing day.

Other writing by Val Mills you may enjoy:

What to Do When Your Batteries Are Flat
Writers are Real People
Today I Choose to Call Myself a Writer
The Writer as a Hunter and Gatherer


Cats And Rats, Cats As Hunters, Dealing With Unexpected Situations, Element Of Surprise, Valmnz, Writing, Writing Blog, Writing Tips, Writing Your Stories

Meet the author

author avatar Val Mills
Self-published writer, coffee drinker, enjoying life. Also found at and

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
14th Mar 2013 (#)

Very nice.

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author avatar Carol
14th Mar 2013 (#)

Oh dear, I am terrified of rats, but don't like to think of him headless! Thanks for an interesting write Val.

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author avatar Retired
14th Mar 2013 (#)

Interesting...nice...yes... :)

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
14th Mar 2013 (#)

rather interesting...thank you..

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author avatar Songbird B
14th Mar 2013 (#)

I really enjoyed reading this Val, as it showed how even the rather more gruesome sights in life can inspire a writer..You are a constant joy to read, whatever your subject matter! lol..\0/x

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author avatar Delicia Powers
19th Mar 2013 (#)

Love this Val, I too think the everyday is our real history, the "stuff" of writers inspiration..thanks Val...

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