I’d wanted the Torres family to get a pet for a while and I knew it was going to be a cat.  We have an 11 year old dog that I adore, but I’ve always had an affinity for cats.  Our beloved cat died last year so I dropped the cat idea for awhile because I was so upset, but this summer it seemed time for our cartoon alter egos to finally take the plunge.

I was originally going to have one of the kids name the cat, so it would get a lame name like Fluffy or Blackie or Patches or Midnight (note that I’ve had cats in my life named two of those four names, so no offense meant to the Patches of the world!)  But I didn’t want people to think that I couldn’t think up a better name for a cat.  I don’t know where Nosferatu came from (I saw the movie once, back in college, and though I liked it, I rarely even think of it).  But I knew immediately that it as the perfect name for their cat, and that the name had to come from Manny. 

I also decided early on that the cat would not be a talking cat.  I am not fond of most talking cats in strips (Bucky, of course, is the exception) and I just thought it would be nice to have a normal cat.  Especially if, because they are cartoon people, they could actually HAVE a talking cat if they wanted.  I think it says something about them that they (or rather Eve) chose a non-talker.  Because honestly, if I could choose a talking or non talking animal I’d totally choose the talker.  

Did I ever mention how very much I miss The Wild Thornberries?  That was my favorite show and I wish they would put it out on DVD’s.  I’d buy every season.  Sigh…

The problem with Nosferatu is that I found out, once I’d written it out and added her to the strip, that I really can’t draw cats.  I mean I CAN, just not WELL.  Which is why you will go months without a mention of Nessie.  I figure that cats are really not in your face pets like dogs are and it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that whenever the “camera” is on the Torres’ for their snippet of comedy for the day, that Nessie is outside, or asleep in the sink or a warm window, or doing something more important to her than appearing on camera. 

To me, the Torres’ are alive and each day is a whole day in their lives too.  I don’t do many continuations because of this.  The Christmas day strip happens on December 25th, and then they move on.  That type of thing.  So I imagine that whatever strip I post has focused on only a two minute period out of their day and that the rest of the day is theirs to enjoy privately.  This includes giving Nessie a lot of attention to make up for the attention that she misses in the strip.  This is also why I rarely show all the kids at once in the strip.  I figure that they are busy and they’ll show up eventually when they have something to say.  My own kids certainly don’t hang around my husband and I all day, so why should the Torres kids.  …Perhaps I am overthinking this just a TAD, huh?

Rereading that makes me sound crazy.  Which I’m not (don’t ALL crazy people say that though?)  I just get very involved with these characters who mean so much to me, and I don’t think it’s abnormal.  This happens a lot with writers, which is what I mainly am.  Yes, I draw this cartoon too, but cartooning is all about the writing in my opinion.  Get the writing right, and it will carry bad art.  Great art will not carry bad writing though.  Who wants to look at pretty pictures and be bored by the content?  Of course the great cartoonists are both great writers AND artists, and I, for one, hate them for it. 

…Whoops!  Did I say that out loud?

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