How my cat became a movie star
Thanks so much to Marlow Kelly for hosting me today. She asked me to do a guest post about my cat Avalon. More in particular, she wanted to know how he became a movie star.
It all started in 2010 when director Philippe Geus contacted me about a possible collaboration. He had read my first novel, Drowned Sorrow, and wanted to know if I had something else in the same vein. I had just finished writing a short story, The Strangers Outside, and thought that this could become a good movie. He read it and several days later, everything was put into place to make the film adaptation.
I asked the director if it would be possible to include a little cameo for Avalon in the film, a split second where we could see him ambling near the house.
“I have a better idea,” the director said. “Why don't we give Avalon a real part in the film?”
“What part would that be?”
“Avalon will be the main victim. I want to see him butchered by those evil monks.”
Cats are known to be uncontrollable on a movie set, but Avalon did exactly what was expected of him. The crew thought this was highly amusing and took advantage of the opportunity to film Avalon from as many angles as possible: lying down, standing, jumping, moving around. Avalon was ready to perform.
Another one of my stories (Next to Her) is currently in pre-production to become a film. Again, Avalon has a major part. He'll be a ghost cat that visits an old woman in the hospital.
Needless to say I am proud of my miniature celebrity.
Avalon's life story is now available as a book: Avalon: a Heartwarming True Cat Story.
The book details his adventures on set, his public appearances, how he made a hobby out of vomiting on my guinea pig, and much more. But most of all, Avalon is a love story. Because no matter how much of a star he was, what made his life truly special was the out-of-the-ordinary bond we shared together.
Some cats need nine lives to make a difference. Avalon only needed one.
From Amazon bestselling author Vanessa Morgan, Avalon is the heartwarming and once-in-a-lifetime love story of a girl and her neurotic Turkish Van cat.
With humor, the author details how Avalon made other creatures cringe in distress whenever he was around, how he threw her dates out by means of special techniques, and how he rendered it almost impossible for her to leave the house. Avalon was so incorrigible that even her landlord ordered her to get rid of him. But beneath Avalon's demonic boisterousness, Vanessa recognized her own flaws and insecurities, and she understood that abandoning Avalon would be the worst she could do to him. Thanks to her unswerving loyalty, Avalon transformed into a tender feline, and even landed a major role in a horror movie. In turn, Avalon made it his mission to be there for his human companion.
By turns jubilant and deeply moving, Avalon is a memoir for anyone who has ever been obsessively in love with a pet.
Ignoring the neighbors’ cats had diminished Avalon's jealousy, but with four more beings in the apartment demanding my devotion, Avalon's reality was still a far cry from his personal utopia, and new pet peeves were routinely added to his usual problem-seeking behavior.
Small changes often caused major disturbances. When we removed a DVD from the cupboard, or put a pen on the living room table that he wasn’t used to seeing there, Avalon pitched himself near the problem area and vocalized his complaints as if he was a muezzin calling to prayer. He only stopped if the space returned back to normal.
Intelligent and calculating as he was, Avalon had also developed a technique to prevent Ballon and Tigris from using his litter boxes. Each time he heard the scratch scratch scratch in the litter, he settled into attack mode behind the bathroom wall, wiggled his behind, and leapt onto the other cat as soon as it emerged, making it jump. It worked every...single... time. Proud, Avalon walked away from the crime scene with his nose pointing airwards.
Borat, our guinea pig, was initially the best one off, but ended up the most miserable. What kept him safe at first was Avalon’s fear of rodents. Cats may be considered deadly predators, killing a median of 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals a year in the United States alone, but whenever Borat had free range inside the apartment, Avalon went in a large circle around him, avoiding him at all cost.
Eventually, Avalon ferreted out a way to make Borat twinge in distress whenever he approached. It started when I taught Avalon not to throw up on the bed and carpets. Those lessons must have been meaningful, because Avalon didn’t vomit in those places anymore. Instead he aimed for the guinea pig's head. As soon as he felt a hairball mounting, Avalon ran as fast as he could toward Borat's cage, leaned in, and puked his heart out.
Vanessa Morgan is an author, screenwriter, and blogger. Two of her works, The Strangers Outside and A Good Man, have been turned into films. Her short film script Next to Her is currently in pre-production. When she's not working on her latest book, you can find her reading, watching horror movies, digging through flea markets, or photographing felines for her blog Traveling Cats (http://travelling-cats.blogspot.com). Avalon has appeared in several of her books and films.
Social media links
Purchase links for other stories
Drowned Sorrow: http://amzn.to/1GYQM9I
The Strangers Outside: http://amzn.to/1cpso8U
Next to Her: http://amzn.to/1ARrqs0
Vanessa will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card