Sometimes characters in books are completely made up. Sometimes they are inspired by people.
And sometimes they are inspired by real-life cats.
In Harmony Blues, you get to meet two cats, Buttons and Colonel Mustard. It is my dream to own two cats someday, and for now it is a dream I fulfilled through Brittany. She’s an only child and her mother is a veterinarian, so it seemed fitting that she have two cats.
Buttons was actually a real cat that I knew. Not mine; he belonged to two of my favorite teachers in high school, Mr. and Mrs. Powers. Mr. Powers taught science and Mrs. Powers taught English (and infamously forbade me to stop reading Babysitters Club books) and I counted them as friends. We spent hours in the summer playing volleyball and we even had a Superbowl party or two at their place. That’s where I met their cats, Buttons and Shadow. I had my own cat, but I love all cats, and as an homage to them, I felt like Brittany needed to have a cat named Buttons too.
I think many authors inject little pieces of themselves into their stories. Buttons is a real life piece of me.
Oh, and here is how I picture Colonel Mustard, in case you were worried I forgot about him: