The Inspiration For Harry the Wonder Cat

Monkeyface

When I decided to create the character for Harry the Wonder Cat, I had to look no further than my Monkeyface, the first cat I ever had.  Twenty years ago, Monkey and I met and it was love at first sight. The big Maine Coon was the gentlest creature I’ve ever known.  He was fiercely loyal to me and protected me from the people that he considered bad. (Cats are like that…they can smell trouble a mile off.) I, in turn, protected him from everything from the rustling of a paper bag (he hated paper bags) to the loud claps of thunder in the mountain sky.

Now, I know you’ll think that Harry doesn’t sound at all like Monkeyface, and you would be right when it comes down to fears.  After all, Harry isn’t afraid of anything. You must remember, however, Monkeyface didn’t have the powers that Harry has.

Other than being fiercely protective of their person, Maine Coons are among the largest domestic cat, (the biggest was a cat named Stewie,  who grew to be a whopping 48.5 inches. Harry’s 38 inches seem small next to him.)

While Harry grew to weigh over 30 pounds, Monkeyface weighed a mere 25 pounds. Maine Coons are known as the Gentle Giants of the cat world, but sometimes Harry uses his size to intimidate enemies.

I chose the Maine Coon breed for Harry the Wonder Cat in memory of my lovable Monkeyface who, in my mind, will always be my Wonder Cat.

What Makes Harry the Wonder Cat Tick?

We want you to know a bit about Harry the Wonder Cat and what makes him tick.  He is a Maine Coon, so we thought that we would give you a little background on the breed.

The Maine Coon cat,  otherwise known as “Gentle Giant”, is a special breed of cat…or so Harry says (and we all know how special he is).

Let’s start with the outer cat.  Maine Coons are extremely big for a house cat.  The average male Maine Coon typically weighs in at 15 to 25 pounds, but they have been known to be up to 35+ pounds.

They can get to be about 40” in length. (No, that ’s not a typo…40”!)  The world’s record is held by a beautiful Coon, Stewie, who measured 48.5”.  (Seems like a monster next to Harry’s puny 38”, huh?) Read more about Stewie.

Stewie – Longest Cat
Guinness World Records 2011
Photo Credit: Ryan Schude/Guinness World Records
Location: Reno, Nevada
Also Pictured: Stewie’s Owner Robin Hendrickson

There are some who claim that Maine Coons are the biggest or certainly one of the biggest domesticated cat breeds in the world.

Some other physical traits are:

1. Both their bodies and their heads are rectangular in build, unlike their smaller, sleeker counterparts.

2. A Maine Coon’s medium to long fur has three layers to it to protect them from the cold of Maine (hence the name).

3. Maine Coons have a luxurious mane that resembles a small lion.

4. The tail of a Maine Coon is long in length and covered in long, bushy fur.

5. As is true with Harry, a Maine Coon’s eyes have the wisdom of the ages, revealing natural intelligence.

6. Their ears are normally larger than their counterparts and have tufts of fur growing out of them.

7. Their paws are unusually large with tufts of fur between each “toe”.

8.  Maine Coons do not normally communicate like other cats.  When they talk to you, which is often, they do it by trilling and singing.

In this author’s opinion, male Maine Coons are certainly one of the sweetest breeds.  I know this from experience as my first cat was one. His name was Monkeyface, and Harry is based on him. Like Harry, he was ready to show off his comical antics at a moments notice. 

The Maine Coon has a mystery all their own based on many legends. We will share them with you in later posts.

Our thanks go out to:

Guinness World’s Records

boredpanda.com

mainecoon.org

Next week:

Harry interviews Little Bea from his new book, “Harry the Wonder Cat: The Legend of the Pink Diamond”.  Please join us.

The Cat Kingdom

I’ve been working on the third book of the Harry the Wonder Cat Series. A lot of you have been introduced to the Cat Kingdom, where the Cat King resides. Of course, he rules all cats. This is who gave Harry his task of guarding the Johnson family for eternity.

I’m going to take you on a tour of the kingdom. The first thing you need to know is that no one actually knows where the Cat Kingdom is. To get there, you must be escorted by an official messenger of the Cat King. You simple touch his back, close your eyes and when the official tells you, open them to a brand new world.

The scent is unlike any other you have known in the human realm of existence.   It’s indescribable really, but if one were to try, it’s a cross of cotton candy, chocolate, and the sweet smell of jasmine. 

Then you will notice the glitter everywhere, on the ground, statues of regal cats, even the castle itself.  The sky is raining down these sparkly, golden pieces of tiny substance nonstop, night and day. The next thing you may notice is the sound of sweet, melodious music.  This music has never been heard before and won’t be heard outside of the kingdom. Any guest of the king can look up to the sky and see a rainbow shoot an arc over the castle.

Speaking of the castle, it has a gatehouse where two cat guards stand tall to greet you into the castle grounds.  The courtyard is expansive.  It, too, is covered in golden glitter that sparkled in the sunshine.  The colors of the rainbow are brighter than colors are in the human realm. At the castle door there are two more cats to greet you.

Once inside you will find yourself in a great hall surrounded by portraits of the most regal cats that ruled the kingdom hanging on the walls.  At the end of the hall is an extraordinary room with a golden, bejeweled throne in it and a red carpet leading up to it.  This is, of course, where you will find the king.

Well, that’s it.  The Cat Kingdom in a nutshell.  I hope that you’ve enjoyed my little tour.

Who Else Wants to Go to Greece With Harry?

I have introduced five cats who are lucky enough to be joining Harry on his adventure in Greece. I have a lot more applications to go through. Please take a gander at the following contestants.

Dewey

The next cat co-star is Dewey. You may remember Dewey from Book 1, The Legend of the Pink Diamond. He’s the only co-star who gets to appear in more than one book. Harry needs this lightning-fast, feisty feline to help him maneuver around the Greek Island of Syros. Of course, the cats from the sanctuary will be there to lend a hand, too.

Rosie is the second one that I’ll introduce you to this week. She has an exceptional talent; she can moonwalk, which will come in handy when Harry needs a feline to creep silently on window ledges.

Rosie

Next week, I’ll be bringing more cats along for the ride.

Harry’s Helpers in Greece

As I told you last week, I’m looking for cats to play parts in my next Harry the Wonder Cat book. This book is set in Greece, and I need lots of cats to fill the parts of the cats in the sanctuary. You have already met Loki and Lyla May, this week I want to introduce you to three more famous cats.

 

Barbara Waloven Chalie

Charlie is a loveable cat, which will come in handy when Harry needs a distraction.

 

Barbara Waloven Reginald Reginald

Midnight Barbara Waloven Midnight

Both Reginald and Midnight love watching TV. Will Harry train them to be his lookouts?

 

I have a lot more cats to introduce you to. See ya next week.

Remember, if your cat wants to join Harry and his Greek gang, post a picture with the name of your cat. Please include one personality trait. It promises to be an exciting trip.