Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Getting Catty with Guest Blogger: Laura Hogg

Welcome author Laura Hogg to the Book Boost today.

She's sharing an original piece of short fiction with us entitled "The Cat and the Choice".

Once there was a troubled young lady named Mary who had an important decision to make. She tossed and turned in her sleep then woke up still undecided. She looked inside her closet.

“Green or blue today? I wish I could decide which I liked more.” She put on a red dress, a color she wasn’t crazy about, and walked into the kitchen.

Her sister, Susan, gave her a smile. “I can make coffee or tea. Which would you like?”

Mary shrugged. “Either. I can’t decide.”

Susan scoffed. “That’s a shocker.” She handed her a cup of water.

Mary drank it and went for a walk, thinking about two young men in her life who wanted to date her. Should she choose Hunter, a dear friend who had always been good to her, or Edward, the new guy in the neighborhood that all the ladies wanted?

Mary wrung her hands. “Oh, I just can’t decide.” She passed a sign that told her she was a mile from the city zoo and thought of elephants. This made her think about the choice that had kept her awake.

“Should I take that boring office job or run away with the circus on my cousin’s invitation to join?” More hand wringing.

She turned a corner. A beautiful, small cat stepped in front of her. She stopped and put her hand to her chest. “Sorry I almost trampled you, little fella.” She chuckled. “You’re a cat. You can’t understand me.”

“Don’t bet on it.”

She gasped and jumped back.

“Don’t be frightened. I’m your guardian cat, fairy-god cat, or whatever you want to call me. You’re hearing me telepathically. I’m not really a cat. Only in cat form.”

“I…uh, I…” Her head spun.

“I’ll grant you one wish.”

“Pardon me?”

“One wish. Name it.”

“You’re a cat!”

“I thought we’ve covered this. Humor me.”

She gulped and lowered her trembling hand. “I’m insane.”

“No.” Did he sigh? “Humor me.”

“All…all right. I wish I weren’t so indecisive.”

“Granted. Take me home as your pet. Every time you make a good decision, I’ll grow a little bigger to show you you’ve done so. Every time you’ve made a bad decision, I’ll get smaller. Make enough bad decisions, and I’ll disappear completely. Eventually, you’ll get the idea and learn how to make good decisions on your own.”

“I must be crazy.” She shook her head and slapped her hands to her sides. “But I’ll do it.” She glanced away then back down at the cat. He was slightly bigger!

She walked back home with the cat following her.

That night, she picked up the phone to call Edward and accept his offer to go out, but before she dialed, she looked at the cat. He shrunk. She called Hunter instead, and the cat regained its size.

Mary and Hunter went out the next night and had a great time. She saw an alluring side to him she had never seen before and was greatly surprised. She went home, deciding that she’d see him again. Petting the cat, she looked at its growing belly and stroked its flowing, feathery-soft fur, smiling.

“A good decision.”

The next morning, before she entered her kitchen, she said out loud, “Coffee today,” and glanced at the cat. He shrunk.


The cat grew.

“Green tea.”

The cat grew a little bigger.

“I’m learning.” She went into the kitchen with a smile.

Talking with Susan over breakfast, she thought about which job to go for and still didn’t know.

Susan glanced at her. “You’re wearing pink today. You’ve always said that either green or blue is your favorite color but you could never decide on one. Do you like them both equally?”

Mary shrugged. “I doubt it.”

Susan chuckled. “I guess it doesn’t really matter in itself except for how it affects you.”

“My goal is to be able to choose, to be able to make decisions.”


Over the course of the next month, her instinct for decision-making grew stronger as she watched the cat and saw the results of her choices. She began to know on her own which actions were wiser than others and wore blue more often. She slept better. Hunter gave her a ring. She accepted it, and her large cat slept next to her that night.

Pondering the pros and cons of her job choices, her instinct pushed her toward one and away from the other. She ran past the city zoo sign having decided how she was going to spend her life. Hunter had told her that he’d be supportive of whatever decision she made: an office job or the circus. He’d be there for her.

She ran home knowing that with the importance of the decision she just made, her cat would either be the size of a newborn kitten, or for goodness sakes, he might frighten Susan if he walked out of her room—that is, if he could get out the door.

Susan greeted her with a smile. “Hope you don’t mind. I practiced your guitar this morning right after you left. I think I forgot to put it back in the case. Sorry!” She chuckled.

Mary held her breath. “Did you…see my cat this morning?”

“No, why?”

“Never mind.” Her heart pounded as she made her way into her room. Why hadn’t Susan seen him? Because he shrank to be tiny? No. Mary had made her career decision only moments ago.
She entered her room and looked at the bed, gasping. “Circus it is.”

A Note from the Book Boost: Laura, thanks for sharing your cat story with us today. It was a good decision! Please tell us more about your book.


In Victorian England an orphan, Margot, has ambitions. She banks on her intellect and her love, Brad, who went from the streets to opulence. Brad’s father demands he not marry Margot, so Brad abdicates a fortune for love. Brad turns on Margot. Devastated, she refuses to give up her dreams.


Brad lay in his cushioned bed that night staring at the ceiling of his palatial room. His eyes stung with tears. He swallowed down a tight throat. The vision of her horrified face came to mind as he had walked away.

“Why, Margot?” He rolled over and fisted his hand, slamming it onto the mattress.

“I loved you so much. How could that have changed, and so fast?”

He rolled over again and brought his hands to his face. Was it not true love? It had to be. No, it couldn’t be. It was desire...your beauty.

Then he recalled laughing at one of her witty stories. It was during one of those times when love first wiggled into his heart, the first stirrings. You are so singular, Margot, my darling, he had thought.

When she rocked a small child in her arms once at the orphanage, it grew stronger. When she danced with him, stronger still. And more and more and more. Every time he saw her lovely, happy face, as she attempted to delight everyone around her with her ideas and stories, trying to make them laugh and smile, his feelings intensified. He had given up a financial empire for her and hadn’t thought twice about it. Or had he? No, no he hadn’t. Somewhere underneath though, he had been afraid of the poverty that faced them. Now his surroundings dripped of luxury. Did this offer comfort over his loss of love? He had yet to discover.

Want More Laura?

Laura lives in Colorado and has various stories out with different publishers. They range from short stories to full-length novels. Most are romance. Laura likes to write historical, some sci-fi, and paranormal, especially time travel fiction.

Visit her blog here: http://traveltheages.blogspot.com/

Pick up a copy of her book today! Click here.

1 comment:

Historical Writer/Editor said...

Thanks so much for having me here today! Best regards, Laura